1938 Open Championship
|Dates||6–8 July 1938|
|Course(s)||Royal St George's Golf Club|
|Field||120 players, 37 after cut|
The 1938 Open Championship was the 73rd Open Championship, held 6–8 July at Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich, England. In terrible weather conditions that caused scores to soar, Reg Whitcombe prevailed by two strokes over runner-up Jimmy Adams to win his only major title. The purse was £500 with a winner's share of £100.
It was planned to play the Championship at Royal Cinque Ports in nearby Deal, but abnormally high tides that February caused severe flooding to the course, leaving it like "an inland sea several feet deep." The venue was switched to Royal St George's, and Prince's replaced Royal Cinque Ports as the venue for one of the qualifying rounds.
Qualifying took place on 4–5 July, Monday and Tuesday, with 18 holes at St. George's and 18 holes at Prince's. The number of qualifiers was reduced this year to a maximum of 130, and ties for 130th place did not qualify. John Fallon led the qualifiers on 142; the qualifying score was 157 and 120 players advanced, with none from the United States.
Dick Burton, Jack Busson, and Bill Cox shared the 36-hole lead at even par 140, with Whitcombe two strokes back after consecutive rounds of 71. A maximum of 40 players after 36 holes made the cut to play on the final day, and ties for 40th place did not make the cut. It was at 148 (+8) and 37 advanced.
In the last two rounds on Friday, the weather turned from challenging to treacherous. Gale force winds ripped apart the large exhibition tent and scattered debris for a mile around. Alf Padgham drove the green on the 384-yard (351 m) 11th hole, while Cyril Tolley cleared the water on the 14th only to have the wind blow his ball back into the hazard. Only seven sub-80 scores were recorded in the final round. The leaders suffered terribly in the conditions: Burton finished 78-85, Busson shot 83-80, while Cox went 84-80. Whitcombe's scores of 75-78 were enough to post a 295 total, two ahead of Adams and three clear of defending champion Henry Cotton.
Past champions in the field
Made the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||R3||R4||Total||To par||Finish|
|Henry Cotton||England||1934, 1937||74||73||77||74||298||+18||3|
Missed the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||Total||To par|
|James Braid||Scotland||1901, 1905,
1906, 1908, 1910
Did not advance past qualifying rounds (Monday & Tuesday):
Did not enter:
- Denny Shute (1933), Gene Sarazen (1932), Tommy Armour (1931),
Bobby Jones (1926, 1927, 1930), Walter Hagen (1922, 1924, 1928, 1929).
Wednesday, 6 July 1938
|Jimmy Bruen (a)||Ireland|
Thursday, 7 July 1938
|Bobby Locke||South Africa||73-72=145|
|Cyril Tolley (a)||England||77-68=145|
Friday, 8 July 1938 (morning)
Friday, 8 July 1938 (afternoon)
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money (£)|
|Bobby Locke||South Africa||73-72-81-79=305|
- "Archer leads qualifiers in Amateur golf – 3 share British Open Lead". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. 8 July 1938. p. 13. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 95. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
- "Reginald Whitcombe win British Open crown". Miami News. Associated Press. 8 July 1938. p. 12. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Reggie Whitcombe scores 295 to win". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. 9 July 1938. p. 13. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Gales and snow - Damage on east coast - Widespread flooding". The Times. 14 February 1938. p. 12.
- "Golf - The Open and Amateur Championships - New Conditions". The Times. 12 February 1938. p. 4.
- "Assault on Cotton's title". Glasgow Herald. 5 July 1938. p. 3.
- "Decks cleared for action". Glasgow Herald. 6 July 1938. p. 6.
- "Golfers' changing fortunes". Glasgow Herald. 8 July 1938. p. 12.
- "Fascinating day's golf". Glasgow Herald. 7 July 1938. p. 2.
1938 U.S. Open
|Major Championships||Succeeded by|
1938 PGA Championship