After watching golf on television for the first time and thinking it looked easy, this cunning crane operator from Barrow-in-Furness decided that if he could get himself into the 1976 British Open, he could have a chance of winning it and become rich and famous in the process. Well he certainly got famous – as the “World’s Worst Golfer” after blagging his way into the competition and shooting a score of 121 in the qualifying –the worst score ever recorded at the Open Championship.
Maurice had never played a full round of golf before, as Golf club membership in his hometown of Barrow was too expensive. His only experience was hitting balls around his local fields, his local beach, but mostly around his living-room carpet, however he managed to famously land a spot in the Open Qualifier at Formby Golf Club near Liverpool by telling organisers he was a pro player, and the rest is sporting history.
What to watch
The full fascinating story of Maurice Flitcroft has now been made into a critically acclaimed film “Phantom of the Open” (2021) and stars Mark Rylance as Maurice Flitcroft.
Maurice Flitcroft died in 2007 at the age of 77.