Harry Vardon prevailed in a tight finish for the second time in three years as he secured the Claret Jug at Prestwick in 1898.
Vardon, who would go on to claim a record-equalling six Open titles, had come through a 36-hole play-off with J.H. Taylor to triumph at Muirfield two years earlier.
It looked as though extra holes would again be required when Willie Park Jnr, the Champion Golfer of 1887 and 1889, left himself a putt of around four feet at the last to match Vardon’s four-round aggregate of 307.
Park’s putt did not drop, though, and Vardon would not be caught despite the efforts of the fast-finishing defending Champion Harold Hilton, who closed with a 75 to finish two back.
Explaining his short missed putt on the 18th green, Park claimed he had been fed incorrect information by members of the crowd regarding Vardon’s score, leading him to believe he had two putts to force a play-off.
“I made dead certain of the four … only to receive the disappointing news that Vardon had done the hole in three, and had beaten me by a single stroke,” said the runner-up.
A second-place finish was tough on Park, who shared the lead with Hilton after an opening round of 76 and then shot 75 in round two to open up a three-shot lead.
Park was still two clear of Vardon heading into the final 18, but the latter played superbly on the final day for a 76 that proved just enough for a one-stroke win.
The 1898 Championship saw the birth of the cut line - eliminating the players with the highest scores through 36 holes - and Willie Auchterlonie, the Champion on The Open’s previous visit to Prestwick in 1893, was among those to miss out on the final two rounds.