Old Tom Morris didn’t invent the game of golf, but he is recognized as the sport’s founding father. He played in the first 36 British Opens, winning four times, and sired a son, Tom Morris Jr., who won the world’s oldest golf championship four times on his own. But as much as his successes in tournament golf and as a parent are significant, Tom Morris Sr. left behind the legacy of being a champion among men.
The authors of the day came to respect him for the way he handled victory as well as defeat; and there was no greater loss than when Tom Morris Jr., mourning the death of his wife and child, died at the age of 24. Horace Hutchinson wrote about Morris’ “unruffled serenity of temper.” John L. Low described the way Morris was “always cheerful during a life which met with almost continual disappointments and sorrows.” Yet, according to Hutchinson and Low, what separated Old Tom was his humbleness and the way he addressed himself to men of all classes.