1960 British Open Winner and Scores

The 1960 British Open was the 89th time the tournament was played. Arnold Palmer's participation helped revitalize the Open Championship.

Winner: Kel Nagle, 278

Where it was played: The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland

Tournament dates: July 6-9, 1960

Leader after first round: Roberto De Vicenzo, 67

Leader after second round: Roberto De Vicenzo, 134

Leader after third round: Kel Nagle, 207

What Happened at the 1960 Open Championship

Arnold Palmer played the British Open for the first time this year, and his appearance is credited with revitalizing the tournament and helping it regain its worldwide prominence as a major championship. But Palmer didn't win — Kel Nagle did.

The Australian Nagle took a 2-shot lead after the third round, with Palmer tied for third four strokes behind. After the first nine holes of the final round, Palmer still trailed by four. But he then charged, including a birdie on the final hole. Nagle needed to par the final two holes to win, and that's what he did.

For the 39-year-old Nagle, it was his first Top 10 finish in any major. He was close to an unknown outside of the Australasian Tour. But his win here, which proved to be his only win in a major, wasn't a fluke. Nagle won around the world throughout the 1960s, well into his 40s, with multiple Top 10s in majors. He lost an 18-hole playoff to Gary Player at the 1965 U.S. Open. (Nagle was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007.)

Low amateur Guy Wolstenholme finished sixth with a score of 283, a record-low score for an amateur that stood until 1993.

At this time in British Open history, few Americans played it. The travel expenses of the era were high, and the tournament purse was relatively low compared with the U.S.-based majors and other top American tournaments. Some American golfers who did travel to play the British Open lost money, even when faring well.

Palmer had won the 1960 Masters and 1960 U.S. Open prior to the British Open (yet still was required to play in the Open's 36-hole qualifier). He badly wanted to win the Open and spoke openly of chasing the single-season "Grand Slam." (In fact, it was a magazine article published under Palmer's byline prior to his departure for the Open the cemented the idea of the modern Grand Slam as the four professional majors.) That's why he chose to play the Open for the first time this year.

The crowds went wild for Palmer, headlines were generated worldwide, and the American press in particular paid more attention to the British Open than it had in a long time. Palmer's participation — and his subsequent victories in the 1961 Open and 1962 Open — helped convinced other top U.S. golf stars to start making the trip.

The 1960 Open was the 100th anniversary of the tournament's founding in 1860 (due to interruptions from two wars, however, this was not the 100th Open played).

1960 British Open Final Scores

Kel Nagle 69-67-71-71—278
Arnold Palmer 70-71-70-68—279
Roberto De Vicenzo 67-67-75-73—282
Harold Henning 72-72-69-69—282
Bernard Hunt 72-73-71-66—282
a-Guy Wolstenholme 74-70-71-68—283
Gary Player 72-71-72-69—284
a-Joe Carr 72-73-67-73—285
a-David Blair 70-73-71-72—286
Eric Brown 75-68-72-71—286
Dai Rees 73-71-73-69—286
Syd Scott 73-71-67-75—286
Peter Thomson 72-69-75-70—286
Harry Weetman 74-70-71-71—286
Ramon Sota 74-72-71-70—287
Fidel De Luca 69-73-75-71—288
a-Robert Reid Jack 74-71-70-73—288
Angel Miguel 72-73-72-71—288
Ian Smith 74-70-73-71—288
Peter Mills 71-74-70-74—289
Ken Bousfield 70-75-71-74—290
a-A. M. Deboys 76-70-73-71—290
George Low 72-74-71-73—290
John MacDonald 76-71-69-74—290
Ralph Moffitt 72-71-76-71—290
Bill Johnson 75-74-71-71—291
Sebastian Miguel 73-68-74-76—291
Laurie Ayton Jr. 73-69-75-75—292
Fred Boobyer 74-74-73-71—292
Geoffrey Hunt 76-69-72-75—292
Jimmy Martin 72-72-72-76—292
Tom Haliburton 77-70-74-72—293
John Jacobs 74-71-75-73—293
Leopoldo Ruiz 72-77-73-71—293
Peter Butler 76-72-75-71—294
David Miller 75-73-74-73—295
Christy O'Connor Sr. 80-67-76-72—295
Peter Shanks 70-73-77-75—295
E. Bert Williamson 75-70-73-77—295
Jose Maria Gonzales 72-74-75-76—297
a-W.D. Smith 74-71-78-74—297
Tony Coop 76-73-75-74—298
a-Ronnie Shade 75-74-77-73—299
Bobby Verwey 73-76-74-76—299
Marcelino Sota 73-75-76-76—300
a-Frank Deighton 74-70-75-83—302
a-Raymond Munro 72-77-82-77—308

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