The 1952 Open Championship was the 81st Open Championship, held from 9–11 July at the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lytham St Annes, England. Bobby Locke won the third of his four Claret Jugs, one stroke ahead of runner-up Peter Thomson. This was the first of seven consecutive Opens in which Thomson finished as champion or runner-up. This was the second Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes; it hosted 26 years earlier in 1926.
274 players entered compared to the 148 the previous year when it was held in Northern Ireland. Through an error the initial entry did not include Antonio Cerdá who was runner-up the previous year. The Championship committee used its discretion to allow him a late entry. Qualifying took place on 7–8 July. Entries played 18 holes at Royal Lytham & St Annes and 18 holes at Fairhaven. The number of qualifiers was limited to a maximum of 100. Ties for 100th place would not qualify. The qualifying score was 152 and 96 players qualified. John Panton led the qualifiers scoring 134 with Harry Bradshaw next on 136. The maximum number of players making the cut after 36 holes remained at 50. Ties for 50th place did not make the cut.
On a day of low scoring, Fred Daly led after the first round with a 67 with Peter Thomson on 68 and Bobby Locke on 69. Daly increased his lead on the second day after a 69. Locke was four behind with Thomson a further stroke behind. English amateur Jackie Jones was tied for 4th place, seven shots behind Daly.
There was a stronger wind on the third day and after the morning rounds Daly still led on 213 after scoring 77. Locke had closed to one shot after a 74. Thomson was five behind Daly on 218 and four behind Locke despite going out of bounds at the second hole. Harry Bradshaw and Sam King came next on 219. Locke, starting an hour before Daly, began 3-4-3 and reached the turn in 34. Daly was out in 37 and a victory for Locke seemed likely. However he finished with two 5s and Daly still had a change to catch him. However Daly took 6 at the 15th and despite finishing 3-4-4 ended up two shots behind. Thomson seemed to be out of contention after going out in 36, 6 shots behind Locke at the same stage. However he came home in 34 with a birdie 3 at the last to take second place from Daly, just a shot behind Locke. Henry Cotton had best score on the final day (74-71) but had been 13 behind Daly after the first two rounds. He eventually finished fourth. Jones partnered Locke on the final day and, despite rounds of 78 and 83, held onto the position of leading amateur, winning the silver medal.
Only five Americans were in the field; the top finisher was Willie Goggin, in his first Open Championship at age 46.