Young Tom Morris was born in St Andrews in 1851, the son of golfing pioneer Old Tom Morris. Despite an early death at the age of 24, Young Tom won the British Open 4 times. The first year he won the tournament he was only 17, a record which stands to this day.
A Golf Prodigy Young Tom became known as a golfing prodigy. By thirteen, he had already beaten his father and continued to improve his game. He learned to play golf at Prestwick, the club at which his father was the head professional.
Tom's 4 British Opens were all won in succession, a record which also stands to this day. One contributing factor was the fact that all 4 were held at Tom's home course at Prestwick. One of the greatest performances in golf up to that time was Tom's win in 1870. Tom's total for the 36 holes was 149, 11 shots better than the previous record of 160. In the first round on the 578 yard first hole, Tom recorded a 3 that included holing out from the fairway from 200 yards.
When Tom won the Open Championship in 1869, Old Tom finished 2nd. It was the only time in tournament history that a father son combo finished first and second Tom broke the course record at St. Andrews in 1869 with a score of 77 while playing a match against Bob Ferguson. The score stood for 20 years. Early Death While playing at North Berwick against Willie Park and Mungo Park, young Tom received a telegram that requested a return to his home. His wife had difficulties while in labor. When he arrived, however, his wife and newborn child were already dead. Four months later, Young Tom died of a heart attack at the age of 24.
The Introduction of the Claret Jug It was actually Young Tom who prompted the introduction of the Claret Jug as the official trophy for the British Open. After winning three times in a row from 1868-1870, Young Tom was awarded the Championship Belt to keep according to the rules at the time. After the tournament took a one year hiatus in 1871, the claret jug was introduced in 1872. That year, Young Tom was the first recipient of the claret jug. 4 Time + British Open Winners Young Tom Morris stands in big company. In addition to being in the golfing hall of fame, he is in a select group of people who have won the British Open 4 or more times Walter Hagen Bobby Locke Old Tom Morris Young Tom Morris Willie Park, Snr James Braid John Henry Taylor Peter Thomson Tom Watson Harry Vardon