79th Open - Royal Troon 1950
Bobby Locke defends his title
Bobby Locke was the first Champion to successfully defend his title since Walter Hagen in 1929. The South African had won regularly in his short spell in America but it was in The Open that he consistently proved his Major credentials. Rounds of 69, 72, 70 and 68 left him two ahead of Roberto de Vicenzo, with the 1947 Champion Fred Daly closing with a 66 to share third place with Dai Rees.
Locke’s total of 279 was a new record for The Championship. Troon was hosting The Open for only the second time, the first being in 1923, and there was hardly any wind during the three days. The fairways were baked but Locke missed only two over the four rounds. The greens, having been well watered during a hot spell of weather, were in perfect condition, which suited such an excellent putter as the South African. Every Christmas from that year onward he sent a card to the club which always bore the same message: “Best wishes for this year and the future. Still the best greens in the world.” His only difficult moment came at the short fifth on the second day, when he fluffed a chip into a bunker and took a 6. He responded by birdieing four of the next six holes.
American Frank Stranahan set a new record score for an amateur in The Open with a 66 in the final round, a mark that stood until 2011. He finished ninth and was also a runner-up twice, in 1947 and 1953. German Amateur Champion Herman Tissies had a less distinguished score at the 123-yard eighth hole, the Postage Stamp. He missed the tiny green in the left-hand bunker and, going from one bunker to another, and back to the first one, he rattled up a 15, achieved with just a single putt.
|2||Roberto DE VICENZO||ARG||72||71||68||70||281|
|9||Frank STRANAHAN (A)||USA||77||70||73||66||286|
|9||Flory VAN DONCK||BEL||73||71||72||70||286|