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Flying albatrosses

Steven LynchMarch 2, 2015
Paul Lawrie is one of eight golfers to have shot an albatross at the British Open © Getty Images
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How many golfers have shot an albatross at the British Open? asked George Robinson

There have only been eight albatrosses - a score of three under par on one hole - in the long history of the British Open, which dates back to 1860.

The first was by one of the legendary names of the Open, Young Tom Morris, who started his defence of the title in 1870 in the best way imaginable, by shooting a three at the par-six first hole at Prestwick. He remains the only person to win the Open after shooting an albatross.

It was more than a century before anyone else managed one at The Open, mainly because par sixes were a thing of the distant past. But in 1972, Johnny Miller holed his second at the par-five fifth hole at Muirfield, and in 1983 Bill Rogers - two years after lifting the Claret Jug, did likewise at the 17th at Birkdale.

In the millennium Open at St Andrews in 2000, the little-known South African Manny Zerman holed his second shot at the 568-yard fifth. He still missed the cut.

The following year, 2001, two people managed albatrosses at Royal Lytham: the American Jeff Maggert at the sixth hole, and Britain's Greg Owen at the 11th.

Another Englishman, Gary Evans, managed the feat at Troon in 2004, at the fourth hole in the first round, and the list is rounded off by Paul Lawrie who, ten years after winning the Open, shot an albatross at the seventh in the final round at Turnberry.

The other Desert Orchid Chase is at Wincanton, where the horse also did well during his career. The winner in October 2014 was Pantxoa.

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