Bobby Locke became the first South African to win The Open at Royal St George’s in 1949, beating Harry Bradshaw in a 36-hole play-off by 12 strokes after the pair had tied on a total of 283.
It was the first of four titles for Locke, but the Irishman’s best chance of claiming the Claret Jug was not helped by a bizarre incident in the second round.
On the 5th hole Bradshaw pushed his drive into the rough and his ball ended up in the bottom of a broken beer bottle.
Unsure of the rule – he was entitled to relief but the wording at the time was ambiguous – and there not being a referee nearby to consult, Bradshaw shut his eyes tight and swung at the bottle.
With glass shattering everywhere, he moved his ball around 25 yards and ended up with a six. It took him a few holes to regain his composure and he ended with a 77.
Both Bradshaw and Locke were five behind going into the last day and produced morning rounds of 68 to share the lead with Max Faulkner. The Englishman fell away with a 74 and Roberto de Vicenzo took third place with a 69.
Bradshaw set the target with a 70 but after going out in 32, Locke kept dropping shots and had to birdie the 17th, with a 7-iron to eight feet, to force the tie.
Locke was scintillating in the play-off, scoring rounds of 67 and 68 for a 135 total, while Bradshaw scored 74-73.
At the 14th in the morning, where Locke had gone out of bounds in the first round, the South African hit a 4-iron from 200 yards to a couple of feet for an eagle-three, while Bradshaw took a six. The gap only grew and grew after that.