10 Balcarres Road, Musselburgh, EH21 7SD, East Lothian, Scotland

23rd Open

23rd Open

Musselburgh Links 1883

Fernie win a tense play-off to decide new Open Champion

Bob Ferguson returned home to Musselburgh Links, where he had won his first Open 3 years earlier, trying to win a 4th consecutive title. He came close of matching Young Tommy Morris’s feat but was eventually defeated by Willie Fernie, who tied with Ferguson and force a play-off.

This was the first time a play-off actually took place in the Open. It was contested over another 36 holes, and was tight all the way. Fernie led by a stroke at halfway, 81-82, but Ferguson was one ahead when they came to the last hole.

Ferguson missed the green with his tee shot but Fernie found the putting surface and then rolled in a long putt for a 2. Ferguson took 4 and, with the pair posting 77s for their last 18 holes, Fernie won 158-159.

Fernie originally from St Andrews with nines of 38 and 37 gave him a two-stroke lead over Willie Park Jnr after the first 18 holes, with the local favourite, Ferguson, a further shot back. At the second hole in the fourth round, Fernie ran up a 10. He hit into long grass off the tee, then in a sand hole, a bunker and a whin bush, from where he played an excellent recovery shot but missed a short putt. He still managed an 83 for the second 18 and a total of 158, which was matched by Ferguson with an 80 for the second 18. Willie Brown finished in third place, two shots behind.