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Saturday
Jul152017

Getting In The Mood For Birkdale: Johnny & Seve In '76 Video

The 1976 Open Championship was won by Johnny Miller, and as he recounted for Golfweek, it was a memorable weekend battle with Seve Ballesteros.

This short piece on the '76 Open is mostly about Seve but includes some great footage of Johnny and Seve's epic recovery on 18. Their battle is at the heart of next week's "Summer of '76" documentary airing on Golf Channel.

This longer piece by Scott Murray just appeared at The Guardian's site and reminds us what a wild week this was:

 

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Reader Comments (6)

I was there and it was magical.
07.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
Good job nobody was here whilst I was watching it as my eyes quickly filled up. I adored that man's talent and character. There'll never be another like him. BTW whatever happened to flared trousers?
07.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterStephen W
Was second alternate for that Open. No. 1 got in so I hung around all day hoping for an injury! Think if I'd been told I was playing right at the end I would have shot 100. Seve was a genius- dashing and exciting but he had a dark side too- but it's characters like him, Arnie and Tiger that"grow the game" not authority led initiatives- and goodness me we coul do with another one.
07.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterChico
One of Seve's legacies was the reduction of the need to the fairway. To make it desirable, but not necessary. To more or less make it optional. This most elemental and primal of all skills, which Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus etc. worked so hard to excel at and which they were rewarded for, became less fundamental. Europeans in particular began resenting setups that demanded it, wanting no almost no price to be paid for errant drives save for having a less than ideal angle for the approach. This purely was a reaction to Seve's waywardness off the tee. Anything less than a freewheeling go at the green was seen as punitive, confining and unfair. The U.S. Open setup we saw at Erin Hills--expansive driving areas where anything less than 60 yards off line essentially goes unpunished--can really be traced back to him. "The art of the recovery" isn't really a recovery in most cases, it's just an all-out bomb, hit high even from moderate rough, The intent of eliminating taller grass and variable lies was to make the game more interesting, but it's become more one-dimensional at the top end than it's ever been. The rule of unintended consequences. Again, this goes back to Seve. He was brilliant, but his lack of long-game precision made him the anti-Hogan. There is a sentiment that Seve's style was more interesting than Hogan's--or even Miller's in 1976--but I'm not so sure. There is beauty in precision and repetitiveness, too. It's not only an art, but an ideal--discipline, practice, study. Seve's magic and type of skill set corrupted our appreciation for precision. That the emphasis of the 1976 Open would be more on the joint runner-up than the champion, is clear evidence of that.
07.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan
I te resting! Seve said they should do away with fairways altogether- then he would win everything.
07.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterChico
His gamesmanship was pathetic.
07.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFC

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