One lasting image of the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie is a 19-year-old Sergio Garcia in tears while walking with his arm around his mother, Consuelo.
Garcia fired an 18-over 89 in the opening round, a score that helped set the table for the toughest major championships of the past 25 years.
“The Open is always difficult, but this year is too tough,” Garcia said back then.
Garcia has played in 76 consecutive majors, so he’s seen his share of difficult major tests, including 21 of the 25 toughest since 1993.
Of course, that 1999 Open Championship will forever be immortalized by the ghastly collapse of Jean Van De Velde on the 18th hole Sunday. He entered the final hole with a three-shot lead before collapsing with a a triple-bogey seven. He would lose in a three-man playoff to Paul Lawrie.
Here’s a look at the complete list, which is ranked by average shots over par (ASOP) with the course, year, the major and average shots over par:
|Winged Foot||2006||U.S. Open||4.99|
|Bethpage Black||2002||U.S. Open||4.91|
|Royal Birkdale||2008||British Open||4.87|
|Shinnecock Hills||2018||U.S. Open||4.65|
|Pinehurst No. 2||1999||U.S. Open||4.55|
|The Olympic Club||1998||U.S. Open||4.49|
|Pebble Beach||2000||U.S. Open||4.35|
|Oakland Hills||2008||PGA Championship||4.31|
|Oak Hill||2003||PGA Championship||4.31|
|Pinehurst No. 2||2005||U.S. Open||4.17|
|Shinnecock Hills||2004||U.S. Open||4.07|
|Royal Birkdale||1998||British Open||4.02|
|Pebble Beach||2010||U.S. Open||3.98|
|Royal St. George’s||2003||British Open||3.80|
|Torrey Pines||2008||U.S. Open||3.71|
|Shinnecock Hills||1995||U.S. Open||3.52|
|Southern Hills||2001||U.S. Open||3.27|
(Note: This story originally appeared in the July 2018 issue of Golfweek.)