51st Open - Royal St Georges 1911
Massy concedes play-off to Vardon
Harry Vardon won four Opens in eight years and took eight more to win his fifth to tie James Braid for the record number of victories. It came at Royal St George’s in a play-off that did not go the full distance. Vardon faced France’s Arnaud Massy, the 1907 Champion, in a 36-hole decider and was five strokes ahead after a 74 in the morning. He was hitting his drives 20 to 30 yards past Massy and was as straight as ever. He missed a couple of short putts after lunch but then hit a long iron from the rough to 12 feet at the fourth and holed for a 3.
It was a relentless exhibition and when Vardon powered two long shots against the wind onto the 17th green Massy had had enough. He threw down his club and shook hands to concede. After 34 holes Vardon had been ten strokes ahead. “I cannot play this damn game,” Massy sighed.
The large starting field of 226 caused problems with the first two rounds taking three days to complete. George Duncan, with scores of 73 and 71, was four ahead of Vardon and JH Taylor but fired an 83 in the third round, just as he had in the final round a year earlier. Vardon, after two earlier 74s, posted a 75 to lead by three before coming home in 42 in the afternoon for a closing 80. He set the target at 303 and three men had a chance to catch him with a 4 at the last. Both Herd and Harold Hilton could only manage 5s and shared third place, one ahead of Braid, JH Taylor and Ted Ray, who would win in 1912. Massy, however, found the green in two at the last and laid his first putt stone dead and tied with a 76.
|3||Harold HILTON (A)||ENG||76||74||78||76||304|
|9||Laurie AYTON SR||GBR||75||77||77||78||307|