1953 British Open Winner and Scores

The 1953 British Open was the 82nd time the tournament was played. Ben Hogan played The Open only one time. This was the year, and he won the trophy.

Winner: Ben Hogan, 282

Where it was played: Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland

Tournament dates: July 8-10, 1953

Leader after first round: Frank Stranahan, 70

Leader after second round: Eric Brown and Dai Rees, 142

Leader after third round: Roberto De Vicenzo and Ben Hogan, 214

What Happened in the 1953 Open Championship

Ben Hogan played the Open Championship exactly once. That one appearance was here, at Carnoustie, and Hogan made it count, winning by four strokes.

It wasn't easy. Hogan got to Scotland two weeks early to practice with the smaller British golf ball, and to play qualifying rounds. Hogan's decision to play this tournament also meant he had to miss the 1953 PGA Championship: Qualifying rounds in the Open took place on dates the PGA Championship was under way, and the PGA ended one day prior to the Open's start.

That's significant, because Hogan won every major he played in 1953, three of them. But he had no opportunity to try for the Grand Slam because of the British Open/PGA Championship scheduling conflict. (It's important to note, though, that Hogan was skipping the PGA Championship at this point in his career anyway. With lingering leg pain from his automobile crash several years earlier, Hogan didn't want to play multiple, 36-hole days as could happen in the then-match play PGA.)

Hogan opened with a 73 and improved his score each day, closing with a 68 for a 282 total. That 68 was a course record at Carnoustie, bettering the mark of 69 set in the third round by Antonio Cerda.

Cerda wound up sharing second place with Dai Rees, amateur Frank Stranahan and Peter Thomson. This was one of two times Stranahan finished runner-up in an Open as an amateur. He was also second in the 1947 Open (as well as the 1947 Masters). No amateur has won the Open since Bobby Jones in 1930. As for Cerda, he was in the midst of a seven-year stretch in which he never finished lower than ninth in the Open, a stretch that included two seconds and five Top 5 finishes. But the run Thomson was in was even more impressive. Thomson won the first of his five British Open titles the following year. From 1952-58, Thomson won The Open four times and was runner-up the other three years.

Robert de Vicenzo, winner of the 1967 Open Championship, was tied with Hogan after three rounds, but closed with a 73 and fell to sixth place.

The Scotland crowds, begrudgingly at first (Hogan insulted the course conditions upon his arrival), gave Hogan due respect, dubbing him the "Wee Ice Mon" as he conquered Carnoustie. Hogan's methodical and precise approach led to one hole at Carnoustie forever being associated with him. The sixth hole came to be called "Hogan's Alley," and is today officially named that.

That sixth hole is a par-5 with a split fairway. The safer play is to go up the wider right side, but the line that results in a better approach into the green is to play to the narrower left side, which is abutted by bunkers on one side and out of bounds on the other. Hogan played to the dangerous left fairway all four rounds, and hit the landing area all four times.

Hall of Famer Lloyd Mangrum also played the British Open for the only time this year, finishing tied for 24th.

1953 British Open Final Scores

Ben Hogan 73-71-70-68—282
Antonio Cerda 75-71-69-71—286
Dai Rees 72-70-73-71—286
a-Frank Stranahan 70-74-73-69—286
Peter Thomson 72-72-71-71—286
Roberto De Vicenzo 72-71-71-73—287
Sam King 74-73-72-71—290
Bobby Locke 72-73-74-72—291
Peter Alliss 75-72-74-71—292
Eric Brown 71-71-75-75—292
Fred Daly 73-75-71-75—294
Max Faulkner 74-71-73-77—295
Arthur Lees 76-76-72-72—296
T.H.T. Fairbairn 74-71-73-79—297
John Jacobs 79-74-71-73—297
Harry Weetman 80-73-72-72—297
Hassan Hassanein 78-71-73-76—298
Eric Lester 83-70-72-73—298
Charlie Ward 78-71-76-73—298
Reg Horne 76-74-75-74—299
Flory Van Donck 77-71-78-73—299
Syd Scott 74-74-78-74—300
Hector Thomson 76-74-74-76—300
Reg Knight 74-79-74-74—301
Lloyd Mangrum 75-76-74-76—301
Christy O'Connor Sr. 77-77-72-75—301
Ugo Grappasonni 77-75-72-78—302
John Panton 79-74-76-73—302
Robert Ferguson 77-75-74-77—303
Tom Haliburton 75-76-76-76—303
Alan Poulton 75-77-75-76—303
Norman Sutton 76-72-76-79—303
Jack Hargreaves 81-73-76-74—304
Hamish Ballingall 80-74-77-74—305
Ken Bousfield 78-76-79-72—305
Bernard Hunt 79-74-77-75—305
Ernest Whitcombe 76-78-73-78—305
Robert French 79-71-77-79—306
Ralph Mills 80-73-72-81—306
Jean-Baptiste Ado 75-77-75-81—308
Bill Shankland 78-76-78-79—311
George Knight 75-78-81-78—312
J.R. Moses 81-73-76-82—312
Lambert Topping 77-73-81-81—312
William John Henderson 78-74-80-81—313
Geoffrey Hunt 74-74-79-86—313
Dick Burton 80-74-80-80—314
Gregor McIntosh 78-75-80-81—314
John Burton 75-77-87-78—317

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