1923 Open Championship

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1923 Open Championship
Tournament information
Dates 14–15 June 1923
Location Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland
Course(s) Troon Golf Club
Old Course
Statistics
Length 6,415 yards (5,866 m)[1]
Field 88 players[2]
Cut none
Prize fund £200
Winner's share £75
Champion
England Arthur Havers
295
← 1922
1924 →
Troon Golf Club is located in Scotland
Troon Golf Club
Troon Golf Club
Location in Scotland
Troon Golf Club is located in South Ayrshire
Troon Golf Club
Troon Golf Club

The 1923 Open Championship was the 58th Open Championship, held 14–15 June at Troon Golf Club in Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland. Arthur Havers holed a bunker shot on the 72nd hole to win his only major title, one stroke ahead of defending champion Walter Hagen,[3][4][5] who won the following year.

Under the rotation system then in place, the Open should have been held at Muirfield. However some doubt existed "as to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers being desirous of their course being used for the event"[6] and the Championship was moved to Troon, the first Open Championship to be played there. Troon hosted the Open for the second time in 1950, the first time the Open had been held in southwest Scotland since 1925 at nearby Prestwick.

Qualifying took place on 11–12 June, Monday and Tuesday, with 18 holes on the New (Portland) Course at Troon Golf Club and 18 holes on Troon Municipal Course number 2 (now called Lochgreen).[7][8][9] The top eighty and ties qualified. Albert Tingey, Jr., Syd Wingate, and Charles Whitcombe led the field on 146; the qualifying score was 159 and 88 players advanced.[10][11]

Hagen was among the eleven who just qualified on 159, while future champions Jim Barnes (1925) and Gene Sarazen (1932) both scored 160 and missed out by a stroke.[10][11] After a 75 on Monday, Sarazen was in the first group out on the New Course on Tuesday morning; they had the worst of the rain and wind, and he shot 85.[10][11][12] Sarazen, age 21, already a winner of two majors, had won the Daily Dispatch Northern Professional Championship just ten days earlier at Lytham.[13][14] Six-time champion Harry Vardon was at 163;[10][11] it was the first time he did not play in an Open in over thirty years. Wednesday was an idle day.[15][16]

In the opening round on Thursday morning, Joe Kirkwood led with 72; after the second round that afternoon, Havers and Charles Whitcombe co-led at 146, with Hagen a stroke back.[17][18] In the two-day format, there was no cut after 36 holes.

Havers carded a third consecutive 73 on Friday morning to carry a two-stroke lead over Hagen into the final round that afternoon.[3][4][19] Hagen threatened the lead throughout the round, and when Havers found a bunker on his approach shot at the 18th it appeared as if the door was open for Hagen. Havers, however, chipped in from the bunker to post a 76 for 295. Hagen found the same bunker and needed to hole out to force a 36-hole playoff on Saturday, but his shot narrowly missed and he finished a shot behind Havers. Macdonald Smith finished a stroke behind Hagen in third place.[3][4][20]

After his win, Havers made a tour of the United States and defeated both Bobby Jones and Gene Sarazen in match play contests.

Past champions in the field[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Finish
Walter Hagen  United States 1922 76 71 74 75 296 2
George Duncan  Scotland 1920 79 75 74 74 302 T6
Ted Ray  Jersey 1912 79 75 73 77 304 T12
Sandy Herd  Scotland 1902 82 75 74 76 307 T22
J.H. Taylor  England 1894, 1895
1900, 1909, 1913
80 78 79 79 316 T44
James Braid  Scotland 1901, 1905,
1906, 1908, 1910
79 85 79 74 317 T49

Source:[2][3][4]

Did not advance past qualifying rounds (Monday & Tuesday):

Did not enter:

Venue[edit]

This was the first Open at Troon and its Old Course was changed significantly with the addition of sixty new banked-up bunkers. Its length was reduced slightly, from 6,439 to 6,415 yards (5,888 to 5,866 m); the 5th hole (Greenan) was reduced from 323 to 185 yards (295 to 169 m).

Hole Name Yards Bogie Hole Name Yards Bogie
1 Seal 350 4 10 Sandhills 420 5
2 Black Rock 360 5 11 The Railway 315 4
3 Gyaws 385 4 12 The Fox 385 5
4 Dunure 450 5 13 Burmah 350 4
5 Greenan 185 4 14 Alton 175 3
6 Turnberry 580 6 15 Crosbie 435 5
7 Tel-el-Kebir 370 4 16 Well 560 6
8 Ailsa 120 3 17 Rabbit 220 3
9 The Monk 385 5 18 Craigend 370 4
Out 3,185 40 In 3,230 39
Source:[16][21][22] Total 6,415 79

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Thursday, 14 June 1923 (morning)

Place Player Country Score
1 Joe Kirkwood  Australia 72
T2 Tom Fernie  Scotland 73
Arthur Havers  England
Hugh Roberts  Wales
5 Robert Scott, Jr. (a)  Scotland 74
T6 George Buckle  England 75
Charles Gadd  England
Jimmy McDowall  Scotland
T9 Frank Ball  England 76
Fred Collins  England
Walter Hagen  United States
James MacKenzie  Scotland

