1953 Open Championship

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1953 Open Championship
Tournament information
Dates 8–10 July 1953
Location Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland
Course(s) Carnoustie Golf Links
Championship Course
Par 72
Length 7,200 yards (6,580 m)[1]
Field 91 players, 49 after cut[2]
Cut 154 (+10)
Prize fund £2,500
Winner's share £500
United States Ben Hogan
282 (–6)
Carnoustie is located in Scotland
Location in Scotland

The 1953 Open Championship was the 82nd Open Championship, held 8–10 July at the Carnoustie Golf Links in Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland. In his only Open Championship appearance, Ben Hogan prevailed by four strokes over four runners-up to win his third major championship of the year.

The total prize money was increased from £1,700 to £2,500. The winner received £500 with £300 for second, £200 for third, £100 for fourth, £75 for fifth, £30 for next 20 and then £25 each for the remaining players. There was also a £25 prize for winning the qualification event and four £25 prizes for the lowest score in each round.[3] The purse of £2,500 ($7,000) and the winner's share of £500 ($1,400), were less than one-third that of the U.S. Open or PGA Championship in 1953.

Qualifying took place on 6–7 July. Entries played 18 holes on the Championship and Burnside courses. The number of qualifiers was limited to a maximum of 100. Ties for 100th place would not qualify. The qualifying score was 154 and 91 players qualified. On the first day John Panton led the qualifiers on the Championship course after a 69 while Bobby Locke scored 65 on the Burnside course. Locke's scored 71 on the second day and a total of 136 put him five shots ahead of the rest. Panton and Christy O'Connor were next on 141. Hogan qualified comfortably on 145. Peter Thomson, the 1952 runner-up, only just qualified on 154 after taking 80 on the Championship course.[4] A maximum of 50 players could make the cut after 36 holes. Ties for 50th place did not make the cut.

Hogan, with the Masters and U.S. Open titles under his belt, made the trip across the Atlantic for the Open Championship for the very first time. He arrived at Carnoustie two weeks early to practice with the smaller British golf ball.

The policy of requiring all players to qualify, the small purse, and the conflict of schedule with the PGA Championship kept all but a few Americans at home; only four qualified for the first round on Wednesday and three made the 36-hole cut to play the final two rounds on Friday.

Although the field of 91 that qualified was mostly British, a strong international contingent stood ready to challenge Hogan, including fellow Americans Lloyd Mangrum and Frank Stranahan, Australian Peter Thomson, Antonio Cerdá and Roberto De Vicenzo of Argentina, and South Africa's Bobby Locke, the defending champion.

The Open Championship was Hogan's third major title of the year, but the modern Grand Slam was not possible, as the PGA Championship conflicted with the Open in 1953; the final match (36 holes) of the seven-day PGA Championship was played near Detroit on Tuesday, 7 July. After his automobile accident in 1949, Hogan did not enter the PGA Championship until 1960, after it became a stroke play event. He had won the PGA Championship in 1946 and 1948 before the accident.

Hogan did not play in another Open Championship, although he did make a lasting impression on Carnoustie. The par-5 6th hole features a split fairway, with the right side being safer but the left offering a better angle to the green. Hogan found the narrow left side in each of the four rounds, and that hole is now known as "Hogan's Alley."

Hogan remains the only player to win the Masters, U.S. Open, and Open Championship in the same calendar year. After winning the first two majors of the year, both Arnold Palmer (1960) and Jack Nicklaus (1972) were runners-up by a stroke at the Open Championship. Tiger Woods won the Masters and U.S. Open in 2002 shot 81-65 on the weekend to finish six strokes back, tied for 28th place.

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Bobby Locke  South Africa 1949, 1950, 1952 72 73 74 72 291 +3 8
Fred Daly  Northern Ireland 1947 73 75 71 75 295 +6 11
Max Faulkner  England 1951 74 71 73 77 295 +7 12
Dick Burton  England 1939 80 74 80 80 314 +26 47

Missed the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 Total To par
Alf Padgham  England 1936 77 80 157 +13


Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Wednesday, 8 July 1953

Stranahan set the early pace with a first round of 70, with Eric Brown in 2nd with a 71. Locke shot 72 and joined Dai Rees, Thomson, and De Vicenzo in 3rd. Dealing with putting problems, Hogan had to settle for an opening round of 73.

