Henry Cotton

Henry Cotton’s three Open victories made him the greatest British player of his generation, a link between the Great Triumvirate of Vardon, Taylor and Braid, and Nick Faldo in more modern times.
  • Cotton was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1980

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  • 37

    PROFESSIONAL WINS

  • The famous 'Dunlop 65' ball was issued after his round at the Open

    Fun fact

Henry Cotton’s three Open victories made him the greatest British player of his generation, a link between the Great Triumvirate of Vardon, Taylor and Braid, and Nick Faldo in more modern times.

A public school-educated Londoner, Cotton was a showman who loved doing everything in style. He drove a Rolls Royce, stayed at the best hotels, was engaged by the most glamorous clubs, including Royal Waterloo in Belgium, and gave fabulous dinner parties.

But he also worked assiduously on his golf and had the blisters to show for it. If he was not practising by moonlight at Rye, he was hitting into car tyres to strengthen his wrists. From 1930 until 1952 his worst finish in The Open was 13th, the only time he was outside the top ten.

Cotton

At Sandwich in 1934 he scored a record 65 in the second round, after which Dunlop named their most popular ball. He led by ten strokes with a round to play but nerves and stomach cramps afflicted him during a closing 79, though that was still good enough for a five-stroke victory.

His victory ended a decade of American domination of The Open and in 1937 at Carnoustie he defeated the might of the US Ryder Cup team, including Masters Champion Byron Nelson, and survived in vile conditions which almost saw the course declared unplayable due to flooding.

He returned after the war to win again at Muirfield in 1948 at the age of 41, leading after a 66 in the second round watched by King George VI. He spent much of his later life at Penina, in Portugal, where he designed the course, and helped set up the Golf Foundation. He was became the first golfer knighted for his services to the game shortly before his death at the age of 80.

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Turnberry 1977
M/C
93
82
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Birkdale 1961
32
76
77
74
77
304
-
Muirfield 1959
41
71
75
77
77
300
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1958
8
68
75
69
72
284
-
St Andrews 1957
9
74
72
69
72
287
-
Royal Liverpool 1956
6
72
76
71
74
293
-
St Andrews 1955
32
70
72
78
76
296
-
Royal Birkdale 1954
M/C
77
76
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1952
4
75
74
74
71
294
-
Muirfield 1948
1
71
66
75
72
284
-
Royal Liverpool 1947
6
69
78
74
76
297
-
St Andrews 1946
4
70
70
76
79
295
-
St Andrews 1939
13
74
72
76
76
298
-
Royal St George's 1938
3
74
73
77
74
298
-
Carnoustie 1937
1
74
72
73
71
290
-
Royal Liverpool 1936
3
73
72
70
74
289
-
Muirfield 1935
7
68
74
76
75
293
-
Royal St George's 1934
1
67
65
72
79
283
-
St Andrews 1933
7
73
71
72
79
295
-
Princes 1932
10
74
72
77
72
295
-
Carnoustie 1931
10
72
75
79
76
302
-
Royal Liverpool 1930
8
70
79
77
73
299
-
Muirfield 1929
32
79
73
82
80
314
-
Royal St George's 1928
18
77
75
83
75
310
-
St Andrews 1927
9
73
72
77
76
298
-

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