The 1995 Open Championship, the 124th edition of this prestigious men’s major golf championship, saw John Daly claim his first Open Championship and second major title in a thrilling four-hole playoff against Costantino Rocca.
However, it wasn’t just Daly’s triumph that made this tournament unforgettable; it was also a moment of transition as golfing legends bid farewell and a young phenom made his debut.
Daly’s Moment of Glory
The 1995 Open Championship will forever be etched in golfing history as the moment when John Daly rose to prominence.
Known for his prodigious driving ability and unconventional style, Daly displayed both skill and resilience throughout the tournament.
He finished the regulation 72 holes tied with Italy’s Costantino Rocca, setting the stage for an epic playoff showdown.
In the four-hole playoff that followed, Daly held his nerve, showcasing his mettle under pressure.
He managed to outshine Rocca and secure the coveted Claret Jug, a symbol of Open Championship glory.
This triumph marked a turning point in Daly’s career, solidifying his status as a major contender in the world of professional golf.
John Daly wins the Open Championship at St Andrews with drama coming from Costantino Rocca, who needed a birdie at the last to tie Daly.
When he duffed his pitch into the Valley of Sin, all hope seemed lost.
Yet using a putter from 65 feet, Rocca knocked his ball up the steep slope and then into the hole.
He sank to his knees and slammed the ground with his fists in sheer jubilation. “I had no putt, but it went in,” said the Italian.
Rocca was spent even before the four-hole play-off, which Daly won by five strokes after the Italian took three to get out of the Road Hole Bunker allowing Daly to receive a heart-felt ovation at the last.
“The names that are on here,” he marvelled while looking at the Claret Jug, “it’s unbelievable to be a part of it.”
A Fond Farewell to Arnold Palmer
The 1995 Open Championship was also a bittersweet moment for golf fans worldwide, as it marked the final Open appearance of a true legend, Arnold Palmer.
With two Open Championship titles to his name and a storied career filled with numerous accolades, Palmer was an icon of the sport.
His farewell at St Andrews was an emotional and poignant moment, as fans paid tribute to “The King” of golf.
The Arrival of Tiger Woods
While Palmer bid adieu to the Open Championship, another golfing legend made his debut at the tournament.
A young and immensely talented Tiger Woods teed it up at St Andrews for the first time in 1995.
Although he didn’t capture the Claret Jug on his maiden voyage, his presence sent ripples of excitement through the golfing world.
Little did anyone know that this tournament marked the beginning of a career that would redefine the sport and elevate Tiger Woods to legendary status.