60th Open - Prestwick 1925
Barnes triumphs in the final Open held at Prestwick
Helped by Carnoustie-born Macdonald Smith losing a five-stroke 54-hole lead, Cornish-born Jim Barnes won the 24th and last Open staged at Prestwick in 1925. The original birthplace of the Championship was no longer suitable for the growing size of the event, being too short, having too many blind shots, and it could not cope with the 10,000 people who turned up to watch Smith on the final day.
With Walter Hagen not defending the title, the two naturalised Americans were the favourites for the title. Barnes led with an opening 70 but Smith had rounds of 76 and 69 to go ahead and then added a 76 in the third round to go five in front of Barnes and Archie Compston, with Ted Ray and Ade Mitchell seven behind.
Barnes started his final round at 12.30 and was in the clubhouse by 3pm with a score of 300, after a last round 74, having played without much of a gallery. Smith started his final round after Barnes had already finished and knew that a round of 78 was required. But he was inevitably distracted by the mass of people crowding around him. He started with a 4 and a 3 but then dropped three shots over the next three holes. He took a pair of 6s at the seventh and eighth holes and was out in 42. An anti-climatic 82 left him three behind Barnes. Ray, the 1912 Champion, improved his score with every round and finished tied for second with Archie Compston on 301.
It was a fourth Major title for the tall Barnes, or “Long Jim” as he was known, making him the second player after Hagen to win all the three Majors of the time. Smith, two of those brothers won the US Open, was a runner-up twice in The Open in 1930 and 1932.
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