Ball

1890 / Prestwick

John Ball Jnr made history in 1890 at Prestwick by becoming the first Englishman to win The Open in its 30th staging, and also the first amateur.

As a 16-year-old he had finished fourth in the 1878 Open but had played only once more before his victory. It was a result that was to start the evolution of The Open into a truly national, and eventually international, event.

Two years later another English amateur, Harold Hilton at Muirfield, and two years later still The Open travelled south for the first time and JH Taylor became the first English professional to win at Sandwich.Ball, from Hoylake, had won the second of eight Amateur Championships at his home course earlier in the year.

Only Bobby Jones in 1930 has repeated the feat of winning the Amateur and The Open in the same season.

His victory was achieved against a strong field. He won by three strokes from Willie Fernie, the 1883 Champion, and Archie Simpson, who was runner-up for the second time. Andrew Kirkaldy, a three-time runner-up, was fourth alongside Willie Park Jnr, the Champion in two of the last three years.

Kirkaldy led after an opening 81 by one from his brother Hugh and Ball, and the Englishman added a second 82 for a total of 164.

Andrew Kirkcaldy, with a 7 at the ninth and 5s at the next two holes, slumped to an 89 and Hugh to a 91, while Fernie and Simpson both matched Ball’s 82 and Park closed with an 80, the best round of The Championship.

Ball had matching halves of 41 in each of his two rounds. Told Fernie’s total of 167 was the mark to beat, Ball needed to play the last four holes in 20 strokes but managed it comfortably with a 5, 4, 5, 4 finish.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
John BALL JR
1
82
82
-
-
164
M/C
Archie SIMPSON
2
85
82
-
-
167
M/C
2
85
82
-
-
167
M/C
Andrew KIRKALDY
4
81
89
-
-
170
M/C
4
90
80
-
-
170
M/C
Horace HUTCHINSON
6
87
85
-
-
172
M/C
David GRANT
7
86
87
-
-
173
M/C
7
82
91
-
-
173
M/C
W. MCEWAN
9
87
87
-
-
174
M/C
10
85
90
-
-
175
M/C
James KAY
11
86
91
-
-
177
M/C
John E. LAIDLAY
11
89
88
-
-
177
M/C
David LEITCH
13
86
93
-
-
179
M/C
David ANDERSON JR
14
90
90
-
-
180
M/C
John ALLAN
15
93
88
-
-
181
M/C
Ben CAMPBELL
15
93
88
-
-
181
M/C
David AYTON
17
97
85
-
-
182
M/C
David ANDERSON
17
91
91
-
-
182
M/C
Ben SAYERS
19
90
93
-
-
183
M/C
A. WRIGHT
20
92
92
-
-
184
M/C
George FERNIE
21
92
94
-
-
186
M/C
R.B. WILSON
22
91
96
-
-
187
M/C
Bob MEARNS
23
96
93
-
-
189
M/C
D.D. ROBERTSON
23
94
95
-
-
189
M/C
Robert ADAM
25
91
99
-
-
190
M/C
James MAIR
26
98
96
-
-
194
M/C
James CUNNINGHAM
27
104
95
-
-
199
M/C
Charles WHIGHAM
27
93
106
-
-
199
M/C
James MCKAY
29
104
96
-
-
200
M/C
D.H. GILLAN
30
100
104
-
-
204
M/C
L. ROBERTSON
31
108
104
-
-
212
M/C
W. BOYD
Wd
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
A.R. PATERSON
Wd
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
R. HUTCHESON
Wd
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
Andrew MONAGHAN
Wd
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
James WHIGHAM
Wd
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
Charles HUTCHINGS
Wd
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
Wd
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
Willie CAMPBELL
Wd
-
-
-
-
-
M/C

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