Vardon

1896 / Muirfield

Harry Vardon won the first of his as yet unequalled six Open titles at Muirfield in 1896. By winning a 36-hole play-off, he stopped his friend and rival JH Taylor from winning a third successive Championship.

Both Vardon and Taylor had made their debut in 1893 and Taylor had gone on to win the next two Opens. It looked unlikely that Vardon would open his account when he posted a first round of 83, 11 strokes behind leader Sandy Herd’s 72, and six behind Taylor.

The course had been lengthened by over 600 yards since its first Open in 1892 and was said to play around four strokes harder.Herd dropped to fifth with rounds of 84, 79, and 85, while Taylor added scores of 78, 81 and 80 for a total of 316, 11 strokes higher than Harold Hilton’s winning score four years earlier.

Freddie Tait, the amateur, with a closing 77, and Willie Fernie, the Champion 13 years earlier, tied for third place, three behind. Vardon had two 78s and then closed with his own 77 to tie Taylor. He needed a 4 at the last to win but played safely and made sure of his 5.

Due to a tournament planned for nearby North Berwick the following day, the play-off did not take place until the day after that.

Taylor was out in 43 to Vardon’s 38 in the morning and never made up the difference. Only two behind at the last in the afternoon he tried for a 3, found a greenside bunker and took 6.

Vardon won by four with rounds of 78 and 79 to Taylor’s 80-81.Old Tom Morris, days before his 75th birthday, played in The Open for the 34th and last time.

He withdrew after failing to break 100 in his first three rounds. 

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Harry VARDON
1
83
78
78
77
316
-
2
77
78
81
80
316
-
Freddie TAIT
3
83
75
84
77
319
-
3
78
79
82
80
319
-
5
72
84
79
85
320
-
6
83
81
79
80
323
-
A.H. SCOTT
7
83
84
77
80
324
-
7
80
77
81
86
324
-
Ben SAYERS
7
83
76
79
86
324
-
Tom VARDON
10
83
82
77
83
325
-
Peter MCEWAN
11
83
81
80
84
328
-
Archie SIMPSON
12
85
79
78
87
329
-
12
80
86
81
82
329
-
14
79
80
83
88
330
-
Andrew KIRKALDY
14
84
85
79
82
330
-
James KAY
14
77
88
83
82
330
-
Alfred TOOGOOD
17
81
85
84
84
334
-
Jack ROSS
18
83
87
84
81
335
-
David MCEWAN
18
83
89
81
82
335
-
John HUNTER
18
85
79
83
88
335
-
John E. LAIDLAY
18
85
82
82
86
335
-
Walter TOOGOOD
22
87
84
80
85
336
-
23
82
85
85
85
337
-
David ANDERSON JR
24
86
89
83
81
339
-
Walter KIRK
24
85
87
84
83
339
-
D. JACKSON
24
85
84
82
88
339
-
David HERD
27
85
87
86
82
340
-
Albert TINGEY
28
84
84
88
86
342
-
J.W. TAYLOR
29
87
83
84
90
344
-
Peter PAXTON
30
84
89
86
86
345
-
Jack ROWE
31
89
85
87
86
347
-
Samuel Mure FERGUSSON
32
85
93
84
86
348
-
Peter FERNIE
33
86
87
92
84
349
-
Rowland JONES
33
88
85
89
87
349
-
George LOWE
35
91
85
88
88
352
-
Andrew SIMPSON
36
86
92
88
88
354
-
H. TURPIE
37
85
90
88
95
358
-
T.T. GRAY
38
82
88
97
92
359
-
C. CALLOWAY
39
93
92
87
88
360
-
Peter RAINFORD
40
87
87
93
95
362
-
Mungo PARK JR
41
90
87
92
94
363
-
David ANDERSON
42
90
93
93
89
365
-
Bernard NICHOLLS
43
90
102
87
88
367
-
O THOMSON
43
86
93
94
94
367
-
B. DAY
45
97
94
89
94
374
-
George PULFORD
Wd
84
92
82
-
-
-
Charles HUTCHINGS
Wd
86
84
85
-
-
-
Wd
85
92
88
-
-
-
John LOW
Wd
86
88
90
-
-
-
J.M. WILLIAMSON
Wd
89
89
92
-
-
-
Lindsay ROSS
Wd
90
89
88
-
-
-
W. DAY JR
Wd
84
81
87
-
-
-
H. GULLANE
Wd
84
88
91
-
-
-
T.G. BUCHAN
Wd
88
93
87
-
-
-
G. LAMBERT
Wd
91
92
96
-
-
-
John DUNCAN
Wd
87
88
89
-
-
-
Wd
101
103
105
-
-
-
A. DENHOLM
Wd
89
90
-
-
-
M/C
James KINNELL
Wd
87
88
-
-
-
M/C
W. THOMSON
Wd
91
89
-
-
-
M/C
C. GIBSON
Wd
88
90
-
-
-
M/C
Joseph DALGLEISH
Wd
89
85
-
-
-
M/C
Douglas MCEWAN
Wd
88
87
-
-
-
M/C
A. ANDERSON
Scr
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
Thomas HOOD
Scr
-
-
-
-
-
M/C

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