In the world of golf, there are moments that stand the test of time, etching themselves into the annals of history.
One such moment unfolded at the 1971 Open Championship, held at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.
This edition marked the 100th Open Championship, and it witnessed a golfing legend, Lee Trevino, etching his name in history as he clinched the coveted title.
Lee Trevino’s Triumph
From July 7th to 10th, 1971, golf enthusiasts and aficionados gathered at the picturesque Royal Birkdale Golf Club, eager to witness history in the making.
The tournament would become a defining moment in the career of Lee Trevino, as he secured his first of two consecutive Open Championships, edging out Lu Liang-Huan by a single stroke.
This victory was not only a significant milestone for Trevino but also the third major title in his illustrious career.
Just weeks before, he had won the U.S. Open, defeating none other than Jack Nicklaus in a thrilling playoff.
These triumphs solidified Trevino’s reputation as one of the game’s premier talents.
A Rare Feat
Lee Trevino’s win at the 1971 Open Championship catapulted him into the exclusive club of golfers who had achieved the remarkable feat of winning both the U.S. Open and the Open Championship in the same year.
This select group included golfing legends like Bobby Jones (1926, 1930), Gene Sarazen (1932), and Ben Hogan (1953).
In the years that followed, only two other golfers, Tom Watson (1982) and Tiger Woods (2000), would join this distinguished list.
Trevino’s achievement showcased his exceptional skill and determination, elevating him to a place among the sport’s greats.
The 1971 Open Championship held another significant distinction.
It marked the last major championship of that year due to an unusual scheduling change.
The PGA Championship, typically played in August, had been rescheduled to February (later moved to May in 2019).
Lee Trevino’s victory, therefore, ensured that Americans swept all four major championships in 1971.
Charles Coody had already won the Masters Tournament, and Jack Nicklaus had captured the PGA Championship.
This marked the fifth time in golf history that American players had achieved this remarkable feat, and while it has occurred a few more times since 1971, it remains a testament to the dominance of American golfers during that era.