By the time the Open next returned the club had celebrated its centenary and with it came a change of status. The players duly arrived at Royal Troon in 1982.
The hot favourite, inevitably, was Tom Watson, already a three-time Open champion in 1975, 1977 and 1980, at Carnoustie, Turnberry and Muirfield respectively. He loved playing in the Open in Scotland, even if, curiously, he would never win at St Andrews. He was also the newly crowned US Open champion, thanks to that famous chip-in on the 17th at Pebble Beach.
Three more past champions were playing in their final Open: Henry Cotton, Fred Daly and Max Faulkner.
As Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin both played themselves out of contention with opening rounds of 77 the young American
Bobby Clampett carded a scintillating 67 to take the lead. A flash in the pan surely – and yet he followed by going one better with a 66. That was good enough to take the halfway lead by seven strokes.
Nick Price, Sandy Lyle and Watson were all trailing in his slipstream.
Even after a third-round 78 Clampett was still ahead. Lyle posted a 73, with Price and Watson a shot worse.
In the last round, Clampett played the opening three holes in three over par and was never a serious contender thereafter. Sadly, he closed with a 77.
That left Nick Price in apparent control, leading by two shots with six to play. Two bogeys and a double in the next five holes changed all that leaving Watson to conclude: “I didn’t win the Open. Nick Price gave it to me.”