The 98th Open | 1969 Royal Lytham & St Annes

Jacklin becomes most recent English winner in England

Fifty-three years on from Tony Jacklin's golden summer of '69, England is still waiting for another home winner of The Open.

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The popular two-time Major winner from Lincolnshire held his nerve to become the Champion Golfer of the Year at Royal Lytham & St Annes but, after more than five decades and 21 opportunities, England is still waiting for another home hero.

Sir Nick Faldo was perhaps the greatest hope and the six-time major winner did win three Claret Jugs during his illustrious career - but all of those came in Scotland.

The wait for another English Champion in England makes Jacklin's triumph - one forged on the backstreets of Scunthorpe, the fairways of Jacksonville and, ultimately, the greens of Lancashire - all the more special.

The summer of '69

Jacklin made his Open debut at Lytham in 1963 and four years later hit the first televised hole-in-one at another Open venue, in the Dunlop Masters at Royal St George's. 

At 23, he decided to pit his wits against the world's best and head to America. A year later, he became the first Englishman to win on the PGA Tour in Jacksonville, filling him with confidence ahead of his return to home shores.

Back at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Jacklin excelled at The 98th Open. He was three shots off the lead at halfway, but on the Friday he hit the front of an international field. 

A third round of 70 looked all the better on a day of high-scoring - Bob Charles carded a 75 and fellow challenger Christy O'Connor Snr shot 74 - to leave Jacklin top of the pile, and the only Englishman in the top 10.

For the first 17 holes of Championship Saturday, Jacklin handled a tense situation admirably and he arrived at the 18th tee box with a two-shot lead.

That, however, is when the nerves finally hit.

"There's no more demanding tee shot, in my opinion, than the 18th at Lytham St Annes," said Jacklin. "You can't play safe and that's what makes it so difficult.

"I was very nervous. I remember teeing it up and saying 'TJ this is what you work for, this is what you do, this is what you want, and you've done it a million times'. 

"I looked up and there's a thing going down the middle of the fairway like a rocket. The pressure was off after that, it was a nice 20 minutes."

After stroking his approach shot to within 15 feet, Jacklin two-putted for par and the Claret Jug - a dream come true. 

A tale of near-misses

Jacklin won his second Major at the following year's U.S. Open, while three other Englishmen - Faldo, Justin Rose and Danny Willett - have won Major titles since. 

But none of those have come at an English course in The Open and there have been a number of near misses since Jacklin's win in Lancashire.

Peter Oosterhuis was the runner-up in 1974 when The Open returned to Royal Lytham & St Annes, while Faldo's closest call in England came in 1993, when the defending Champion was denied in stunning fashion as his great rival Greg Norman posted a final-round 64 at Royal St George's.

Faldo was a veteran by then, while five years on an unknown Rose, just 17 at the time, defied the odds to finish in a tie for fourth as an amateur at Royal Birkdale.

Ian Poulter is the most recent Englishman to mount a strong challenge on home soil, finishing runner-up to Padraig Harrington as the Irishman successfully defended his title at Birkdale in 2008. 

England's finest do not have long to wait for another crack, with The 151st Open heading to Royal Liverpool in 2023.