Source:[2][17][18]

Second round[edit]

Thursday, 14 June 1923 (afternoon)

Place Player Country Score
T1 Arthur Havers  England 73-73=146
Charles Whitcombe  England 70-76=146
3 Walter Hagen  United States 76-71=147
4 Gordon Lockhart  Scotland 78-71=149
5 Robert Scott, Jr. (a)  Scotland 74-76=150
T6 Tom Fernie  Scotland 73-78=151
Joe Kirkwood  Australia 72-79=151
Tom Walton  England 77-74=151
9 Johnny Farrell  United States 79-73=152
T10 Frank Ball  England 76-77=153
Sid Brews  England 77-76=153
Macdonald Smith  Scotland
 United States
80-73=153
Willie Watt  Scotland 76-77=153

Source:[2][17][18]

Third round[edit]

Friday, 15 June 1923 (morning)

Place Player Country Score
1 Arthur Havers  England 73-73-73=219
T2 Joe Kirkwood  Australia 72-79-69=220
Charles Whitcombe  England 70-76-74=220
4 Walter Hagen  United States 76-71-74=221
5 Macdonald Smith  Scotland
 United States
80-73-69=222
T6 Sid Brews  England 77-76-72=225
Tom Fernie  Scotland 73-78-74=225
Gordon Lockhart  Scotland 78-71-76=225
Willie Watt  Scotland 70-76-74=225
T10 Fred Collins  England 76-78-72=226
Abe Mitchell  England 77-77-72=226

Source:[2][3][4]

Final round[edit]

Friday, 15 June 1923 (afternoon)

Place Player Country Score Money (£)
1 Arthur Havers  England 73-73-73-76=295 75
2 Walter Hagen  United States 76-71-74-75=296 40
3 Macdonald Smith  Scotland
 United States
80-73-69-75=297 25
4 Joe Kirkwood  Australia 72-79-69-78=298 15
5 Tom Fernie  Scotland 73-78-74-75=300 10
T6 George Duncan  Scotland 79-75-74-74=302 8
15s
Charles Whitcombe  England 70-76-74-82=302
T8 Herbert Jolly Guernsey 79-75-75-74=303 4
7s 6d
James MacKenzie  Scotland 76-78-74-75=303
Abe Mitchell  England 77-77-72-77=303
Willie Watt  Scotland 76-77-72-78=303

Source:[2][3][4][23]

Amateurs: R. Scott (307), Tolley (313), Soulby (315), Caven (325), E. Scott (328), Watson (330)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Troon Old Course". The Times. 11 June 1923. p. 7. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 114. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "British win". Glasgow Herald. 16 June 1923. p. 9. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Skene, Don (16 June 1923). "Boyish Havers captures Open; Yankees 2d, 3d". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 11. 
  5. ^ McNutt, Patterson (16 June 1923). "Hagen, U.S. golfer, loses British Open crown to A.G. Havers". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. p. 6. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Championships". The Times. 22 May 1922. p. 22. 
  7. ^ "The "Open" - Troon's great week of golf". Glasgow Herald. 11 June 1923. p. 9. 
  8. ^ "Qualifying play at Troon". Glasgow Herald. 12 June 1923. p. 9. 
  9. ^ Skene, Don (12 June 1923). "Braid, 5 times British champ, leads at Troon". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 21. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Golf at Troon - Sarazen and Barnes fail to qualify". 13 June 1923. p. 11. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Skene, Don (13 June 1923). "6 Yanks qualify at Troon; Hagen in, Sarazen out". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 19. 
  12. ^ "The Open Golf Championship - Qualifying Scores". The Times. 13 June 1923. p. 6. 
  13. ^ "Northern Championship – An American victory". Glasgow Herald. 2 June 1923. p. 15. 
  14. ^ "Gene, Hagen win in British golf match". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 2 June 1923. p. 13. 
  15. ^ "Open Championship - the real business to-day". Glasgow Herald. 14 June 1923. p. 10. 
  16. ^ a b Skene, Don (14 June 1923). "Smith and Hagen American hopes at Troon today". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 24. 
  17. ^ a b c "The Open - brilliant golf at Troon". Glasgow Herald. 15 June 1923. p. 9. 
  18. ^ a b c Skene, Don (15 June 1923). "Brilliant rally places Hagen third at Troon". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 19. 
  19. ^ McNutt, Patterson (15 June 1923). "Havers leads British Open golf tourney with 219 for 54 holes". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. p. 42. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Hagen is eliminated in British Open tourney". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. 15 June 1923. p. 12. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "The Course for the Open Golf Championship". Dundee Evening Telegraph. 8 June 1923. Retrieved 27 July 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  22. ^ "Final day's card at Troon". Chicago Daily Tribune. 16 June 1923. p. 11. 
  23. ^ "British Win - Prize List and Aggregates". The Glasgow Herald. 16 June 1923. p. 10. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°31′55″N 4°39′00″W / 55.532°N 4.65°W / 55.532; -4.65