1954 Open Championship

1954 Open Championship
Tournament information
Dates 7–9 July 1954
Location Southport, England
Course(s) Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Par 73
Length 6,837 yards (6,252 m)[1]
Field 97 players, 50 after cut[2]
Cut 151 (+5)
Prize fund £3,500
Winner's share £750
Australia Peter Thomson
283 (−9)
Location in England

The 1954 Open Championship was the 90th Open Championship, played 7–9 July at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. Peter Thomson, age 23, won the first of his five Open titles by one stroke over runners-up Bobby Locke, Dai Rees, and Syd Scott.[1][2][3]

The total prize money was increased from £2,500 to £3,500. The winner received £750 with £500 for second, £350 for third, £200 for fourth, £150 for fifth, £100 for sixth, £75 for seventh and eighth, £50 for ninth and tenth, £30 for next 15 places and then £25 each for the next 25 players.[2] The £3,500 was completed with a £25 prize for winning the qualification event and four £25 prizes for the lowest score in each round.[4]

Qualifying took place on 5–6 July. Entries played 18 holes on the Championship course and 18 holes at Hillside Golf Club. The number of qualifiers was limited to a maximum of 100. Ties for 100th place would not qualify. The qualifying score was 151 and 97 players qualified. On the first day the Irish professional John McGonigle set a new course record of 65 on the Hillside course. Norman Von Nida led the qualifiers on 137, four ahead of the rest. Making the long voyage from America Toney Penna and Jim Turnesa were amongst the group on 151 who just qualified.[5] A maximum of 50 players could make the cut after 36 holes. Ties for 50th place did not make the cut.

Sam King and Bill Spence established a new course record in the first round with 69s. The record would last just one round, however, as Syd Scott bettered it in the second round with a 67, but Spence still held the 36-hole lead after a 72, one ahead of Antonio Cerdá and two in front of Scott, Dai Rees, Peter Thomson, and King. Scott continued his hot play in the third round, scoring a 69. Thomson and Rees also carded 69 and joined him at the top of the leaderboard going into the final round. Scott shot a 72 over the last 18-holes, posting a clubhouse lead of 284. Rees also posted 284 after missing a putt at the 18th. Thomson missed a short putt at the 12th, but managed to get up-and-down from a bunker at 16. He went to the 17th needing a par and a bogey on his last two holes to become the new clubhouse leader. He got the par, but at 18 he found trouble in a bunker. He again managed a superb recovery, and while he missed his first putt he easily tapped in for a round of 71 and a 283 total.[6] Bobby Locke had a chance to tie Thomson with a 3 at the last, but his birdie putt came up just short making Thomson the winner of the championship.

This win was the first in a run of three consecutive Open Championship titles by Thomson, becoming the first player since Bob Ferguson from 1880-82 to win three straight Opens. Altogether he would win three of the next four Opens and add another win in 1965, which was also held at Royal Birkdale. Thomson was the first Australian to win the Open Championship, and the youngest champion since Bobby Jones.

Three-time Masters champion Jimmy Demaret made his only Open Championship appearance this year, finishing in 10th place. This was the first Open Championship to be played at Royal Birkdale. Defending champion Ben Hogan did not compete; his victory in 1953 at Carnoustie was his only Open Championship.

Past champions in the field

Made the cut

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Bobby Locke  South Africa 1949, 1950, 1952 74 71 69 70 284 −8 T2
Gene Sarazen  United States 1932 75 74 73 70 292 E T17
Max Faulkner  England 1951 73 78 69 73 293 +1 T20
Fred Daly  Northern Ireland 1947 74 72 74 77 297 +5 T35

Missed the cut

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 Total To par
Alf Padgham  England 1936 75 77 152 +6
Henry Cotton  England 1934, 1937, 1948 77 76 153 +7

Round summaries

First round

Wednesday, 7 July 1954

PlacePlayerCountryScoreTo par
T1Sam King England69−4
Bill Spence England
3Norman Sutton England70−3
T4Antonio Cerdá Argentina71−2
George Howard England
John Jacobs England
T7Jean-Baptiste Ado France72−1
Peter Alliss England
Harry Bradshaw Ireland
Fred Bullock England
Ugo Grappasonni Italy
Robert Halsall England
Eric Lester England
Dai Rees Wales
Bill Shankland Australia
Peter Thomson Australia
Peter Toogood (a)  Australia
Jim Turnesa United States

Second round

Thursday, 8 July 1954

PlacePlayerCountryScoreTo par
1Bill Spence England69-72=141−5
2Antonio Cerdá Argentina71-71=142−4
T3Sam King Argentina69-74=143−3
Dai Rees Wales72-71=143
Peter Thomson Australia72-71=143
Syd Scott England76-67=143
T7Harry Bradshaw Ireland72-72=144−2
Jimmy Demaret United States73-71=144
John Jacobs Wales71-73=144
Bill Shankland Australia72-72=144
Jim Turnesa England72-72=144

Amateurs: Toogood (+1), Stranahan (+2), Stockdale (+6), Timms (+6), Bachli (+7), Brews (+8), Coogan (+8), Shephard (+8), Wroe (+10), Wolstenholme (+11), Heard (+12), Stevens (+19).

Third round

Friday, 9 July 1954 (morning)

PlacePlayerCountryScoreTo par
T1Dai Rees Wales72-71-69=212−7
Syd Scott England76-67-69=212
Peter Thomson Australia72-71-69=212
4Bobby Locke South Africa74-71-69=214−5
T5Antonio Cerdá Argentina71-71-73=215−4
Bill Spence England69-72-74=215
Jim Turnesa United States72-72-71=215
T8Jimmy Adams Scotland73-75-69=217−2
Peter Alliss England72-74-71=217
Harry Bradshaw Ireland72-72-73=217
Sam King England69-74-74=217

Final round

Friday, 9 July 1954 (afternoon)

PlacePlayerCountryScoreTo ParMoney (£)
1 Peter Thomson  Australia 72-71-69-71=283 −9 750
T2 Bobby Locke  South Africa 74-71-69-70=284 −8 350
Dai Rees  Wales 72-71-69-72=284
Syd Scott  England 76-67-69-72=284
T5 Jimmy Adams  Scotland 73-75-69-69=286 −6 108
Antonio Cerdá  Argentina 71-71-73-71=286
Jim Turnesa  United States 72-72-71-71=286
T8 Peter Alliss  England 72-74-71-70=287 −5 62
Sam King  England 69-74-74-70=287
T10 Jimmy Demaret  United States 73-71-74-71=289 −3 40
Flory Van Donck  Belgium 77-71-70-71=289

Amateurs: Toogood (−1), Stranahan (+3).


  1. 1 2 "Peter Thomson wins British Open with 283". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 10 July 1954. p. 11.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Media Guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 82. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  3. "P.W. Thomson wins the "Open"". Glasgow Herald. 10 July 1954. p. 5.
  4. "Open prize money again increased - Incentive to Americans". The Times. 18 December 1953. p. 11.
  5. "Harman lowers course record in qualifying round - Open golf survivors get down to real business to-day". The Times. 7 July 1953. p. 11.
  6. Thomson, Peter (12 July 1954). "Three Opens his new ambition". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 9. Retrieved 5 April 2013.

External links

Preceded by
1954 U.S. Open
Major Championships Succeeded by
1954 PGA Championship

Coordinates: 53°37′17″N 3°01′57″W / 53.6215°N 3.0325°W / 53.6215; -3.0325

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