Tom Morris Snr

Old Tom Morris, he was universally known, did perhaps more than anyone to shape the game as we know it today.
  • Holds the record as the oldest Open winner at 46

    Did you know?

  • 18

    Open Top 10s

  • Part of the only father/son winner and runner-up duo

    Fun fact

Old Tom Morris, he was universally known, did perhaps more than anyone to shape the game as we know it today. He started playing in St Andrews at the age of six and was apprenticed to Allan Robertson, the greatest player of his day.

The two fell out when Morris was found playing with a gutty ball, which his employer had banned. In 1951 Morris became the greenkeeper at Prestwick and it was there in 1860 that The Open began. Old Tom was the favourite but Willie Park Snr won the inaugural Open by two from Morris.

Old Tom got revenge the following year and in 1862 beat Park by 13 strokes, a record for The Open that still stands. He won four Opens in seven years and in 1867 set another record that remains to this day, that of being the oldest Champion at 46 years and 102 days.

The following year his son, Young Tom, became the youngest ever winner. In comparison to his great rival, the big-hitting Park, Old Tom was a steady player with a rhythmic, flat swing, rather like an “auld wife cutting hay”, it was said.

He stayed out of trouble but his main weakness was on the greens. He once received a letter addressed to “The Misser of Short Putts, Prestwick”. He last played in The Open in 1896 aged 75.

In 1864 he returned to St Andrews to be in charge of the Old Course, paid £50 a year by the R&A, but insisted there was no play on Sundays.

He laid out the New Course at St Andrews, as well as many others including Carnoustie and Muirfield. He swam in the sea every day of his life and out-lived his wife, daughter and three sons. He died aged 86 after a fall in 1908.

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Muirfield 1896
Wd
101
103
105
-
-
-
St Andrews 1895
47
107
92
96
97
392
-
Royal St George's 1894
Wd
99
97
100
-
-
-
Prestwick 1893
52
96
94
100
93
383
-
Muirfield 1892
50
91
90
91
92
364
-
St Andrews 1891
58
99
94
-
-
193
M/C
Prestwick 1890
Wd
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
Musselburgh 1889
15
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1888
27
94
96
-
-
190
M/C
Prestwick 1887
28
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
Musselburgh 1886
27
88
85
-
-
173
M/C
St Andrews 1885
29
96
94
-
-
190
M/C
Prestwick 1884
13
-
-
-
-
174
M/C
Musselburgh 1883
10
86
81
-
-
167
M/C
Prestwick 1881
5
58
65
58
-
181
-
Musselburgh 1880
10
87
88
-
-
175
M/C
St Andrews 1879
14
92
93
-
-
185
M/C
Prestwick 1878
11
55
53
63
-
171
-
Musselburgh 1877
8
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1876
4
90
95
-
-
185
M/C
Musselburgh 1874
18
90
86
-
-
176
M/C
St Andrews 1873
7
93
96
-
-
189
M/C
Prestwick 1872
4
62
60
57
-
179
-
Prestwick 1870
4
56
52
54
-
162
-
Prestwick 1869
6
56
62
58
-
176
-
Prestwick 1868
2
54
50
53
-
157
-
Prestwick 1867
1
58
54
58
-
170
-
Prestwick 1866
4
61
58
59
-
178
-
Prestwick 1865
5
57
61
56
-
174
-
Prestwick 1864
1
54
58
55
-
167
-
Prestwick 1863
2
56
58
56
-
170
-
Prestwick 1862
1
52
55
56
-
163
-
Prestwick 1861
1
54
56
53
-
163
-
Prestwick 1860
2
58
59
59
-
176
-

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