The 91st Open | 1962 Troon

Jack Nicklaus plays his first Open

No one could have known what spectacular Open glories lay ahead for Jack Nicklaus when he first appeared in golf's original Championship in 1962.

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The 91st Open at Troon provided a notable Champion Golfer, as Arnold Palmer joined an elite group of players to have successfully defended the Claret Jug.

An immensely popular and charismatic figure who drew huge crowds, Palmer was at the peak of his powers and his participation - and success - in The Open played a key role in inspiring many of his fellow Americans to cross the Atlantic.

One of those who made the trip along with Palmer in 1962 was Nicklaus, a fresh-faced 22-year-old who arrived at Troon off the back of claiming his maiden U.S. Open title a month earlier.

In the years to come, Nicklaus would establish himself as a legend of The Open, winning the Championship three times and contending strongly for the Claret Jug on multiple other occasions.

Yet the longest journeys start with a single step and the man who would come to be known as 'the Golden Bear' faced a stern test of character on his debut appearance.

Any optimism surrounding the future 18-time major winner was dented as he got off to a painful start in the first round.

A 10 at the 11th provided the lowlight of a round of 80 and left Nicklaus facing a stern task if he was to make the cut.

It speaks volumes of his ability - and mentality - that he continued into the business end of the contest and, of all the players who advanced to Friday, Nicklaus was the only one to hit a round in the 80s first up.

Nicklaus' eventual finish of tied 34th, well adrift of Champion Golfer Palmer, may not represent anything like his finest hour, but there were still sprinkles of stardust in his maiden display.

Requiring a low score to stand any chance of making the cut, Nicklaus duly delivered in round two on Thursday, as he posted a 72 to clamber up the leaderboard.

The score was his most impressive of the Championship and gave The Open crowd a first true taste of what he had to offer.

Having salvaged his week with a classy second-round showing, Nicklaus maintained a solid level of performance.

Only 12 men bettered his score of 74 in the third round and it looked as though the American had found some rhythm as he headed towards the close of his Open bow.

His Championship was to be book-ended by another off-colour offering as Nicklaus ended his trip to Troon with a round of 79.

Yet while his first visit to The Open did not go entirely to plan, Nicklaus quickly got to grips with links golf.

In fact, his record over the next 18 Championships was truly incredible, as the Golden Bear recorded that trio of wins and seven runner-up placings while only finishing outside the top six once, when he was 12th in 1965.