1959 Open Championship
|Dates||1–3 July 1959|
|Length||6,806 yards (6,223 m)|
|Field||90 players, 48 after cut|
The 1959 Open Championship was the 88th Open Championship, held from 1–3 July at Muirfield Golf Links in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland. Gary Player shot a final round of 68 and won the first of his three Claret Jugs, two strokes ahead of runners-up Fred Bullock and Flory Van Donck.
The 1957 Open had originally been scheduled for Muirfield but was transferred to St. Andrews because of petrol rationing following the "Suez Crisis" in late 1956. Muirfield was subsequently allocated the 1959 Championship.
Qualifying took place on 29–30 June. Entries played 18 holes at Muirfield and 18 holes at the number 1 course Gullane. The number of qualifiers was limited to a maximum of 100. Ties for 100th place would not qualify. The qualifying score was 147 and 90 players qualified. Peter Thomson led the qualifiers on 137 and won the £50 qualifying prize. The maximum number of players making the cut after 36 holes was again set at 50. Ties for 50th place did not make the cut.
The total prize money was increased by £150, from £4,850 to £5,000. The winner's prize remained unchanged at £1,000 but the prizes for second to fifth places were increased. Second place received £700 with £525 for third, £400 for fourth and £325 for fifth.
Fred Bullock and Arnold Stickley led after the first round with scores of 68. A number of amateurs made good starts, Michael Bonallack being the leading amateur with a 70. Bullock retained the lead after a second round 70. Bonallack was one of four amateurs to make the cut. The three 'giants' Tony Locke, Gary Player and Peter Thomson all made the cut but were 8, 8 and 10 strokes behind Bullock.
On the final day Player teed off at 9:04 am and 1:34 pm, two hours earlier than the leaders who started at 11:04 am and 3:34 pm. Player was out in 37 in his morning round but came home in 33 and was only four strokes behind the leaders. The Scottish amateur Robert Reid Jack had a third round 68 to be only two shots behind. In the afternoon Player reached the last needing 4 for a round of 66. However he drove into a bunker at the 18th and three-putted for a 6, a round of 68 and a total of 284. In the last group Bullock and Flory Van Donck both finished two shots behind Player. Jack won the silver medal for leading amateur by finishing tied for fifth place, two ahead of Bonallack.
Past champions in the field
Made the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||R3||R4||Total||To par||Finish|
|Peter Thomson||Australia||1954, 1955, 1956, 1958||74||74||72||74||294||+6||T23|
|Bobby Locke||South Africa||1949, 1950, 1952, 1957||73||73||76||73||295||+7||T29|
|Henry Cotton||England||1934, 1937, 1948||71||75||77||77||300||+12||T41|
Missed the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||Total||To par|
Wednesday, 1 July 1959
|T4||Michael Bonallack (a)||England||70||–2|
|Flory Van Donck||Belgium|
|Norman Drew||Northern Ireland|
|Robert Reid Jack (a)||Scotland|
Thursday, 2 July 1959
|2||Flory Van Donck||Belgium||70-70=140||–4|
|T3||Michael Bonallack (a)||England||70-72=142||–2|
Friday, 3 July 1959 - (morning)
|Flory Van Donck||Belgium||70-74-73=213|
|T5||Michael Bonallack (a)||England||70-72-72=214||–2|
|Robert Reid Jack (a)||Scotland||71-75-68=214|
|Gary Player||South Africa||75-71-70=216|
Friday, 3 July 1959 - (afternoon)
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money (£)|
|1||Gary Player||South Africa||75-71-70-68=284||–4||1,000|
|Flory Van Donck||Belgium||70-70-73-73=286|
|T5||Robert Reid Jack (a)||Scotland||71-75-68-74=288||E||–|
|Christy O'Connor Snr||Ireland||73-74-72-69=288|
Amateurs: Jack (E), Bonallack (+2), Wolstenholme (+3), Carr (+10).
- "Two unknowns (68s) top British Open". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. 2 July 1959. p. 5, part 2.
- "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 77. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Longhurst, Henry (13 July 1959). "South Africans at Muirfield". Sports Illustrated.
- "Thomson head Open golf qualifiers - Proud day for amateur players". The Times. 1 July 1959. p. 5.
- "Golf - Centenary Open Championship - Prize money increased". The Times. 4 December 1959. p. 12.
- "Few Open golf clues - Three giants still trailing - Bullock keeps lead". The Times. 3 July 1959. p. 3.
- "Player rises to challenge and wins Open golf - Advantage of U.S. experience tells in the end". The Times. 4 July 1959. p. 3.
- "Gary Player wins British Open golf". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. 4 July 1959. p. 29.
1959 U.S. Open
|Major Championships||Succeeded by
1959 PGA Championship