Richard Burton (1 Open, 3 Ryder Cup's.)

1907 - 1974

Richard Burton (11 October 1907 – 30 January 1974) was an English professional golfer.[2][3]

Burton is mainly remembered for winning The Open Championship (British Open) in 1939, when it was played on the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.[4] His win was achieved in some style, with a birdie down the 18th to win by two shots from Johnny Bulla. He played for Great Britain in the Ryder Cup in 1935, 1937, and 1949, and won two of his five matches.

Burton, a former four-loom weaver at Cobden Mill, was born in Darwen, Lancashire. He is remembered for holding the Open title for the longest time – from 1939 till after World War II. In the spring of 1946, he wrote to the Royal and Ancient, "Dear Sirs, Please find enclosed my fee of five guineas for this year's Open. I will bring the trophy back when I come."

Burton was based at Sale Golf Club, on the Manchester Cheshire border, and is still celebrated at the club. Every year the club holds the Richard Burton Trophy on the weekend of the Open Championship, and have a display including the putter he used to win the Open. In later life, he was the club professional at Coombe Hill Golf Club in Kingston, Surrey. He once bet a rival that he could beat him using only a putter. He lost his bet, but only on the 18th hole.

When Burton played fourball with other members, rather than pair up with a member, he would play against all three, and give full handicaps. He still won more often than not.

Also, Burton reputedly hit the 120-yard 17th hole with every club in his bag, including the putter.

Burton died in hospital on 30 January 1974 after a long illness.[