Willie Auchterlonie started the family golf shop in St Andrews which still exists today, just yards from the 18th green of the Old Course. He first played in The Open as a teenager and won the Claret Jug in 1893 as a 21-year-old.
Only Young Tom Morris has ever been a younger Champion Golfer. He was also the last Scottish-born player still resident in Scotland to win in Scotland until Paul Lawrie in 1999. He had only played in Opens at St Andrews previously, finishing eighth in 1891.
Conditions at Prestwick were awful on the first day, the worst Old Tom Morris, playing in his 31st Open, had ever experienced. Apart from an 8 at the first in the second round when he went on the railway line, Auchterlonie coped admirably and rounds of 78, 81, 81 and 82 gave him a two-stroke victory over amateur John Laidlay, with Sandy Herd third.
His play was remarkably steady, given the conditions and that he led from the second round onwards, and he finished off each round particularly strongly. Though he only had one more high finish in The Open, a fifth place in 1900 at St Andrews, his brother, Laurie, completed a transatlantic family double by winning the US Open in 1902.
First and foremost a clubmaker, Willie Auchterlonie became the honorary professional to the Royal and Ancient in 1935, in succession to Old Tom and Andrew Kirkaldy. After he died in 1963, the role, as well as the family’s golf shop, passed to his son, also called Laurie.