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Memory Match: Lyle ended Scot’s hoodoo at Open

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As you will have read in the pages of the Evening Express this week, it is 20 years since Aberdeen’s Paul Lawrie won the Open Championship at Carnoustie in 1999.

When Lawrie lifted the claret jug via a play-off following Frenchman Jean van de Velde’s infamous collapse on 18, he ended a relatively short 14-year wait for a Scottish win in golf’s most prestigious tournament.

Sandy Lyle’s victory at Royal St George’s in 1985 put a pin in a much-longer 65-year hoodoo.

Cool customer Lyle, now 61, had trailed Ireland’s Christy O’Connor Jun by four shots after the first round at the famous course in Sandwich, England.

However, after 36 holes, Lyle tied Australia’s David Graham for the lead. His relatively consistent rounds of 68 and 71 – two under and one over par respectively – contrasted O’Connor’s rounds of six under and then six over.

A three-over round on the Saturday saw Lyle drop off the pace again, though, leaving him two over, while Graham and German Bernhard Langer went into Sunday one under par.

But on Sunday it was Lyle who held his nerve. He shot level par to finish two over as the two overnight leaders collapsed to five-over-par rounds.

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Payne Stewart, of the United States, was second with a three-over-par total, while Graham, Langer, O’Connor, American Mark O’Meara and Spain’s Jose Rivero tied for third.

Legend Lyle would go on to become the first European to win the Players’ Championship and the first Brit to win the Masters.

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.

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