Henry Cotton

1948 / Muirfield

Henry Cotton’s third Open title in 1948 at Muirfield at the age of 41 established beyond doubt his position as the finest British golfer since the Great Triumvirate of Vardon, Taylor and Braid. 

He lost what would have been some of the best years of his career to the war and there were suggestions he was on the decline despite finishing fourth and sixth in the first two Opens after WWII. 

He practised hard prior to arriving at Muirfield and opened with a 71 but it was a 66 in the second round that put him in front for good. 

He had matching halves of 33 and though there were five other scores under 70 that day, none of them came from anyone ahead of him on the leaderboard. 

It was an exemplary performance to set before King George VI who watched all the way round. 

It was a record for Muirfield and the only score better in the history of The Open was Cotton’s own 65 at Sandwich in 1934.

Cotton led by four at the halfway stage but a 75 in poor weather on the final morning meant his advantage was cut in half. 

Alf Padgham, the 1936 Champion Golfer, was his nearest rival but 77 in the final round dropped him to joint seventh. 

Cotton returned a 72 for a total of 284. As he was home early in the afternoon, he had to wait to see if anyone could beat him but no-one got closer than reigning Champion Golfer Fred Daly, who finished five behind. 

Roberto de Vicenzo, on his debut, was among those tying for third.

It had taken 11 years for Cotton to regain the Claret Jug, a record for The Open although there were no Championships between 1940 and 1945. Ernie Els regained the title after ten years in 2012.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Sir Henry COTTON
1
71
66
75
72
284
-
2
72
71
73
73
289
-
Charlie WARD
3
69
72
75
74
290
-
3
70
73
72
75
290
-
Norman VON NIDA
3
71
72
76
71
290
-
Jack HARGREAVES
3
76
68
73
73
290
-
Flory VAN DONCK
7
69
73
73
76
291
-
Sam KING
7
69
72
74
76
291
-
Johnny BULLA
7
74
72
73
72
291
-
7
73
70
71
77
291
-
E.C. KINGSLEY
11
77
69
77
70
293
-
Arthur LEES
11
73
69
73
78
293
-
A. WATERS
11
75
71
70
77
293
-
Mario GONZALES
11
76
72
70
75
293
-
15
75
71
74
74
294
-
Dai REES
15
73
71
76
74
294
-
Eddie WHITCOMBE
15
74
73
73
74
294
-
18
74
70
74
77
295
-
Frank JOWLE
18
70
78
74
73
295
-
18
77
67
77
74
295
-
Ken BOUSFIELD
21
76
71
73
76
296
-
John FALLON
21
73
74
74
75
296
-
23
77
71
76
73
297
-
Frank STRANAHAN
23
77
71
75
74
297
-
Tom HALIBURTON
23
73
74
76
74
297
-
Norman SUTTON
23
72
73
77
75
297
-
Claude HARMON
27
75
73
78
72
298
-
Otway HAYES
28
74
73
75
78
300
-
Reg HORNE
28
71
77
73
79
300
-
Harold GOULD
30
75
73
78
75
301
-
Arthur CLARK
30
74
71
75
81
301
-
Robert CRUIKSHANK
32
74
74
77
77
302
-
Lawson LITTLE
32
72
76
76
78
302
-
W.S. COLLINS
32
77
69
77
79
302
-
Charles WHITCOMBE
32
74
72
75
81
302
-
W.B. LYLE
36
72
75
80
80
307
-
George JOHNSON
M/C
75
74
-
-
-
M/C
Harry BRADSHAW
M/C
75
74
-
-
-
M/C
S.B. WILLIAMSON
M/C
75
74
-
-
-
M/C
Jimmy ADAMS
M/C
75
74
-
-
-
M/C
T. GARDNER
M/C
74
75
-
-
-
M/C
J. KNIPE
M/C
73
76
-
-
-
M/C
Arthur LACEY
M/C
72
77
-
-
-
M/C
T.W. ALLEN
M/C
74
75
-
-
-
M/C
A.G. HARRISON
M/C
76
74
-
-
-
M/C
Jimmy THOMSON
M/C
74
76
-
-
-
M/C
Laurie AYTON JR
M/C
74
76
-
-
-
M/C
T.H.T. FAIRBAIRN
M/C
75
75
-
-
-
M/C
R. PATTINSON
M/C
75
76
-
-
-
M/C
George MACKIE
M/C
77
74
-
-
-
M/C
Percy ALLISS
M/C
76
75
-
-
-
M/C
G.A. MAISEY
M/C
77
75
-
-
-
M/C
Eric BROWN
M/C
77
75
-
-
-
M/C
Charles ROTAR
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
James H. BUSSON JR
M/C
73
80
-
-
-
M/C
E.A. SOUTHERDEN
M/C
74
79
-
-
-
M/C
Fred BULLOCK
M/C
79
74
-
-
-
M/C
J. WOODMAN
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
Walter LEES
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
A.S. TIBBLES
M/C
74
79
-
-
-
M/C
Ted MCNEILL
M/C
80
73
-
-
-
M/C
F.G. ALLOTT
M/C
77
76
-
-
-
M/C
H. COLEMAN
M/C
78
76
-
-
-
M/C
J.S. ANDERSON
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
Thomas SPENCE
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
Basil SHEPARD
M/C
80
74
-
-
-
M/C
Eric GREEN
M/C
82
72
-
-
-
M/C
John PANTON
M/C
80
74
-
-
-
M/C
J. CARROLL
M/C
78
76
-
-
-
M/C
J.A. JACOBS
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
H.E. OSBORNE
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
B.G. PRESTON
M/C
76
79
-
-
-
M/C
Frank DENNIS
M/C
79
76
-
-
-
M/C
David C. LOUDEN
M/C
76
80
-
-
-
M/C
William ANDERSON
M/C
79
77
-
-
-
M/C
John J. BUSSON
M/C
77
79
-
-
-
M/C
David S GOVAN
M/C
81
76
-
-
-
M/C
Roger JENNINGS
M/C
78
79
-
-
-
M/C
A.M. ROBERTSON
M/C
77
80
-
-
-
M/C
Cecil DENNY
M/C
83
74
-
-
-
M/C
Gregor MCINTOSH
M/C
78
80
-
-
-
M/C
Brodie A. LENNOX
M/C
79
79
-
-
-
M/C
J.L. BLACK
M/C
78
80
-
-
-
M/C
Jock HENDERSON
M/C
79
79
-
-
-
M/C
Allan DAILEY
M/C
80
78
-
-
-
M/C
C.W.W. RIGBY
M/C
77
82
-
-
-
M/C
Pietro MANCA
M/C
77
82
-
-
-
M/C
Tom COLLINGE
M/C
80
79
-
-
-
M/C
Hector THOMSON
M/C
78
81
-
-
-
M/C
Ugo GRAPPASONNI
M/C
81
78
-
-
-
M/C
G. ROBERTSON-DURHAM
M/C
79
81
-
-
-
M/C
J. MORRIS
M/C
78
82
-
-
-
M/C
A.S. FLOCKHART
M/C
83
78
-
-
-
M/C
Keith DALBY
M/C
81
80
-
-
-
M/C
Gerry DE WIT
M/C
78
83
-
-
-
M/C
Arthur PEROWNE
M/C
79
84
-
-
-
M/C
Norman QUIGLEY
M/C
80
84
-
-
-
M/C

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