1968 Piccadilly World Match Play Championship

1968 Piccadilly World Match Play Championship
Tournament information
Dates 10–12 October 1968
Location Virginia Water, Surrey, England
Course(s) West Course, Wentworth
Format Match play – 36 holes
Par 74
Length 6,997 yards (6,398 m)
Field 8 players
Prize fund £16,000
Winner's share £5,000
South Africa Gary Player
def. Bob Charles 1 up

The 1968 Piccadilly World Match Play Championship was the fifth World Match Play Championship. It was played from Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 October on the West Course at Wentworth. Eight players competed in a straight knock-out competition, with each match contested over 36 holes. The champion received £5,000 out of a total prize fund of £16,000. In the final Gary Player beat Bob Charles at the 36th hole to win the tournament for the third time in four years.

The tournament included two British golfers: Brian Huggett and Tony Jacklin. Huggett was drawn against Arnold Palmer and looked to be out of the championship when he was 4 down with six holes to play. Huggett then had five birdies in a row to reduce the gap to one hole. However Palmer's four at the last gave him the victory by 2 holes. Jacklin was 4 up at lunch against Lee Trevino and won comfortably 4 & 3.[1]

In his semi-final against Gary Player, Jacklin was 1 down at lunch but won three holes early in the afternoon to go 2 up. However he then had four bogeys in a row to go 2 down after 27 holes. The match then turned again and Jacklin had six birdies coming home to leave the match tied after 36 holes. The spectators lined the first hole in the expectation that the match would continue but it was decided that the light was too poor to continue that evening.[2] Player beat Jacklin at the first extra hole when they returned on Saturday after Jacklin had three putted.[3]

In the final, Player was 1 up over Bob Charles at lunch. The first eight holes in the afternoon were halved before Player went 2 up at the 9th. Charles then levelled the match with birdies at the 10th and 11th. Charles missed from six feet at the 15th to give Player the lead again and they halved the last three holes to give Player the victory.[3]

Bob Goalby, the Masters Champion declined an invitation because his wife was ill.[4]

The 72-hole stroke play Piccadilly Tournament competition which had been played on the East Course prior to the World Match Play Championship was replaced by a four-ball better-ball match play tournament. 32 pairs competed in the knock-out competition, each round over 18 holes of the East Course. The plan was to play the first round on Monday 7 October, followed by two rounds on each of the following two days. However, heavy rain on the second day meant that the third round could not be played that day and the final was delayed until Thursday 10 October, the same day as the opening round of the World Match Play Championship.[5] The winners were Richard Emery and Hugh Jackson who beat Neil Coles and Bryon Hutchinson 2&1 in the final. The winners won £500 each out of the total prize money was £4,000.[6]






10 October
11 October
12 October
   United States Arnold Palmer 2 up  
 Wales Brian Huggett  
   United States Arnold Palmer  
     New Zealand Bob Charles 7 & 6  
 United States Billy Casper
   New Zealand Bob Charles 1 up  
     New Zealand Bob Charles
   South Africa Gary Player 1 up
   South Africa Gary Player 8 & 7  
 Australia Peter Thomson  
 South Africa Gary Player 37 h
     England Tony Jacklin  
 United States Lee Trevino
   England Tony Jacklin 4 & 3  

The match between Gary Player and Tony Jacklin was completed on 12 October having been all square after 36 holes when it became too dark to continue.[2]

Prize money

The winner received £5,000, the runner-up £3,000, the losing semi-finalists £2,000 and the first round losers £1,000, making a total prize fund of £16,000.


  1. 1 2 3 "Putting gets Jacklin into semi-final". The Times, Friday, 11 October 1968; pg. 13; Issue 57379.
  2. 1 2 3 "Palmer meets Thomson in Piccadilly final". The Times, Saturday, 12 October 1968; pg. 8; Issue 57380.
  3. 1 2 3 "Player wins close but quiet final at 36th hole". The Times, Monday, 14 October 1968; pg. 12; Issue 57381.
  4. "Goalby unable to play". The Times, Saturday, 7 September 1968; pg. 6; Issue 57350.
  5. "Wentworth waterlogged". The Times, Wednesday, 9 October 1968; pg. 16; Issue 57377.
  6. "4-ball title". The Times, Friday, 11 October 1968; pg. 13; Issue 57379.

Coordinates: 51°23′48″N 0°35′45″W / 51.39667°N 0.59583°W / 51.39667; -0.59583

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