BillRogersOpen1981Cropped

1981 / Royal St George's

The Open returned to Royal St George’s for the first time in 32 years after new road links had made Sandwich more accessible.

A new generation of professionals would get to know the links and it was one with no prior knowledge who triumphed.

Bill Rogers, who had won the World Match Play at Wentworth two years before, was only playing after his friend and fellow Texan Ben Crenshaw persuaded him to come over.

Rogers almost missed his tee-time on the first day, but it had nothing to do with his unfamiliarity with the venue and everything to do with mis-reading the starting list.

He was on the practice putting green when journalist John Whitbread noticed he was in the wrong place and Rogers ran to the first tee just in time.

Four rounds later, after playing the golf of his life, Rogers admitted it would have been a completely different story had Whitbread not intervened.

“I got the times wrong,” he said. “I panicked, ran off the green and made it on to the tee in time There’s no doubt that if John hadn’t told me I would have been DQ’ed. Instead I won.”

Jack Nicklaus’s 83 in terrible weather on the first day was the worst score of his professional career. The Bear still made the cut with a 66 the next day, which was matched by Rogers.

It moved the Texan to the top of the leaderboard, one ahead of Crenshaw but in the third round Crenshaw spoilt his chances with a 76 while Rogers added a 67 to take a five-stroke lead over Mark James and Bernhard Langer.

When Rogers had a double bogey at the seventh, Langer had cut his lead to one but the American made birdies at the ninth, 10th and 12th holes to draw away again.

