46th Open - Muirfield 1906
James Braid successfully defends his Open title
James Braid won for the second year in a row at Muirfield in 1906, making him the first Champion to successfully defend the title since Harry Vardon in 1899. After his victory there is 1901, it was his second win at Muirfield, something only Nick Faldo has repeated since. He was also only the second Champion to improve his score in each round – 77, 76, 74, 73 for a total of 300. He beat JH Taylor by four strokes and Vardon by five. It was the third time that each of the Great Triumvirate had finished in the top-three at The Open, and Braid won on two of those occasions. Braid had joined Taylor with three titles, while Vardon was still ahead with four.
A huge field of 183 meant Braid ended up playing late in the afternoon on the first two days. He blamed the long wait for his opening 77 and on the next morning organised a friendly foursomes on a nearby course to fill in the time before posting a 76. Taylor took the halfway lead thanks to a 72, during which he had gone to the turn in 41 but returned home in 31.
Braid was four behind after 36 holes but got a shot back with a 74 to Taylor’s 75. In the final round Vardon four-putted the first and took a 6 at the second to fall out of contention. He finished with a 78 while Taylor’s wayward driving and erratic putting led to an 80. Braid went out in 38 but a long putt for a 3 at the 17th helped him to a 73 and a comfortable victory in the end. Amateur John Graham was fourth, Rowland Jones, who went 73-83 on the last day, was fifth and Frenchman Arnaud Massy was sixth a year before his victory at Hoylake.
|4||John GRAHAM JR (A)||GBR||71||79||78||78||306|
|7||Robert MAXWELL (A)||GBR||73||78||77||83||311|