1938 British Open Winner and Scores

The 1938 British Open was the 73rd time this major was played. The champion was the golfer who had finished second one year earlier.

Winner: Reg Whitcombe, 295

Where it was played: Royal St. George's Golf Club in Sandwich, England

Tournament dates: July 6-8, 1938

Leader after first round: Ernest Whitcombe, John Fallon, Marce Dallemagne, Bill Cox, Jimmy Adams and Jimmy Bruen (a), 70

Leader after second round: Dick Burton, Jack Busson and Bill Cox, 140

Leader after third round: Reg Whitcombe, 217

What Happened at the 1938 Open Championship

All three of the Whitcombe brothers — Reg, Ernest and Charles — were in the Top 10 following the first round. But following the final round, it was Reg who emerged as the winner despite a final-round score of 78. That 78 was good enough because, in a final round played in gale-force winds, only seven golfers broke 80. Reg Whitcombe had been runner-up a year earlier at the 1937 Open.

Whitcombe opened with back-to-back rounds of 71, which left him two strokes off the lead at the halfway mark. But golfers who were among the 36-hole leaders were nearly blown off Royal St. George's in the final two rounds, played in heavy winds. Dick Burton finished 78-85; John Busson shot 83-80; Bill Cox and Bert Gadd, 84-80. High scores were everywhere.

The winds were so strong that Alf Padgham drove the green on the 384-yard No. 11 hole. Cyril Tolley hit a shot across the water hazard on the 14th hole, only to watch the wind blow the ball backwards into the water.

Reg Whitcombe's 75-78 scores don't look impressive on their own, but under gale conditions those last two rounds got the job done. He finished two strokes clear of runner-up Jimmy Adams and three ahead of defending champ Cotton. Reg Whitcombe, Adams and Cotton were the only golfers in the field who completed the tournament without at least one score of 80 or higher.

Charles Whitcombe finished 10th and Ernest Whitcombe 19th.

Final Scores in the 1936 British Open

Reg Whitcombe 71-71-75-78—295
Jimmy Adams 70-71-78-78—297
Henry Cotton 74-73-77-74—298
Dick Burton 71-69-78-85—303
John Busson 71-69-83-80—303
Allan Dailey 73-72-80-78—303
Alf Padgham 74-72-75-82—303
Fred Bullock 73-74-77-80—304
Bill Cox 70-70-84-80—304
Bert Gadd 71-70-84-80—305
Bobby Locke 73-72-81-79—305
Charles Whitcombe 71-75-79-80—305
Sid Brews 76-70-84-77—307
Dai Rees 73-72-79-83—307
Hamish Ballingall 76-72-83-77—308
Alf Perry 71-74-77-86—308
Arthur Lacey 74-72-82-81—309
Bill Shankland 74-72-84-81—311
Ernest Whitcombe 70-77-83-82—312
James Black 72-72-83-86—313
P.J. Mahon 73-74-83-83—313
Jack McLean 72-74-83-85—314
Marcel Dallemagne 70-74-86-85—315
William Hastings 74-74-83-84—315
Sam King 74-73-83-85—315
John Fallon 70-75-82-89—316
a-E.F. Storey 77-71-84-84—316
Ernest Kenyon 77-71-86-83—317
R.H. Pemberton 74-72-91-80—317
a-Cyril Tolley 77-68-86-86—317
Alfred G. Beck 76-72-84-86—318
Robert French 72-71-91-85—319
Norman Sutton 72-75-87-85—319
a-Hector Thomson 77-71-82-89—319
Tom Haliburton 72-74-88-86—320
a-J.J.F. Pennink 74-72-86-90—322

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