Willie Auchterlonie won the 1893 Open at Prestwick in awful conditions.
On the first day, “it rained in the most pitiless fashion from morn to eve,” said The Field, and Old Tom Morris, playing in his 31st Open, said they were the worst conditions he had ever experienced.
Auchterlonie survived it all to win by two strokes from the amateur John Laidlay with a total of 322 in the first Open over 72 holes at Prestwick.
In a sign of the upgrading of the Championship, Auchterlonie’s first prize was £30, greater than the entire purse just two years earlier.Auchterlonie struggled with the first hole through. After a 5 in the first round, he went onto the railway line in the second round and took an 8.
In the last two rounds he started with 6s. However, the poor starts only seemed to make him settle down and play steady golf.
The played the last five holes particularly well every round, compiling four 4s and a 3 in his third round.JH Taylor, a young English professional on his debut, led after the first round with a 75 but faded after an 89 in the second round.
Auchterlonie was three behind after 18 holes but, despite his poor start after lunch, went into the lead with an 81 in the afternoon.
The 21-year-old from St Andrews, where he would set up a famous golf shop that still exists today, had another 81 in the third round and closed with an 82.
Sandy Herd, who was only one behind after 54 holes, came home in 44 for an 84 and fell to third place, while Laidlay, despite a 7 at the third which effectively halted his hopes of winning, come home in 40 for an 81 for his best result in The Open.