With that logic and with no internet to double-check Flitcroft's credentials, the officials shrugged and wrote him in to compete against legends like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Flitcroft repaid them by immediately making history. Only, not the sort of history that most stuffy golf enthusiasts like to reminisce about.
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A rare image of Mr. Flitcroft in the vicinity of a prize.
The astute reader might have guessed by now that Maurice Flitcroft was not exactly what you'd call a seasoned golf professional. He was a 46-year-old crane operator from Northern England who had never once played a full 18-hole round of golf -- he just happened to pick up a club one day and, after whacking a ball at some scraggly local field a few times, decided "Screw it, I'm a professional now." So he entered the tournament, artfully dodging questions about his handicap and professional status by either lying or just not f*****g answering. And that's how the 1976 Open got all sorts of rough.
Golf Digest Resource Center
Yes, that's a "literally and metaphorically" joke, and yes, you're welcome.