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1963 Open Championship

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Dates  10–13 July 1963
Length  6,836 yards (6,251 m)
Par  70
1963 Open Championship
Location  Lytham St Annes, England
Course(s)  Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club
Field  120 players, 47 after cut

The 1963 Open Championship was the 92nd Open Championship, held from 10–13 July at the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lytham St Annes, England. Bob Charles won his only major championship in a 36-hole playoff, eight strokes ahead of runner-up Phil Rodgers. Charles was the first left-hander to win a major title. Jack Nicklaus came in third, one stroke out of the playoff. A heavy favourite among the local bettors, Arnold Palmer came up short in his bid for a third straight Open and finished in a tie for 26th.


This was the last 36-hole playoff at The Open, the format was changed to 18 holes the following year and first used in 1970.

The PGA Championship was played the next week in Dallas, Texas, one of five times in the 1960s that these two majors were played in consecutive weeks in July.


For the first time the leading players were exempt from qualifying. 44 players who entered were exempted:

Peter Alliss, Brian Bamford, Michael Bonallack (a), Fred Boobyer, Ken Bousfield, Eric Brown, Peter Butler, Joe Carr (a), Billy Casper, Bob Charles, Neil Coles, Roger Foreman, Jean Garaïalde, Christy Greene, Tom Haliburton, Jimmy Hitchcock, Brian Huggett, Bernard Hunt, Dennis Hutchinson, John Jacobs, Bobby Locke, Jimmy Martin, Cary Middlecoff, Sebastián Miguel, Ralph Moffitt, Kel Nagle, Jack Nicklaus, Christy O'Connor Snr, Arnold Palmer, John Panton, Lionel Platts, Gary Player, Dai Rees, Phil Rodgers, Sandy Saddler (a), Doug Sanders, Syd Scott, Doug Sewell, Dave Thomas, Peter Thomson, Harry Weetman, Ross Whitehead, Brian Wilkes, Guy Wolstenholme

Casper and Middlecoff subsequently withdrew leaving 42 pre-qualified players.

The exemption categories were:

1. The first 20 and those tying for 20th place in the 1962 Open
Peter Alliss, Bob Charles, Roger Foreman, Jean Garaïalde, Brian Huggett, Bernard Hunt, Denis Hutchinson, Jimmy Martin, Sebastian Miguel, Ralph Moffitt, Kel Nagle (3), Christy O'Connor Snr, Arnold Palmer (3,6), John Panton, Phil Rodgers, Syd Scott, Dave Thomas, Peter Thomson (3), Harry Weetman, Ross Whitehead

  • Eligible but did not enter: Sam Snead
  • 2. The first 30 and those tying for 30th place in the P.G.A. Order of Merit for 1962

    3. The last 10 Open champions (1953–62)
    Bobby Locke, Gary Player

  • Eligible but did not enter: Ben Hogan
  • 4. The last 5 Amateur champions (1958–62)
    Michael Bonallack (5) (a), Joe Carr (a)

  • Eligible but did not enter: Deane Beman (7), Richard Davies
  • 5. Members of the 1962 British Eisenhower Cup team
    Sandy Saddler (a)

  • Eligible but did not enter: Martin Christmas, Ronnie Shade
  • 6. The last 10 U.S. Open champions (1953–62)
    Jack Nicklaus

  • Eligible but did not enter: Tommy Bolt, Jack Fleck, Ed Furgol, Ben Hogan, Gene Littler, Dick Mayer
  • Entered but later withdrew: Billy Casper, Cary Middlecoff
  • 7. The last 5 U.S. Amateur champions (1958–62)

  • Eligible but did not enter: Charles Coe, Labron Harris, Jr.
  • Jack Nicklaus had turned professional but was exempt under other categories
  • 8. The first 30 money winners and those tying for 30th place in the U.S.P.G.A. official list for one year ending with the P.G.A. tournament immediately before the closing date of the U.S. Open entries

    Exemptions for amateur champions were only granted if the player was still an amateur.


    Qualification took place on 4–5 July (Thursday and Friday) at Fairhaven and St Annes Old Links. They were run as two separate events with 39 players to qualify from each venue to make a total field of 120. At each venue 34 players qualified on 147 and 6 players had a sudden-death playoff for the remaining five places. Max Faulkner, the 1951 Champion, was one of those who qualified in the playoff at Fairhaven. Bruce Devlin and Bill Large led the qualifying events. Three alternates were decided from each qualifying event.

    Fairhaven – Grant Aitken, C.C. Bowman (a), Dick Burton, Colin Colenso, Gordon Cunningham, Stuart Davies, Bruce Devlin, Cherif El-Sayed Cherif, Max Faulkner, Tony Fisher, W.C.A. Hancock, Jack Hargreaves, Jim Henderson, J.R. Hood (a), Geoffrey Hunt, Jack Isaacs, Tony Jacklin, Arthur Lees, Eric Lester, Hugh Lewis, John MacDonald, G.R. Maisey, Dick Marshall, Frank Miller, A. Moore, Hedley Muscroft, George Parton, Frank Phillips, G.M. Rutherford (a), Denis Scanlan, David Snell, Thomas Spence, Norman Sutton, Bobby Verwey, Bobby Walker, Gordon Weston, Trevor Wilkes, George Will, Michael Wolveridge St Annes Old Links – Brian Allen, Herman Barron, David Beard, M. Birkett, Hugh Boyle, Harry Bradshaw, Alan Brookes, Fred Bullock, Alex Caygill, Barry Davies, Norman Drew, J.H. Ellis, C. Findlay, Simon Fogarty, Allan Gillies, Walter Godfrey, Tony Grubb, Harold Henning, Bryon Hutchinson, Norman Johnson, Alex King, Bill Large, Eddie Large, Malcolm Leeder, Nicholas Lynch, Ian MacDonald, N.R. MacDonald, Jim McAlister, David Miller, Maurice Moir, D.G. Neech (a), Cyril Pennington, Sewsunker Sewgolum, Jack Sharkey, Ian Smith, Ramón Sota, Brian Stockdale (a), Donald Swaelens, Jack Wilkshire

    Prize money

    The total prize money remained unchanged at £8,500 but the distribution was changed. The winner's prize was increased to £1,500 with £1,000 for second, £800 for third, £650 for fourth, £500 for fifth, £350 for sixth, £275 for seventh, £225 for eighth, £175 for ninth, £150 for tenth, £140 for 11th, £135 for 12th, £130 for 13th, £125 for 14th, £120 for 15th, £110 for 16th reducing at £5 intervals to £65 for 25th. The 26th to 30th places each received £60 with £55 for 31st to 35th, £50 for 36th to 40th and £45 for 41st to 45th. If more than 45 players made the cut the 41st to 45th prize money was distributed between all those finishing 41st or lower. If less than 45 made the cut the remaining prize money was not distributed. The winner of each qualifying event won £75 with £50 for second and £25 for third place.

    First round

    Wednesday, 10 July 1963

    Second round

    Thursday, 11 July 1963

    The cut rule was changed from 1962 so that a minimum of 45 players would make the cut rather than a maximum of 50. 47 players scored 149 (+9) or better and made the cut. No amateurs qualified.

    Amateurs: Hood (+12), Saddler (+12), Carr (+15), Neech (+16), Rutherford (+16), Bonallack (+19), Bowman (+19), Stockdale (+20)

    Third round

    Friday, 12 July 1963 - (morning)

    Final round

    Friday, 12 July 1963 - (afternoon)


    Saturday, 13 July 1963

    Charles won in a 36-hole playoff.


    1963 Open Championship Wikipedia

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