It was half-a-century ago today that the Bradford Union's greatest-ever player, Rodney Foster, was beaten by one hole in an epic encounter at The Yorkshire Amateur Championship.

He had previously won the event on five occasions, but 50 years ago he was bested by the unheralded Douglas Brook of Howley Hall.

Brook, a four-handicap golfer had only entered the event as a late substitute, with the result sending shockwaves through the Yorkshire golfing community.

And another result could send shockwaves through Yorkshire golf this Sunday.

Foster, from Shipley, won 10 Bradford Opens, a record that will surely never be topped.

But he also holds the record for the most successive triumphs, four in a row between 1960 and 1963.

For the first time in history, that could be equalled on Sunday, as Richard Wheatley looks to retain the title he won in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Richard Wheatley (right) poses with 2023 Union president David Peat after winning last year's Bradford Open at Skipton Golf Club. (Image: UGC.)

But even he cannot compete with Foster's legacy.

The Shipley native was a world-renowned amateur golfer, having appeared in five Walker Cups for Great Britain and Ireland against the USA.

In the 1971 edition, Foster had played a key role in the hosts winning the event 13-11 at St Andrews, their first victory over the dominant Americans since 1938.

Foster also took home the prestigious Lytham Trophy and Brabazon Trophy twice apiece, while he won the European Amateur Team Championship four times with England.

The last of those Amateur Team Championship successes came in 1973, but later that year, he suffered a serious accident, which all-but-ended his time on the international stage.

But Bradford Golf Club member Foster was still one of the big scalps locally, evidenced by the fact that he went on to win the Bradford Open in 1976, 1978 and 1982, to add to his seven previous triumphs in the competition.

Foster’s 10 Bradford Open crowns will surely never be beaten, with Richard Emery and Phil Wood joint-second with five.

Wheatley will go joint-third on the list alongside Mike Ingham if he wins his fourth Bradford Open title on Sunday.

And Wheatley will fancy his chances, given the tournament is taking place on his home course at Bradford Golf Club.

That was of course where Foster was attached to as well, so it would be fitting if fellow alumnus Wheatley could claim that title once again on Sunday.