The 1930 Open Championship was to play an important part in arguably the greatest achievement in the history of golf. Bobby Jones came to Hoylake as the reigning Amateur Champion, victory at St.Andrew's following a series of memorable matches often closely fought. From Scotland he travelled to Paris on holiday, although we know he played several exhibition matches in France. He arrived in Liverpool tired from travel and his golf was described as stale.
All competitors had to prequalify and 73 at Hoylake followed by 77 at Wallasey saw Jones comfortably into the tournament proper. The Open field was a strong one with several top American challengers, but Jones opened with 70 to tie Henry Cotton and Macdonald Smith. 72 in the second round gave him the lead at halfway by one stroke from Fred Robson with several players two strokes further back. Jones lost the lead to Archie Compston in the third round, the Englishman breaking the course record with a fine 68 to lead by one shot entering the final round.
Compston did not start well in round four, three putting the first and rather weakly drifted out of contention with a disasterous 82. Jones started the round steadily and approaching the turn appeared to be in control of the Championship, however a calamitous 7 at the eighth halted his progress, and he took several holes to recover. A brave scrambling finish, playing the final five holes in one under par set a fine total of 291. Late challenges by Leo Diegel then Macdonald Smith narrowly failed to catch Jones, and he would claim his third Open Championship.
The test for a great Champion is to succeed when not their best, and by all accounts it was Bobby Jones' skills of recovery and determination that prevailed at Hoylake in 1930. Later that year he triumphed in the US Open at Interlachen and the US Amateur at Merion to achieve what became known as the Grand Slam. After the Championship Royal Liverpool honoured Bobby Jones by electing him Life Member of the Club.
Bobby Jones in full swing