Duel in the Sun - I was there

The 1977 Open Championship is widely recognised as one of the greatest ever staged in the event’s long and storied history. And it seems that readers of the Daily Record newspaper agree!

In conjunction with the European Senior Tour, Turnberry Hotel and EventScotland, the Record asked readers who attended that Open to recount their personal experiences of The Duel in the Sun as a prelude to next week’s Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Turnberry.

The response was incredible as the memories came flooding back – the battle for supremacy between Jack Nicklaus and his eventual conqueror, Tom Watson. The Record’s photo of the two gladiators walking off the 18th green 35 years ago sparked a flood of entries.

Today we print the best selection of those entries. After much deliberation, the winner is Stan Logan, of, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, who wins the superb prize of hospitality for two at the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex; overnight accommodation at the five-star Turnberry Hotel; a signed photo of Tom Watson and the opportunity to play the wonderful Ailsa Course on Patrons’ Day on Monday July 30. The five runners-up all receive four season tickets for the championship.

Here is Stan’s recollection of what he describes as the ‘Greatest battle in Open history’.   

‘Turnberry - Saturday 9th July, 1977. I just turned 18 - my first Open. Lee Trevino, a real crowd pleaser with his non-stop banter autographed my arm. Glorious sunshine. Ailsa Craig lit up like a beacon! Nicklaus and Watson safely on the 18th. Atmosphere absolutely electric !

The crowds were immense, the heat was intense. Frantically looking for a vantage point, rounding the rear of the grandstand I looked up.  Mmmmm, that looks like the place for me. I quickly scaled the rear of the grandstand right up to the top, clinging to the wire mesh for dear life !

Perched above all the spectators, watching  the drama unfold before my eyes  - what a view ! I distinctly remember Jack grabbing Tom as they went off.  A real Golden Bear hug ! Seeing that picture in Saturday’s Daily Record recently, I said to my wife: ‘I WAS THERE - I SAW THAT!’

I feel so chuffed to have witnessed a real piece of golfing history.’

Advance tickets to for The 2012 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Turnberry can now be purchased online at www.senioropengolf.com, where discounts and offers can also be found.

Hospitality packages for each of the four Championship days are also now available at £95 per person inc VAT, which includes admittance to the course along with a three-course lunch and glass of champagne in Turnberry’s signature restaurant, 1906, reserved parking, a Championship programme and a draw sheet.

American Russ Cochran won The 2011 Senior Open Championship at Walton Heath, England, holding off the challenge of former Open Champion Mark Calcavecchia, three-time Senior Open Champion Watson and 2010 United States Ryder Cup Captain Pavin.

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