15th Open - Prestwick 1875
Willie Park wins his fourth Open
Willie Park Snr won his fourth Open at Prestwick in 1875 by two strokes to tie the Morrises, Old and Young Tom, for the record number of victories. This win came 15 years after his first triumph in the inaugural Open and nine years after his third victory.
Neither of the Morrises played this year. Six days earlier Young Tom’s wife died in childbirth, along with the baby, and the family were mourning in St Andrews. Tommy died on Christmas Day that year so he had already played his last Open.
Park was in the opening pair and set a target of 56 for the first round. Bob Martin equalled the sore and Bob Ferguson was two strokes behind in fourth place. Park slipped to a 59 for his second round, while Ferguson and Martin went round in 56 and 58 respectively to take over the lead on 114.
Park recovered his form in the third round and despite an opening 7, had a string of 3s and even a 2 so came to the final hole with a score of 49 in sight. A wayward tee shot cost him two strokes and he had to settle for 51, which set a target of 166. Next out was Willie’s brother, the defending Champion, Mungo Park. He had his best round of the day, 55, for a total of 171, which would prove to be good enough for third place.
Martin and Ferguson would need rounds of 52 to tie Willie Park. Ferguson could only manage a 58 for a total of 172. Martin returned a round of 54, which left him in second place with a total of 168. Martin went on to win the first of two Opens the following year at St Andrews.
|1||Willie PARK SR||SCO||56||59||51||166|
|9||William DOLEMAN (A)||GBR||65||59||59||183|