Young Tom Morris
Height: 5 ft 8 in
Birthday: April 20, 1851
Died: December 25, 1875
Birthplace: St. Andrews, Scotland
The son of legendary “Old” Tom Morris, Young Tom Morris carved out a piece of golf history in his own right – winning 4 straight Open Championships before his 22nd birthday.
The first great golf prodigy – Young Tom died tragically at the age of 24 on Christmas Day in 1875.
Morris still holds two records that stand today – the youngest person to ever win a professional Major golf championship and the only professional to win 4 consecutive Major titles. Morris played in his first Open Championship at the age of 14. He won his first Open Championship just three short years later, at the age of 17. Remarkably, his father was the runner-up that year.
All of Morris’ 4 wins were captured at Prestwick Golf Club. Morris knew the course well as his father had served as head golf professional at Prestwick during Young Tom’s formative years. It was at Prestwick that Young Tom honed his exceptional short game and putting stroke. These skills were the keys to his successful play.
Young and Old Tom often teamed up for big money matches against the Parks and other top players of the era, rarely losing until Old Tom passed his 50th birthday.
It was after one of these money matches (against Willie Park Sr. and his brother Mungo) that Young Tom’s life would be changed forever. Upon hearing the news that his wife was going into labor, Old Tom and Young Tom hurried home, only arriving to hear that both Young Tom’s wife and baby had died during childbirth.
Young Tom died barely four months later. The official cause of his death was heart attack.