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The Phantom of the Open

384 pages

¿I have been insulted, abused, pelted with stones, held up to ridicule, manhandled by police, prosecuted, fined, threatened with violence, and finally physically assaulted. In spite of it all I shall try to succeed as a professional golfer, because that is what I have chosen to do, and no amount of sabre rattling is going to stop me¿
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 sine die.
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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The Phantom of the Open