The 88th Open | 1959 Muirfield

Player overcomes tough start to claim first title

Gary Player trailed by eight shots at the halfway stage of The 88th Open, but that did not dent his belief that he could still win.

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"I know I'm eight behind, but I'm going to win," Player recalls telling friends after the opening day of action at Muirfield. He was to be proven correct.

Rounds of 70 and 68 were enough to secure a two-stroke triumph over Flory van Donck and Fred Bullock, yet Player faced an anxious wait before he could celebrate.

His sensational final round had been marred by a double-bogey six at the last, leaving Player fearful that he had blown his chance. 

However, none of the players still out on the course could better his total of 284 and South Africa had their second Open winner after four-time Champion Golfer Bobby Locke.