Sunday, October 19, 2008

Prestwick Honour Professional

By Mike Aitken in The Scotsman

NEGLECTED in an unmarked grave for 140 years, buried in a churchyard which overlooks the first green at Prestwick, the club which employed him as a professional, Andrew Strath has finally received acknowledgement for winning the Open championship in 1865 and ending the duopoly of Old Tom Morris and Willie Park senior.

Ian Bunch, the secretary of Prestwick Golf Club and one of the founding members of Golf Tourism Scotland took up the story and explained to The Scotsman the joint venture with the council to commemorate a forgotten past Open champion came about.

Public records confirmed that Strath was buried in the graveyard overlooking Prestwick. "When he died of tuberculosis at the age of just 32, money was collected by the members of the club which went to his widow. But with a family to raise and bills to pay, there wasn't enough for a gravestone. When we found out about this, we spoke to South Ayrshire council and told them there was an Open champion in an unmarked grave. We wanted to do something and they said they wanted to be involved. So we did it together."

The full story can be read on the online pages of The Scotsman

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