Dick Burton (golfer)

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Dick Burton
Personal information
Full nameRichard Burton
Born(1907-10-11)11 October 1907
Darwen, England
Died30 January 1974(1974-01-30) (aged 66)[1]
Kingston upon Thames, England
Nationality England
Professional wins9
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenCUT: 1946
The Open ChampionshipWon: 1939

Richard Burton (11 October 1907 – 30 January 1974) was an English professional golfer.[2][3]

Burton is mainly remembered for winning The Open Championship (British Open) in 1939, when it was played on the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.[4] His win was achieved in some style, with a birdie down the 18th to win by two shots from Johnny Bulla. He played for Great Britain in the Ryder Cup in 1935, 1937, and 1949, and won two of his five matches.

Burton, a former four-loom weaver at Cobden Mill, was born in Darwen, Lancashire. He is remembered for holding the Open title for the longest time – from 1939 till after World War II. In the spring of 1946, he wrote to the Royal and Ancient, "Dear Sirs, Please find enclosed my fee of five guineas for this year's Open. I will bring the trophy back when I come."

Burton was based at Sale Golf Club, on the Manchester Cheshire border, and is still celebrated at the club. Every year the club holds the Richard Burton Trophy on the weekend of the Open Championship, and have a display including the putter he used to win the Open. In later life, he was the club professional at Coombe Hill Golf Club in Kingston, Surrey. He once bet a rival that he could beat him using only a putter. He lost his bet, but only on the 18th hole.

When Burton played fourball with other members, rather than pair up with a member, he would play against all three, and give full handicaps. He still won more often than not.

Also, Burton reputedly hit the 120-yard 17th hole with every club in his bag, including the putter.

Burton died in hospital on 30 January 1974 after a long illness.[5]

Tournament wins (9)[edit]

This list may be incomplete

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1939 The Open Championship 4 shot deficit 70-72-77-71=290 2 strokes United States Johnny Bulla

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
U.S. Open
The Open Championship T48 CUT T39 CUT T12 CUT T4 1
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT 12 5 T18 T14
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
U.S. Open
The Open Championship CUT T12 T47 CUT CUT CUT
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968
U.S. Open
The Open Championship CUT CUT CUT

Note: Burton never played in the Masters Tournament or the PGA Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

NT = no tournament
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Deaths - Richard Burton". The Times. 2 February 1974. p. 24.
  2. ^ Alliss, Peter (1983). The Who's Who of Golf. Orbis Publishing. p. 219. ISBN 0-85613-520-8.
  3. ^ "Dick Burton". Darwen Golf Club. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  4. ^ "1939 Dick Burton". The Open. Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Richard "Dick" Burton". cottontown.org. Retrieved 9 June 2016.