86th Open - St Andrews 1957
Bobby Locke wins in final green drama
Bobby Locke completed a fourth Open victory in nine years at St Andrews in 1957. Spurred on by missing the cut the previous year at Hoylake, where Peter Thomson had won for the third year in a row, Locke held off the Australian to win by three strokes. Two behind at halfway after scores of 69 and 72, Locke added rounds of 68 and 70 on the final day, a birdie at the last giving him a total of 279, tying his own record from 1950. Thomson, the winner at St Andrews two years earlier, also closed with a 70 but was unable to close the gap on the South African.
In fact, the main drama happened after the close of play when officials received notice that Locke had failed to return his marker to the correct spot after he moved it out of the way of his playing partner on the 18th green. He had holed the four-footer for a 3 and the Championship Committee decreed that no advantage had been gained and that the result, and his three-stroke victory, stood.
This was the first Championship in which the leaders were paired to go out last on the final day – according to the second round leaderboard as 36 holes were still played on the final day. The reason was because the BBC were televising the final stages live for the first time.
It was the only one of Locke’s four titles to be won at St Andrews but in fact this Open was due to be held at Muirfield. However, due to the Suez Canal Crisis, there was rationing of petrol and oil so it was thought easier for players and spectators alike to get to St Andrews, which was still served by a railway line, than the originally proposed venue.
|5||W.D. SMITH (A)||GBR||71||72||72||71||286|
|5||Flory VAN DONCK||BEL||72||68||74||72||286|