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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Open Championship
<< 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 >>

Year Venue

1893: Prestwick

 Player Score
1Willie Auchterlonie322
2Johnny Laidlay (a)324
3Sandy Herd325
4Andrew Kirkaldy326
 Hugh Kirkaldy326
6James Kay327
 Bob Simpson327
8John Ball jnr (a)332
 Harold Hilton (a)332
10Jack White J H Taylor333

In some ways the end of an era, the Dundee Courier wrote about the speculation as to whether the winner would be amateur or professional which would hardly be a topic again. Despite Johnny Laidlay’s good showing this year, apart from Harold Hilton’s win in 1897 there was not another amateur winner until Bobby Jones. Their other question was whether there would be an English or a Scottish winner. Two English amateurs had won in the past 36 years but, with the triumph of J H Taylor the next year, the question was, until the outbreak of war in 1914, generally which of the great triumvirate of Taylor, Vardon or Braid would triumph. I have made the point in many of these short articles that the early Opens were not seen as particularly important by the players or by the press who concentrated more on the Amateur Championship. This too was changing. As the Courier put it, ‘There are now many interested in the Royal and Ancient game that the annual contest for the open championship is rapidly becoming an event of national importance.’

This Open was to provide the last St Andrews champion for a decade. On a rain drenched first day in September, Willie Auchterlonie took the lead after the second round. He was one of the earliest to tee off in the third round in the much better weather of the second day and, after an 81, still held the lead when all had completed the round. J H Taylor, playing in his first Open, fell back after a poor third round and the likeliest challenge to Auchterlonie looked likely to come from fellow St Andrean Sandy Herd who advanced from seventh to second with a 78.

Auchterlonie had finished his final round, an 82, one more stroke than he had required in the morning as Herd was starting, and needing an 80 to win ‘but it became clear long before he had finished that he would not be able to do this, and as Kay finished badly, and Mr Laidlay was 3 strokes higher, the only chance lay with R Simpson or Mr Ball who, however, played an indifferent game.’