1959 Open Championship

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1959 Open Championship
Tournament information
Dates 1–3 July 1959
Location Gullane, Scotland
Course(s) Muirfield
Statistics
Par 72[1]
Length 6,806 yards (6,223 m)
Field 90 players, 48 after cut[2]
Cut 148 (+4)
Prize fund £5,000
$14,000
Winner's share £1,000
$2,800
Champion
South Africa Gary Player
284 (–4)
Muirfield is located in Scotland
Muirfield
Muirfield
Location in Scotland
Muirfield is located in East Lothian
Muirfield
Muirfield
Location in East Lothian, Scotland

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, age 23, shot a final round of 68 to win the first of his nine major titles, two strokes ahead of runners-up Fred Bullock and Flory Van Donck.[3][4] It was the first of Player's three Claret Jugs; he won again in 1968 and 1974.

Muirfield was originally scheduled to host in 1957, but it 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, with 18 holes at Muirfield and 18 holes at the number 1 course Gullane.[5] There were no exemptions and the number of qualifiers was limited to a maximum of 100, and ties did not qualify. The qualifying score was 147 and 90 players advanced to the first round the next day; defending champion Peter Thomson led with 137 and won the £50 qualifying prize.[6][7] The maximum number of players making the cut after 36 holes was again set at 50, and ties did not make the cut.

The purse was increased to £5,000, up 150 from 4,850 in 1958; the winner's share 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.[8][9]

Bullock and Arnold Stickley led after the first round on Wednesday with scores of 68.[10] 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 and Bonallack was one of four amateurs to make the cut. The three 'giants' Bobby Locke, Henry Cotton, and Thomson all made the cut, but all were eight or more strokes behind Bullock.[11][12]

On Friday, Player teed off at 9:04 am and 1:34 pm, two hours before 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 after 54 holes. The Scottish amateur Reid Jack had a third round 68 to be only two shots behind. In the afternoon's final round, 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.[3][13]

Only three Americans were in the field of 90 and none made the cut.[2][14]

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made the cut[edit]

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[edit]

Player Country Year won R1 R2 Total To par
Dick Burton  England 1939 75 74 149 +5
Max Faulkner  England 1951 74 75 149 +5

Source:[11]

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Wednesday, 1 July 1959

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Fred Bullock  England 68 −4
Arnold Stickley  England
3 Antonio Cerdá  Argentina 69 −3
T4 Michael Bonallack (a)  England 70 −2
Sam King  England
Flory Van Donck  Belgium
T7 Jimmy Adams  Scotland 71 −1
Harry Bradshaw  Ireland
Henry Cotton  England
Norman Drew  Northern Ireland
Reid Jack (a)  Scotland
Reg Knight  England
Eddie Whitcombe  England

Source:[1][10]

Second round[edit]

Thursday, 2 July 1959

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Fred Bullock  England 68-70=138 −6
2 Flory Van Donck  Belgium 70-70=140 −4
T3 Michael Bonallack (a)  England 70-72=142 −2
Reg Knight  England 71-71=142
Arnold Stickley  England 68-74=142
T6 Antonio Cerdá  Argentina 69-74=143 −1
Tom Haliburton  Scotland 74-69=143
Jimmy Hitchcock  England 75-68=143
Syd Scott  England 73-70=143
T10 Sam King  England 70-74=144 E
Eric Lester  England 73-71=144
John Panton  Scotland 72-72=144

Source:[11]

Amateurs: Bonallack (−2), Carr (+1), Jack (+2), Wolstenholme (+4),
Sweeny Jr (+7), Smith (+8), Garrett (+12), Dalziel (+13), Ferguson (+13), Stuart (+13).

Third round[edit]

Friday, 3 July 1959 - (morning)

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Fred Bullock  England 68-70-74=212 −4
Sam King  England 70-74-68=212
T3 Jimmy Hitchcock  England 75-68-70=213 −3
Flory Van Donck  Belgium 70-70-73=213
T5 Michael Bonallack (a)  England 70-72-72=214 −2
Reid Jack (a)  Scotland 71-75-68=214
T7 John Panton  England 72-72-71=215 −1
Dai Rees  Wales 73-73-69=215
Leopoldo Ruiz  Argentina 72-74-69=215
T10 Antonio Cerdá  Argentina 69-74-73=216 E
Reg Knight  England 71-71-74=216
Gary Player  South Africa 75-71-70=216
Syd Scott  England 73-70-73=216

Source:[3]

Final round[edit]

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
T2 Fred Bullock  England 68-70-74-74=286 −2 612
Flory Van Donck  Belgium 70-70-73-73=286
4 Syd Scott  England 73-70-73-71=287 −1 400
T5 Reid Jack (a)  Scotland 71-75-68-74=288 E
Sam King  England 70-74-68-76=288 258
Christy O'Connor Snr  Ireland 73-74-72-69=288
John Panton  Scotland 72-72-71-73=288
T9 Dai Rees  Wales 73-73-69-74=289 +1 137
Leopoldo Ruiz  Argentina 72-74-69-74=289

Source:[3]

Amateurs: Jack (E), Bonallack (+2), Wolstenholme (+3), Carr (+10).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Two unknowns (68s) top British Open". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. 2 July 1959. p. 5, part 2. 
  2. ^ a b "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 77. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Horne, Cyril (4 July 1959). "Open Championship for G.J. Player". Glasgow Herald. Scotland. p. 1. 
  4. ^ Longhurst, Henry (13 July 1959). "South Africans at Muirfield". Sports Illustrated. 
  5. ^ Horne, Cyril (29 June 1959). "Open Championship starts today". Glasgow Herald. Scotland. p. 1. 
  6. ^ Horne, Cyril (1 July 1959). "Holder leads 90 qualifiers for Open title". Glasgow Herald. Scotland. p. 9. 
  7. ^ "Thomson head Open golf qualifiers - Proud day for amateur players". The Times. London. 1 July 1959. p. 5. 
  8. ^ "Centenary Open Championship: prize money increased". Glasgow Herald. Scotland. 4 December 1959. p. 12. 
  9. ^ "Golf - Centenary Open Championship - Prize money increased". The Times. London. 4 December 1959. p. 12. 
  10. ^ a b Horne, Cyril (2 July 1959). "Bullock and Stickley lead after one round". Glasgow Herald. Scotland. p. 9. 
  11. ^ a b c Horne, Cyril (3 July 1959). "Bullock half-way leader in Open golf". Glasgow Herald. Scotland. p. 9. 
  12. ^ "Few Open golf clues - Three giants still trailing - Bullock keeps lead". The Times. London. 3 July 1959. p. 3. 
  13. ^ "Player rises to challenge and wins Open golf - Advantage of U.S. experience tells in the end". The Times. London. 4 July 1959. p. 3. 
  14. ^ "Gary Player wins British Open golf". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. 4 July 1959. p. 29. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1959 U.S. Open
Major Championships Succeeded by
1959 PGA Championship

Coordinates: 56°02′35″N 2°49′23″W / 56.043°N 2.823°W / 56.043; -2.823