Neil Coles

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Neil Coles, MBE
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name Neil Chapman Coles, MBE
Born (1934-09-26) 26 September 1934 (age 82)
London, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 182 lb (83 kg; 13.0 st)
Nationality  England
Residence Walton-on-Thames, England
Spouse Ann
Children Keith, Gary
Career
Turned professional 1950
Former tour(s) European Tour
European Seniors Tour
Professional wins 50
Number of wins by tour
European Tour 7
European Senior Tour 9
Other 28 (regular)
6 (senior)
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament WD: 1966
U.S. Open DNP
The Open Championship T2: 1973
PGA Championship DNP
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 2000 (member page)
Harry Vardon Trophy 1963, 1970

Neil Chapman Coles, MBE (born 26 September 1934) is an English professional golfer. Coles had a successful career in European golf, winning 29 important tournaments between 1956 and 1982. After reaching 50 he won a further 14 important Seniors tournaments between 1985 and 2002, winning his final European Seniors Tour event at the age of 67. He also played in eight Ryder Cup matches between 1961 and 1977.[1]

Playing career[edit]

While he never became one of the leading stars of global golf, and did not win a major championship, Coles was remarkable for his consistency, and even more for his durability. He was five times a top-ten finisher in the Open Championship, finishing third in 1961 and second in 1973, although arguably his closest chances came in 1970 (when he led after a first-round 65 and was only 3 off the lead going into the final round) and 1975 (where he followed second and third rounds of 69 and 67 with a 74 at Carnoustie, when a 70 would have earned him the Claret Jug). He led the British Order of Merit in both 1963 and 1970, and maintained a top-ten position in the Merit list for almost every year of the 1960s and 1970s decades. He was ranked 7th in the world on the inaugural Mark McCormack's world golf rankings in December 1968, a position he regained at the end of 1970. Even at the peak of his career he made few appearances in the United States because of his fear of flying.[2]

He finished in the top ten on the European Seniors Tour's order of merit eight times between 1992 and 2000. Coles was the winner of the inaugural Senior British Open Championship.[3] In 2002, during which season he turned sixty eight, he finished eleventh. In that year he won the Lawrence Batley Seniors at the age of 67 years and 276 days, beating his own record for the oldest winner of a European Seniors Tour event, set in 2000. He also had a third-place finish in 2003. His final win tally on the Senior Tour was nine. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.

Coles was until November 2013 the chairman of the PGA European Tour's board of directors, when he was replaced by David Williams.[4] He is also a golf course architect designing courses such as Chartham Park.

Personal life[edit]

Coles married Ann Keep, after growing up together in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. They had two sons, Keith (born 1956) and Gary (born 1959). Ann died in 2015.[5] Gary was also a professional golfer and followed his father by winning the PGA Assistants' Championship in 1985, 29 years after his father.[1][6]

Professional wins (50)[edit]

Important pre-1972 wins (22)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 25 May 1956 Gor-Ray Cup 70-71-68-68=277 4 strokes England Peter Butler
2 26 May 1960 Coombe Hill Assistants' Tournament 66-70-71-73=280 1 stroke England Lionel Platts
3 7 Oct 1961 Ballantine Tournament 71-72-69-65=277 5 strokes England Ken Bousfield
4 22 Sep 1962 Senior Service Tournament 70-69-65-73=277 1 stroke South Africa Denis Hutchinson, Australia Kel Nagle,
Australia Peter Thomson
5 4 May 1963 Martini International 74-74-71-79=298 Tie Republic of Ireland Christy O'Connor Snr
6 15 Jun 1963 Daks Tournament 75-68-69-68=280 Tie England Peter Alliss
7 24 Aug 1963 Engadine Tournament (St. Moritz) 276 2 strokes South Africa Stewart Davies, Egypt Abdel Halim Kahoul
8 6 Jun 1964 Daks Tournament 67-74-73-68=282 1 stroke Australia Peter Thomson
9 30 Jun 1964 Bowmaker Tournament 68-68=136 1 stroke England Peter Alliss
10 5 Sep 1964 News of the World Match Play 3 & 2 England Peter Butler
11 18 Jul 1965 Carroll's International 68-67-69-65=269 6 strokes England Tommy Horton
England Harry Weetman
12 5 Sep 1965 News of the World Match Play 19 holes England Lionel Platts
13 25 Jun 1966 Pringle of Scotland Tournament 69-67-69-68=273 3 strokes England Peter Alliss
14 17 Sep 1966 Dunlop Masters 70-69-70-69=278 1 stroke Republic of Ireland Christy O'Connor Snr, Australia Peter Thomson
15 29 Mar 1970 Italian BP Open 69-73-72-68=282 3 strokes Spain Valentín Barrios
16 6 Apr 1970 Walworth Aloyco Tournament (Rome) 282 3 strokes Republic of Ireland Christy O'Connor Snr, Wales Brian Huggett
17 30 May 1970 Daks Tournament 67-70-71-73=281 3 strokes England Peter Wilcock
18 30 Jun 1970 Bowmaker Tournament 66-66=132 3 strokes England Jimmy Hitchcock
19 8 May 1971 Penfold-Bournemouth Tournament 71-74-69-70=284 4 strokes England Stuart Brown, Scotland Gordon Cunningham,
England Doug Sewell, Scotland Ronnie Shade
20 5 Jun 1971 Daks Tournament 70-71-70-73=284 Tie Wales Brian Huggett
21 20 Jun 1971 Carroll's International 69-67-72-68=276 3 strokes England Peter Oosterhuis
22 25 Jul 1971 German Open 69-71-71-68=279 4 strokes Australia Peter Thomson

