The Open 2019: The 1951 winner at Royal Portrush clinched it with an epic shot from a barbed-wire fence

July 19, 2019

When the Open Championship was last hosted at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland in 1951, England’s Max Faulkner came out on top to win his only Claret Jug and major title of his career.

But the 80th edition of the event didn’t happen without some suspense and drama, as it included a remarkable shot from Faulkner to help catapult him to victory 68 years ago.

Faulkner, who entered the third round with a two-shot lead at three under, was at the 16th hole with a four-shot lead when he hit his tee shot into the rough. It was a bad miss from the leader, but it was only made worse when the 34-year-old realized that his ball was lying next to a barbed-wire fence along the out-of-bounds line.

Faulkner decided to go with his 4-wood to get out of the mess. He would have to take a stunted swing and need the ball to curve back in order for it to find the fairway. And it did just that, as Faulkner connected with the ball perfectly and it curved back to land on the fairway. In fact, it rolled up to the green and saved Faulkner from having to drop a shot.

“That’s the greatest shot I’ve ever seen, congratulations,” American Frank Stranahan, Faulkner’s playing partner, said to him after his remarkable shot.

Faulkner finished the third round with a two-under 70 to stretch his lead to six strokes with 18 holes to go, and he reportedly began signing autographs with an “Open Champion 1951″ postscript. Playing in the rain, Faulkner shot a two-over 74 in the final round to finish the tournament at three under and with a two-stroke victory.

Almost every major championship has that one shot or memorable moment that can never be forgotten, and Faulkner’s shot at the 16th hole during the third round was just that during the 1951 Open.

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