Tom Morris, Jr
He won his first Open at 17, succeeding his father as champion. He remains the youngest winner and is the only golfer to have won four in a row. (There was no championship in 1871 as Morris had won the trophy, a fine Morocco belt, outright due to his hat-trick of victories. The present silver claret jug was not played for until 1872. ) His victory margins were 5, 11, 12 and 3 strokes and his average per round, the equivalent of 74.5, was unbeaten even by the Triumvirate during the era of the gutty . His first-round 47 in 1870 was one of the greatest rounds of golf ever played.
At the age of 24, Young Tom died from a lung haemorrhage on Christmas Day, 1875, just three months after his wife had died while giving birth to their still-born child.
Open Champions at Prestwick
Extract taken from "British Open Champions" by Michael Hobbs 1991.