Brian Huggett

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Brian Huggett
Personal information
Full nameBrian George Charles Huggett
NicknameWelsh bulldog
Born (1936-11-18) 18 November 1936 (age 82)
Porthcawl, Wales
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Nationality Wales
ResidenceRoss-on-Wye, England
Career
Turned professional1951
Former tour(s)European Tour
European Seniors Tour
Professional wins34
Number of wins by tour
European Tour2
European Senior Tour10
Other22
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentCUT: 1969
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenDNP
The Open ChampionshipT2: 1965
Achievements and awards
Officer of the Order
of the British Empire
1978
Harry Vardon Trophy1968

Brian George Charles Huggett, MBE (born 18 November 1936) is a Welsh professional golfer.[1] He won sixteen events on the European circuit, including two after the formal start of the European Tour in 1972. In 1968 he won the Harry Vardon Trophy for leading the Order of Merit. He played in the Ryder Cup six times and was a non-playing captain. He also won 10 times on the European Seniors Tour between 1992 and 2000.

Early life[edit]

Huggett born in Porthcawl, Wales, the son of George Huggett, who was the professional at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club. He had a younger brother Geoff who also became a professional golfer. After World War II, George was the professional at Neath Golf Club before moving to Redhill and Reigate Golf Club, in Surrey, in 1950.

Professional career[edit]

Huggett turned professional in 1951, becoming an assistant to his father at Redhill and Reigate, but it wasn't until 1962 that he won his first important individual events the Dutch Open.[2] He had been runner-up the previous year. Earlier in 1962, he had finished tied for third in the Open Championship, albeit a full 13 shots behind runaway winner Arnold Palmer. Huggett had two more wins in 1963, the Cox Moore Tournament and the German Open.[3][4] He qualified for the 1963 Ryder Cup team and, although the United States won 23 to 9, Huggett was the leading British scorer, with 2 wins and a half.

After his successes in 1962 and 1963, Huggett struggled for success from 1964 to 1966, a period that coincided with the introduction of the bigger ball in many tournaments. During this period he was, however, joint runner-up in the 1965 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, an event played with the smaller ball. He finished two shots behind Australia's Peter Thomson.

Huggett returned to form in 1967, winning the PGA Close Championship and the Martini International in successive weeks, although he tied the Martini International with Malcolm Gregson.[5][6] From 1968 to 1970 he was regular winner. In 1968, he won the Harry Vardon Trophy for leading the Order of Merit and played in the Piccadilly World Match Play Championship, losing to Arnold Palmer at the 36th hole. In 1970, Huggett was ranked 10th in the world in McCormack's World Golf Rankings, the forerunner of the modern Official World Golf Ranking. The rankings were based on a 3-year period and his high ranking reflected these tournament wins.

From 1971, his wins became less frequent. He was joint winner of the 1971 Daks Tournament with Neil Coles and won twice on the European Tour, in 1974 and 1978. He was the third-highest money winner in 1972, the first season of the European Tour.

Huggett played six times for Great Britain and Ireland in the Ryder Cup (1963, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973 and 1975) and had a 9–10–6 win-loss-half record, despite never being on a winning team. He is remembered for an incident in the 1969 Ryder Cup, a match that was tied at 16 points each. Playing the 18th hole in the last-but-one match, he holed a putt to halve his match with Billy Casper. Just before making his putt he had heard a loud roar from the 17th green, where Tony Jacklin was playing Jack Nicklaus. Believing that Jacklin had beaten Nicklaus he thought that his putt had won the Ryder Cup. Only after leaving the green did he find out the Jacklin/Nicklaus match was still being played.[7] Huggett was also Great Britain & Ireland's non-playing captain in 1977 and represented Wales nine times in the World Cup between 1963 and 1979. He played in the Open Championship 19 successive times between 1961 and 1979.

Huggett joined the European Seniors Tour when it debuted in 1992 and, despite being 55 when the tour started, won 10 times on the tour between 1992 and 2000, including the 1993 PGA Seniors Championship and the 1998 Senior British Open. He finished second on the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit in 1993, 1994 and 1998.

Huggett has also been a golf-course designer. He received an MBE in the 1978 Birthday Honours and in 2006 he was inducted into the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame.

