76th Open - Royal Liverpool 1947
A dramatic finish at Hoylake
Fred Daly became the first Irish winner of The Open with his victory by a stroke over Reg Horne and Frank Stranahan at Royal Liverpool in 1947 in a dramatic finish. It would be 60 years before another Irishman won a Major, Padraig Harrington at Carnoustie setting off a golden period for Irish golf. Daly was from Portrush, a popular player who took the lead with a 70 in the second round. His four-stroke advantage disappeared with a 78 in the third round and he was tied with Henry Cotton, Arthur Lees and Norman von Nida.
Horne was two behind but went out in 35 and might have set a stiffer target but for a bogey at the 17th and his birdie putt at the last lipping out. Daly was out in 38 before finding form on the way home. His birdie attempt on the 18th from 12 yards just dropped into the hole and with a 72 he had pipped Horne by one on 293.
With the wind strengthening, Daly’s score looked hard to beat. Cotton slipped to a closing 76 and finished four behind in sixth place. Eventually, the only player who could beat Daly was Stranahan, an American amateur who was a runner-up at the Masters earlier in the year. He needed to play the last two holes – the first and second holes as played at Hoylake for the 2006 and 2014 Opens – in one under to tie Daly but three-putted at the 17th. Thinking his chance had gone, Stranahan nevertheless hit a fine drive at the last and needed only a 9-iron for his second shot, which he now needed to hole to tie. It was close, finishing a foot away, but not quite good enough. He went on to finish runner-up again in the 1953 Open and win the British Amateur twice.
|2||Frank STRANAHAN (A)||USA||71||79||72||72||294|