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Young Tom Morris

Tom Morris Junior, was born in St Andrews, son of the legendary Old Tom Morris. Tom Junior grew up with golf all around him. It is known that he competed as a professional from the age of 13.

In 1868, Morris won the first of 4 consecutive Opens. Aged just 17, he is the youngest winner in the history of the event. After winning his third Open in 1870 and therefore winning the championship belt outright, the authorities suspended the event. The Open was not played in 1871 while the authorities figured out a way of over-coming such unexpected domination of the event. They decided to rotate the event between three courses and to award the famous Claret Jug on a yearly basis as prize. No surprises though, when Tom Morris won the championship again in 1872.

However the story of Young Tom Morris is ultimately a tragic one. His wife of one year was taken ill during childbirth and a telegram was dispatched to call Morris to her bedside. It was given to him as he came off the course at North Berwick. While in transit home, another telegram arrived with the grim news that she died. Morris never recovered from the shock. He died a few months later on Christmas Day 1875.

A memorial was erected at his grave on which was inscribed "Deeply regretted by numerous friends and all golfers, he thrice in succession won the Championship Belt and held it without envy, his many amiable qualities being no less acknowledged than his golfing achievements ".

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