14th Open - Musselburgh Links 1874
Mungo Park wins the first Musselburgh Links Open
Mungo Park was the brother of Willie Park Snr, who had won three of the first seven Opens. Mungo had spent much of his early life at sea but when he played in The Open for the first time in 1874, he beat the four-time Champion Young Tom Morris by two strokes.
This was the first Championship played at Musselburgh Links, with four loops of the nine-hole course making up the standard 36 holes. Mungo Park opened with a 75 and led by four strokes, with the featured pairing of Willie Park and Tommy Morris, who were playing together, returning 83s. They took a large gallery with them but were not at their best, Morris missing the second fairway by such a margin that his ball finished on a road.
Mungo Park’s putting touch deserted him over the second 18 holes but an 84 established a 159 total that set a tough target for the rest. Willie Park slipped further and further out of contention, adding an 87 for the second 18 holes to finish 11 shots behind his brother. Only Young Tom had any chance of catching the leader but he missed a short putt at the penultimate hole and dropped two shots at the last when he drove through the green. Despite a 78 for the final 18 holes he finished two shots behind new Champion.
Mungo Park was third when his brother Willie won for a fourth time the following year, and fourth in 1876, but this proved to be the last appearance of Young Tom Morris in The Open. He missed the 1875 Open while grieving for his wife and baby who died in childbirth and died on Christmas Day.
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