US Open anniversaries: Jones’ fundraising, Tiger and more
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — A look at some of the anniversaries this year at the U.S. Open:
100 years ago (1918)
For the second straight year, the U.S. Open was canceled because of World War I. That didn’t stop Bobby Jones from making his own contributions, even at age 16. Jones took part in a series of exhibitions to raise money for the war effort through the American Red Cross. After two years, some $150,000 was raised. The U.S. Open, at this point only 23 years old, would resume the following year. It would be five more years before Jones won the first of his four U.S. Open titles.
75 years ago (1943)
World War II canceled the U.S. Open for the second straight year, but the USGA remained active. It sponsored Pearl Harbor Tournaments that raised enough money to buy an ambulance for the Hawaii chapter of the Red Cross. It appointed Fanny Fern Davis the acting director of the USGA Green Section, making her the first woman to hold this position. George Blossom, the USGA president, encouraged Americans that golf played a role in supporting health and high morale during the war. “The USGA would like to make it very clear that it is our firm conviction that golf is a patriotic and proper form of exercise for the men and women of this country,” he said.
50 years ago (1968)
Lee Trevino won six majors, and Jack Nicklaus was runner-up in four of them. This was the first. Trevino won his first PGA Tour event in the 1968 U.S. Open at Oak Hill. Not only did he tie the 72-hole record of 275 that Nicklaus had set the year before, the Merry Mex became the first player to shoot in the 60s in all four rounds of the U.S. Open. That has been matched only twice over the last 50 years, by Lee Janzen at Baltusrol in 1993 and Rory McIlroy at Congressional in 2011. Trevino trailed Bert Yancey by one shot going into the final round and closed with a 76. Trevino was in charge the entire back nine, wearing his red shirt and red socks. He won by four shots. Nicklaus was the only other player under par (1-under 279). Sam Snead tied for ninth at age 56.
25 years ago (1993)
Baltusrol was getting a reputation for yielding record scoring, and Lee Janzen was the latest at the 1993 U.S. Open. He opened with 67-67 to take the lead into the weekend, and closed with rounds of 69-69 for a two-shot victory over Payne Stewart and the first of Janzen’s two U.S. Open titles. Stewart would be his victim five years later. Janzen joined Lee Trevino as the only players with all round rounds in the 60s. He finished at 272, tying the U.S. Open record set by Jack Nicklaus in 1980 at Baltusrol. The 1993 U.S. Open is where Ernie Els made his debut with a tie for seventh. John Daly also contributed a small piece of history by becoming the first player to reach the 630-yard 17th hole in two with a drive and a 1-iron.
20 years ago (1998)
The 1998 U.S. Open returned to Olympic Club, which had a reputation as the graveyard of champions. Ben Hogan (1955), Arnold Palmer (1966) and Tom Watson (1987) all finished second and never won another major. Janzen won his second U.S. Open with a little luck. His drive on No. 5 was lost in a tree in the final round, and as he walked back toward the tee, the ball fell to the ground, saving him two shots. He closed with a 66 to overcome a five-shot deficit and beat Payne Stewart by one shot. The USGA was criticized for a pin position on No. 18 on Friday that had balls rolling back to the players’ feet. As for that reputation? Stewart put an end to it by winning the U.S. Open the following year at Pinehurst No. 2.
10 years ago (2008)
Tiger Woods had not walked 18 holes from the final round of the Masters until the first round of the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. He had arthroscopic surgery to clean out cartilage in his left knee, and then suffered a double stress fracture in his right leg. Determined to play, he delivered a third U.S. Open title and his 14th major championship. Woods made two eagles and chipped in for birdie over the last six holes Saturday to take a one-shot lead. Trailing by one shot playing the par-5 18th, he laid up in the rough and hit lob wedge to 12 feet, making the putt for birdie to force a Monday playoff with Rocco Mediate. He felt pain in his left leg after impact, and Woods kept going. Trailing again late in the playoff, he made birdie on the 18th hole to tie Mediate, and then won on the 19th hole when Mediate made bogey. Woods had reconstructive surgery on his left knee eight days later and was out for nine months. That remains his last major championship.
5 years ago (2013)
The 2013 U.S. Open returned to Merion for the first time since 1981, and Justin Rose became the first player from England in 43 years to win. Equally memorable was the runner-up — Phil Mickelson, for the sixth time, and on his 43rd birthday. Mickelson had a one-shot lead going into the final round and was still poised to finally win the U.S. Open until the final six holes. Mickelson bogeyed twice, and Rose closed out an even-par 70 with three pure shots, including a 4-iron from the 18th fairway that set up a final par. Mickelson needed a birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff, and those hopes effectively ended when he found ankle-deep rough off the tee and couldn’t reach the green. Rose finished at 281, eight shots higher than David Graham’s winning score when he won at Merion in 1981.