Reg Whitcombe

1938 / Royal St George's

Calm, sunny weather over the first two days gave way to one of the worst storms ever to hit The Open for the final day at Royal St George’s in 1938. 

Surviving from the wreckage was Reg Whitcombe, who won by two strokes from Jimmy Adams and by three from reiging Champion Golfer Henry Cotton.

So strong was the wind that the huge Exhibition Tent, the largest ever seen at The Open, was ripped apart and the debris was scattered all over the course, and as far as the clubhouse at Prince’s a mile away. 

With the wind at his back, Alf Padgham drove the green at the 384-yard 11th and sank the putt for a two. 

Coming in the other direction, Cyril Tolley saw his second shot at the 14th clear the water hazard known as the Suez Canal, only to be blown back into the water. There were only nine scores under 80 in the third round and only seven in the final round. 

Only the top-three finishers had two apiece and they were the only ones to finish with a total under 300.

Whitcombe was the youngest of three brothers in a distinguished golfing family from the West Country. 

Charles finished tenth and Ernest 19th but it was Reg who won nothing but praise from his fellow professionals for the way he handled the worst of the storm. Nevertheless he had two four-putts, at the 9th in the third round and at the 1st in the final round.

He was one behind after two rounds of 71 and when the weather turned added scores of 75 and 78 for a total of 295. 

