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From a par to a bar: the story of how the 1951 Open winner's shoes stayed in Northern Ireland

The shoes worn by 1951 Open winner Max Faulkner. Credit: UTV

To many, they might just look like your average pair of shoes. However, once sported by a golfing great, they're a special piece of history.

Worn by 1951 Open champion Max Faulkner, they've remained on the north coast for 68 years.

Niall O'Boyle's father owned a bar in Coleraine the last time the Open Championship was held in Northern Ireland. He's created a replica in tribute to his father with one iconic piece of memorabilia included.

"My father used to own a bar in Coleraine, the last time the British Open came to Portrush and Daddy being Daddy collected bits and bobs from all over the world," he said.

"The caddy for Max was a customer of Daddy's. During the week of the open, Daddy said get me a souvenir from that golf!"

68
years since the last Open was held in Northern Ireland.

Lo and behold, days later after Max Faulkner's victory, his caddy returned to Niall's father's bar with a golf ball, a signed programme and Faulkner's golf shoes.

Last priced at £17,000, the programme is signed by other competitors with the collection of items expected to now be worth much more.

Nearly 70 years after the shoes came into his family's possession, Niall is hoping for a similar occurrence this year.

"I know it's hypothetical, but if the winner walked off the 18th and I stole his shoes and the ball, I'd be a happy man."

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