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1965 Peter Thomson Wins The Open At Birkdale


Peter Thomson holds off Tony Lema to win his 5th Open title.

The world of golf is steeped in tradition, with each tournament carrying its own unique history. The 1965 Open Championship, the 94th in its storied legacy, is no exception.

Held at the prestigious Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England, from July 7th to July 9th, this championship left an indelible mark in the annals of golf history.

Let’s revisit the highlights of the event, including the incredible victory of Peter Thomson, the shift in tournament scheduling, and the impact it had on the sport.

Peter Thomson’s Triumph

The 1965 Open Championship was a remarkable moment for Peter Thomson, who secured his fifth Claret Jug with a stellar performance on the greens.

Thomson, a golfing legend in his own right, finished the tournament two strokes ahead of his closest competitors, Brian Huggett and Christy O’Connor Snr.

This victory was particularly sweet for Thomson, as his previous Open win had occurred seven years earlier, back in 1958.

The golfing world watched in awe as Thomson once again demonstrated his mastery of the game.

Historic Scheduling Change

One of the unique aspects of the 1965 Open Championship was its scheduling.

This event marked the last time that the tournament concluded with two rounds on a Friday.

Starting from the following year, 1966, a significant shift occurred in the championship’s schedule.

The final round was moved from Friday afternoon to Saturday, fundamentally altering the dynamics of the event.

This change ushered in a new era for the Open Championship, reshaping how players and fans experienced this prestigious tournament.

The Transition to Modern Scheduling

From 1966 onward, golf enthusiasts saw a shift in how the Open Championship was conducted.

The final round was no longer played on a Friday but on a Saturday, aligning with the evolving norms in golf scheduling.

This transformation continued until 1980 when another significant change took place.

The first round of the Open Championship was moved to Thursday, with the final round now scheduled for Sunday, mirroring the scheduling format of the other three major golf tournaments.

This change allowed for a more consistent and predictable rhythm to the competition, making it easier for both players and fans to follow the action

Steve King of Fore King Golf

Steve King

Steve King is a UK based golf blogger, who shares online golf coaching that he created with his good friend Richard Lawless (PGA Professional)

Steve plays most of his golf in his home county of Wiltshire, in the UK. Read more about Steve