Kel Nagle

Kel Nagle was a surprise winner of the Centenary Open at St Andrews in 1960 but it was a deserved victory as he held off the mighty Arnold Palmer by a stroke.
  • He won at least one event each year from 1949 to 1975

    Did you know?

  • 83

    Professional wins

  • Nagle had never finished in the top-10 at a major before his Open win

    Fun fact

Kel Nagle was a surprise winner of the Centenary Open at St Andrews in 1960 but it was a deserved victory as he held off the mighty Arnold Palmer by a stroke.

Palmer was in his pomp, and having just won the Masters and the US Open was hoping to achieve a modern “Grand Slam”. It was his first appearance in The Open and a typically exciting charge on the back nine wowed a new set of fans at the Home of Golf.

Nagle knew exactly what the cheers from the 18th green meant as he faced a ten-footer for a 4 at the 17th. He bravely holed the putt and made a par at the last for his greatest triumph. He was 39 years old and had previously played in only two Opens over nine years.

Nagle

The Australian had only turned professional at 25 and had limited success at first but won the Canada Cup, as the World Cup of Golf was then called, with Peter Thomson in 1954 and 1959.

After the latter victory at Royal Melbourne, five-time Open Champion Thomson told his partner: “You’re playing well. You’re driving well, your irons are good and you’re putting well. You can win The Open.”

He also showed the eventual Champion all the tricks of the Old Course in their practice rounds. Nagle returned to The Open regularly. He was fifth, second and fourth in the next three years, fifth in 1965 and fourth in 1966 and finished 11th as a 50-year-old in 1971.

He tied with Gary Player at the 1965 US Open but lost an 18-hole play-off the next day. Player said: “I can honestly say I never met anybody in my life that didn’t really like Kel Nagle.”

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
St Andrews 1984
M/C
84
75
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1978
M/C
76
83
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Birkdale 1976
M/C
81
74
-
-
-
M/C
Carnoustie 1975
40
72
73
73
75
293
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1974
WD
78
78
83
-
-
-
Royal Troon 1973
39
74
76
73
73
296
-
Muirfield 1972
31
79
72
74
69
294
-
Royal Birkdale 1971
11
70
75
73
69
287
-
St Andrews 1970
32
71
74
73
79
297
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1969
9
74
71
72
70
287
-
Carnoustie 1968
13
74
75
75
74
298
-
Royal Liverpool 1967
22
70
74
69
79
292
-
Muirfield 1966
4
72
68
76
70
286
-
Royal Birkdale 1965
5
74
70
73
72
289
-
St Andrews 1964
45
77
76
80
80
313
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1963
4
69
70
73
71
283
-
Royal Troon 1962
2
71
71
70
70
282
-
Royal Birkdale 1961
5
68
75
75
71
289
-
St Andrews 1960
1
69
67
71
71
278
-
St Andrews 1955
19
72
72
74
74
292
-
Royal Portrush 1951
19
76
76
72
75
299
-

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