Max Faulkner

Max Faulkner

Between Henry Cotton in 1948 and Tony Jacklin in 1969, the only British winner of The Open was Max Faulkner in 1951 at Royal Portrush.
  • Faulkner very rarely used a conventional set of clubs

    Fun fact

  • 19

    Professional wins

  • He played in five Ryder Cups against the Americans

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Faulkner wins in 1951 at Royal Portrush

It's been 68 years since The Open was last staged in Northern Ireland, with Englishman Max Faulkner capturing the Claret Jug.

Between Henry Cotton in 1948 and Tony Jacklin in 1969, the only British winner of The Open was Max Faulkner in 1951 at Royal Portrush.

Ironically, his victory came on the only occasion The Open has so far not been played in Scotland or England, although a return to Portrush for a future Open has been announced. Faulkner was the son of a golf professional and was a PT instructor in the RAF during the war.

He dressed in colourful outfits, in contrast to the sombre attire of the time, and was a flamboyant character. It was readily believed that he had signed autographs with the addendum: “Open Champion 1951” on the evening before the final two rounds.

Faulkner

More prosaically, when a young boy asked for an autograph when he led by six after three rounds, the boy’s father asked for the addendum because, “you are going to win, aren’t you?” Faulkner did as requested but then thought: “My God, I’d better not lose now.” It is also possible the whole thing was dreamt up by his ghostwriter on a London newspaper, Ian Wooldridge.

Faulkner was a superb putter, and took only 105 putts over four rounds as he beat Antonio Cerda by two strokes. “It was all I ever wanted. The Open meant everything to me,” he said. It is estimated that he made more than 300 putters in his workshop. A particular favourite had a head that he fashioned from a piece of driftwood with a billiard cue as a shaft.

He played in the Ryder Cup five times and later helped coach his son-in-law, Brain Barnes, another flamboyant character. He played in his first Open in 1934 and his last in 1975. The day after his victory, he was playing in a Father-Sons cricket match at his son’s school.

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Carnoustie 1975
M/C
75
80
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1974
WD
78
77
79
-
-
-
Royal Troon 1973
M/C
78
75
-
-
-
M/C
Muirfield 1972
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Birkdale 1971
M/C
77
80
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1970
M/C
74
76
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1969
30
71
74
76
74
295
-
Carnoustie 1968
M/C
74
82
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Liverpool 1967
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Muirfield 1966
M/C
82
71
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Birkdale 1965
10
74
72
74
73
293
-
St Andrews 1964
38
73
73
80
78
304
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1963
20
77
71
71
74
293
-
Royal Troon 1962
M/C
84
77
-
-
-
M/C
Muirfield 1959
M/C
74
75
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1958
16
68
71
71
78
288
-
St Andrews 1957
9
74
70
71
72
287
-
St Andrews 1955
35
73
74
74
76
297
-
Royal Birkdale 1954
20
73
78
69
73
293
-
Carnoustie 1953
12
74
71
73
77
295
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1952
17
72
76
79
73
300
-
Royal Portrush 1951
1
71
70
70
74
285
-
Royal Troon 1950
5
72
70
70
71
283
-
Royal St George's 1949
6
71
71
71
74
287
-
Muirfield 1948
15
75
71
74
74
294
-
Royal Liverpool 1947
32
78
76
81
79
314
-
St Andrews 1946
M/C
78
79
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1939
23
70
76
76
80
302
-
Carnoustie 1937
M/C
76
83
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Liverpool 1936
21
74
75
77
75
301
-
Royal St George's 1934
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C

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