Andrew Strath

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Andrew Strath
— Golfer —
Andrew Strath.PNG
Strath, c. 1865
Personal information
Full name Andrew Anderson Strath
Born (1837-03-01)1 March 1837
St Andrews, Scotland
Died 23 February 1868(1868-02-23) (aged 30)
Prestwick, Scotland
Nationality  Scotland
Spouse Euphemia Johnston
Children 6
Status Professional
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
The Open Championship Won: 1865[1]

Andrew Anderson Strath (1 March 1837 – 23 February 1868) was a Scottish professional golfer who played in the mid-19th century. He won the 1865 Open Championship. In total, he accumulated six top-10 finishes in The Open Championship.

Early life

Strath was born in St Andrews, Scotland, on 1 March 1837, the son of Alexander Strath and Susan Strath (née Reid).[2] On 19 March 1858 he married Euphemia Johnston and the couple had six children. Strath had two brothers, Davie and George, who also became professional golfers.

Golf career

Like most professionals of his era Strath did not make his living from tournaments. He began his working life as an apprentice to a clubmaker and sometimes partnered Old Tom Morris in the challenge matches which were a feature of golf at the time. He was famous for the amount of backspin he could get on his iron shots. Golf matches at this time in history were generally contested on an alternate shot basis. For example, if Old Tom hit the drive off the tee box then Strath would play the second shot.[3]

In May 1857, Strath was partnered with Allan Robertson and played a challenge match against Old Tom Morris and Willie Park, Sr. They won the match by six holes.[4]

1865 Open Championship

Strath won The Open Championship in 1865,[5] becoming the only man to break the early domination of the event by Willie Park, Sr. and the two Tom Morris's, father and son. His winning scorecard is on display in the clubhouse at Prestwick Golf Club, which also possesses Strath's application letter for the post of keeper of the green in 1865. He also finished third in 1860, fourth in 1863, second in 1864 and third in 1867.

In 1865, he had succeeded Charlie Hunter, who moved to Blackheath less than a year after taking over from Old Tom Morris as green keeper at Prestwick. Strath's tenure only lasted three years as he died in Prestwick golfhouse[6] of "pneumonia running on to phthisis"[6] (i.e. tuberculosis) at the age of 30. His brothers George and Davie were also golfers. Davie was considered the best player of the three, but like Andrew he died young. George, who died in 1919, served as the first professional at Royal Troon before emigrating to the United States.

Death and legacy

Strath died in Prestwick, Scotland, on 23 February 1868.[6] His wife Euphemia died in 1869.[7] Strath is best remembered for winning the 1865 Open Championship.

Major championships

Strath (far left) at the Leith Links Tournament in 1867

Wins (1)

Year Championship 24 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1865 The Open Championship 1 shot deficit 55-54-53=162 2 strokes Scotland Willie Park, Sr.

Results timeline

Tournament 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867
The Open Championship 3 DNP DNP 4 2 1 6 3

Note: The Open Championship was the only major played during Strath's lifetime.

DNP = Did not play
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10


  1. "1865 Andrew Strath". The Open. Retrieved 16 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Births at St Andrews and St Leonards". OPR Births 453/00 0190 0115. ScotlandsPeople. Retrieved 13 February 2015. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Cook, Kevin - Tommy's Honor, New York 2005, Gotham Books
  4. R & R Clark (1896). Golf, a Royal and Ancient Game (1st ed.). Edingburgh: R & R Clark. p. 273. Retrieved 22 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Prestwick — 1865". The Open. Retrieved 17 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Deaths in the Parish of Monkton in the County of Ayr". Statutory Deaths 606/00 0007. ScotlandsPeople. Retrieved 13 February 2015. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Malcolm, David; Crabtree, Peter E. (2010). Tom Morris of St Andrews, the Colossus of Golf (1821-1908). Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>