Top 10 Brits
The British may have invented the game, but they've hardly been excelling at in recent times – particularly in the majors. Mak Lok-lin trawls through the archives to discover who really were the finest golfers from these windswept isles
(3) Young Tom Morris
Tom Morris Jr was born in St Andrews in 1851, the oldest son of Old Tom. Almost immediately, the Morris’ moved to Prestwick, where the recently sacked Old Tom had been snapped up by the newly created Prestwick Golf Club to build a new course for them. Young Tom grew up playing daily on the site of the first Open Championships, the first being held when he was only nine-years-old. By the time he was 13, Young Tom was being hailed as a prodigious talent, and had already won his first match against professionals. Unlike all other players at the time, Young Tom had not come through the caddying or clubmaking ranks, and, having had a private education, was a dramatic new phenomenon. He created completely new techniques that were rapidly imitated by his opponents, who never mastered them to the same extent. In 1868, aged 17, Morris won his first Open Championship, an age record that still stands. The following year he repeated his victory, scoring a hole in one – the first at the Open – along the way. In 1869, he became the first player to win three times in succession, beating his father into second place, the only time this has happened. A year later, Young Tom won his fourth Open in succession, a record still unmatched. By this time, his renown was such that he was the first to arrange a series of dates where he would personally “tour” to various clubs to play money matches, as opposed to attending official events. He also commanded the first “appearance money”, also unheard of at the time. Sadly, Young Tom died of a heart attack on Christmas Day in 1875, aged only 24, having seen his wife and child die in childbirth earlier that year.
Written by Mak Lok-lin
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