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50 Years on Tour: Iconic memories from the archive

50 Years on Tour: Iconic memories from the archive

To coincide with its 50th anniversary, the DP World Tour has shortlisted 50 memorable images to celebrate milestone moments from the past five decades.

In a five-part series to be released during the remainder of the 2022 season, we will outline the story behind these iconic moments witnessed on Tour.

Seve’s miracle shot at Crans in 1993

Seve at Crans-52513709

We begin our look back into the archives with the incomparable Seve Ballesteros and his unique shot-making ability.

A back-nine charge left Ballesteros in need of a birdie at the 18th to retain hope of catching Englishman Barry Lane and victory at the European Masters in 1993.

But a blocked drive to the right, five feet from an eight-foot-high wall, appeared to have ended his chance of victory at Crans-sur-Sierre.

Yet, with caddie Billy Foster imploring Ballesteros to chip out sideways, the Spaniard insisted he could see a gap between the top of the wall and a group of trees.

Even with his backswing impeded by a tree, Ballesteros produced an extraordinary recovery shot over the wall which finished just short of the green, before he incredibly chipped in for a birdie which would ultimately be in vain as he finished a shot behind Lane.

Described by Foster as "the best shot I've ever seen", Ballesteros was later asked why he went for such a risky shot, to which he replied, simply: "I just like to keep going forward."

Europeans in Green Jackets in 1995

Europeans in Green Jackets-1288290

Ballesteros was a trailblazer for European golf, becoming the first player from the continent to wear the coveted Green Jacket when he won the Masters Tournament in 1980.

Only Gary Player's three wins in 1961, 1974 and 1978 had previously interrupted the dominance of American golfers at Augusta National Golf Club.

Ballesteros, who went on to win the Masters again in 1983, preceded further European triumphs by Bernhard Langer, who won in 1985 and again in 1993, Sandy Lyle and back-to-back titles for Sir Nick Faldo in 1989 and 1990.

Ian Woosnam would continue the trend in 1991, before Ballesteros’ compatriot José María Olazábal emerged as a champion three years later.

And ahead of the 1995 Masters Tournament, the six European winners posed outside the clubhouse prior to the Champions Dinner.

Lawrie wins 1999 Open Championship

Paul Lawrie-1223127

Next, we recall arguably one of the greatest stories in golf as Paul Lawrie produced the largest comeback in Major Championship history.

Having come through Qualifying, Paul Lawrie beat Frenchman Jean Van de Velde, who held a three-shot lead on the 72nd tee, and Justin Leonard of the United States in a four-hole play-off to win the 128th Open.

Starting the day ten over par, Lawrie, then ranked 241st in the World, carded the lowest round of the day, a four under 67, to set the clubhouse target at six over par on the formidable links of Carnoustie.

Leonard bogeyed the 72nd hole, while van de Velde’s infamous triple bogey on the 18th meant the trio would contest extra holes to decide the winner of the Claret Jug.

Birdies at the 17th and 18th in the four-hole aggregate play-off saw Lawrie become the first Scottish-born winner on home soil since Tommy Armour in 1931.

Twenty-three years on, he remains the last Scot to win a Major.

Montgomerie wins his third Volvo PGA Championship


“I’m thrilled at making history.”

That was the overwhelming reaction from Colin Montgomerie after he won the Volvo PGA Championship at Wentworth for the third year running in 2000, a feat never achieved before.

The Scot, Europe’s Number One for the previous seven seasons, hit a final-round three-under-par 69, including a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th on his way to victory.

He finished three shots ahead of Ryder Cup teammates Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Andrew Coltart in 2000.

Victory also saw him become the first player to win the same event for three consecutive years since Sir Nick Faldo won the Irish Open from 1991 to 1993.

McIlroy’s first Tour win

Rory McIlroy-84578673

Rory McIlroy delivered on his burgeoning promise as a teenager with victory at the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic in his 37th event as a professional.

The Northern Irishman had suffered play-off defeats at the European Masters and the Hong Kong Open a year earlier as he was made to wait for his maiden Tour win.

