Tom Haliburton

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Tom Haliburton
Personal information
Full nameThomas Bruce Haliburton
Born(1915-06-05)5 June 1915
Rhu, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Died25 October 1975(1975-10-25) (aged 60)
Virginia Water, Surrey, England
Sporting nationalityFlag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Professional wins12
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament CUT: 1962
PGA Championship DNP
U.S. Open DNP
The Open Championship T5: 1957

Thomas Bruce Haliburton (5 June 1915 – 25 October 1975) was a Scottish golfer. He finished tied for 5th in the 1957 Open Championship and played in the 1961 and 1963 Ryder Cups.


Early life

Haliburton was born in a cottage in Rhu, then in Dunbartonshire but now in Argyll and Bute, but after a few years his parents moved to Shandon, a few miles away. It was there that he had his first contact with golf at Shandon Golf Club. He went to the Hermitage School in Helensburgh until he was 15 years old.

During World War II, Haliburton was in the Royal Air Force. He married in 1941 and became a corporal in the same year.

Golf career

Haliburton was initially an assistant for four years at Haggs Castle Golf Club in Glasgow before moving to Prestwick St Nicholas Golf Club. In 1939 he became first assistant to Henry Cotton at Ashridge Golf Club. [1] After a series of moves, he became the professional at the Wentworth Club in 1952 where he remained until his death in 1975.

In 1952 he set a world record score by scoring 126 for the first two rounds of the Spalding Tournament, although he eventually finished fourth.

He was in the British 1961 and 1963 Ryder Cup teams.

In the 1963 Open Championship at Royal Lytham, he scored 29 for the first nine holes of the opening round, an Open record, equalled by Peter Thomson later on the same day. Tony Jacklin equalled the record in 1970 and Denis Durnian beat it, scoring 28, in 1983. [2]

In 1969 he became chairman of the British PGA. [3] He was the non-playing British captain in the first PGA Cup at Pinehurst, North Carolina in 1973. [3] His last tournament was a Pro-Am at Helensburgh Golf Club in 1974.


Drawing up plan for his retirement, he had recommended Bernard Gallacher as his successor at Wentworth. Haliburton and Gallacher had just started a practice round when, on the first green, Haliburton collapsed and died. He had been a professional golfer for 42 years. [3]

Tournament wins

Source: [4]

Results in major championships

Masters Tournament
The Open Championship CUT35
Masters Tournament NTNTNT
The Open Championship NTNTNTNTNTNTT31CUTT23
Masters Tournament
The Open Championship WDCUTT37T29CUTT32CUTT5CUTT29
Masters Tournament CUT
The Open Championship T32T41CUTT30CUT

Note: Haliburton only played in the Masters Tournament and The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

NT = No tournament
CUT = missed the half-way cut
WD = Withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearances

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  1. "Golf". The Times. 6 February 1939. p. 7.
  2. "The Open Championship - Tournament Records".
  3. 1 2 3 "Obituary – Mr Tom Haliburton – Distinguished golf career". The Times. 27 October 1975. p. 14.
  4. Huggins, Percy, ed. (1973). The Golfer's Handbook. p. 379.