70th Open - Muirfield 1935
Alf Perry spoils Cotton's title defence
Alf Perry, the professional at Leatherhead in Surrey, won the 1935 Open at Muirfield. A week later, Fred Perry won the final at Wimbledon for the second of three successive victories. Alf may not have been the most famous Perry in the country but he equaled the Championship record of 283 – not beaten at Muirfield until Jack Nicklaus in 1966 – and won by four strokes from Alf Padgham.
With an opening round of 68 Henry Cotton looked in ominous form in defence of the title he had won for the first time a year earlier. Only a 6 at the last signaled it might not be his title this time. Perry, who lost to Cotton in the final of the PGA Match Play Championship three years earlier, was one behind. Perry was a powerful hitter, with a strong right hand grip and a wide, flat swing, but after two rounds Charles Whitcombe’s 68 put him three shots clear of Cotton and five ahead of Perry. Then it was Perry’s turn for fireworks with a third-round 67 equaling Walter Hagen’s course record and moving him ahead of the field as Cotton slipped to a 76 and Whitcombe to a 73. Perry’s golf was confident and almost casual and he played a succession of fine fairway woods into Muirfield’s longer holes.
A final round of 72, despite starting with a 6 after taking four from the edge of the green, was good enough to hold off all challengers. The steadiest of them was Padgham, who completed rounds of 70, 72, 74 and 71. Whitcombe finished third and Cotton trailed in with a share of seventh place after a final 75. Lawson Little, the American who that year won the British and US Amateur titles for the second year running, finished joint fourth.
|4||Lawson LITTLE (A)||USA||75||71||74||69||289|
|10||Laurie AYTON SR||GBR||74||73||77||71||295|