1963 Open Championship

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1963 Open Championship
Tournament information
Dates 10–13 July 1963
Location Lytham St Annes, England
Course(s) Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club
Par 70[1][2]
Length 6,836 yards (6,251 m)[2]
Field 120 players, 47 after cut[2]
Cut 149 (+9)
Prize fund £8,500
Winner's share £1,500
New Zealand Bob Charles
277 (−3), playoff
Lytham &St Annes is located in England
Lytham &St Annes
Lytham &
St Annes
Location in England

The 1963 Open Championship was the 92nd Open Championship, held from 10–13 July at the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lytham St Annes, England. Bob Charles won his only major championship in a 36-hole playoff on Saturday, eight strokes ahead of runner-up Phil Rodgers, and became the first left-hander to win a major title. Masters winner Jack Nicklaus bogeyed the last two holes and came in third, one stroke out of the playoff. A heavy favourite among the local bettors, two-time defending champion Arnold Palmer tied for 26th.[1]

This was the last 36-hole playoff at The Open, the format was changed to 18 holes the following year and first used in 1970.[3]

The PGA Championship was played the next week in Dallas, Texas, one of five times in the 1960s that these two majors were played in consecutive weeks in July. In epic heat, 23-year-old Nicklaus regrouped and won by two strokes for his third major title.[4][5][6]


For the first time, leading players were exempt from qualifying. 44 players who entered were exempted:[7]

Peter Alliss, Brian Bamford, Michael Bonallack (a), Fred Boobyer, Ken Bousfield, Eric Brown, Peter Butler, Joe Carr (a), Billy Casper, Bob Charles, Neil Coles, Roger Foreman, Jean Garaïalde, Christy Greene, Tom Haliburton, Jimmy Hitchcock, Brian Huggett, Bernard Hunt, Dennis Hutchinson, John Jacobs, Bobby Locke, Jimmy Martin, Cary Middlecoff, Sebastián Miguel, Ralph Moffitt, Kel Nagle, Jack Nicklaus, Christy O'Connor Snr, Arnold Palmer, John Panton, Lionel Platts, Gary Player, Dai Rees, Phil Rodgers, Sandy Saddler (a), Doug Sanders, Syd Scott, Doug Sewell, Dave Thomas, Peter Thomson, Harry Weetman, Ross Whitehead, Brian Wilkes, Guy Wolstenholme

Casper and Middlecoff subsequently withdrew leaving 42 pre-qualified players.

The exemption categories were:

1. The first 20 and those tying for 20th place in the 1962 Open
Peter Alliss, Bob Charles, Roger Foreman, Jean Garaïalde, Brian Huggett, Bernard Hunt, Denis Hutchinson, Jimmy Martin, Sebastian Miguel, Ralph Moffitt, Kel Nagle (3), Christy O'Connor Snr, Arnold Palmer (3,6), John Panton, Phil Rodgers, Syd Scott, Dave Thomas, Peter Thomson (3), Harry Weetman, Ross Whitehead

2. The first 30 and those tying for 30th place in the P.G.A. Order of Merit for 1962

3. The last 10 Open champions (1953–62)
Bobby Locke, Gary Player

4. The last 5 Amateur champions (1958–62)
Michael Bonallack (5) (a), Joe Carr (a)

5. Members of the 1962 British Eisenhower Cup team
Sandy Saddler (a)

6. The last 10 U.S. Open champions (1953–62)
Jack Nicklaus

7. The last 5 U.S. Amateur champions (1958–62)

8. The first 30 money winners and those tying for 30th place in the U.S.P.G.A. official list for one year ending with the P.G.A. tournament immediately before the closing date of the U.S. Open entries

Exemptions for amateur champions were only granted if the player was still an amateur.