McIlroy led from start to finish at Emirates Golf Club as an eventful final-round two-under-par 70 saw him finish one shot clear of Justin Rose and a high-calibre field.

Having earlier opened a six-shot lead mid-round, he was indebted to a brilliant shot from the back greenside bunker at the par-five 18th to ensure a par in a nerve-shredding finale.

"You watch it on TV and you see guys coming down the stretch with a four- or five-shot lead and you think it's easy, but it's not," McIlroy said.

Lowry wins in Ireland as amateur

Shane Lowry-87447745

Months later, Shane Lowry made a dream come true with victory at the 2009 Irish Open.

His first Tour win came in his very first event on Tour, becoming just the sixth player to do so, and it was on home soil.

"I can't believe it," he said after making a par on the third play-off hole to defeat Robert Rock in the pouring rain at Baltray.

Lowry had earlier missed a four-foot putt to win on the 72nd hole but, buoyed on by his home fans, he recovered to deny his more experienced counterpart from England over extra holes.

A decade later, Lowry went on to win his first Major title at the Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

Manassero becomes the Tour’s youngest winner


At 17 years and 188 days old, Matteo Manassero became the youngest champion in Tour history with an impressive four-stroke win at the 2010 Castelló Masters.

Beginning the day two shots behind final-round leader Gary Boyd, Italian teenager Manassero shot a 67 to finish four shots clear of Ignacio Garrido.

Victory saw him beat the previous record set by New Zealand’s Danny Lee who was 18 years and 113 days old when he won the Johnnie Walker Championship in 2008.

"I am too young to have a drink, I am too young to drive so I will not be buying a car and I have not got a girlfriend who would like a present," Manassero said afterwards.

His record remains unbeaten to this day.

Hull tees off at GolfSixes

Charley Hull-954894068

There were no first tee nerves from Charley Hull at the GolfSixes in 2018, which saw two ladies teams and a mixed team competing in the event for the first time.

On an historic opening day, it was the ladies who stole the show as both Charley Hull and Georgia Hall along with the European Women pair of Mel Reid and Carlota Ciganda progressed through to the knockout phase in the two-day greensomes match play event.

Hull, playing alongside Georgia Hall in an all-English team, almost made the perfect startas she nonchalantly stuck her tee shot at the first hole, a par three, to within two feet.

Such was the brilliance of the shot, the England men’s team of Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace jokingly made for the exit from the first tee before they returned to halve the group-stage match.

“I just feel good vibes from this event and I think it's really good because you see so many children and women,” Hull said of the short-form format.

Oliver Fisher’s 59

Oliver Fisher-1037119464

A few months later, the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura was the scene of history by Oliver Fisher at the 2018 Portugal Masters.

Never since the formation of the Tour in 1972 had a player shot a sub-60 round. In excess of 690,000 rounds of golf had been played across the Tour’s then-46 years.

That was until England’s Fisher, who began his second round just aiming to make the cut, made 10 birdies and an eagle for a bogey-free 12-under total on the day.

At the same tournament in 2016, Fisher produced a 64 to retain his Tour status.

“It was a great day, my caddie was great, it was very different to a couple of years ago on this green fighting to keep my card,” he reflected. “I had that in the back of my mind, thinking ‘do you know what? Things could be worse’. It was fun, I tried to enjoy it and thankfully I got over the line.”

Morikawa wins 2021 Order of Merit

Collin Morikawa-1355299925

We conclude our initial look back over some of the Tour’s standout moments by reflecting on a recent piece of history.

Since making his professional debut in 2019, Collin Morikawa has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the game creating several firsts in the sport.

Already the first golfer to win two different Major Championships on his tournament debut, Morikawa became the first American winner of the DP World Tour Rankings with victory at the DP World Tour Championship in November 2021.

A final-round six-under 66, which included birdies in five of the last seven holes, at Jumeirah Golf Estates saw him complete a Dubai double at the age of 24.

“This is special,” he said afterwards. “It’s such an honour to be the first American to do this on the [DP World] Tour and put my name against many, many great Hall of Famers. I get choked up just talking about it.”

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