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Simon Farnaby, author, actor and comic of The Phantom of the Open, brings moviegoers the hilarious, transferring and extremely true story of Maurice Flitcroft.

sony photos classics new film The ghost of the open Hitting theaters in June, it tells the true story of Maurice Flitcroft, a laid-off tow truck driver who on the age of 46 took an opportunity on the British Open in 1976 with out ever having performed a spherical of golf in his life. He would go on to earn the Open’s worst file rating of 121.

Actor, comic and writer Simon Farnaby wrote the script for The ghost of the open and co-wrote the guide in 2010 with sportswriter and writer Scott Murray. Farnaby joined the WBGO Studios podcast Sports activities Jam with Doug Doyle to speak in regards to the movie, his profession and his love of golf and the legendary historical past of Flitcroft.

The Phantom of the Open Author Simon Farnaby Joins SportsJam With Doug Doyle

Farnaby grew up surrounded by golf and remembers first listening to about Flitcroft when he was round 11 years previous.

“My dad was a greenskeeper at Ganton Golf Membership (Scarborough, UK) within the northeast of England, which is sort of a prestigious golf membership, however I do not know what it is like within the US, however greenskeepers are seen because the lowest.” . steps. You already know that golf golf equipment are like little parliaments. They’re like a small authorities. You’ve your president and he comes all the way down to the bottom rung who’s the greenskeeper. I fell in love with golf. My dad taught me and I used to be actually good, however I could not perceive why the members seemed down on me, really the juniors. In these days, juniors and ladies have been form of second-class residents. about 5 minutes each different Tuesday (laughs). Now it is a bit of completely different. So once I first heard of Maurice (pronounced Morris), he was like one among us. We did not know a lot about him, however all of the senior members hated him. and so they additionally hated us roughly as if he have been one among us. He was like a people hero. us juniors as a result of he gave the seniors a bit of kick within the butt and we appreciated that.”

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© Every day Mail/Yellow Jersey Press


Maurice Flitcroft died in 2007

Maurice Flitcroft, who died in 2007, hailed from the port metropolis of Barrow-in-Furness in England, and determined he would attempt his luck on the British Open after watching the game on tv. After he and his spouse Jean determined to record him as a “professional” on the match software attributable to a clerical error, his dream got here true and he performed in one of many world’s prime golf championships. Farnaby says that Flitcroft’s journey is unbelievable contemplating the place he got here from.

“One of many issues we observed when Scott and I have been doing analysis for the guide, you could have the Barrow and there aren’t many roles there but, a really poor space. Within the ’70s there was an enormous shipyard there and that was the one job. I i assume you’ll name it a longshoreman within the US however that was the one choice they might name it shipyard fodder this film is a bit of bit about class it is sort of a start lottery film it goes the place you are born and society Come on you are from there in order that’s your lot in life you’re employed in a shipyard Maurice simply did not wish to do it he really tried a couple of various things earlier than he discovered golf he was a comedy diver he was a stunt jumper and he could not try this both. He tried to play a special hand than he was given. He did not know something about golf. He did not have anybody to inform him that you simply’re actually not excellent as a result of golf is a recreation you play your self , had seen it on TV and fell in love with it, took some catalog golf equipment, I apply on the seashore ch and thought: hey, this appears like what I’ve seen on TV, so I believe I am prepared for the Open”.

After being kicked out {of professional} tournaments, Flitcroft would repeatedly try and enter main occasions sporting a wide range of disguises. It labored. He entered a match as Common Hoppy of France, full with a drooping mustache. He and his spouse Jean got here up with the concept.

Actor Mark Rylance taking part in Maurice Flitcroft dressed as “Common Hoppy” of France

Tony and Academy Award-winning actor Sir Mark Rylance performs Flitcroft in The ghost of the open. Farnaby says that he and director Craig Roberts landed the right actor for the position.

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Sir Mark Rylance performs Maurice Flitcroft in “The Phantom of the Open”

“I believe Steven Spielberg mentioned that Mark Rylance is the perfect actor on this planet. After we acquired it, Craig, the director, texted me and mentioned now we have the perfect actor on this planet. Mark mentioned I’ve by no means been supplied a comedy earlier than.” earlier than, so we thought ‘Oh God,’ however after all he is good. He is an important sort of clown. He gave Maurice the dignity and failure he wanted. One other actor might need performed him extra for laughs, making enjoyable of Maurice. , however Mark interpreted it as a god of failure.”

Academy Award nominee Sally Hawkins performs Jean, Maurice’s supportive spouse. Farnaby knew what to anticipate from Hawkins.

“I labored along with her on the Paddington films and earlier than that we went approach again. We used to do stay stuff collectively on stage many moons in the past. And Craig is aware of her from a film he wrote and directed referred to as ‘Everlasting Magnificence’, so fortunately to Sally appreciated the script.”

Cast of The Phantom of the Open Sky.jpeg
The solid of “The Phantom of the Open” consists of acclaimed actors Mark Rylance and Sally Hawkins.

Farnaby is a member of the British firm Horrible Histories through which he starred within the tv sequence. horrible tales, Yonderland Y ghosts. He has written and appeared in movies reminiscent of Mindhorn Y paddington 2and on the BBC sitcom Detectorists.

In 2017, Farnaby co-wrote paddington 2 with Paul King. Farnaby additionally had a small position in each the primary movie and its sequel, earlier than subsequently showing alongside Paddington Bear and Queen Elizabeth in a brief movie broadcast as a part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022.

In 2020, he wrote The wizard in my shed.

He’s now working with Paul King on co-writing. wonkaa prequel primarily based on the novel by Charlie and the Chocolate Manufacturing unit by Roald Dahl.

“I liked the guide, the Roald Dahl guide Charlie and the Chocolate Manufacturing unit once I was a child. It was one among my favourite books. I like the character (Willy Wonka), I like the sort of magic, the chocolate, I imply simply nice. With out prejudice to the Tim Burton film, however I like the Gene Wilder film, the 1973 model (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Manufacturing unit), even all of the units have been made from plastic.”

Farnaby admits that he would have appreciated to have been the lead in his early days as an actor, however realized that folks thought he was humorous, so he determined to enter the comedy facet of the leisure world. He sees himself in Maurice Flitcroft. So do many others who’ve dreamed of pursuing a profession in one thing the place they merely do not have the abilities or means to perform the objectives.

“I’ve tried to seek out out what we actually love about him. I believe it is as a result of for many of us, humiliation is our worst nightmare. I typically dream of being an actor on stage and never figuring out my traces and that is the equal of what Maurice was doing. He was in a spot the place he did not belong. He wasn’t expert. I imply, he did not know he wasn’t these issues, however even when he came upon, he mentioned, I do know I did my finest, I attempted.’ I like that about him too, however I assume it is simply sheer bravery. We do not attempt issues out of that worry of humiliation, however we solely get one life, .”

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The Ghost of the Open E book printed in 2010

2010 guide by Farnaby and Scott Murray The Ghost of the Open: Maurice Flitcroft, the worst golfer on this planet is from Yellow Jersey Press.

you’ll be able to SEE every part SportsJam interview with Simon Farnaby right here.

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