1892 British Open: Hilton Checks in as a Champion

British golfer Harold Hilton pictured in 1911
Harold Hilton (pictured in 1911) was the winner of the 1892 British Open. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

The 1892 British Open was a tournament that included some important firsts, one of which was the first Open trophy won by amateur Harold Hilton.

Quick Tournament Facts

  • Tournament winner: Harold Hilton, 305
  • Dates held: Sept. 22-23, 1892
  • Golf course: Muirfield
  • Open number: This was the 32nd time the Open Championship was played.

Notes on the 1892 British Open

The 1892 British Open was the site of two significant firsts:

  • It was the first significant golf tournament played over four rounds of 18 holes each;
  • It was the first Open played at Muirfield.

Previous Opens (and most other stroke-play tournaments of this era) were 36 holes, played in one day. The 1892 Open stretched out to 72 holes, played in four rounds over two days.

Muirfield, still part of the Open rota today, was brand new in 1892 -- it opened only nine months previous to this championship. It was built by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, and Muirfield took the place of the Company's former home, the 9-hole Musselburgh Links, in the Open rota.

The winner was amateur Harold Hilton. This was the first of Hilton's two British Open victories (he also won the 1897 British Open). He remained an amateur throughout his golf career, also winning four British Amateur and one U.S. Amateur championships.

Hilton was the second amateur to win the Open. The first to do so -- John Ball -- was runner-up to Hilton by three strokes here (tied with Sandy Herd and Hugh Kirkaldy).

Another amateur, Horace Hutchinson, was the 36-hole leader at 152, seven strokes better than Hilton. But Hutchinson soared to scores of 86 and 80 in the final two rounds. Hilton, meanwhile, carded the best score of the tournament -- a 72 -- in the third round to move into second place, one behind Ball.

Hilton put together another fine score in the final round, a 74, to finish three clear of Ball, Herd, and Kirkaldy.

1892 British Open Golf Tournament Scores

Results from the 1892 British Open golf tournament played at Muirfield in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland (a-amateur):

a-Harold Hilton 78-81-72-74--305
a-John Ball 75-80-74-79--308
Sandy Herd 77-78-77-76--308
Hugh Kirkaldy 77-83-73-75--308
James Kay 82-78-74-78--312
Ben Sayers 80-76-81-75--312
Willie Park Jr. 78-77-80-80--315
Willie Fernie 79-83-76-78--316
Archie Simpson 81-81-76-79--317
a-Horace Hutchinson 74-78-86-80--318
Jack White 82-78-78-81--319
Tom Vardon 83-75-80-82--320
a-Edward Blackwell 81-82-82-76--321
Andrew Kirkaldy 84-82-80-75--321
a-Samuel Mure Fergusson 78-82-80-82--322
David Anderson Jr. 76-82-79-87--324
a-Robert T. Boothby 81-81-80-82--324
Ben Campbell 86-83-79-76--324
a-F.A. Fairlie 83-87-79-76--325
William McEwan 79-83-84-79--325
W.D. More 87-75-80-84--326
a-Garden Smith 84-82-79-81--326
a-Freddie Tait 81-83-84-78--326
David Brown 77-82-84-85--328
George Douglas 81-83-86-79--329
Douglas McEwan 84-84-82-79--329
a-Ernly Blackwell 79-81-84-86--330
a-Leslie Balfour Melville 83-87-80-81--331
Jack Simpson 84-78-82-87--331
Charlie Crawford 79-85-85-84--333
David Grant 85-82-84-83--334
Albert Tingey 84-83-81-86--334
Willie Campbell 87-84-84-80--335
a-David Leitch 85-88-79-84--336
Walter Kirk 87-82-84-84--337
a-J.M. Williamson 88-82-82-85--337
Jack Ferguson 86-86-83-83--338
a-L.S. Anderson 93-85-81-81--340
a-Alexander Stuart 87-84-84-85--340
James Martin 93-80-85-86--344
a-J. McCulloch 85-84-90-85--344
Joseph Dalgleish 88-88-81-88--345
a-John LOW 84-93-83-86--346
a-David Anderson 92-88-80-87--347
a-E.M. Fitzjohn 88-94-84-84--350
David Clark 91-93-88-87--359
George Sayers 89-94-87-89--359
a-A.H. Molesworth 91-89-87-93--360
Tom Chisholm 90-93-90-90--363
Tom Morris Sr. 91-90-91-92--364
a-Ernest Lehmann 100-86-91-90--367
Fred Fitzjohn 105-95-83-89--372