He was rightfully named the inaugural Champion Golfer of the Year. McIlroy’s victory margin was reduced to two shots on the final day of the British Open 2014 by only a thrilling charge from Sergio Garcia (66), who made an eagle at the 10th before dropping his ball in a bunker at the 15th, and Rickie Fowler (67), who finished quickly. The 151st Open Championship fans can buy British Open Tickets from our website.
Although his overnight six-stroke lead was seriously in jeopardy early in the round, he maintained his composure and shot a solid 71 for a 271 at 17 under par. After Darren Clarke, who also won at Hoylake in 1947, and Fred Daly, McIlroy became the third Northern Irish winner (2011).
After Jack Nicklaus (23 years, 181 days) and Woods, McIlroy was the third-youngest golfer to complete the third leg of the modern Grand Slam at the time, standing at 25 years and 77 days (24 years, 171 days). Moreover, he was the seventh player to have a clear lead after each round.
Interestingly, he had previously done so at the 2011 US Open at Congressional, making that the second major victory of his career to go wire-to-wire. A 68 on the third day came after a second six-under 66 on the first day. Fowler had temporarily caught him, but he rallied with two eagles in the final three holes, a five-iron to 11 feet, and a brilliant approach shot at the penultimate hole.
The play was accelerated because of the likelihood of a thunderstorm during Saturday’s round, which made it the first two-tee start in The Open’s history.
British Open 2014
“It wasn’t easy, McIlroy remarked after winning on Sunday. I had to remain concentrated and finish the task because a few males were after me.”
As he left the 18th Green, his mother Rose received an embrace. She had missed both of his other significant victories, so when he dedicated this one to her at the prize presentation, he electrified the crowd.
Memoirs of a Great Golfer: John Daly’s Journey to St. Andrews, Where He Found Comfort and Glory
“A blue-collar, hillbilly dumb*** like me wins The Open at St. Andrews. It’s fantastic.”
There is only one golfer who could have spoken these things: John Daly, the 1995 Open Winner. Few players have garnered more off-course attention than Daly, yet it was the American’s shortcomings that made him popular with both golfers and non-golfers worldwide.
One of the most legendary careers in golf is covered in the most recent installment of the venerable Chronicles of a Champion Golfer series, which you can watch below and on The One Club Hub. The People’s Champion was Daly.
I’m not any different from the firefighters or the McDonald’s employee, said Daly. People can identify with my life because it is similar to theirs in all but the fact that I play golf.
“I somewhat took the wrong turn, but it was enjoyable while I was doing it.”
Daly made his name known by notably winning the PGA Championship in 1991, his first year as a professional, after driving through the night to play the first round. Daly learned to play golf by studying Jack Nicklaus’ instructional articles in Golf Digest.
“Then, according to Daly, a crazy guy was born.”
John Daly British Open Winner
He was given the moniker “Long John” because of his extraordinary distance off the tee. With his major, Daly was expected to have even more successful breakthroughs. Yet side trackers immediately had a negative impact.
“I always loved to have fun, and drinking was part of it,” he said. Occasionally, way too much. When you’re younger, you tend to keep going and going and going because you believe you can do anything. Then you become dumb like I did on numerous occasions.
Then you become dumb like I did on numerous occasions.
“The lowest point in my life was from 1992 to 1997. My golf game wasn’t very good; nothing was going well. Both the Wilson and Reebok sponsorships were gone. I didn’t feel really like practicing or playing a lot of golf. Just some sad times, really.”
The Open Championship emerged as a glimmer of light in the heart of that gloomy time. The inspiration for “Wild Thing” to get his game back on track came from teeing it up at St Andrew’s in 1995. Golf and British Open 2023 fans can buy British Open 2023 Tickets from our website.
I had zero confidence, Daly admitted. None. I wasn’t very good at golf. I had no expectations. But as soon as I arrived, I thought, “Man, I simply adore it here.” the footfalls that have been made on St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf. It captured my heart so quickly.
“Right here, if there’s any place I can turn my career around.”
Even though he was known for his powerful drives. His seven birdies in round one set the tone for the remainder of the weekend.
British Open 1995
One of his best golfing days was made possible by his performance on the greens. In spite of 40 mph gusts and behind Michael Campbell by four shots going into the final round. Daly scorched the front nine, birdieing holes 4, 6, 7, and 8, and then saving par with an amazing up-and-down shot on hole 9.
It might have been the best-putting round of my life, he reflected. The two-putts, not the one-putt. I don’t know how many shots from 60, 80, or 100 feet I two-putted. I think I did the best for everyone that week.
“On that day, I just had a feeling. The next thing I know, I’m leading the field by two goals.”
Daly signed for a 71 and went into the clubhouse ahead of Campbell, Mark Brooks, and Stephen Bottomley by one stroke thanks to par on hole 18. Although he was unable to match Daly’s skill on the greens in the final round, the Italian started the Sunday two strokes ahead of Daly. But Rocca fought back.
He missed his second shot, a pitch that sank into the Valley of Sin, leaving him 65 feet from the pin and needing a three to force a playoff. One of the best Open putts ever followed. I assumed that belonged to me, Daly said. In fact, I believed it to be mine. One of the greatest putts ever made in golf has to be that one.
It went in and I couldn’t believe it. Before you know it, we’re in a playoff.
Italian Golfer Costantino Rocca
“Although I didn’t want a play-off, I was prepared for it. For it, Costantino was unprepared. His feelings [had not] subsided. Up until the second play-off hole, he was still trembling.”
As Rocca lost his composure, Daly somehow prevailed by five strokes over those additional four holes. He owned the Claret Jug.
“Some memories you just can’t forget,” he remarked.
It’s just the best sensation. names engraved on the trophy. Many majors may be compared to it, but that one is particularly unbelievable. Why have you only won two majors, some people ask. It’s challenging! Everyone believes it will be simple because you won a major. It isn’t.
The good news is that they will never be able to take those two from me. My name will remain there in perpetuity.
“It’s very amazing. What do I have to do as a result of an absurd game of chasing a white ball. It’s been a fun journey.”
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