1961 Open Championship

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1961 Open Championship
Tournament information
Dates 12–15 July 1961
Location Southport, England
Course(s) Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Statistics
Par 72 [1]
Length 6,844 yards (6,258 m)
Field 108 players, 48 after cut[2]
Cut 153 (+9)
Prize fund £8,500
$23,800
Winner's share £1,400
$3,920
Champion
United States Arnold Palmer
284 (−4)
Southport is located in England
Southport
Southport
Location in England

The 1961 Open Championship was the 90th Open Championship, played 12–15 July at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. Arnold Palmer won the first of two consecutive Open Championships, one stroke ahead of Dai Rees.[1] It was the second Open for Palmer, the runner-up in his first in 1960, and the fourth of his seven major titles. He was the first American to win the Claret Jug since Ben Hogan in 1953.

Gale-force winds caused scores to soar during the second round on Thursday,[3] followed by heavy rains which washed out both rounds on Friday.[4] Cancellation was a possibility, but the weather cooperated enough to play the third and fourth rounds in showers on Saturday.[1][5]

Reigning Masters champion Gary Player withdrew early in the third round due to a stomach ailment.[1]

The mandatory 36-hole qualifier on Monday and Tuesday included Palmer and reduced the field from 350 to 120. It was played at Royal Birkdale and Hillside Golf Club.[6][7] This was the second Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, which first hosted in 1954.

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Kel Nagle  Australia 1960 68 75 75 71 289 +1 T5
Peter Thomson  Australia 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 75 72 70 73 290 +2 7
Henry Cotton  England 1934, 1937, 1948 76 77 74 77 304 +16 T32
Gary Player  South Africa 1959 73 77 - - 150 +6 WD

Missed the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 Total To par
Dick Burton  England 1939 80 77 157 +13
Bobby Locke  South Africa 1949, 1950, 1952, 1957 75 84 159 +15

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Wednesday, 12 July 1961

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Harold Henning  South Africa 68 −4
Kel Nagle  Australia
Dai Rees  Wales
T4 Jean Garaïalde  France 69 −3
Norman Johnson  England
David Miller  England
T7 Alan Brookes  South Africa 70 −2
Neil Coles  England
Sam King  England
John MacDonald  Scotland
Arnold Palmer  United States
Lionel Platts  England

Second round[edit]

Thursday, 13 July 1961

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Harold Henning  South Africa 68-74=142 −2
Dai Rees  Wales 68-74=142
T3 Kel Nagle  Australia 68-75=143 −1
Arnold Palmer  United States 70-73=143
T5 Neil Coles  England 70-77=147 +3
Sam King  England 70-77=147
Ramón Sota  Spain 71-76=147
Peter Thomson  Australia 75-72=147
T9 Peter Alliss  England 73-75=148 +4
Ken Bousfield  England 71-77=148
Harry Bradshaw  Ireland 73-75=148
Peter Butler  England 72-76=148
Eric Lester  England 71-77=148
David Miller  England 69-79=148
Christy O'Connor Snr  Ireland 71-77=148
Dave Thomas  Wales 71-77=148
Brian Wilkes  South Africa 72-76=148

Amateurs: Christmas (+6), White (+6), Chapman (+11), Bonallack (+15), Carr (+17), Reece (+18), Pearson (+25)

Third round[edit]

Saturday, 15 July 1961 - (morning)

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Arnold Palmer  United States 70-73-69=212 −4
2 Dai Rees  Wales 68-74-71=213 −3
3 Christy O'Connor Snr  Ireland 71-77-67=215 −1
4 Neil Coles  England 70-77-69=216 E
T5 Harold Henning  South Africa 68-74-75=217 +1
Peter Thomson  Australia 75-72-70=217
7 Kel Nagle  Australia 68-75-75=218 +2
T8 Eric Brown  Scotland 73-76-70=219 +3
Norman Johnson  England 69-80-70=219
Ramón Sota  Spain 71-76-72=219

Final round[edit]

Saturday, 15 July 1961 - (afternoon)

Place Player Country Score To par Money (£)
1 Arnold Palmer  United States 70-73-69-72=284 −4 1,400
2 Dai Rees  Wales 68-74-71-72=285 −3 1,000
T3 Neil Coles  England 70-77-69-72=288 E 710
Christy O'Connor Snr  Ireland 71-77-64-73=288
T5 Eric Brown  Scotland 73-76-70-70=289 +1 400
Kel Nagle  Australia 68-75-75-71=289
7 Peter Thomson  Australia 75-72-70-73=290 +2 275
T8 Peter Alliss  England 73-75-72-71=291 +3 190
Ken Bousfield  England 71-77-75-68=291
T10 Harold Henning  South Africa 68-74-75-76=293 +5 140
Syd Scott  England 76-75-71-71=293

Amateurs: White (+18), Christmas (+20)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Palmer takes British crown". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. 16 July 1961. p. 1B. 
  2. ^ "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. pp. 75, 203–8. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Palmer trailing by one in British". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 14 July 1961. p. 15. 
  4. ^ "British weather may halt open tourney". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 15 July 1961. p. 9. 
  5. ^ Longhurst, Henry (24 July 1961). "Arnie gets the one he wanted". Sports Illustrated: 20. 
  6. ^ "Palmer fires opening 71 in British Open tourney". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. 10 July 1961. p. 3B. 
  7. ^ "Trick-shooting Ezar fires 70". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. 11 July 1961. p. 3B. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1961 U.S. Open
Major Championships Succeeded by
1961 PGA Championship

Coordinates: 53°37′19″N 3°01′59″W / 53.622°N 3.033°W / 53.622; -3.033