Jack White was from North Berwick and a nephew of the great clubmaker Ben Sayers. For 25 years he was the professional at Sunningdale and he was one of the few players to interrupt the reign of the Great Triumvirate at The Open.
From 1899, when he was runner-up to Harry Vardon, he then finished fourth, sixth, 18th, third and first. His victory came at Royal St George’s amid record scoring. He was the first to break the 300 barrier for The Open, posting a total of 296.
He was the first Champion to record four scores where each was better than the last. Only three others have achieved the same feat in the history of The Open. He opened with an 80 but followed with 75, 72 and 69.
He was the second player to break 70 in The Open, James Braid having scored a 69 in the third round. Their record only lasted until JH Taylor returned a 68 in the final round.
Both Braid and Taylor came to the last needing a 3 to tie White. However, Braid was told by the gallery that he only needed a 4 and lagged up his long first putt. Taylor knew he needed a 3 but his 30-footer just slipped by.
Once again, anyone who had dared to take the Claret Jug off a member of the Great Triumvirate had to do it with one or more of them breathing down their neck. White, like the Park family, was an exceptional putter and had an idiosyncratic style.
He crouched low over a tiny putter with his hands at the level of his knees. He was described as having an “intense earnestness combined with a lovable optimism”.