Of all that Bobby Jones accomplished his greatest victory could certainly have been over himself. He struggled early on with a volatile temper (is there a golfer that hasn’t). Renowned sportswriter Grantland Rice said at one point Jones had the "face of an angel and the temper of a timber wolf." It was this reputation of ill repute that brought Bobby to perhaps his lowest point as a player, during the 1921 British Open at the Old Course in St. Andrews. Bobby Jones first went to Great Britain in 1921 at the ripe old age of 19. The trip provided him a chance to play in the two British major tournaments—the Amateur and Open Championships. After losing in the fourth round of the British Amateur at Royal Liverpool, Jones came to St. Andrews where with his teenage angst he initially disliked the Old Course. Despite not playing particularly well, Jones did lead all amateurs after the first two rounds. But, in the third round he covered the first nine holes in a dismal 46 shots. At the par-four 10th, he took a double bogey six. Then, on the par-three 11th hole, he hit his ball into a bunker and eventually in frustration picked up his ball without completing the hole. Although he did go on to complete the round.."
"We all have to play the ball as it lies." ~Bobby Jones
That action meant that he had forfeited his place in the tournament, and from that point forward he forever viewed the event as his "most inglorious failure" in golf. The press was openly critical of Jones’ conduct at St. Andrews, yet this seemingly bitter disappointment in himself would ultimately prove to be a significant pivot point for Jones on his way to becoming one of the greatest champions golf had ever seen. After this first youthful blunder on the Old Course, Jones later endeared himself to the people of St. Andrews with his masterful playing and modest demeanor. He utterly won their hearts, following his 1927 victory at the British Open when in his speech after being presented with the trophy, he said "You have done so many things, that I am embarrassed to ask for one more, but I will. I want this wonderful old club to accept custody of the cup for the coming year." When Bobby Jones returned to St. Andrews in May 1930 to compete in the British Amateur – the first tournament of the Grand Slam – he was given an exuberant welcome. After he sank his winning putt, "Hats filled the air," wrote Mark Frost in The Grand Slam. "The crowd swallowed him, a full mile from the clubhouse….For a brief moment they lifted their hero up on their shoulders, Pop [O.B. Keeler] said “they 'apparently wanted to take the new champion apart to see what made him tick.'" He was eventually safely whisked away from the crowd and escorted back to the clubhouse. In the anthology The Greatest of Them All, Peter Dobereiner summarizes Bobby Jones' enduring significance to the people of St. Andrews: "He lives on…in legend, especially in St. Andrews, as the man who conquered himself and, by so doing, conquered golf and, by so doing, conquered a nation