Exploits of ‘world’s worst golfer’ Maurice Flitcroft to be made into comedy film

Exploits of ‘world’s worst golfer’ Maurice Flitcroft to be made into comedy film

by Henry James (November 2021)

A FILM has been made about the ‘world’s worst golfer’ Maurice Flitcroft, who tricked his way into playing in a qualifying competition for the 1976 British Open held in Southport despite hardly having played the game.

Flitcroft, a 46 year old crane operator from Barrow, said he was a professional golfer although he had actually only ever played on fields before.

But his entry was accepted, and he stayed with his elder brother Roy in Skelmersdale, while competing at the qualifying event in Formby.

He went to score a record-worst score of 121 (49-over par!) the worst-ever recorded since the Open Championship began in 186.

His exploits have now been made into a comedy film, The Phantom of the Open, which is due for general release next April.

In the film Flitcroft is played by the actor Sir Mark Rylance who has appeared in films such The BFG, Bridge of Spies and Dunkirk.

After the round Flitcroft said: “I had every intention of completing the round, no matter what, and if I kept trying, who knows? I might still strike some sort of form and salvage something from the wreckage.”

Flitcroft would have needed 13 holes in one the next day to qualify for The Open, so he did not return the following day for the second round.

After his Formby round, The R&A was furious and banned him from all their courses.

He went to watch the final day of The Open at Royal Birkdale and was photographed next to a young Seve, who finished second. The event was won by Johnny Miller.

Flitcroft died in 2007 and had only been able to play golf on local fields as he was banned from golf clubs.

The film and is based on the biographical book The Phantom of The Open: Maurice Flitcroft, The World’s Worst Golfer, which was published in 2010 and co-authored by Simon Farnaby who wrote the films screenplay.

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