On this day in 1938 the 73rd Open Championship concluded. Held at Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England. In terrible weather conditions that caused scores to soar, Reg Whitcombe won on score of 15 over-par by two strokes from Jimmy Adams to win his only major title.
The purse was Â£500 with a winner’s share of Â£100.
Dick Burton, John J. Busson, and Bill Cox shared the 36-hole lead at even par 140, with Whitcombe two strokes back after consecutive rounds of 71. In the last two rounds, however, the weather turned from challenging to treacherous. Gale force winds ripped apart the large exhibition tent and scattered debris for a mile around.
Alf Padgham drove the green on the 384-yard (351 m) 11th hole, while Cyril Tolley cleared the water on the 14th only to have the wind blow his ball back into the hazard. Only seven sub-80 scores were recorded in the final round. The leaders suffered terribly in the conditions: Burton finished 78-85, Busson shot 83-80, while Cox went 84-80. Whitcombe’s scores of 75-78 were enough to post a 295 total, two ahead of Adams and three clear of defending champion Henry Cotton.