1908 Open Championship

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1908 Open Championship
Tournament information
Dates18–19 June 1908
LocationPrestwick, South Ayrshire, Scotland
Course(s)Prestwick Golf Club
Field65 players[1]
Prize fund£115
Winner's share£50
Scotland James Braid
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1909 →
Prestwick is located in Scotland
Location in Scotland
Prestwick  is located in South Ayrshire

The 1908 Open Championship was the 48th Open Championship, held 18–19 June at Prestwick Golf Club in Prestwick, South Ayrshire, Scotland. James Braid won the Championship for the fourth time, eight strokes ahead of runner-up Tom Ball.[2]

Qualifying took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, 16–17 June, and the players were divided into two "sections."[3][4] Those in the first section played on the first morning and second afternoon while those in the second section played on the first afternoon and second morning.[3] After the 36 holes the leading thirty players and ties qualified from each section. The qualifying score of 163 was the same in both sections, and 65 players qualified. J.H. Taylor led the first section with a score of 150 while the Scottish amateur Robert Andrew led the second section with the same score.[5]

The first round on Thursday morning was noted for its low scoring, especially on the first nine holes. Ernest Gray, from Littlehampton, went out in 31 and equalled J.H. Taylor's record score of 68 set at Royal St George's in 1904. Braid finished with a 70 after going out in 33, with Fred Robson in third place after a 72. Ben Sayers was amongst those in fourth place on 74 after he too went out in 33. In the afternoon Gray was eleven shots worse with a round in 79 while Braid added a 72 to lead by five strokes from Gray with Sandy Herd and David Kinnell a further stroke behind. Braid again played the front nine in 33 and although he took six at the 13th he had a comfortable lead at the end of the day.[6]

On Friday morning, Braid began the third round badly. After taking five at the first hole, he followed with an eight at the third. Despite slicing his tee shot into the rough he tried to carry the Cardinal Bunker but failed. His bunker shot hit the sleepers and went out of bounds and, after dropping in the bunker, he hit the sleepers again, this time landing further back in the bunker. He finally escaped the bunker, played a further shot to the green and two-putted for an eight. Under modern rules, he would have scored nine but at the time there was no penalty stroke for "out of bounds." After this, he recovered well and finished with a 77, only three strokes worse than the best rounds of the morning. With Gray taking 83 and Herd coming back in 45, Braid, on 219, had extended his lead to six strokes over Ball and Ted Ray.[2]

Braid had a final round of 72, the best of the afternoon to win by eight shots. His total of 291 was an Open Championship record, beating Jack White's 296 in 1904. After poor scores on the first day, Harry Vardon and Taylor were amongst the best scorers on the second day and finished in ties for fifth and seventh places.

Past champions in the field[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Finish
James Braid  Scotland 1901, 1905, 1906 70 72 77 72 291 1
Sandy Herd  Scotland 1902 74 74 79 75 302 4
Harry Vardon  Jersey 1896, 1898,
1899, 1903
79 78 74 75 306 T5
J.H. Taylor  England 1894, 1895, 1900 79 77 76 75 307 T7
Arnaud Massy  France 1907 76 75 76 81 308 T9
John Ball (a)  England 1890 74 78 78 81 311 T13


Did not enter: Jack White (1904), Harold Hilton (1892, 1897), William Auchterlonie (1893).

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Thursday, 18 June 1908 (morning)

Place Player Country Score
1 Ernest Gray  England 68
2 James Braid  Scotland 70
3 Fred Robson  England 72
T4 John Ball (a)  England 74
Sandy Herd  Scotland
Ben Sayers  Scotland
T6 Rowland Jones  England 75
David Kinnell  Scotland
Tom Simpson  England
T9 Tom Ball  England 76
John Graham, Jr.  Scotland
Arnaud Massy  France
Willie McEwan  Scotland
Albert Tingey, Sr.  England


Second round[edit]

Thursday, 18 June 1908 (afternoon)

Place Player Country Score
1 James Braid  Scotland 70-72=142
2 Ernest Gray  England 68-79=147
T3 Sandy Herd  Scotland 74-74=148
David Kinnell  Scotland 75-73=148
5 Tom Ball  England 76-73=149
T6 Rowland Jones  England 75-75=150
Ted Ray  Jersey 79-71=150
Ben Sayers  Scotland 74-76=150
T9 Arnaud Massy  France 76-75=151
Fred Robson  England 72-79=151


Third round[edit]

Friday, 19 June 1908 (morning)

Place Player Country Score
1 James Braid  Scotland 70-72-77=219
T2 Tom Ball  England 76-73-76=225
Ted Ray  Jersey 79-71-75=225
T4 Sandy Herd  Scotland 74-74-79=227
Arnaud Massy  France 76-75-76=227
T6 James Edmundson Ireland Ireland 80-72-76=228
Phil Gaudin  Jersey 77-76-75=228
David Kinnell  Scotland 75-73-80=228
Tom Simpson  England 75-77-76=228
10 John Ball (a)  England 74-78-78=230


Final round[edit]

Friday, 19 June 1908

Place Player Country Score Money (£)
1 James Braid  Scotland 70-72-77-72=291 50
2 Tom Ball  England 76-73-76-74=299 25
3 Ted Ray  Jersey 79-71-75-76=301 15
4 Sandy Herd  Scotland 74-74-79-75=302 10
T5 David Kinnell  Scotland 75-73-80-78=306 7
Harry Vardon  Jersey 79-78-74-75=306
T7 Tom Simpson  England 75-77-76-79=307 0
J.H. Taylor  England 79-77-76-75=307
T9 Phil Gaudin  Jersey 77-76-75-80=308
Arnaud Massy  France 76-75-76-81=308



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 128. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Golf championship - Brilliant victory of James Braid - Record score". Glasgow Herald. 20 June 1908. p. 14.
  3. ^ a b "The Open Championship". Glasgow Herald. 16 June 1908. p. 13.
  4. ^ "Golf championship - First qualifying rounds at Prestwick". Glasgow Herald. 17 June 1908. p. 14.
  5. ^ "Golf championship - Qualifying rounds completed". Glasgow Herald. 18 June 1908. p. 15.
  6. ^ a b c "Golf championship - Sensational play". Glasgow Herald. 19 June 1908. p. 14.
  7. ^ Brenner, Morgan G. (2009). The Majors of Golf: Complete Results of the Open, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters, 1860-2008. 1. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3360-5.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°30′07″N 4°37′08″W / 55.502°N 4.619°W / 55.502; -4.619