In early 1938, Ben Hogan, nearly penniless at the time, was playing an event in Oakland. The night before the final round, somebody stole the tires off his car. Hogan, in tears upon discovering the theft, declared, "l can't go another inch. I'm finished." Hogan shot a 69 the next day to finish second and earn $380 to keep him going.
Perhaps Wayne Grady needed his eyes checked, or maybe he wasn't paying attention. At the start of the 1987 season, the Australian was disqualified twice in five weeks for playing the wrong ball.
Harry Bradshaw led the 1949 British Open after the first day. In the second round, his drive at the fifth hole rolled into the broken shards of a discarded beer bottle. Unsure whether relief was available and wanting to avoid a delay, Bradshaw smashed the ball out, took a double bogey, and lost in a playoff to Bobby Locke two days later.
Dick Mayer used an interesting tactic in winning the 1957 U.S. Open, his only major. In the playoff against slow-playing Cary Middlecoff, Mayer brought a stool with him around the course and sat down while Middlecoff painstakingly prepared to hit his shots. Middlecoff shot 79 while Mayer shot 72.
In the final round of the 1889 British Open at Musselburgh, Andrew Kirkaldy's first putt on the 14th hole stopped one inch short of the cup. After making a one-handed stab that missed the ball altogether, he said, "If the hole were big enough, I'd bury myself in it." Kirkaldy lost in a playoff to Wllie park.
Awaiting the start of a qualifying round for the 1984 U.S. Open, Roger Maltbie rented a golf cart. Thinking the USGA had relaxed its normal ban against riding during events, Maltbie drove past an official on the first tee. By the time he drove past an official at the ninth hole, he had accrued twelve penalty shots.
At a tournament in Sweden, Steve Elkington, winner of the 1991 Players Championship, plucked a piece of grass to chew on and was penalized two strokes for touching the ground in a hazard.
A terrible traffic tie-up caused Seve Ballesteros to arrive late at the 1980 U.S. Open at Baltusrol Golf Club. Reaching the first tee moments after his playing companions hit their second shots onto the first green, the reigning British Open champion was disualified.
When world-traveler Greg Norman arrived in Spain for a tournament, he was greeted with a cool "adios" instead of a warmhearted "bien venido" and was promptly escorted to a plane bound for London. The problem? The Shark didn't have a visa. "l haven't been back to Spain since," he said.
In the 1971 Ryder Cup, Arnold Palmer hit a 5-iron to the par-three seventh green. An opponent's caddie, an American college student, gushed, "What a great shot, Mr. Palmer! What did you use?" Palmer told the caddie, and although the hole was halved with pars, officials later awarded it to the Americans due to illegaly sought "advice" from the opposition'
Approaching the final two holes of the 1939 U.S. Open, Sam Snead knew two pars would equal the championship record of 281, a score he thought would clinch the victory. Snead bogeyed the 71st hole and thinking he needed a birdie on the finishing par five, gambled unnecessarily. The result: a disastrous eight. In reality, a bogey would have given Snead his only U.S. Open title.
Tommy Armour achieved dubious fame during the 1927 Shawnee (Pennsylvania) Open when he hooked ten balls out of bounds on the 17th hole, eventually carding a 23 -the highest one-hole score by a pro in a PGA Tour event. Armour had won the U.S. Open a week earlier.
It looked as if Tommy Armour's highest one-hole score record would fall during the 1978 French Open at La Baule. French pro Philippe Porquier was 50 yards short of the green in two when he got a case of the "shanks" near a boundary fence. After depositing ball after ball out of bounds, he managed a 20 - the European record for highest one-hole score.