Professional wins (34)[edit]

European circuit wins (14)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 5 Aug 1962 Dutch Open 69-71-65-69=274 2 strokes Netherlands Gerard de Wit
2 27 Apr 1963 Cox Moore Tournament 72-68-70-66=276 1 stroke England John Jacobs
3 11 Aug 1963 German Open 70-70-68-70=278 1 stroke England Peter Alliss
4 10 Jun 1967 PGA Close Championship 66-67-67-71=271 8 strokes England Jimmy Hitchcock, England Bernard Hunt
5 17 Jun 1967 Martini International 69-70-70-70=279 Tie England Malcolm Gregson
6 1 Jun 1968 Sumrie Tournament 69-75-70-68=282 4 strokes Spain Ángel Gallardo
7 15 Jun 1968 Martini International 72-69-66-71=278 2 strokes England Tommy Horton
8 8 Sep 1968 News of the World Match Play 1 up in final Scotland John Panton
9 31 May 1969 Daks Tournament 71-71-75-72=289 2 strokes Scotland Bernard Gallacher
10 1 Jul 1969 Bowmaker Tournament 68-67=135 Tie England Tony Grubb
11 22 Mar 1970 Algarve Open 75-78-71-69=293 3 strokes Scotland Andrew Brooks
12 21 Jun 1970 Carroll's International 68-68-69-74=279 7 strokes Republic of Ireland Christy O'Connor Snr
13 12 Sep 1970 Dunlop Masters 80-78-70-65=293 5 strokes Australia David Graham
14 5 Jun 1971 Daks Tournament 69-75-68-72=284 Tie England Neil Coles

European Tour wins (2)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner-up
1 13 Apr 1974 Portuguese Open −4 (71-66-68-67=272) 4 strokes South Africa John Fourie
2 4 Jun 1978 B.A./Avis Open −13 (65-66-71-69=271) 3 strokes Republic of Ireland Eamonn Darcy

European Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1972 Sunbeam Electric Scottish Open England Neil Coles Lost on second extra hole

Other wins (8)[edit]

European Seniors Tour wins (10)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 26 Apr 1992 Gary Player Anvil Senior Classic 76-74-71=221 Playoff England Tommy Horton
2 30 Aug 1992 Northern Electric Seniors 75-74-75=224 Playoff United States David Jimenez
3 13 Jun 1993 Northern Electric Seniors 73-34=107 1 stroke England Tommy Horton, England Brian Waites
4 7 Aug 1993 Forte PGA Seniors Championship −6 (69-65-70=204) 3 strokes South Africa Bobby Verwey
5 22 May 1994 La Manga Spanish Seniors Open −1 (72-74-69=215) Playoff England Malcolm Gregson, England David Snell
6 1 Apr 1995 Windsor Senior Masters −7 (70-67-72=209) 1 stroke Spain Antonio Garrido
7 3 Sep 1995 Shell Scottish Seniors Open −10 (64-70-66=200) 2 strokes England Neil Coles
8 2 Aug 1998 Schroder Senior Masters −7 (72-71-66=209) Playoff England Neil Coles, Northern Ireland Eddie Polland
9 9 Aug 1998 Senior British Open −5 (71-70-71-71=283) Playoff Northern Ireland Eddie Polland
10 7 May 2000 Beko Classic −8 (69-68-71=208) Playoff Australia Bob Shearer

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament CUT
The Open Championship T25 T3 T14 CUT T2 T43 T25 T13 T16
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament
The Open Championship T28 T25 T26 CUT CUT T40 CUT T48 CUT CUT

Note: Huggett never played in the U.S. Open or PGA Championship.

  Top 10

CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1973, 1974 and 1978 Open Championships)
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearances[edit]

Professional

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alliss, Peter (1983). The Who's Who of Golf. Orbis Publishing. p. 250. ISBN 0-85613-520-8.
  2. ^ "Briton win Dutch Open". The Glasgow Herald. 6 August 1962. p. 3.
  3. ^ "Huggett's success in Cox Moore event". The Glasgow Herald. 29 April 1963. p. 10.
  4. ^ "Huggett's victory by a stroke". The Glasgow Herald. 12 August 1963. p. 3.
  5. ^ "Lighter Clubs and Longer Driver give Huggett P.G.A. Title". The Glasgow Herald. 12 June 1967. p. 4.
  6. ^ "Gregson and Huggett tie for top place in Martini". The Glasgow Herald. 19 June 1967. p. 4.
  7. ^ Huggan, John (16 March 2014). "All hail Ryder Cup hero Brian Huggett". The Scotsman.

External links[edit]