Gary Player came to the Senior British Open at Turnberry in Scotland having had a reasonably successful…
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1988 US Senior Open
As good a year as Player had on the Champions Tour in 1987, 1988 was quite unbelievable. In the 12 starts leading up to the US Senior Open, he had won three times and had not been out of the top 10.
In 1988 Medinah was a typically tough USGA layout, with narrow fairways and penal rough. The USGA certainly didn’t go easy on the seniors, Player recalls. So it wasn’t surprising when he opened with a 74, his worse round of the year – and to make matters worse, this put him five shots behind first-round leaders Billy Casper and Walt Zembriski. Luckily there was plenty of golf to be played.
Billy Casper extended his lead to four shots after the second round, but after Player’s third-round 71 they were neck-and-neck going into the last. It was New Zealand’s Bob Charles who made the early charge in the final round and he was three ahead by the 14th, playing superb golf, but three bogeys brought Player and Charles level. Both shot par on the 18th and finished with a tie after 72 holes. Player was able to clinch victory after an 18-hole play-off, and better still, back-to-back US Senior Opens… What a proud moment!