The 119th Open | 1990 St Andrews

Faldo storms clear of Norman in one-sided duel

The history of golf is littered with great rivalries, but few have captured the imagination quite like the battle for supremacy between Nick Faldo and Greg Norman.

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In the late 80s and early 90s, Norman was at the top of the tree. He spent 331 weeks as World Number One, a figure bettered only by Tiger Woods, and won 89 professional tournaments in a glittering career.

In 1986, he won his first Major title by lifting the Claret Jug at Turnberry off the back of what is considered to be one of the greatest rounds in Open history - his second-round 63 in the middle of a storm on Scotland's west coast.

But as much as Norman dominated the tour, he struggled to add to his collection of Major titles. Faldo, on the other hand, specialised in the biggest events.

By the time he teed it up at St Andrews in 1990, Faldo had won three Majors, including the 1987 Open at Muirfield and back-to-back Masters titles, so when the pair arrived at the Home of Golf, there was a sense of an impending showdown between the two best players in the world.

On the first two days, they certainly did not disappoint. The pair were locked at 12-under at the halfway stage, a record for 36 holes at the time, and four shots ahead of Craig Parry and Payne Stewart.

As Faldo said after finishing his second round: "We seemed to be chasing one another. As soon as one birdie went up on the board, another went up."

The scene was set for a follow-up to Nicklaus and Watson's Turnberry classic 13 years earlier, when the two best players in the world left the rest of the field trailing in their wake and played scintillating golf on an incredible weekend.

The weather on day three was perfect and spectators raced to the course, hoping to follow two players at the peak of their powers battling for the Claret Jug.

However, in sharp contrast to the Duel in the Sun, only one player delivered on this occasion.

Norman three-putted on the second green and that set the tone for a tough afternoon. He missed two more short putts on the front nine, before finding bunkers off the 12th and 13th tees and bogeying both holes.

The Australian struggled to a 76 and his dreams of a second Claret Jug were - for this year, at least - gone in a flash.

By contrast, Faldo was almost perfect. Where his great rival struggled, he thrived and the Englishman eventually signed for a 67 that gave him a five-shot lead going into the last round.

Norman dropped to eighth and, though he moved up two places on Sunday, he could not prevent Faldo from becoming Champion Golfer of the Year for a second time.

Faldo not only secured victory by five strokes, but did so with a new Open record score of 18 under par. It was arguably the most complete performance of the six-time Major-winner's illustrious career.