The romantic words we use to describe major championships and those who battle through them – the conqueror, the triumphant, the survivor – have a particular significance in Open Championships at St. Andrews.
Coming into the 1995 edition, most assumed a player fitting those descriptions would have a comfortable lead by Sunday afternoon. The pedigree of victors at the game’s most iconic course was pure and without rival, and the tournament would be timestamped by Arnold Palmer’s final playing in the event. As he walked across the Swilcan Bridge on Friday, people of all ages were watching from the brass railings of the Rusacks Hotel, hanging out of second-floor windows at the Woollen Mill and finding anywhere else they could cram in to catch a glimpse of the King as he bid an emotional farewell to the tournament he profoundly shaped.
“As I was coming up 18, I kept thinking about 1960 and what it led to,” Palmer said afterward, referencing his first trip to St. Andrews and the burgeoning success of the next 35 Opens. “A lot of grea...
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