The 1995 Open Championship was the 124th Open Championship held 20–23 July at the Old Course at St Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland. John Daly won his first Open Championship and second major title in a four-hole playoff over Costantino Rocca.
The Old Course at St Andrews
Previous lengths of the course for The Open Championship (since 1950):
Thursday, 20 July 1995
Friday, 21 July 1995
Amateurs: Sherry (−3), Webster (−2), Woods (+1), Clark (+3), Gallacher (+7).
Saturday, 22 July 1995
Sunday, 23 July 1995
Amateurs: Webster (+1), Sherry (+3), Woods (+7), Clark (+13).
As the final group, consisting of Rocca and 54-hole leader Michael Campbell, approached the last hole, Daly had completed his round and was in at −6, a shot clear of Rocca and two ahead of Campbell. Both golfers had a chance to tie Daly and force a playoff, with Rocca needing birdie and Campbell eagle to do so.
Rocca hit a shorter shot than Campbell, who nearly reached the green on his first shot, and played his second first. However, he misplayed the chip shot and only hit the ball a few yards, leaving him with an extremely long putt from an area of the hole referred to as the "Valley of Sin". Campbell failed to hole out on his second shot, thus leaving Rocca as the only one who could prevent the outright win for Daly.
As Daly and his wife Paulette watched on a monitor, believing that Rocca's mistake clinched the victory for him, Rocca lined up to attempt his putt for a tournament-tying birdie. Needing to make a sixty-five foot uphill putt with a sharp break to stay alive, Rocca managed to redeem himself for his error on the second shot as the putt rolled in to tie Daly at −6.
For the 1995 edition of the Open, the four holes selected for the aggregate score playoff were 1, 2, 17 (St. Andrew's infamous "Road Hole"), and 18.
Daly emerged with the early lead after parring the first playoff hole while Rocca carded a bogey. He added a shot to his lead with a birdie on 2, leaving him at −1 to Rocca's +1 as the two men headed to the Road Hole for the third playoff hole.
Rocca hit his first shot onto the fairway while Daly ended up in the left-side rough. On the next shot, Rocca hit his ball into the Road Bunker, one of the deepest such hazards on the course. To further complicate matters, Rocca's shot was nestled deep in the sand near the front of the bunker and it took him three tries to finally extricate himself from the trap. Rocca two-putted from there to a triple-bogey 7, which all but ensured Daly would win the tournament as he headed to the last hole with a five shot lead after parring the Road Hole. Daly finished with another par at 18, giving him a four-hole total of 15, one-under-par. Rocca finished with a birdie to record a final total of 19, three-over-par.