Great Golfers Americans Don’t Know #2
Great Golfers Americans Don’t Know #2 Max Faulkner.
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Max was a colorful character who won the 1952 Open Championship the only time it was held outside England or Scotland. Played on the great Irish links of Royal Portrush, Max won by beating Argentinian Antonio Cerda by two shots.
Son-in-Law Brian Barnes.
Brian Barnes, who I got to know when he played on the South African Tour in the mid 60’s, was an English golfer who had the distinction of beating Jack Nicklaus (twice) in Ryder Cup play and was Max’s son in law. He regaled many great stories of Max both on and off the course!
With the success of Irishmen Padraig Harrington, Graham McDowell, Darren Clark, and Rory McIlroy, there has been a lot of pressure put on the R&A to return to Royal Portrush for another Open Championship.
Herbert Gustavus Max Faulkner.
OBE (29 July 1916 – 26 February 2005) He was an English professional golfer who won The Open Championship in 1951. Max was renowned for his colorful dress sense.
Faulkner was born in Bexhill-on-Sea, the son of a club professional and assistant to James Braid. During World War II he served in the RAF as a Physical Training (PT) instructor. He hardly played any golf during this time, but took up boxing instead, becoming services champion.
He won the Portuguese Open in 1968 at age 52!
Faulkner’s tournament career began in 1946, shortly after the war. He won 16 regular tournaments in Europe. Including three Spanish Opens, with his last being the 1968 Portuguese Open at the age of 52. He also won the PGA Seniors Championship on two occasions. His greatest achievement was his victory in the 1951 Open Championship at Royal Portrush. Max had a 6-stroke lead with one round to play and signed autographs with the postscript “1951 Open Champion”. He said he was led a “mystery guiding light”. Faulkner went on to finish with a score of 3 under par, two ahead of Antonio Cerdá. The Open meant everything to me” Said Faulkner.
Ryder Cup Appearances.
Faulkner played in the Ryder Cup Matches on five occasions. Including the historic 1957 contest at Lindrick when the Great Britain team won for the only time between 1933 and 1985 (Europe).
Faulkner owned over 300 putters. A continual search for the perfect one. He very rarely used a conventional set of clubs. Sometimes having several of the same clubs with a variety of shaft lengths and flexes. His shotmaking ability is legendary. Being able to make the ball curve in the air even on short lofted shots.
In 2001, on the 50th anniversary of the Open triumph, the R&A honored Faulkner with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to golf. He died in 2005 at the age of 88.
Thanks for reading Great Golfers Americans Don’t Know #2 Hope you now know about the great Max!
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