42nd Open - Royal Liverpool 1902
Herd triumphs using new rubber cored ball
Sandy Herd was never quite as famous as any of the Great Triumvirate but he had a remarkably long career in which he finished runner-up in The Open four times over a 28-year period. But he did win the Claret Jug once, at Hoylake in 1902. He was helped by using the new Haskell ball, a with a wound rubber core, as opposed to the old gutty that everyone else was still using. It was only in a practice round with his friend John Ball, the Hoylake amateur who had adopted the Haskell, that Herd tried it for the first time. After his victory, everyone started using it.
Harry Vardon led by four strokes after an opening 72, remarkably starting with a 6 at the first when he put his first two shots out of bounds (it was not the same stroke and distance penalty it is now). Herd opened with rounds of 77 and 76 and was Vardon’s nearest challenger at halfway, four behind. But in the third round the Scot came home in 35 and his 73, combined with Vardon’s 80, put Herd three ahead of Vardon and eight ahead of James Braid.
Herd was out early in the last round but he often had the habit of following a low round with a high one and now closed with an 81 to set the target at 307. Vardon needed to hole from five feet for a 4 at the last to tie but the ball stopped on the edge of the hole. He was one back after a 79. Braid had a superb inward run, playing the last five holes in 4s to be home in 34 but his 74 was one too many. Just like five years earlier at Hoylake, he had a putt on the final green to tie but missed.
|4||Robert MAXWELL (A)||GBR||79||77||79||74||309|
|6||Harold HILTON (A)||ENG||79||76||81||78||314|