A Fourth U.S. Open Title in a Grand Slam Year

At age 28, Bobby Jones could look back on a golf career no one since has come close to matching.

When he won the U.S. Open 69 years ago today at Interlachen Country Club in Minneapolis, it was his third major tournament win in a row and his second straight Open title.

He'd won the British Open three times, the British Open once, the U.S. Open four times (in eight summers) and 10 weeks later would add his fifth U.S. Amateur championship, completing a one-year sweep of what was then golf's "grand slam."

A guy that good--he should consider turning pro, right?

Wrong. He retired, to launch a law practice.

Perspective: Ben Hogan didn't win a major until he was 36.

Bobby Jones hadn't yet invented the Masters tournament at Augusta (he would in 1934), or he'd probably have won that too.

In his last U.S. Open, he gave an Interlachen gallery of 10,000 something to remember.

Ahead by a stroke at the 18th green, Jones studied a 40-foot putt that would have to climb a ridge then continue rolling uphill, breaking right. And when his putt dropped in, a roar went up from the gallery.

He won by two strokes over Macdonald Smith, who, since he was a pro, got the first-place money, $1,000.

Jones' victory--his 12th major win in eight years--caused a sensation in 1930 America. He had just had a New York ticker-tape parade for winning the British Open and British Amateur. And now this, a fourth U.S. Open title.

Wrote Grantland Rice: "He has caught the fancy of his country as no man barring Lindbergh."

Afterward, reporters scrambled to find the taciturn Jones' caddie, Donovan Dale.

"He said two sentences to me all day," Dale said.

"The first was: 'What's your name?' The second was: 'Where's the water?' "

In 1955, at Milwaukee, Stan Musial hit a 10th-inning home run to give the National League a 6-5 victory in the All-Star Game. Earlier, Mickey Mantle hit a 430-foot home run over the center-field fence off Robin Roberts. . . . In 1945, Tommy Holmes of the Boston Braves saw his hitting streak ended at 37 games when he went 0 for 4 against Chicago Cub pitcher Hank Wyse. Holmes' record National League hitting streak was broken by Pete Rose in 1978.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World