Jones makes his mark on the Old Course
Six years after he had failed to return a score in his first St Andrews Open, Bobby Jones returned to the Old Course in 1927 to defend the title he had won the previous year at Royal Lytham & St Annes. On his first visit Jones had not completed the 11th hole in the third round after taking four shots in the depths of Hill bunker, but he opened his 1927 account with a stunning round of 68 which included a series of huge putts, including one of 40 yards at the long fifth.
Fellow American Joe Kirkwood was his closest rival among the genuine contenders for the title with an opening 72 and 20-year-old Henry Cotton put himself in the picture with a 73. But in effect the championship was over. Jones, already a double winner of the US Open by this time, was in invincible form, adding rounds of 72-72-72 for a record aggregate of 285 and victory by six shots over his nearest rivals. Aubrey Boomer, a Channel Islander based in France, tied for second place with Fred Robson, who had raced through the field with a third round 69. Kirkwood finished in a tie for fourth with Eddie Whitcombe.
There had been a remarkable turnout of former champions, now all approaching the age of 60. James Braid qualified on 150, J.H. Taylor on 155 and Harry Vardon and Sandy Herd on 156. Jones was destined never to play another Open at St Andrews, but he was to return for the Amateur Championship in the magical season of 1930 when he captured the Amateur and Open Championships of Britain and America and immediately retired from competitive golf.