His tally of 153 for the last day was bettered only by Cotton’s 151. A 74 in the final round was an outstanding effort by Cotton but he had started too far back, while Adams had two 78s.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Reg WHITCOMBE
1
71
71
75
78
295
-
Jimmy ADAMS
2
70
71
78
78
297
-
3
74
73
77
74
298
-
John J. BUSSON
4
71
69
83
80
303
-
Allan DAILEY
4
73
72
80
78
303
-
4
74
72
75
82
303
-
4
71
69
78
85
303
-
Fred BULLOCK
8
73
74
77
80
304
-
Bill COX
8
70
70
84
80
304
-
Bert GADD
10
71
70
84
80
305
-
10
73
72
81
79
305
-
Charles WHITCOMBE
10
71
75
79
80
305
-
Dai REES
13
73
72
79
83
307
-
Sid BREWS
13
76
70
84
77
307
-
15
71
74
77
86
308
-
Hamish BALLINGALL
15
76
72
83
77
308
-
Arthur LACEY
17
74
72
82
81
309
-
Bill SHANKLAND
18
74
72
84
81
311
-
Ernest WHITCOMBE
19
70
77
83
82
312
-
J.L. BLACK
20
72
72
83
86
313
-
P.J. MAHON
20
73
74
83
83
313
-
Jack MCLEAN
22
72
74
83
85
314
-
W.M. HASTINGS
23
74
74
83
84
315
-
Sam KING
23
74
73
83
85
315
-
Marcel DALLEMAGNE
23
70
74
86
85
315
-
E.F. STOREY
26
77
71
84
84
316
-
John FALLON
26
70
75
82
89
316
-
R.H. PEMBERTON
28
74
72
91
80
317
-
Ernest KENYON
28
77
71
86
83
317
-
Cyril TOLLEY
28
77
68
86
86
317
-
Alfred G. BECK
31
76
72
84
86
318
-
Norman SUTTON
32
72
75
87
85
319
-
Hector THOMSON
32
77
71
82
89
319
-
R.G. FRENCH
32
72
71
91
85
319
-
Tom HALIBURTON
35
72
74
88
86
320
-
John PENNINK
36
74
72
86
90
322
-
V. GREENHALGH
NR
75
73
84
-
-
-
William BRANCH
M/C
76
73
-
-
-
M/C
William NOLAN
M/C
75
74
-
-
-
M/C
Edward JARMAN
M/C
71
78
-
-
-
M/C
J.A. JACOBS
M/C
76
73
-
-
-
M/C
D.J. CHRISTIE
M/C
71
78
-
-
-
M/C
H. HATTERSLEY
M/C
74
76
-
-
-
M/C
Jimmy BRUEN JR
M/C
70
80
-
-
-
M/C
Jack CAWSEY
M/C
76
74
-
-
-
M/C
A.S. ANDERSON
M/C
76
74
-
-
-
M/C
Arthur LEES
M/C
75
75
-
-
-
M/C
Reg COX
M/C
75
75
-
-
-
M/C
Syd EASTERBROOK
M/C
76
74
-
-
-
M/C
Sam ROBERTS
M/C
72
78
-
-
-
M/C
A.G. MATTHEWS
M/C
73
77
-
-
-
M/C
C.A. WINKS
M/C
77
73
-
-
-
M/C
G.M. WHITE
M/C
78
72
-
-
-
M/C
Eddie WHITCOMBE
M/C
77
74
-
-
-
M/C
Walter SMITHERS
M/C
73
78
-
-
-
M/C
William DAVIS
M/C
78
73
-
-
-
M/C
Fred BRADBEER
M/C
76
75
-
-
-
M/C
Gregor MCINTOSH
M/C
75
76
-
-
-
M/C
William MCMINN
M/C
74
77
-
-
-
M/C
Leonard CRAWLEY
M/C
78
73
-
-
-
M/C
Cecil DENNY
M/C
76
75
-
-
-
M/C
George HUTTON
M/C
78
73
-
-
-
M/C
Flory VAN DONCK
M/C
79
73
-
-
-
M/C
Frank HILL
M/C
79
73
-
-
-
M/C
J.M. MCMILLAN
M/C
76
76
-
-
-
M/C
Michael BINGHAM
M/C
80
72
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
74
78
-
-
-
M/C
Aubrey BOOMER
M/C
79
73
-
-
-
M/C
H.R. MANTON
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
J.S. HUGHES
M/C
76
76
-
-
-
M/C
Ernest CAWSEY
M/C
78
75
-
-
-
M/C
M.J. RYAN
M/C
76
77
-
-
-
M/C
Eric Martin SMITH
M/C
79
74
-
-
-
M/C
William H. DAVIES
M/C
79
74
-
-
-
M/C
James H. BUSSON JR
M/C
78
75
-
-
-
M/C
J. KNIPE
M/C
75
79
-
-
-
M/C
A.S.G. THOMPSON
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Reg HORNE
M/C
80
74
-
-
-
M/C
A.E. WHITING
M/C
81
73
-
-
-
M/C
E. GIBBS
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
F.H.G. WALLIS
M/C
78
76
-
-
-
M/C
R.T. PLUMBRIDGE
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
S. TAGGART
M/C
82
73
-
-
-
M/C
William LAIDLAW
M/C
76
79
-
-
-
M/C
William TWINE
M/C
76
79
-
-
-
M/C
D.H. LEWIS
M/C
72
83
-
-
-
M/C
W.G. SAUNDERS
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
Jack SEAGER
M/C
76
79
-
-
-
M/C
T.E ODAMS
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
F.G.C. WEARE
M/C
76
80
-
-
-
M/C
J.M. HICKMAN
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
A. LACINIK
M/C
77
80
-
-
-
M/C
C.W. THOMSON
M/C
82
75
-
-
-
M/C
D.G. TWINE
M/C
78
79
-
-
-
M/C
E.S. NUGENT HEAD
M/C
77
80
-
-
-
M/C
J.A. FLAHERTY
M/C
82
75
-
-
-
M/C
Fred TAGGART
M/C
79
78
-
-
-
M/C
Arthur HAVERS
M/C
78
79
-
-
-
M/C
Andrew PEACOCK
M/C
80
77
-
-
-
M/C
Tom BURRELL
M/C
79
78
-
-
-
M/C
William OKE
M/C
77
81
-
-
-
M/C
W.C. THOMAS
M/C
78
80
-
-
-
M/C
G.N. ROFFE
M/C
81
77
-
-
-
M/C
N.F. THOMPSON
M/C
83
76
-
-
-
M/C
A.J. BAKER
M/C
81
78
-
-
-
M/C
Lister HARTLEY
M/C
75
84
-
-
-
M/C
C.C. TAYLOR
M/C
82
77
-
-
-
M/C
L.C. NUNNELEY
M/C
78
81
-
-
-
M/C
A.D. CAIRNCROSS
M/C
83
76
-
-
-
M/C
A.C. CRITCHLEY
M/C
78
81
-
-
-
M/C
E. WATSON
M/C
76
83
-
-
-
M/C
Fred ROBERTSON
M/C
84
76
-
-
-
M/C
Keith DALBY
M/C
81
80
-
-
-
M/C
Douglas GRANT
M/C
81
80
-
-
-
M/C
J. GRAHAM
M/C
82
79
-
-
-
M/C
A.W. WHYTE
M/C
84
80
-
-
-
M/C
H. PROWSE
M/C
83
81
-
-
-
M/C
T.S. MACKAY
M/C
87
78
-
-
-
M/C
R.R. KELLY
Scr
86
-
-
-
-
M/C
Fred ROBSON
Scr
81
-
-
-
-
M/C

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