Qualification took place on 4–5 July (Thursday and Friday) at Fairhaven and St Annes Old Links. They were run as two separate events with 39 players to qualify from each venue to make a total field of 120. At each venue 34 players qualified on 147 and 6 players had a sudden-death playoff for the remaining five places. Max Faulkner, the 1951 Champion, was one of those who qualified in the playoff at Fairhaven. Bruce Devlin and Bill Large led the qualifying events. Three alternates were decided from each qualifying event.[8][9]

FairhavenGrant Aitken, C.C. Bowman (a), Dick Burton, Colin Colenso, Gordon Cunningham, Stuart Davies, Bruce Devlin, Cherif El-Sayed Cherif, Max Faulkner, Tony Fisher, W.C.A. Hancock, Jack Hargreaves, Jim Henderson, J.R. Hood (a), Geoffrey Hunt, Jack Isaacs, Tony Jacklin, Arthur Lees, Eric Lester, Hugh Lewis, John MacDonald, G.R. Maisey, Dick Marshall, Frank Miller, A. Moore, Hedley Muscroft, George Parton, Frank Phillips, G.M. Rutherford (a), Denis Scanlan, David Snell, Thomas Spence, Norman Sutton, Bobby Verwey, Bobby Walker, Gordon Weston, Trevor Wilkes, George Will, Michael Wolveridge
St Annes Old LinksBrian Allen, Herman Barron, David Beard, M. Birkett, Hugh Boyle, Harry Bradshaw, Alan Brookes, Fred Bullock, Alex Caygill, Barry Davies, Norman Drew, J.H. Ellis, C. Findlay, Simon Fogarty, Allan Gillies, Walter Godfrey, Tony Grubb, Harold Henning, Bryon Hutchinson, Norman Johnson, Alex King, Bill Large, Eddie Large, Malcolm Leeder, Nicholas Lynch, Ian MacDonald, N.R. MacDonald, Jim McAlister, David Miller, Maurice Moir, D.G. Neech (a), Cyril Pennington, Sewsunker Sewgolum, Jack Sharkey, Ian Smith, Ramón Sota, Brian Stockdale (a), Donald Swaelens, Jack Wilkshire

Prize money[edit]

The total prize money remained unchanged at £8,500 but the distribution was changed. The winner's prize was increased to £1,500 with £1,000 for second, £800 for third, £650 for fourth, £500 for fifth, £350 for sixth, £275 for seventh, £225 for eighth, £175 for ninth, £150 for tenth, £140 for 11th, £135 for 12th, £130 for 13th, £125 for 14th, £120 for 15th, £110 for 16th reducing at £5 intervals to £65 for 25th. The 26th to 30th places each received £60 with £55 for 31st to 35th, £50 for 36th to 40th and £45 for 41st to 45th. If more than 45 players made the cut the 41st to 45th prize money was distributed between all those finishing 41st or lower. If less than 45 made the cut the remaining prize money was not distributed. The winner of each qualifying event won £75 with £50 for second and £25 for third place.[9]

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 69 70 73 71 283 +3 4
Peter Thomson  Australia 1954, 1955,
1956, 1958
67 69 71 78 285 +5 5
Gary Player  South Africa 1959 75 70 72 70 287 +7 T7
Max Faulkner  England 1951 77 71 71 74 293 +13 T20
Arnold Palmer  United States 1961, 1962 76 71 71 76 294 +14 T26

Missed the cut[edit]

Player Country Years won R1 R2 Total To par
Bobby Locke  South Africa 1949, 1950,
1952, 1957
80 72 152 +12
Dick Burton  England 1939 83 73 156 +16

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Wednesday, 10 July 1963

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Phil Rodgers  United States 67 −3
Peter Thomson  Australia
T3 Bob Charles  New Zealand 68 −2
Tom Haliburton  Scotland
T5 Kel Nagle  Australia 69 −1
Ramón Sota  Spain
T7 Frank Phillips  Australia 70 E
Donald Swaelens  Belgium
Brian Wilkes  South Africa
T10 Geoffrey Hunt  England 71 +1
Alex King  England
Hugh Lewis  England
Ian MacDonald  Scotland
Jack Nicklaus  United States
Sewsunker Sewgolum  South Africa

Second round[edit]

Thursday, 11 July 1963

The cut rule was changed from 1962 so that a minimum of 45 players would make the cut rather than a maximum of 50. 47 players scored 149 (+9) or better and made the cut. No amateurs qualified.

