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Open Champion, Henry Cotton with 'Toots'Henry’s partner for those two rounds at Sandwich, Marcel Dallemagne, had shot level fours only to find himself twelve shots behind Cotton, who led the field by nine. A 72 in round three increased his lead to ten and huge crowds arrived to watch his last round causing his start time to be delayed. Like Bobby Jones, Henry suffered from a nervous stomach and the waiting did him no good. He struggled to a 79 (the highest last round from a champion since the early 1900’s – and one shot worse than me), but he still won by five from the English born South African Syd Brews and his total of 283 equalled the record set by Sarazen. But for that anxious final round he would have set a record that would surely have lasted into modern times; indeed Henry Longhurst said that he had ushered in the modern era of golf. It was his first Open victory and became known as ‘the turning of the tide’, as he broke the stranglehold of the Americans and sparked off a British revival over the next few years.

Cotton was hailed as the finest British golfer since the Great Triumvirate, all three of whom were at Sandwich that week, as was Ted Ray. Henry received the Claret Jug from the Hon. Michael Scott wearing Longhurst’s overcoat, because his jacket was in his car cum changing room. (That year the 57-year-old Captain of Royal St George’s - and of our Walker Cup team at St Andrews - won the West of England Amateur Championship at Burnham and Berrow. In the final he beat Cyril Tolley 4&3, possibly the greatest performance in Scott’s remarkable career). Cotton thanked Braid, Taylor and Ray Henry Cottonfor their support, but Harry Vardon was a sick man at this time and confined to his bed at the Guildford Hotel. Henry was a great admirer of Vardon and had inherited many of his beliefs about how the game should be played from the great man. Before leaving Cotton visited Vardon and handed him the silver Claret Jug. Henry described the scene in his book: Golf – a Pictorial History - both men were so filled with emotion that they could not speak and they wept openly.

My 302 total was one shot ahead of Alfred Perry, the Ryder Cup player from Leatherhead, who finished in a share of 26th place. The following year Alf and I were both to do rather better.  The sports columns in August of that year had a lot to report and there were some remarkable scoring feats. The Times reported that Bobby Jones, who had retired from competitive golf four years earlier, had shot his lowest ever score of 62. A few days later Australia reached 475 for 2 in beating England in the Oval test match, with the great Don Bradman contributing 244.On that tour he also made 304 at Leeds. It was revenge for Australia, who regained the Ashes they had lost in the infamous bodyline series in Australia the previous year – one of the greatest crises the game of cricket ever faced. As the month ended Welsh boxer Tommy Farr, the ‘Tonypandy Terror’, fought the ‘Brown Bomber’, the great Joe Louis, for the World Title. He went all 15 rounds with the champion and was unlucky to lose on points.