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Jack Nicklaus 1978 British Open-St Andrews

Jack Nicklaus’ Mind-Blowing 18-Year Stretch at The Open Championship

We mentioned that Jack Nicklaus owned the record for most runner-up finishes at The Open Championship in a post titled “10 British Open Records You Should Know,” and we even included the iconic photo of Jack waving goodbye at St. Andrews in 2005 as the post’s featured image.

What we missed in that post was Jack’s eye-popping 18-start stretch, from 1963-1980 (age 23-40), where – in addition to a record seven (7) second-place finishes, Nicklaus posted three (3) wins, three (3) thirds, and two (2) fourths, along with one (1) fifth and one (1) sixth.

Amazingly, the 18-time major winner’s only finish outside the top 10 during that 18-year run was a T12 in 1965.

Jack Nicklaus’ Amazing 18-Start Open Championship Stretch

1ST: 3 (1966, 1970, 1978)
2ND: 7 (1964, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1977, 1979)
3RD: 3 (1963, 1974, 1975)
4TH: 2 (1973, 1980)
5TH: 1 (1971)
6TH: 1 (1981)
T12: 1 (1965)

In a follow up tweet, Nicklaus wrote, “Thanks PGA Tour, but too many 2s and 3s there, and not enough of those shiny gold emojis!…. Seriously, I absolutely loved The Open and that’s why in 2005 I chose that major to say goodbye to championship golf! Blessed to have these wonderful memories!”


Photo: Jack Nicklaus hits on No 18 at the Old Course during Sunday’s final round of the 1978 British Open at St. Andrews. Credit: Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated via Getty Images


Jordan Thomas

Jordan Thomas is a Pro Golf Weekly producer and contributor. When not losing money at offshore gambling sites, Jordan performs research, crunches numbers, compiles content, and writes up quick-hit posts.

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