1861 British Open Winner and Scores

While the Civil War was starting in America, the British Open was played for the second time in Scotland. Golfers played three rounds at Prestwick, a 12-hole links. And the man today known as "Old Tom" won his first Open championship.

Winner: Old Tom Morris, 163

Where it was played: Prestwick Golf Club, Ayrshire, Scotland

Tournament dates: Sept. 26, 1861

Leaders after first round: Old Tom Morris and Willie Park Sr., 54

Leader after second round: Willie Park Sr., 108

What Happened at the 1861 Open Championship

Willie Park Sr. beat Tom Morris Sr. to win the first Open Championship the previous year, but in Year 2, it was Old Tom who got the better of their rivalry. Old Tom Morris won the 1861 British Open over Park by four shots, 163 to 167.

The tournament took place on Sept. 26 at the links in Prestwick, Scotland. Prestwick was 12 holes at the time, and the 18 golfers who entered (not all of whom turned in scores, or at least, scores are not known for all) played it three times, 36 holes total.

The Open truly was "open" in 1861; in the first year only professionals were eligible to play. This year, eight amateurs played in addition to the 10 professionals. J.O. Fairlie was the championship's first low amateur, finishing at 184, 21 shots behind Morris.

Morris, who was the greenskeeper at Prestwick, and Park tied at 54 after the first 12. In Round 2 Park took a 2-stroke lead, shooting 54 to Morris' 56.

But in the final round Park ran into trouble early, and after the second hole Morris had taken the lead. Old Tom scored 53 to Park's 59 to forge the final 4-shot winning margin.

Morris' total was 11 strokes lower than Park's winning score from the year earlier. It was the first of four British Open wins for Old Tom Morris.

1861 British Open Final Scores

Tom Morris Sr. 54-56-53—163
Willie Park Sr. 54-54-59—167
William Dow 59-58-54—171
David Park 58-57-57—172
Robert Andrew 58-61-56—175
P. McEwan Sr. 56-60-62—178
Willie Dunn Sr. 61-59-60—180
a-J.O. Fairlie 184
George Brown 60-65-60—185
a-Robert Chambers Jr. 187
James Dunn 63-62-63—188
Charlie Hunter 67-64-59—190

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