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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 283
GOLF’S ORIGINAL WUNDERKIND O NE of the founding fathers of professional golf and the youngest major champion, Young Tom Morris, was born in St Andrews during this corresponding week in 1851. Tommy Morris won six pounds after defeating his father to capture the Open Championship in 1868 at the age of 17 years, five months and eight days – and didn’t relinquish his title until 1873. Morris was awarded the Challenge Belt on three consecutive occasions – and so it then became his to keep. But this meant that there was no trophy available in 1871 and the championship was therefore cancelled. The Claret Jug was introduced in 1872, where Morris won by three shots to claim a fourth championship. His record at the Open was tremendous. From nine appearances, he won four times, finished runner-up once and finished inside the top-10 three times. But Young Tommy is remembered for much more than his results alone ... He was an innovator, and he helped to change the way people perceived golf. Unlike his father, Old Tom Morris, Tommy not only welcomed challenges; he issued them. People flocked in their thousands and began to pay more and more money to walk the fairways alongside the game’s first superstar. Golf became a spectacle. He played an exciting brand of golf, which was best summarised by three-time Open champion and contemporary rival, Bob Ferguson, who insisted Tommy was the greatest player in the world. “Time and time again, Tommy would make his putt and watch the ball progress towards the hole with the words to his caddie, ‘Pick it out the hole, laddie’,” Ferguson wrote. On Christmas Day in 1875, at just 24 years old, Young Tommy tragically died after suffering a pulmonary haemorrhage – which was thought to be the result of heavy drinking brought on by the loss of his wife, Margaret Drinnen, who experienced difficulties during labour. 1851 THIS WEEK IN ... WATCH: THE LEGACY OF YOUNG TOM MORRIS WORDS BY MICHAEL JONES
GA Express 282
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