1923 Open Championship
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, who won the following year.
|Dates||14–15 June 1923|
|Location||Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland|
|Course(s)||Troon Golf Club|
|Length||6,415 yards (5,866 m)|
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" 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). 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.
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. 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. Sarazen, age 21, already a winner of two majors, had won the Daily Dispatch Northern Professional Championship just ten days earlier at Lytham. Six-time champion Harry Vardon was at 163; it was the first time he did not play in an Open in over thirty years. Wednesday was an idle day.
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. 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. 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.
Past champions in the fieldEdit
|Walter Hagen||United States||1922||76||71||74||75||296||2|
|J.H. Taylor||England||1894, 1895
1900, 1909, 1913
|James Braid||Scotland||1901, 1905,
1906, 1908, 1910
Did not advance past qualifying rounds (Monday & Tuesday):
Did not enter:
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).
|2||Black Rock||360||5||11||The Railway||315||4|
Thursday, 14 June 1923 (morning)
|5||Robert Scott Jr. (a)||Scotland||74|
|Walter Hagen||United States|
Thursday, 14 June 1923 (afternoon)
|3||Walter Hagen||United States||76-71=147|
|5||Robert Scott Jr. (a)||Scotland||74-76=150|
|9||Johnny Farrell||United States||79-73=152|
|Macdonald Smith|| Scotland
Friday, 15 June 1923 (morning)
|4||Walter Hagen||United States||76-71-74=221|
|5||Macdonald Smith|| Scotland
Friday, 15 June 1923 (afternoon)
|2||Walter Hagen||United States||76-71-74-75=296||40|
|3||Macdonald Smith|| Scotland
Amateurs: R. Scott (307), Tolley (313), Soulby (315), Caven (325), E. Scott (328), Watson (330)
- "Troon Old Course". The Times. 11 June 1923. p. 7.
- "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 114. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
- "British win". Glasgow Herald. 16 June 1923. p. 9.
- Skene, Don (16 June 1923). "Boyish Havers captures Open; Yankees 2d, 3d". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 11.
- 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.
- "The Championships". The Times. 22 May 1922. p. 22.
- "The "Open" - Troon's great week of golf". Glasgow Herald. 11 June 1923. p. 9.
- "Qualifying play at Troon". Glasgow Herald. 12 June 1923. p. 9.
- Skene, Don (12 June 1923). "Braid, 5 times British champ, leads at Troon". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 21.
- "Golf at Troon - Sarazen and Barnes fail to qualify". 13 June 1923. p. 11.
- Skene, Don (13 June 1923). "6 Yanks qualify at Troon; Hagen in, Sarazen out". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 19.
- "The Open Golf Championship - Qualifying Scores". The Times. 13 June 1923. p. 6.
- "Northern Championship – An American victory". Glasgow Herald. 2 June 1923. p. 15.
- "Gene, Hagen win in British golf match". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 2 June 1923. p. 13.
- "Open Championship - the real business to-day". Glasgow Herald. 14 June 1923. p. 10.
- Skene, Don (14 June 1923). "Smith and Hagen American hopes at Troon today". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 24.
- "The Open - brilliant golf at Troon". Glasgow Herald. 15 June 1923. p. 9.
- Skene, Don (15 June 1923). "Brilliant rally places Hagen third at Troon". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 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.
- "Hagen is eliminated in British Open tourney". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. 15 June 1923. p. 12. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- "The Course for the Open Golf Championship". Dundee Evening Telegraph. 8 June 1923. Retrieved 27 July 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Final day's card at Troon". Chicago Daily Tribune. 16 June 1923. p. 11.
- "British Win - Prize List and Aggregates". The Glasgow Herald. 16 June 1923. p. 10.