The first four-round Open
The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers had hosted the Open Championship six times over the nine-hole public course at Musselburgh before building the private course at Muirfield on which the 1892 championship was played. Only nine months elapsed between the completion of the course and the staging of the Open won by English amateur Harold Hilton.
It was also the first championship played over 72 holes. From its inception in 1860 the Open had traditionally been completed over 39 holes in one day. The first Muirfield Open in 1892 stretched players to four rounds in two days.
Hilton opened with 78 and 81 and on the second day treated the meagre crowd of little more than 100 spectators to sparkling scores of 72 and 74 to win by three clear shots. Although small in stature he was an aggressive player, the speed of his swing bringing him up on his toes at impact and often dislodging the cap he always wore.
His father had not wanted him to play at Muirfield, but he made a last minute decision and travelled overnight on the train from Hoylake, arriving just in time to take part in the championship without benefit of a practice round.
His successes in the Open and Amateur Championships spanned almost a quarter of a century — from Muirfield in 1892 to his fourth Amateur title at St Andrews in 1913. He claimed his second Open success in 1897 at Royal Liverpool and in 1911 won both the British and American Amateur Championships. He was the first editor of Golf Monthly magazine and later edited Golf Illustrated.