The Phantom Of The Open
When 46-year-old crane driver and former comedy stunt-diver Maurice Flitcroft chanced his way into the Open – having never before played a round of golf in his life – he ran up a record-worst score of 121. The sport’s ruling classes went nuclear, and banned him for life. Maurice didn’t take it lying down. In a hilarious game of cat-and-mouse with The Man, he entered tournaments again – and again, and again – using increasingly ludicrous pseudonyms such as Gene Pacecki, Arnold Palmtree and Count Manfred von Hoffmanstel (more often than not disguised by a Zapata moustache soaked in food dye). In doing so, he sent the authorities into apoplexy, and won the hearts of hackers from Muirfield to Michigan, becoming arguably the most popular – but certainly the bravest – sporting underdog the world has ever known.
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