1963 Open Championship
|Dates||10–13 July 1963|
|Location||Lytham St Annes, England|
|Course(s)||Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club|
|Length||6,836 yards (6,251 m)|
|Field||120 players, 47 after cut|
|277 (−3), playoff|
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. U.S. Open champion Julius Boros did not play.
This was the last 36-hole playoff at The Open, the format was changed to 18 holes the following year, used in 1970 and 1975. The four-hole aggregate format was introduced in 1986 and first used in 1989.
The PGA Championship was played the next week in Texas at Dallas, 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.
For the first time, leading players were exempt from qualifying. 44 players who entered were exempted:
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, Denis 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
- Eligible but did not enter: Sam Snead
2. The first 30 and those tying for 30th place in the P.G.A. Order of Merit for 1962
- Eligible but did not enter: Ben Hogan
- Eligible but did not enter: Tommy Bolt, Jack Fleck, Ed Furgol, Ben Hogan, Gene Littler, Dick Mayer
- Entered but later withdrew: Billy Casper, Cary Middlecoff
7. The last 5 U.S. Amateur champions (1958–62)
- Eligible but did not enter: Charles Coe, Labron Harris, Jr.
- Jack Nicklaus had turned professional but was exempt under other categories
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.
- Fairhaven – Grant 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, Bob Marshall, Frank Miller, A. Moore, Hedley Muscroft, George Parton, Frank Phillips, G.M. Rutherford (a), Denis Scanlan, David Snell, Bill Spence, Norman Sutton, Bobby Verwey, Bobby Walker, Gordon Weston, Trevor Wilkes, George Will, Michael Wolveridge
- St Annes Old Links – Brian 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, Nicky 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
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.
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,
|Gary Player||South Africa||1959||75||70||72||70||287||+7||T7|
|Arnold Palmer||United States||1961, 1962||76||71||71||76||294||+14||T26|
Missed the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||Total||To par|
|Bobby Locke||South Africa||1949, 1950,
Wednesday, 10 July 1963
|T1||Phil Rodgers||United States||67||−3|
|T3||Bob Charles||New Zealand||68||−2|
|Brian Wilkes||South Africa|
|Jack Nicklaus||United States|
|Sewsunker Sewgolum||South Africa|
Thursday, 11 July 1963
The cut rule was changed this year to a minimum of 45 players; it was previously a maximum of 50. The cut was 149 (+9) and 47 players advanced, but no amateurs.
|1||Phil Rodgers||United States||67-68=135||−5|
|3||Jack Nicklaus||United States||71-67=138||−2|
|5||Bob Charles||New Zealand||68-72=140||E|
|Christy O'Connor Snr||Ireland||74-68=142|
Friday, 12 July 1963 - (morning)
|1||Bob Charles||New Zealand||68-72-66=206||−4|
|T3||Jack Nicklaus||United States||71-67-70=208||−2|
|Phil Rodgers||United States||67-68-73=208|
|T7||Harold Henning||South Africa||76-68-71=215||+5|
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|
|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|
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|
- Brown, Gwilym S. (22 July 1963). "The Ham and the Knife". Sports Illustrated. pp. 10–11, 43–45.
- "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. pp. 73, 203. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
- Horne, Cyril (15 July 1963). "Open Championship for R.J. Charles". Glasgow Herald. p. 8.
- "Charles wins British Open". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. 13 July 1963. p. 1B.
- "Bob Charles wins by 8 in Open". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. 14 July 1963. p. 1, sec. 2.
- "Play-off in Open reduced". The Times. 14 January 1964. p. 4.
- Wright, Alfred (29 July 1963). "Hottest man in a furnace". Sports Illustrated. p. 16.
- Bartlett, Charles (22 July 1963). "Nicklaus wins P.G.A. on 30-foot putt". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, sec. 3.
- Petersen, Leo (22 July 1963). "Birdie putt on 15th clinches PGA tourney victory for Nicklaus at Dallas". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). UPI. p. 19.
- "Card of course". Glasgow Herald. 10 July 1963. p. 6.
- Horne, Cyril (12 July 1963). "Rogers leads by one stroke from Thomson". Glasgow Herald. p. 6.
- "44 Open Golf Exemptions – Key to Foreign Opposition". The Times. 13 June 1963. p. 5.
- "Faulkner Scrapes Through". The Times. 6 July 1963. p. 4.
- "Revision of Open Golf Championship". Glasgow Herald. 30 November 1962. p. 1,6.
- "Final aggregates". Glasgow Herald. 13 July 1963. p. 8.
- Horne, Cyril (11 July 1963). "Palmer nine strokes behind leaders". Glasgow Herald. p. 12.
- Horne, Cyril (13 July 1963). "Tie for Open golf title". Glasgow Herald. p. 1.
- "Rodgers and Charles tie in Britain". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. 14 July 1963. p. 1, sec. 2.
1963 U.S. Open
|Major Championships||Succeeded by|
1963 PGA Championship