Sandy Herd

Sandy Herd was not as famous as the Great Triumvirate but the man from St Andrews was a fine player over an incredibly long career and was described as “a character – independent, uncompromising and loveable”.
  • He is the second oldest runner-up in The Open at age 52

    Did you know?

  • 11

    Professional wins

  • The first Open winner to use Haskell rubber-cored ball

    Fun fact

Sandy Herd was not as famous as the Great Triumvirate but the man from St Andrews was a fine player over an incredibly long career and was described as “a character – independent, uncompromising and loveable”.

He often teamed up with James Braid in Scotland-England clashes against Harry Vardon and JH Taylor. He first played in The Open in 1885 and for the last time in 1933. He was a runner-up four times over 28 years but claimed the Claret Jug in 1902 at Hoylake by a stroke from Vardon and Braid.

He often had the unfortunate habit of following a really low round with a really high one. A 73 in the third gave him a three-stroke lead but for much of his career his temperament was suspect and he closed with an 81.

This time it turned out to be good enough. Vardon three-putted the last and although Braid charged home in 34 in an attempt to make up an eight-shot deficit, his putt to tie at the last just missed.

Herd’s victory popularised the new Haskell ball with a wound rubber core. It was said to give 20 extra yards compared to the old gutty but supplies were scarce in Britain at the time and Herd, like most, was sceptical until trying one out in a practice round with his friend John Ball, the Hoylake amateur, who had already adopted the ball.

Herd won the British Professional Matchplay aged 58 and still played tournaments to a high level at nearly 70. He was a very quick player, but still had time for several ferocious waggles of the club while standing over the ball. He claimed to have made 19 holes in one, including 13 at Coombe Hill, where he was the long-time professional. Younger brother Fred won the 1898 US Open.

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
St Andrews 1933
Scr
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
Muirfield 1929
M/C
84
83
-
-
-
M/C
Royal St George's 1928
M/C
82
81
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1927
10
76
75
78
71
300
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1926
21
81
76
75
76
308
-
Prestwick 1925
14
76
79
82
77
314
-
Royal Liverpool 1924
13
76
79
76
79
310
-
Royal Troon 1923
22
82
75
74
76
307
-
Royal St George's 1922
32
76
79
83
79
317
-
St Andrews 1921
6
75
74
73
80
302
-
Royal Cinque Ports 1920
2
72
81
77
75
305
-
Prestwick 1914
29
79
87
79
79
324
-
Royal Liverpool 1913
11
73
81
84
80
318
-
Muirfield 1912
6
76
81
76
76
309
-
Royal St George's 1911
3
77
73
76
78
304
-
St Andrews 1910
2
78
74
75
76
303
-
Royal Cinque Ports 1909
8
76
75
80
76
307
-
Prestwick 1908
4
74
74
79
75
302
-
Royal Liverpool 1907
12
83
81
83
77
324
-
Muirfield 1906
19
81
79
77
80
317
-
St Andrews 1905
15
80
82
83
87
332
-
Royal St George's 1904
9
84
76
76
75
311
-
Prestwick 1903
4
73
83
76
77
309
-
Royal Liverpool 1902
1
77
76
73
81
307
-
Muirfield 1901
5
87
81
81
76
325
-
St Andrews 1900
10
81
85
81
84
331
-
Royal St George's 1899
16
82
81
80
89
332
-
Prestwick 1898
17
80
79
84
82
325
-
Royal Liverpool 1897
5
78
81
79
80
318
-
Muirfield 1896
5
72
84
79
85
320
-
St Andrews 1895
2
82
77
82
85
326
-
Royal St George's 1894
8
83
85
82
88
338
-
Prestwick 1893
3
82
81
78
84
325
-
Muirfield 1892
2
77
78
77
76
308
-
St Andrews 1891
14
87
91
-
-
178
M/C
Musselburgh 1889
15
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1888
8
93
84
-
-
177
M/C
St Andrews 1885
47
-
-
-
-
-
M/C

Latest from The Open