29th Open - Musselburgh Links 1889
Play off decides 1889 Open Champion
Willie Park Jnr won for the second time in three years and brought the family tally of Open victories to seven, one short of the eight achieved by Old and Young Tom Morris. While four-time Champion Willie Park Snr never won on home soil at Musselburgh Links, his brother Mungo did in 1874 and now Willie’s son did likewise. However, it took a marathon battle with Andrew Kirkaldy which was only decided after a 36-hole play-off.
Kirkaldy went ahead by one with a 38 in the second round but Park caught up with his own 38 in the fourth of the four loops of the nine-hole course. Both men were on 155, the lowest total recorded at Musselburgh Links, with only Young Tom Morris twice having gone lower for 36 holes in The Open on the old 12-hole course at Prestwick.
Park was two strokes behind with three holes to play yet his strong finish almost brought victory but for his putt for a 2 at the last stopping on the lip. Ben Sayers was third, four strokes behind, and amateur John E Laidlay was fourth for the second time in three years.
Park took control of the play-off with rounds of 39 and 43, in which he had an 8 at the third, to lead Kirkaldy by three strokes. A 37 in the third round followed by a 39 gave him a total of 158 and a five-shot victory. It was the second of three Open runner-up finishes for Kirkaldy.
This was the last Open held at Musselburgh Links, with the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers moving to Muirfield for the 1892 Open. The November date had meant the stragglers after three rounds were paid five shillings to withdraw though the late finishers still had to play by street light.
|1||Willie PARK JR||SCO||78||77||155|
|4||John E. LAIDLAY (A)||GBR||81||81||162|