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THE OPEN > 1986 >
At The Mercy Of The Elements -
The Open Championship 1986

The triumph of 1977 meant that it wasn't a question of if but when The Open would return to Turnberry. Fond memories of hot sun, blue skies and tame breezes gave way to the harsh realities of thirty-mile-an-hour winds, driving rain and vicious rough in 1986.

The successes of 1977 ensured that only minimal changes were required to The Ailsa for 1986. But with memories of hot sun and benign conditions fresh in the mind, competitors and spectators alike could be forgiven for anticipating another low scoring feast. On the eve of the championship, a near gale sprang up from the south, convincing many players not to go out at all. As any local will tell you, the links are rarely so forgiving twice in succession.

For those who did play-including defending champion Sandy Lyle, favorite Seve Ballesteros and the talented Australian, Greg Norman-the unforgiving course was the site of many disheartening and even humiliating shots.

By the time the sun finally graced the players with its presence on the final day of the tournament, Norman's score had taken a beating, at a full 12 strokes higher than Watson's in 1977. But after the frustrations of so many near-misses in the U.S. Open and the Masters, The Shark had finally won a major. One of the two Open Championships Norman was to win, the 1986 Open is still one of the most crucial victories of his career.

"Some of those shots impressed even me." - Norman, after the win