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 Hilton78-81-72-74--305
a-John Ball75-80-74-79--308
Sandy Herd77-78-77-76--308
Hugh Kirkaldy77-83-73-75--308
James Kay82-78-74-78--312
Ben Sayers80-76-81-75--312
Willie Park Jr.78-77-80-80--315
Willie Fernie79-83-76-78--316
Archie Simpson81-81-76-79--317
a-Horace Hutchinson74-78-86-80--318
Jack White82-78-78-81--319
Tom Vardon83-75-80-82--320
a-Edward Blackwell81-82-82-76--321
Andrew Kirkaldy84-82-80-75--321
a-Samuel Mure Fergusson78-82-80-82--322
David Anderson Jr.76-82-79-87--324
a-Robert T. Boothby81-81-80-82--324
Ben Campbell86-83-79-76--324
a-F.A. Fairlie83-87-79-76--325
William McEwan79-83-84-79--325
W.D. More87-75-80-84--326
a-Garden Smith84-82-79-81--326
a-Freddie Tait81-83-84-78--326
David Brown77-82-84-85--328
George Douglas81-83-86-79--329
Douglas McEwan84-84-82-79--329
a-Ernly Blackwell79-81-84-86--330
a-Leslie Balfour Melville83-87-80-81--331
Jack Simpson84-78-82-87--331
Charlie Crawford79-85-85-84--333
David Grant85-82-84-83--334
Albert Tingey84-83-81-86--334
Willie Campbell87-84-84-80--335
a-David Leitch85-88-79-84--336
Walter Kirk87-82-84-84--337
a-J.M. Williamson88-82-82-85--337
Jack Ferguson86-86-83-83--338
a-L.S. Anderson93-85-81-81--340
a-Alexander Stuart87-84-84-85--340
James Martin93-80-85-86--344
a-J. McCulloch85-84-90-85--344
Joseph Dalgleish88-88-81-88--345
a-John LOW84-93-83-86--346
a-David Anderson92-88-80-87--347
a-E.M. Fitzjohn88-94-84-84--350
David Clark91-93-88-87--359
George Sayers89-94-87-89--359
a-A.H. Molesworth91-89-87-93--360
Tom Chisholm90-93-90-90--363
Tom Morris Sr.91-90-91-92--364
a-Ernest Lehmann100-86-91-90--367
Fred Fitzjohn105-95-83-89--372