47th Open - Royal Liverpool 1907
The first overseas winner of The Open
Frenchman Arnaud Massy became the first overseas winner of The Open at Hoylake in 1907. The next Champion from continental Europe did not arrive until 1979 in the form of Seve Ballesteros. While Massy remains France’s only winner, Jean Van de Velde lost a play-off in harrowing circumstances in 1999.
Massy prevented James Braid from winning a third successive Open but it was another of the Great Triumvirate who was his main rival at Royal Liverpool as he defeated JH Taylor by two strokes.
This was the first Open in which all the competitors had to go through a qualifying competition, with the leading 67 teeing off in The Open proper. Strong winds battered the Dee Estuary but this suited Massy, who first played with left-handed clubs at home in Biarritz but later changed to playing right-handed after moving to North Berwick to hone his game.
He shared the first-round lead with a 76 and despite an 81 in the second round Massy was still one in front of Taylor and Tom Ball. Taylor edged ahead with a 76 to a 78 in the third round but Massy quick got level with a 3 at the second hole of the final round. The turning point came when Taylor sliced his second shot into long rough at the third and took a 7. He was out in 41, while Massy managed a 38. They both came home in 39 and Massy’s 77 gave him a total of 312. Taylor closed with an 80, while Tom Vardon and George Pulford were third and Braid tied for fifth place.
Massy hurried home to North Berwick since his Scottish-born wife had given birth during the week and the baby girl was named Margot Hoylake in honour of the victory.