Duel in the Sun: One of the greatest contests in history

Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT) July 21, 2017

Story highlights

  • Turnberry 1977 remembered as the "Duel in the Sun"
  • Watson & Nicklaus battled in a final-round shootout
  • The Championship was decided on the last hole

(CNN)The red-hot summer of 1977, the year a gap-toothed twenty-something from Kansas took down golf's greatest in a final-round scrap like no other.

Forty years on and it is a battle which is still regarded as one of the finest sporting duels in history.
Last year's British Open thrilled and captivated as Henrik Stenson versus Phil Mickelson unfolded at Royal Troon in an extraordinary contest where records were broken.
It is Stenson versus Mickelson which has the numbers, the history-making scores. Stenson's 20-under 264 is the lowest score in major history and the 41-year-old Swede's final-round eight-under-par 63 equaled the lowest score for a major championship round.
But that shootout did not come down to the final putt. It did not involve Jack Nicklaus, the most decorated player in history, being taken down by a player who would become the greatest links golfer of them all.
Turnberry 1977, a golfing bout so good that it is fondly remembered as the "Duel in the Sun."
Mention it to golf fans not even born four decades ago and they will knowingly nod. Books have been written about it, a restaurant named after it and the 18th hole at Turnberry has been renamed after this never to be forgotten contest.
As the Open takes place in Britain this week, we remember the match that made history.
Watson was a two-time major winner up against Nicklaus, winner of 14 major titles

Scorched earth on a July Saturday

"I remember every one of his shots. And every one of mine." Tom Watson.
The 27-year-old Watson and Nicklaus, 10 years his senior, had matched each other in the third round, shooting 65s to go into the final day three shots clear of Ben Crenshaw in third place.
All eyes were on the American pair. There was only one show in town.
Such was the scramble to get to the course to watch the fireworks, a few players needed police escorts through nearby farms to avoid the early-morning traffic jam on the single road that led to Turnberry Golf Course.
(L-R) Watson plays from the ninth fairway, watched by Jack Nicklaus and his caddie
Would it be Nicklaus