Andrew Strath became the first player not named Park or Morris to win The Open. He beat Willie Park Snr, the two-time Champion, by two strokes, while Old Tom Morris, who in the first five Opens had been either first or second, dropped to fifth place.
Strath led after an opening 55 on the 12-hole Prestwick course, where he had taken over as greenkeeper from Morris when Old Tom returned to St Andrews. He had also finished runner-up to Morris in the previous year’s Open.
In the second round Morris had a 61, which dropped him out of contention, as did William Dow. Strath improved his score by one with a 54 but Park returned a 52 to leapfrog into the lead by one.
In the third and final round, Strath again improved by one with a 53 and came from behind to beat Park, who closed with a 56. A 5 at the last gave Strath victory with two shots to spare, while Dow ended up in third place, seven behind Park.
Young Tommy Morris became the youngest known competitor in The Open at 14 years and 147 days but after scores of 60 and 57 he withdrew from the final round.
Tommy was great friends with Strath’s brother Davie, who tied for the title in 1876 but refused to play-off. Andrew Strath died of consumption, at the age of 32, in 1868, just three years after his victory.
This was the first Open in which official scorecards were printed. Previously, markers had noted the scores on any scrap of paper that came to hand.