1907 British Open: France's First Champ

Arnaud Massy, winner of the Open Championship in 1907
1907 British Open winner Arnaud Massy. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Arnaud Massy won the 1907 British Open, and it was a significant victory in multiple ways:

  • He was the first French golfer to win the British Open.
  • He was the first non-British golfer to win the Open.
  • He was the first golfer from continental Europe to win the Open.

Another Continental golfer didn't win the Open until Spaniard Seve Ballesteros' victory in 1979. And Massy remains the only Frenchman to win one of the professional majors of men's golf.

Massy was not a one-hit wonder: He finished in the Top 10 at the British Open 10 times, the first in 1902 and last in 1921. He was runner-up at the 1911 British Open, losing in a playoff. Massy also has the distinction of winning three different national championships the first years they were played: the French Open (1906), Belgian Open (1911) and Spanish Open (1912).

Massy held the lead after both the first and second rounds, but after a 78 in Round 3 he trailed J.H. Taylor by a stroke entering the final round.

But Taylor carded a final-round 80 to Massy's 77, producing a 2-stroke victory for Massy. That was typical scoring for this era; the lowest round of the tournament was Harry Vardon's 74 in Round 3. Taylor was runner-up for the fourth consecutive year, but he also won five Opens so don't feel too bad for him.

James Braid, going for his third consecutive victory, finished tied for fifth, six strokes behind Massy.

The 1907 Open was the first one at which all golfers had to play qualifying rounds to get into the tournament.

1907 British Open Golf Tournament Scores

Results from the 1907 British Open golf tournament played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England (a-amateur):

Arnaud Massy76-81-78-77--312
J.H. Taylor79-79-76-80--314
George Pulford81-78-80-78--317
Tom Vardon81-81-80-75--317
James Braid82-85-75-76--318
Ted Ray83-80-79-76--318
George Duncan83-78-81-77--319
Harry Vardon84-81-74-80--319
Tom Williamson82-77-82-78--319
Tom Ball80-78-81-81--320
Phillip Gaudin83-84-80-76--323
Sandy Herd83-81-83-77--324
a-John Graham Jr.83-81-80-82--326
Walter Toogood76-86-82-82--326
John Ball Jr.88-83-79-77--327
Fred Collins83-83-79-82--327
Alfred Matthews82-80-84-82--328
Charles Mayo86-78-82-82--328
Thomas Renouf83-80-82-83--328
Reginald Gray83-85-81-80--329
James Bradbeer83-85-82-80--330
George Carter89-80-81-80--330
Jack Rowe83-83-85-80--331
Alfred Toogood87-83-85-77--332
Harry Kidd84-90-82-77--333
David McEwan89-83-80-81--333
Charles Roberts86-83-84-80--333
Alex Smith85-84-84-80--333
James Kinnell89-79-80-86--334
John Oke86-85-82-81--334
a-Herbert Barker89-81-82-83--335
Harry Cawsey85-93-77-80--335
William McEwan79-89-85-82--335
a-Charles Dick85-83-82-86--336
James Hepburn80-88-79-89--336
James Edmundson85-86-82-84--337
Ernest Gaudin88-88-82-80--338
Wilfred Reid85-87-82-84--338
Robert Thomson86-87-85-80--338
Albert Tingey87-84-88-79--338
Ernest Gray87-84-83-85--339
William Horne91-80-81-87--339
Peter McEwan85-85-88-81--339
Arthur Mitchell94-83-81-81--339
Charles Corlett90-83-82-85--340
Ben Sayers Jr.89-85-83-84--341
Fred Leach88-87-86-81--342
Ben Sayers Sr.86-83-86-87--342
Philip Wynne90-83-85-84--342
John D. Edgar86-88-82-87--343
Harry Hamill86-87-84-86--343
Peter Rainford85-84-87-87--343
John W. Taylor90-92-81-81--344
James Kay87-84-91-84--346
Frank Larke91-86-84-86--347
William Lewis93-91-80-87--351
William MacNamara87-89-88-87--351
Ernest Risebro90-92-87-82--351