Samuel Mure Fergusson

Samuel Mure Fergusson (1855 – 9 December 1928) was a Scottish amateur golfer who played in the late 19th and early 20th century. Fergusson placed fourth in the 1891 Open Championship.[1] Fergusson twice came close to winning The Amateur Championship. His best effort came in the 1894 Amateur Championship where he battled the legendary John Ball at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, eventually losing by the score of 1 up.

Samuel Mure Fergusson
Samuel Mure Fergusson c1895.jpg
Fergusson c. 1895
Personal information
Perth, Scotland
Died9 December 1928 (aged 73)
Byfleet, Surrey, England
Nationality Scotland
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenDNP
The Open Championship4th: 1891
British Amateur2nd: 1894, 1898

Early lifeEdit

Fergusson was born in 1855 in Perth, Scotland. He learned the game as a young lad, first beginning to play when he was 14. At age 24 he became a member of the R&A and won the Autumn Medal in his first competition. He became a stock broker and worked in London. In the 1880s he played golf at Felixstowe but later moved to Royal St George's in Sandwich.[2]

Golf careerEdit

1894 Amateur ChampionshipEdit

In the 1894 Amateur Championship, held at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Fergusson lost 1 up to John Ball.[3]

1898 Amateur ChampionshipEdit

In the 1898 Amateur Championship, once again held at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Fergusson lost to Freddie Tait 7 and 5.[4] On 7 February 1900, Tait would lose his life in South Africa fighting in the Second Boer War.

1891 Open ChampionshipEdit

The 1891 Open Championship was the 31st Open Championship, held 6 October at the Old Course at St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. Hugh Kirkaldy won by two strokes from his brother Andrew Kirkaldy and Willie Fernie. This was the last Open Championship contested in a single day over 36 holes. The 1892 Open was contested over 72 holes played on two successive days.

Details of playEdit

Fergusson at the top of the backswing, c. 1891

Entries closed on the Saturday before the event but a number of players entered on the Monday and "the committee declined to accept them".[5] These late entries were later allowed to compete "under protest" but received no prize money.[6]

Hugh Kirkaldy had the best round of the morning. He three-putted the first two holes but still reached the turn in 39. Playing into a strong wind, he came back in 44 for a round of 83. He was closely followed by four players on 84. Willie More reached the turn in 40, coming back in 44. Andrew Kirkaldy had one of the better back nines of 43 to also score 84. The others on 84 were Fernie and Davie Grant, "one of the late entrants".[6]

Heavy rain fell for most of the afternoon but the wind was slightly lighter. Hugh Kirkaldy had seven fours in an outward 38 but took five on every hole on the back nine to come home in 45, a round of 83 and a total of 166. More disappointed with an 87 was Andrew Kirkaldy, the brother of Hugh, who had reached the turn in 39 and stood on the 17th tee in a strong position. However, he took six at the 17th and then missed a "longish putt"[6] at the last which would have tied his brother. He eventually three-putted for another six. Fernie reached the turn in 42 but had an excellent 42 coming home to tie with Andrew Kirkaldy. None of the other players challenged Hugh Kirkaldy although the amateur Fergusson had a three at the last to take fourth place.

The 1891 Open was the last time there was a play-off for prize money. Andrew Kirkaldy and Fernie played an 18-hole playoff on the following day. Kirkaldy won and took the second prize, Fernie taking third prize. "The day was beautifully fine, and the players had a large following".[7]

Later lifeEdit

In 1895 Fergusson laid out the New Zealand Golf Club course on the estate of Hugh F. Locke King, the aviation pioneer and motoring enthusiast. It was an unusual design for the day, not being a seaside links course but instead it was carved out of a heavy forest. By 1910 Fergusson had been named as captain of the R&A. Later in his career Fergusson designed a 9-hole golf course for King Edward at Windsor and Duff House Royal in Scotland with Archie Simpson.[2]

Death and legacyEdit

Fergusson died on 9 December 1928 in Byfleet, Surrey, England.[8] He is best remembered for his long golf career of over 40 years and for twice finishing second in the Amateur Championship in 1894 and 1898.

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879
The Open Championship 14 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889
The Amateur Championship NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF R16 QF DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
The Open Championship DNP 4 LA 15 T15 18 T40 32 T12 CUT WD
The Amateur Championship DNP R64 R16 SF 2 R32 R64 R32 2 R64
Tournament 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
The Open Championship 34 T15 DNP DNP WD DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Amateur Championship R32 R64 QF R128 R64 DNP DNP DNP DNP R128
Tournament 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Amateur Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP R64

Note: Fergusson played only in The Open Championship and The Amateur Championship.

LA = Low amateur
NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place
R256, R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10

Sources: Open Championship,[9] 1885 Amateur,[10] 1886 Amateur,[11] 1891 Amateur,[12] 1892 Amateur,[13] 1893 Amateur,[14] 1895 Amateur,[15] 1896 Amateur,[16] 1899 Amateur,[17] 1901 Amateur,[18] 1902 Amateur,[19] 1903 Amateur,[20] 1909 Amateur,[21] 1914 Amateur[22]

Team appearancesEdit


  1. ^ Brenner, Morgan G. (2009). The Majors of Golf: Complete Results of the Open, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters, 1860–2008. 1. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3360-5.
  2. ^ a b MacWood, Thomas. "The Early Architects: Beyond Old Tom". Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  3. ^ "The Golfing Annual (1899)". 1900. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  4. ^ "The World Almanac and Book of Facts (1908)". 1907. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  5. ^ "The Golf Championship – Details of the Draw". The Glasgow Herald. 6 October 1891. p. 9.
  6. ^ a b c "The Golf Championship – Victory of Hugh Kirkaldy". The Glasgow Herald. 7 October 1891. p. 10.
  7. ^ "Golf – The Championship Competition". The Glasgow Herald. 8 October 1891. p. 10.
  8. ^ FERGUSSON and the year of death 1929. Retrieved on 28 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Previous Opens". The Open. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  10. ^ "The Golf Tournament at Hoylake". The Glasgow Herald. 22 April 1885. p. 9.
  11. ^ "Amateur Golf Championship Tournament". The Glasgow Herald. 23 September 1886. p. 5.
  12. ^ "The Amateur Golf Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 8 May 1891. p. 10.
  13. ^ "The Amateur Golf Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 13 May 1892. p. 9.
  14. ^ "The Amateur Golf Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 12 May 1893. p. 11.
  15. ^ "Golf: Second Day's Play In The Amateur Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 9 May 1895. p. 3.
  16. ^ "Golf: Championship Meeting At Sandwich". The Glasgow Herald. 20 May 1896. p. 9.
  17. ^ "Golf: Amateur Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 24 May 1899. p. 10.
  18. ^ "Golf: The Amateur Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 8 May 1901. p. 8.
  19. ^ "Golf: Amateur Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 2 May 1902. p. 10.
  20. ^ "Golf: Amateur Golf Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 20 May 1903. p. 13.
  21. ^ "Golf: Amateur Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 26 May 1909. p. 14.
  22. ^ "Golf Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 21 May 1914. p. 15.