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Frank Stranahan (a)  United States 70 –2
2 Eric Brown  Scotland 71 –1
T3 Roberto De Vicenzo  Argentina 72 E
Bobby Locke  South Africa
Dai Rees  Wales
Peter Thomson  Australia
T7 Fred Daly  Northern Ireland 73 +1
Ben Hogan  United States
T9 T.H.T. Fairbairn  Scotland 74 +2
Max Faulkner  England
Geoffrey Hunt  England
Sam King  England
Reg Knight  England
Syd Scott  England


Second round[edit]

Thursday, 9 July 1953

Hogan's problems on the green continued in the second round, but he managed to better his score with a 71. Rees finished the round birdie-eagle to card a 70, giving him a share of the lead with Brown. De Vicenzo was in 3rd, with Hogan, Stranahan, and Thomson a shot further back.

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Eric Brown  Scotland 71-71=142 –2
Dai Rees  Wales 72-70=142
3 Roberto De Vicenzo  Argentina 72-71=143 –1
T4 Ben Hogan  United States 73-71=144 E
Frank Stranahan (a)  United States 70-74=144
Peter Thomson  Australia 72-72=144
T7 T.H.T. Fairbairn  Scotland 74-71=145 +1
Max Faulkner  England 74-71=145
Bobby Locke  South Africa 72-73=145
10 Antonio Cerdá  Argentina 75-71=146 +2


Third round[edit]

Friday, 10 July 1953 - (morning)

In the third round, Cerdá set a new course record with a round of 69. Thomson shot 71 to join Cerdá and Rees in 3rd. Hogan was having an excellent round until he found trouble on the 17th, but he managed to get up-and-down from a bunker and salvage a 6. He birdied the 18th to card a 70 for a share of the lead with De Vicenzo.

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Roberto De Vicenzo  Argentina 72-71-71=214 –2
Ben Hogan  United States 73-71-70=214
T3 Antonio Cerdá  Argentina 75-71-69=215 –1
Dai Rees  Wales 72-70-73=215
Peter Thomson  Australia 72-72-71=215
T6 Eric Brown  Scotland 71-71-75=217 +1
Frank Stranahan (a)  United States 70-74-73=217
T8 T.H.T. Fairbairn  Scotland 74-71-73=218 +2
Max Faulkner  England 74-71-73=218
T10 Sam King  England 74-73-72=219 +3
Bobby Locke  South Africa 72-73-74=219

Final round[edit]

Friday, 10 July 1953 - (afternoon)

In the final round, Stranahan was out first and posted a 69 and 286 total, including an eagle at the last. De Vicenzo was unable to recover after hitting his ball out of bounds at the 9th and finished at 287. Hogan chipped-in for birdie at the 5th, then followed with another birdie at 6. He opened up a two-shot lead at the 13th, saved par at the 17th, then made another birdie at 18. Battling the flu, he finished with a round of 68 to better the record that Cerdá had set that morning.[7] His total of 282 was four shots clear of the field.[8]

Place Player Country Score To par Money (£)
1 Ben Hogan  United States 73-71-70-68=282 –6 500
T2 Antonio Cerdá  Argentina 75-71-69-71=286 –2 200
Dai Rees  Wales 72-70-73-71=286
Frank Stranahan (a)  United States 70-74-73-69=286
Peter Thomson  Australia 72-72-71-71=286 200
6 Roberto De Vicenzo  Argentina 72-71-71-73=287 –1 75
7 Sam King  England 74-73-72-71=290 +2 30
8 Bobby Locke  South Africa 72-73-74-72=291 +3
T9 Peter Alliss  England 75-72-74-71=292 +4
Eric Brown  Scotland 71-71-75-75=292
(a) denotes amateur



  1. ^ "Bobby Locke has 32-33-65 in qualifying for British Open". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. 7 July 1953. p. 17. 
  2. ^ a b c "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 83, 203-8. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  3. ^ ""Open" golf prize increase". The Glasgow Herald. 31 January 1953. p. 9. 
  4. ^ "Qualifiers at Carnoustie - Hogan falters but recovers". The Times. 8 July 1953. p. 9. 
  5. ^ Slappey, Sterling (9 July 1953). "Stranahan fires 70, leads British Open". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. p. 5-part 2. 
  6. ^ "Stranahan and Hogan trailing in Open". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. 9 July 1953. p. 30. 
  7. ^ "British Open playoff would have been tough for Hogan". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. 11 July 1953. p. 8. 
  8. ^ "Ben Hogan wins Open with 68 final round". Miami Daily News. Associated Press. 10 July 1953. p. 11A. 
  9. ^ "Hogan takes British Open with final 68". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. 11 July 1953. p. 7. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1953 PGA Championship
Major Championships Succeeded by
1954 Masters Tournament

Coordinates: 56°29′49″N 2°43′01″W / 56.497°N 2.717°W / 56.497; -2.717