19th Open - St Andrews 1879
Triple champion Jamie Anderson
Jamie Anderson won for a third consecutive year at St Andrews in 1879. Young Tommy Morris had won four Opens in a row but no one has since done better than a hat-trick of titles, with Anderson’s followed immediately by three-in-a-row by Bob Ferguson and then only Peter Thomson in 1954-56. The St Andrews man's steady play again left the rest in his wake, though he never took his time about it, seizing up a club has he walked to his ball and then quickly taking his stance, giving the flag one glance and then swinging. His was an ideal temperament for tournament play.
There was nothing of the dramatics from his victory the previous year at Prestwick, where he holed in one at the penultimate hole, but an opening 84 put him two ahead of the field. An 85 in the afternoon sealed a three-stroke victory over another local man, Andrew Kirkaldy, and Jamie Allan, of Westward Ho!
Anderson’s total of 169 was seven strokes better than the 176 on which Bob Martin and Davie Strath tied three years earlier. George Paxton was fourth and Tom Kidd, Champion in the inaugural St Andrews Open in 1873, was fifth.
Anderson did not play in The Open the following year, so did not have the chance to match Young Tom’s four-in-a-row, but was second to Ferguson in 1881 and was third the following year. Kirkaldy was a runner-up in The Open twice more, and was third on three occasions, but never claimed the Claret Jug.