Having been runner-up in the US Open the previous month, Rogers went on to win by four strokes from Langer, who would also finish in the top-three in his next two visits to Sandwich, and by seven from James and Ray Floyd. It was his second appearance in The Open but he would make only five more.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Bill ROGERS
1
72
66
67
71
276
-
Bernhard LANGER
2
73
67
70
70
280
-
Ray FLOYD
3
74
70
69
70
283
-
Mark JAMES
3
72
70
68
73
283
-
Sam TORRANCE
5
72
69
73
70
284
-
Bruce LIETZKE
6
76
69
71
69
285
-
Manuel PINERO
6
73
74
68
70
285
-
Brian JONES
8
73
76
66
71
286
-
Howard CLARK
8
72
76
70
68
286
-
Ben CRENSHAW
8
72
67
76
71
286
-
Isao AOKI
11
71
73
69
74
287
-
11
77
67
70
73
287
-
11
77
68
69
73
287
-
14
73
73
71
71
288
-
Eamonn DARCY
14
79
69
70
70
288
-
David GRAHAM
14
71
71
74
72
288
-
Brian BARNES
14
76
70
70
72
288
-
Nick JOB
14
70
69
75
74
288
-
Peter TOWNSEND
19
73
70
73
73
289
-
Graham MARSH
19
75
71
72
71
289
-
Jerry PATE
19
73
73
69
74
289
-
Gordon J. BRAND
19
78
65
74
72
289
-
23
73
69
75
73
290
-
23
77
68
76
69
290
-
Hubert GREEN
23
75
72
74
69
290
-
23
71
71
73
75
290
-
23
72
74
73
71
290
-
Mark MCNULTY
23
74
74
74
68
290
-
23
83
66
71
70
290
-
Simon OWEN
23
71
74
70
75
290
-
Trevor POWELL
31
75
68
73
75
291
-
31
72
75
72
72
291
-
John MORGAN
31
77
72
73
69
291
-
Des SMYTH
31
77
67
73
74
291
-
Tommy HORTON
35
75
73
73
71
292
-
35
77
71
71
73
292
-
Billy DUNK
35
76
67
77
72
292
-
Masashi OZAKI
35
75
72
71
74
292
-
39
75
72
74
72
293
-
39
71
73
73
76
293
-
Florentino MOLINA
39
78
68
74
73
293
-
Neil COLES
39
74
73
73
73
293
-
Rodger DAVIS
39
74
71
74
74
293
-
Terry GALE
44
73
73
71
77
294
-
Ken BROWN
44
74
72
74
74
294
-
Ron STRECK
44
78
70
72
74
294
-
Hal SUTTON
47
71
77
73
74
295
-
Jaime GONZALEZ
47
76
70
76
73
295
-
47
74
73
73
75
295
-
David THORP
50
76
69
74
77
296
-
Brian WAITES
50
75
69
74
78
296
-
David JONES
50
77
71
74
74
296
-
Eddie POLLAND
53
75
75
72
75
297
-
Mike FERGUSON
53
75
72
71
79
297
-
Garry CULLEN
53
78
70
73
76
297
-
Warren HUMPHREYS
56
76
71
74
77
298
-
Noel HUNT
56
74
73
75
76
298
-
Geoff GODWIN
58
75
71
72
81
299
-
John O'LEARY
58
73
74
75
77
299
-
Payne STEWART
58
73
75
74
77
299
-
Dick MCCLEAN
61
75
73
72
83
303
-
Stephen KEPPLER
WD
79
71
73
-
-
-
Vicente FERNANDEZ
WD
70
75
78
-
-
-
Peter OOSTERHUIS
WD
74
75
74
-
-
-
John FOWLER
WD
74
73
76
-
-
-
WD
81
68
75
-
-
-
Martin POXON
WD
76
74
75
-
-
-
John BLAND
WD
75
75
75
-
-
-
Duncan EVANS
WD
79
69
77
-
-
-
Jose Maria CANIZARES
WD
77
70
78
-
-
-
Massimo MANNELLI
WD
75
74
76
-
-
-
Ian YOUNG
WD
76
74
75
-
-
-
Ross DRUMMOND
WD
78
72
76
-
-
-
Roger CHAPMAN
WD
76
74
76
-
-
-
Philip WALTON
WD
77
73
76
-
-
-
David JAGGER
WD
72
74
80
-
-
-
Tienie BRITZ
WD
73
76
77
-
-
-
Noel RATCLIFFE
WD
77
70
79
-
-
-
Mark THOMAS
WD
77
70
80
-
-
-
Stewart GINN
WD
79
71
78
-
-
-
Maurice BEMBRIDGE
WD
75
74
80
-
-
-
Jimmy HEGGARTY
DQ
75
72
-
-
-
M/C
Philip CLARK
DQ
75
74
-
-
-
M/C
Craig STADLER
M/C
83
68
-
-
-
M/C
Steve MARTIN
M/C
79
72
-
-
-
M/C
Bernard GALLACHER
M/C
79
72
-
-
-
M/C
Ross WHITEHEAD
M/C
76
75
-
-
-
M/C
Chris MOODY
M/C
75
76
-
-
-
M/C
Mike STEADMAN
M/C
79
72
-
-
-
M/C
Andrew PAYNE
M/C
74
77
-
-
-
M/C
Robert MITCHELL
M/C
78
74
-
-
-
M/C
Gordon BRAND JR
M/C
77
75
-
-
-
M/C
Lawrence FARMER
M/C
77
75
-
-
-
M/C
Antonio GARRIDO
M/C
78
74
-
-
-
M/C
Hugh BAIOCCHI
M/C
76
76
-
-
-
M/C
Juan ANGLADA
M/C
77
75
-
-
-
M/C
Andrew SHERBORNE
M/C
74
78
-
-
-
M/C
David J RUSSELL
M/C
79
73
-
-
-
M/C
Dale HAYES
M/C
80
72
-
-
-
M/C
Phil LOXLEY
M/C
77
76
-
-
-
M/C
Mike GALLAGHER
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
Philippe PLOUJOUX
M/C
80
74
-
-
-
M/C
Bobby LINCOLN
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Paul THOMAS
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Haruo YASUDA
M/C
75
79
-
-
-
M/C
David INGRAM
M/C
80
74
-
-
-
M/C
Rafe BOTTS
M/C
77
77
-
-
-
M/C
Mike MILLER
M/C
82
72
-
-
-
M/C
Peter BARBER
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Ian MOSEY
M/C
78
76
-
-
-
M/C
Bill MCCOLL
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
Harold HENNING
M/C
73
82
-
-
-
M/C
Manuel CALERO
M/C
81
74
-
-
-
M/C
Stephen ROLLEY
M/C
80
75
-
-
-
M/C
David BLAKEMAN
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
Carlo KNAUSS
M/C
79
76
-
-
-
M/C
Charles COX
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
Tim PLANCHIN
M/C
76
79
-
-
-
M/C
R. W. SEAMER
M/C
79
76
-
-
-
M/C
Gordon MANSON
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
Garry LOGAN
M/C
81
74
-
-
-
M/C
Bill LONGMUIR
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
Brian LAWSON
M/C
82
74
-
-
-
M/C
David WILLIAMS
M/C
82
74
-
-
-
M/C
Paul CARRIGILL
M/C
80
76
-
-
-
M/C
Andrew CHANDLER
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Roger FIDLER
M/C
82
75
-
-
-
M/C
Roger STEPHENS
M/C
77
80
-
-
-
M/C
Stephen LING
M/C
82
75
-
-
-
M/C
Stuart MEIKLEJOHN
M/C
81
76
-
-
-
M/C
Tony MINSHALL
M/C
79
79
-
-
-
M/C
Christopher MITCHELL
M/C
81
77
-
-
-
M/C
Rae SARGENT
M/C
79
79
-
-
-
M/C
David M. EDWARDS
M/C
81
77
-
-
-
M/C
Carl MASON
M/C
82
76
-
-
-
M/C
Manuel BALLESTEROS
M/C
77
81
-
-
-
M/C
Paul FOLEY
M/C
78
81
-
-
-
M/C
Steve BARR
M/C
83
76
-
-
-
M/C
Brian THOMPSON
M/C
80
79
-
-
-
M/C
Graeme POOK
M/C
78
81
-
-
-
M/C
Chris PHILLIPS
M/C
84
76
-
-
-
M/C
John AMBRIDGE
M/C
83
77
-
-
-
M/C
Michael KING
M/C
84
76
-
-
-
M/C
David REGAN
M/C
85
75
-
-
-
M/C
Grahame COWLISHAW
M/C
82
79
-
-
-
M/C
John HEIB
M/C
82
80
-
-
-
M/C
Nick BROWN
M/C
85
77
-
-
-
M/C
Nick BRUNYARD
M/C
81
81
-
-
-
M/C
Andrew GRIFFITHS
M/C
86
77
-
-
-
M/C
Mark LAWRENCE
M/C
83
80
-
-
-
M/C
R. J. HALL
M/C
83
81
-
-
-
M/C
Tore SVILAND
M/C
86
78
-
-
-
M/C
Ian LEE
M/C
91
81
-
-
-
M/C

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