Andy North, 28, of Madison, Wisconsin won the Open Championship at the Cherry Hills Country Club, Englewood, Colorado with a score of 285, one over par. Dave Stockton and J. C. Snead tied for second place with 286. North had rounds of 770, 70, 71, 74. Hale Irwin was the first-round leader with 69, two under par. Only three other players bettered par 71 in the first round. North shot 70 and shared second place with Snead and Bob Clampett, an 18-year-old amateur. Six players finished the first round with 71, even par, including Bill Casper and Gary Player.
After 36 holes, North held a two-stroke lead at 140, two under par, after a second consecutive 70 that included a 30-foot birdie putt on the long par 4 18th hole. In second place at 142, even par, were Snead, Player, and Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus added a 69 to his opening-round 73. A stroke back, at 143, were Irwin, Clampett, Mark Hayes, and Lee Trevino. North shot a 71 in the third round for 211 and a one-stroke lead over Player, who shot y0 for 212. Three strokes behind North were Snead and Stockton, who had 72 and 70 respectively, for 214.
North once again birdied the difficult 18th hole, dropping a 45-foot putt. In the final round, North made birdies on the fourth and fifth holes to go four under par. He gave back three strokes with bogies at the eighth, ninth, and tenth holes, recovered quickly with birdies at the eleventh and thirteenth holes, but then went bogey-double bogey on the next two holes. Stockton birdied the fifteenth hole to cut North's lead to one stroke, but could manage only a par-par-bogey finish on the last three holes. Snead needed a birdie at the final hole, but he made par 4 instead.
On the final hole, North needed a 5 to win the Championship. He played a 3-iron tee shot into the right rough. He played out with an 8-iron but the ball landed in the opposite rough, left and short of the green. He misplayed his wedge pitch, and the ball fell short into a greenside bunker. He played an excellent bunker shot, leaving himself a four-foot putt to win the Championship.
North stepped away from the putt twice because the wind was affecting his concentration. When he finally reset himself, he stroked the ball firmly into the hole. The lowest 18-hole score of the Championship was 68, which was shot by John Miller in the third round and matched by Tom Weiskopf and Mike McCullough in the fourth round.
Sixty-one professionals and two amateurs made the 36-hole cut at 151, nine over par. Bob Clampett was the low amateur with a 297 total, 13 over par. Prize money reached a record $310,200 with $295,200 awarded in the Championship proper and $15,000 in the Sectional Qualifying Championships. A record 4,897 entries were received for the Championship.
Starts - 21
Best Finish - Winner 1978 & '85
Rds - 66
Cuts Made - 12
Top 3 - 2
Top 5 - 2
Top 10 - 4
Top 25 - 8
Avg. - 73.17
Scores In 60s - 5
Rds Under Par - 12
Earnings - $203,568.88