BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — A capsule look at the three previous U.S. Open golf championships held at The Country Club:
Winner: Francis Ouimet
Margin: 36-hole playoff
Runners-up: Harry Vardon and Ted Ray.
Prize: None. Ouimet was an amateur (Vardon won $300).
Summary: In the greatest watershed moment in American golf, 20-year-old amateur Francis Ouimet stunned two of Britain’s best golfers to capture the U.S. Open at The Country Club, a victory that put golf on the front pages of newspapers. The 1913 U.S. Open had been moved from June to September so Harry Vardon and Ted Ray could compete. Ouimet, who lived across the street from the 17th hole, was playing his first major championship. Ouimet was six shots behind after the first round. He followed with rounds of 74-74 to share the 54-hole lead with Vardon and Ray, and he kept pace over the final round to match 79s and force an 18-hole playoff. In tough, rainy conditions, Ouimet shot 72, while Vardon had a 78 and Ray shot 79. The gallery was among the biggest ever in America for a golf tournament, and it was hailed as one of the biggest upsets in sports. Before long, America began to replace the Old World in golf supremacy.
Winner: Julius Boros
Runners-up: Arnold Palmer and Jackie Cupit.
Summary: The U.S. Open returned to The Country Club to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Francis Ouimet’s stunning victory. It ended in another playoff in some of the toughest scoring in the post-World War II era, with Julius Boros capturing his second U.S. Open. Cupit had the 54-hole lead, but Boros birdied two of his last three holes for a 72 to post at 293. Cupit had a two-shot lead until a double bogey on the 17th hole, and he missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a win. Cupit shot 75, while Palmer had a 74. In the playoff, Boros shot 33 on the front to seize control and he wound up with a 70 to beat Cupit by three shots. Palmer fell back with a triple bogey on the 11th hole and shot 76. Palmer lost in a U.S. Open playoff for the second straight year. Defending champion Jack Nicklaus missed the cut. He didn’t miss another cut in the U.S. Open until 1985.
Winner: Curtis Strange
Runner-up: Nick Faldo.
Summary: Curtis Strange atoned for losing the 1985 Masters by winning his first major in the 1988 U.S. Open. Strange had a one-shot lead over Nick Faldo, Bob Gilder and defending champion Scott Simpson going into the final round. He closed with a 1-over 272, but only after saving par from the front bunker on the 18th hole to force the playoff with Faldo. The 18-hole playoff was tight until the par-4 13th hole, when Strange holed an 18-foot birdie putt and Faldo three-putted for bogey. The two-shot swing gave Strange a three-shot lead. Faldo closed the gap with a birdie on the 14th, but he got no closer. Strange shot 71. Faldo, the reigning British Open champion, made three bogeys over the last four holes for a 75. It was the first of back-to-back U.S. Open titles for Strange.
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