The Phantom of the Open, by Scott Murray & Simon Farnaby
Sunday 18 July 2010
Which Open competitor remarked: "Everything was going according to plan until I five-putted from eight feet at the second?" Step forward Maurice Flitcroft, who in 1974 carded 121 in a qualifier, the worst score in the event's history. Which was hardly surprising, as he had never played a round in his life.
If Maurice, a 46-year-old crane driver from Barrow, had left it at that he would have remained a footnote in Open history, but the hysterical over-reaction of the R&A's blimpish secretary, Keith Mackenzie, a man composed of 50 per cent rule book, 30 per cent blazer and 20 per cent gin, spurred him on, and over the next 14 years, using aliases such as Arnold Palmtree, he sneaked through the entry process again and again, with often hilarious results.
It would be easy to ridicule him as a lunatic of the links, but he comes across as a clever, warm and witty man, determined to stick up for what he saw as his rights. The players at St Andrews today may be better than Maurice, but few will have inspired more fun and affection.
Published in paperback by Yellow Jersey, £12.99
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Secret Cinema interview: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Secret Cinema interview: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Game of Thrones: season 4 bloopers unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
50 best running songs: From Avicii and Pharrell Williams to the classic 'Eye of the Tiger'
Doctor Who series 8: Watch Peter Capaldi in new ‘Listen!’ teaser trailer
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia