Havers

1923 / Royal Troon

It was left to a young English professional from Coombe Hill, Arthur Havers, to battle the might of the American contenders for the Claret Jug.

Havers’ win at Troon in 1923 was the only home success between George Duncan winning at Deal in 1920 and Henry Cotton’s triumph at Sandwich in 1934.

With a tall, slim build, Havers was not best equipped for the windy conditions of Troon’s first Open but he kept the ball in play with a powerful four-knuckle left-hand grip and opened with three rounds of 73.

Lurking in fourth place, two strokes behind, was Walter Hagen, the defending Champion, who had rounds of 76, 71 and 74.Almost inevitably Hagen piled on the pressure in the final round and when Havers bunkered his second shot to the 18th green it looked as if the door was open.

But Havers was made of sterner stuff and he holed out from the bunker for a 76 to set a target of 295.

Moments later Hagen found the same bunker, but could not match the brilliance of Havers’ recovery, although he came very close. Macdonald Smith was third and Australian Joe Kirkwood fourth.

There was controversy before the start when it was found that the iron clubs of Gene Sarazen and other American players had holes punched deep into the faces, creating backspin and giving great control on the bone-hard greens.

The clubs were declared illegal and there was much late-night work with files brought in from the Glasgow shipyards before the clubs once again conformed.

Sarazen, the US Open and PGA Champion, then failed to qualify in gale-force conditions, in which Aubrey Boomer had the unfortunate experience of blasting his ball from sand only to watch it curl back over his head in the wind and drop into his jacket pocket.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Arthur HAVERS
1
73
73
73
76
295
-
2
76
71
74
75
296
-
Macdonald SMITH
3
80
73
69
75
297
-
Joe KIRKWOOD
4
72
79
69
78
298
-
Tom FERNIE
5
73
78
74
75
300
-
Charles WHITCOMBE
6
70
76
74
82
302
-
6
79
75
74
74
302
-
Abe MITCHELL
8
77
77
72
77
303
-
Herbert JOLLY
8
79
75
75
74
303
-
James MCKENZIE
8
76
78
74
75
303
-
W.M. WATT
8
76
77
72
78
303
-
12
79
75
73
77
304
-
Tom WILLIAMSON
12
79
78
73
74
304
-
Gordon LOCKHART
12
78
71
76
79
304
-
Syd WINGATE
12
80
75
74
75
304
-
Frank BALL
16
76
77
77
75
305
-
Thomas BARBER
16
78
80
76
71
305
-
F. COLLINS
16
76
78
72
79
305
-
T. WALTON
19
77
74
78
77
306
-
Angel DE LA TORRE
19
78
80
74
74
306
-
Johnny FARRELL
19
79
73
75
79
306
-
Sid BREWS
22
77
76
72
82
307
-
22
82
75
74
76
307
-
R. SCOTT JR
22
74
76
79
78
307
-
Leo DIEGEL
25
80
80
73
75
308
-
Len HOLLAND
25
81
75
73
79
308
-
James OCKENDEN
25
78
79
75
76
308
-
F.C. JEWELL
25
80
78
70
80
308
-
George GADD
29
78
76
79
76
309
-
J.W. GAUDIN
29
80
79
76
74
309
-
Reginald WILSON
29
78
77
75
79
309
-
Fred ROBSON
29
82
78
74
75
309
-
George KIRBY
33
77
82
74
77
310
-
Percy ALLISS
33
77
81
77
75
310
-
Cyril TOLLEY
35
81
75
77
79
312
-
H.A. GAUDIN
35
80
76
82
74
312
-
W.L. RITCHIE
37
78
83
73
79
313
-
Alfred MILES
38
77
78
76
83
314
-
Ernest WHITCOMBE
38
83
76
77
78
314
-
G.R. BUCKLE
40
75
79
76
85
315
-
Arthur BUTCHART
40
78
78
82
77
315
-
D.E.B. SOULBY
40
80
82
75
78
315
-
Harry FERNIE
40
80
79
77
79
315
-
George TUCK
44
80
81
79
76
316
-
Mark SEYMOUR
44
84
77
81
74
316
-
James MCDOWALL
44
75
81
80
80
316
-
Hugh ROBERTS
44
73
82
75
86
316
-
44
80
78
79
79
316
-
Harry BALL
49
78
79
80
80
317
-
49
79
85
79
74
317
-
Peter ROBERTSON
49
83
73
83
78
317
-
Jean GASSIAT
49
81
79
79
78
317
-
Charles MCILVENNY
53
79
79
79
81
318
-
A. DAY
53
80
77
76
85
318
-
R. TURNER
53
82
80
76
80
318
-
Stewart BURNS
56
77
79
88
75
319
-
J. BREWS
56
80
77
78
84
319
-
Herbert OSBORNE
56
82
82
78
77
319
-
Archie COMPSTON
59
77
83
77
83
320
-
Charles GADD
59
75
85
80
80
320
-
Arthur YOUNG
59
86
79
74
81
320
-
F.H. FROSTICK
59
84
82
76
78
320
-
William OKE
59
86
78
77
79
320
-
James HORN
59
83
80
74
83
320
-
Michael DARAGON
65
84
84
74
79
321
-
H.C. KINCH
66
81
84
82
75
322
-
Duncan MCCULLOCH
66
84
77
76
85
322
-
Robert BALLANTINE
66
83
78
82
79
322
-
William BEE
66
82
81
76
83
322
-
Fred LEACH
70
79
82
77
85
323
-
J. CAVEN
71
79
80
87
79
325
-
E.P. HANTON
71
81
82
81
81
325
-
A. COUSSIES
71
83
81
78
83
325
-
Albert SEYMOUR
74
81
84
78
83
326
-
Dick WHEILDON
74
83
79
82
82
326
-
H. CRAPPER
74
77
84
80
85
326
-
Dick MAY
74
82
85
79
80
326
-
R.D. VICKERS
78
79
81
82
85
327
-
Leo WALLACE
78
83
85
82
77
327
-
E.H.W. SCOTT
80
84
83
76
85
328
-
Edwin SINCLAIR
80
80
84
76
88
328
-
Jack SEAGER
82
87
79
79
84
329
-
G.F. AULBACH
82
85
89
75
80
329
-
A. WATSON JR
84
82
79
87
82
330
-
A.F. KETTLEY
84
83
77
82
88
330
-
Albert S. TINGEY JR
86
94
76
79
82
331
-
Frank RUTTER
Wd
83
84
-
-
-
M/C
George SMITH
Wd
-
-
-
-
-
M/C

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