When JH Taylor was going for three wins in a row in 1896 it was Harry Vardon who prevented the hat-trick.
Taylor now returned the favour and did so by winning the 1900 Open at St Andrews in majestic fashion. He beat Vardon by no less than eight strokes, with James Braid a further five behind.
Taylor recorded four rounds in the 70s, whereas there had only previously been a total of five scores under 80 in The Open on the Old Course, though Taylor owned two of them.
This was his second victory at St Andrews, following his win in 1895, and only Bob Martin, in 1876 and 1885, had done similarly. Taylor’s total of 309 beat his effort five years earlier by no less than 13 strokes.
Taylor and Vardon shared the lead after the first round with scores of 79 but thereafter Taylor not only lead on his own after each round, he had the best score each time. He had a 77 to Vardon’s 81 in the second round, then a 78 to Vardon’s 80 in the third round.
In front of the largest gallery ever seen for The Open, Taylor then scored a 75, the best score yet on the Old Course in The Open, while Vardon had a 77.
“It was a victory due to superb golf in every department of the game,” said The Scotsman.
Taylor and Vardon had now won six out of seven Opens and The Scotsman worried that golf was “losing its ‘glorious uncertainty’ which many regard as its peculiar attraction”. Yet Braid was about to start a run of five victories in ten years.
This was the first of three times what would become known as the Great Triumvirate would finish in the top-three and the next two times Braid would be the winner.