European Tour wins (7)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 1 Jul 1972 Sunbeam Electric Scottish Open −5 (72-72-70-69=283) Playoff Wales Brian Huggett
2 14 Apr 1973 Spanish Open −6 (67-71-72-72=282) 3 strokes South Africa Tienie Britz, Wales Craig Defoy
3 26 May 1973 Benson & Hedges Match Play Championship 2 up England Doug McClelland
4 21 Sep 1974 W.D. & H.O. Wills Tournament −5 (68-69-73-73=283) 1 stroke Australia Jack Newton
5 31 May 1976 Penfold PGA Championship E (70-69-71-70=280) Playoff Republic of Ireland Eamonn Darcy, South Africa Gary Player
6 10 Sep 1977 Tournament Players Championship −4 (76-70-73-69=288) 1 stroke England Peter Dawson
7 10 Oct 1982 Sanyo Open −14 (71-67-64-64=266) 1 stroke England Gary Cullen

European Tour playoff record (2–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1972 Sunbeam Electric Scottish Open Wales Brian Huggett Won on second extra hole
2 1976 Penfold PGA Championship Republic of Ireland Eamonn Darcy, South Africa Gary Player Won with par on third extra hole
Player eliminated by par on first hole
3 1978 Benson & Hedges International Open Australia Noel Ratcliffe, United States Lee Trevino Trevino won with par on fourth extra hole
Ratcliffe eliminated by par on first hole

Other wins (6)[edit]

this list is incomplete

Important pre-1992 senior wins (5)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner-up
1 28 Jul 1985 Trusthouse Forte PGA Seniors Championship −4 (72-67-70-75=284) 2 strokes Republic of Ireland Christy O'Connor Snr
2 3 Aug 1986 Trusthouse Forte PGA Seniors Championship −4 (71-70-67-68=276) 1 stroke England Peter Butler
3 21 Jun 1987 Trusthouse Forte PGA Seniors Championship −13 (66-73-67-73=206) 4 strokes Australia Peter Thomson
4 26 Jul 1987 Seniors British Open −1 (66-73-67-73=279) 1 stroke New Zealand Bob Charles
5 18 Jun 1989 Trusthouse Forte PGA Seniors Championship +1 (71-66-72-68=277) 4 strokes England Peter Butler

European Seniors Tour wins (9)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 4 Oct 1992 Collingtree Homes Seniors Classic +2 (72-72-74=218) 3 strokes South Africa John Fourie, Northern Ireland Hugh Jackson
2 23 May 1993 Gary Player Seniors Classic E (76-66-71=213) 2 strokes Scotland George Will
3 26 Aug 1995 Collingtree Seniors −5 (71-72-68=211) 4 strokes Scotland Brian Barnes
4 22 Jun 1997 Ryder Collingtree Seniors Classic −8 (68-71-69=208) 7 strokes Spain Antonio Garrido, England Brian Waites
5 31 May 1998 Philips PFA Golf Classic −13 (67-69-67=203) Playoff Northern Ireland David Jones
6 1 Aug 1999 Energis Senior Masters −11 (68-69-68=205) 1 stroke Scotland David Huish
7 22 Aug 1999 Dalmahoy Scottish Seniors Open −10 (69-68-69=206) 1 stroke United States Jerry Bruner, United States Jay Dolan
8 4 Jun 2000 Microlease Jersey Seniors Open −9 (66-71-70=207) 3 strokes United States Jerry Bruner
9 29 Jun 2002 Lawrence Batley Seniors −4 (72-67-70=209) Playoff England David Creamer, United States Steve Stull

Other senior wins (1)[edit]

  • 1991 Léman International Senior Trophy

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship CUT DNP T21
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP WD DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship CUT T3 DNP T20 CUT T12 CUT T36 T6 T11
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship T6 T22 CUT T2 T13 7 T28 T41 T48 WD
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship T29 T39 T42 CUT CUT CUT

Note: Coles did not play in the U.S. Open nor the PGA Championship.
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Open Championship 0 1 1 2 5 11 27 18
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 0 1 1 2 5 11 28 18
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (1973 Open Championship – 1978 Open Championship)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (five times)

Team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About us - Neil Coles MBE". Neil Coles and Associates. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Old King Coles is a merry old soul. John Huggan, The Scotsman, May 2007
  3. ^ Coles wins by one
  4. ^ BBC Sport – European Tour appoints first non-professional chairman
  5. ^ "Ann Coles Obituary". europeantour.com. 30 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Gary a chip off old Coles block". The Glasgow Herald. 17 August 1985. p. 19. 

External links[edit]