Friday, 6 July 2007
Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris
The tale of Tom Morris, winner of golf's first Open Championship in Scotland in 1860, and his son, Tommy Morris, who won the Open three years in a row, is not only one of sport's great stories but also a compelling saga of near-Homeric proportions. Like Mark Frost in The Greatest Game Ever Played (2002), about Francis Quimet's unlikely triumph in the 1913 U.S. Open, Cook tells the story of Tom Sr and Tom Jr. with his eyes on multiple balls: golf history, personal drama, and the larger societal concerns that the young game reflected. The son of a weaver and a maid, Tom Morris went from apprentice golf-ball maker to the Grand Old Man of St. Andrews, the home of golf. Along the way, he won the Open Championship four times and fathered a son, known as Young Tom, who broke all his father's records yet died in his twenties at the height of his fame and only a few months after his wife died in childbirth. Golf history claims Young Tom died of a broken heart, and while Cook sets the record straight on that point, the heartbreaking essence of the story will not be reduced to pulmonary embolisms. Beyond telling a tragic story of supreme athletic accomplishment and premature death, Cook shows how golf, though quickly claimed by the aristocracy, had its roots in the working classes. Golf history at its absolute best. Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son.