Watson and Nicklaus relive 'Duel in the Sun'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson will relive their famous head-to-head contest in the 1977 Open when they tee up in the Senior British Open at Turnberry today.

The Americans will go out at 8.20am, together with the Englishman Carl Mason, some 26 years after producing one of the finest finales ever seen at an Open, which became known as the "Duel in the Sun". On that occasion, Nicklaus closed with successive 66s - and lost by a stroke to Watson, who carded 66 and 65.

Watson rallied from two shots behind with nine holes left, the drama continuing to the 72nd hole when Watson hit a seven iron to 30 inches and then holed the resultant birdie putt to win. "It was one of the best shots I ever hit," recalled Watson. "It's something I will never forget."

Watson enters his second Senior British Open in fine form, having finished second at the recent Ford US Players Championship and tied 18th at the Open at Royal St George's. However, the man in form is Craig Stadler, who last weekend became the first Seniors Tour golfer to win on the regular US PGA Tour, at the BC Open in New York.

Altogether, eight former Major champions will take part, the others being Bob Charles, Tom Kite, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Fuzzy Zoeller.