Harry Vardon

Harry Vardon was the first player to win The Open six times and no one has yet to match his record.  
  • He developed the grip still used by most players

    Did you know?

  • 49

    Professional wins

  • Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974

    Other accolades

Harry Vardon was the first player to win The Open six times and no one has yet to match his record. He was born in Grouville, on Jersey, and first caddied on the course there before following his younger brother Tom, who was runner-up to Harry in the 1903 Open, into life as a golf professional in England.

His first Open win came at Muirfield in 1896 in a play-off against JH Taylor, who had won the previous two Opens. Vardon, Taylor and James Braid became the Great Triumvirate who won 16 Opens in two decades.

Vardon won back-to-back in 1898 and 1899, then by six strokes at Prestwick in 1903. That year he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent many months recovering at Mundesley in Norfolk.

He had to wait eight years for his fifth win at Sandwich in a play-off against Arnaud Massy, who gave up trailing by ten strokes after 34 holes. His sixth win, and a third at Prestwick, came in 1914 in another duel with Taylor.

Vardon

Vardon developed a very upright swing, contrary to the flat St Andrews action, which made him very powerful but also very accurate, he hardly ever missed a fairway. In one spell of 22 tournaments he won 17 times and was runner-up the five times.

He popularised an overlapping grip used by a few others but which became famous as the Vardon grip. He went to America in 1900 on an exhibition trip and won the US Open but in 1913 he and Ted Ray were defeated by unknown amateur Francis Ouimet at Brookline.

In the 1920 US Open he finished second to Ray at the age of 50. Putting was a relative weakness but Bernard Darwin wrote: “Anyone who saw him in his prime, will not disagree that a greater golfing genius is inconceivable.”

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Muirfield 1929
M/C
82
78
-
-
-
M/C
Royal St George's 1928
47
78
79
80
80
317
-
St Andrews 1927
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1926
M/C
80
82
-
-
-
M/C
Prestwick 1925
17
79
80
77
79
315
-
Royal St George's 1922
8
79
79
74
75
307
-
St Andrews 1921
23
77
77
80
74
308
-
Royal Cinque Ports 1920
14
78
81
81
78
318
-
Prestwick 1914
1
73
77
78
78
306
-
Royal Liverpool 1913
3
79
75
79
80
313
-
Muirfield 1912
2
75
72
81
71
299
-
Royal St George's 1911
1
74
74
75
80
303
-
St Andrews 1910
16
77
81
75
80
313
-
Royal Cinque Ports 1909
26
82
77
79
78
316
-
Prestwick 1908
5
79
78
74
75
306
-
Royal Liverpool 1907
7
84
81
74
80
319
-
Muirfield 1906
3
77
73
77
78
305
-
St Andrews 1905
9
80
82
84
83
329
-
Royal St George's 1904
5
76
73
79
74
302
-
Prestwick 1903
1
73
77
72
78
300
-
Royal Liverpool 1902
2
72
77
80
79
308
-
Muirfield 1901
2
77
78
79
78
312
-
St Andrews 1900
2
79
81
80
77
317
-
Royal St George's 1899
1
76
76
81
77
310
-
Prestwick 1898
1
79
75
77
76
307
-
Royal Liverpool 1897
6
84
80
80
76
320
-
Muirfield 1896
1
83
78
78
77
316
-
St Andrews 1895
9
80
85
85
88
338
-
Royal St George's 1894
5
86
86
82
80
334
-
Prestwick 1893
23
84
90
81
89
344
-

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