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Phil Rodgers  United States 67-68=135 −5
2 Peter Thomson  Australia 67-69=136 −4
3 Jack Nicklaus  United States 71-67=138 −2
4 Kel Nagle  Australia 69-70=139 −1
5 Bob Charles  New Zealand 68-72=140 E
T6 Jean Garaïalde  France 72-69=141 +1
Tom Haliburton  Scotland 68-73=141
T8 Ian MacDonald  Scotland 71-71=142 +2
Sebastián Miguel  Spain 73-69=142
Christy O'Connor Snr  Ireland 74-68=142
Ramón Sota  Spain 69-73=142

Amateurs: Hood (+12), Saddler (+12), Carr (+15), Neech (+16), Rutherford (+16), Bonallack (+19), Bowman (+19), Stockdale (+20)

Third round[edit]

Friday, 12 July 1963 - (morning)

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Bob Charles  New Zealand 68-72-66=206 −4
2 Peter Thomson  Australia 67-69-71=207 −3
T3 Jack Nicklaus  United States 71-67-70=208 −2
Phil Rodgers  United States 67-68-73=208
5 Kel Nagle  Australia 69-70-73=212 +2
6 Jean Garaïalde  France 72-69-72=213 +3
T7 Harold Henning  South Africa 76-68-71=215 +5
Sebastián Miguel  Spain 73-69-73=215
Ramón Sota  Spain 69-73-73=215
T10 Bernard Hunt  England 72-71-73=216 +6
Ian MacDonald  Scotland 71-71-74=216

Final round[edit]

Friday, 12 July 1963 - (afternoon)

Place Player Country Score To par Money (£)
T1 Bob Charles  New Zealand 68-72-66-71=277 −3 Playoff
Phil Rodgers  United States 67-68-73-69=277
3 Jack Nicklaus  United States 71-67-70-70=278 −2 800
4 Kel Nagle  Australia 69-70-73-71=283 +3 650
5 Peter Thomson  Australia 67-69-71-78=285 +5 500
6 Christy O'Connor Snr  Ireland 74-68-76-68=286 +6 350
T7 Gary Player  South Africa 75-70-72-70=287 +7 250
Ramón Sota  Spain 69-73-73-72=287
T9 Jean Garaïalde  France 72-69-72-75=288 +8 163
Sebastián Miguel  Spain 73-69-73-73=288


Saturday, 13 July 1963

Place Player Country Score To par Money (£)
1 Bob Charles  New Zealand 69-71=140 E 1,500
2 Phil Rodgers  United States 72-76=148 +8 1,000

Charles won in a 36-hole playoff.[10]


  1. ^ a b Brown, Gwilym S. (22 July 2012). "The Ham and the Knife". Sports Illustrated. pp. 10–11, 43–45. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. pp. 73, 203. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Play-off in Open reduced". The Times. 14 January 1964. p. 4. 
  4. ^ Wright, Alfred (July 29, 1963). "Hottest man in a furnace". Sports Illustrated. p. 16. 
  5. ^ Bartlett, Charles (July 22, 1963). "Nicklaus wins P.G.A. on 30-foot putt". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, sec. 3. 
  6. ^ Petersen, Leo (July 22, 1963). "Birdie putt on 15th clinches PGA tourney victory for Nicklaus at Dallas". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). UPI. p. 19. 
  7. ^ "44 Open Golf Exemptions – Key to Foreign Opposition". The Times. 13 June 1963. p. 5. 
  8. ^ "Faulkner Scrapes Through". The Times. 6 July 1963. p. 4. 
  9. ^ a b "Revision of Open Golf Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 30 November 1962. p. 1,6. 
  10. ^ "Charles Wins British Open". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. 13 July 1963. p. 1B. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1963 U.S. Open
Major Championships Succeeded by
1963 PGA Championship

Coordinates: 53°44′58″N 3°01′05″W / 53.7495°N 3.0180°W / 53.7495; -3.0180