50th Open - St Andrews 1910
Record fifth Open victory for Braid
James Braid became the first player to win five times with his victory in the 50th Open at St Andrews in 1910. Since then JH Taylor, Peter Thomson and Tom Watson have matched him and only Harry Vardon passed him. It was a magical decade for Braid, with his five wins coming in ten years exactly, which also included three runner-up finishes and two fifth places. His last four wins came in just six years. He joined Bob Martin and Taylor as a double winner at St Andrews, having also won in 1905, but remains unique in being a double winner at both St Andrews and Muirfield.
Curiously, Braid played five full rounds during The Open. The first round was interrupted by such a severe thunderstorm that the course flooded. Informed on the 13th hole that the round was being cancelled, Braid kept playing just in case the news had been wrong. He used a heavy ball so that his putts sank into the hole, while others saw their balls float away in the puddles. He returned a 76, the best score of the day so far but it did not count. He had another 76 in the first round proper, but that was three behind George Duncan.
Willie Smith, a Carnoustie-born American who won the 1899 US Open, led at halfway after scores of 77 and 71 but finished with two 80s. Duncan had a 71 in the third round to lead by two from Braid, who had gone 73, 74, but could not control his nerves in a final round of 83 that dropped him to third place. Former Champion Sandy Herd had a 76 to finish second but Braid matched him to win by four strokes with a total of 299, ten better than Taylor’s previous best for St Andrews Opens.
|4||Laurie AYTON SR||GBR||78||76||75||77||306|