History

 

TIMELINE

Leon Spinks takes title from Ali on decision

First Volkswagen is produced in America

First test-tube baby is born in London

1978


Andy North

Andy North, 28, of Madison, Wisconsin won the Open Championship at the Cherry Hills Country Club, Englewood, Colorado with a score of 285, one over par. Dave Stockton and J. C. Snead tied for second place with 286. North had rounds of 770, 70, 71, 74. Hale Irwin was the first-round leader with 69, two under par. Only three other players bettered par 71 in the first round. North shot 70 and shared second place with Snead and Bob Clampett, an 18-year-old amateur. Six players finished the first round with 71, even par, including Bill Casper and Gary Player.

After 36 holes, North held a two-stroke lead at 140, two under par, after a second consecutive 70 that included a 30-foot birdie putt on the long par 4 18th hole. In second place at 142, even par, were Snead, Player, and Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus added a 69 to his opening-round 73. A stroke back, at 143, were Irwin, Clampett, Mark Hayes, and Lee Trevino. North shot a 71 in the third round for 211 and a one-stroke lead over Player, who shot y0 for 212. Three strokes behind North were Snead and Stockton, who had 72 and 70 respectively, for 214.

North once again birdied the difficult 18th hole, dropping a 45-foot putt. In the final round, North made birdies on the fourth and fifth holes to go four under par. He gave back three strokes with bogies at the eighth, ninth, and tenth holes, recovered quickly with birdies at the eleventh and thirteenth holes, but then went bogey-double bogey on the next two holes. Stockton birdied the fifteenth hole to cut North's lead to one stroke, but could manage only a par-par-bogey finish on the last three holes. Snead needed a birdie at the final hole, but he made par 4 instead.

On the final hole, North needed a 5 to win the Championship. He played a 3-iron tee shot into the right rough. He played out with an 8-iron but the ball landed in the opposite rough, left and short of the green. He misplayed his wedge pitch, and the ball fell short into a greenside bunker. He played an excellent bunker shot, leaving himself a four-foot putt to win the Championship.

North stepped away from the putt twice because the wind was affecting his concentration. When he finally reset himself, he stroked the ball firmly into the hole. The lowest 18-hole score of the Championship was 68, which was shot by John Miller in the third round and matched by Tom Weiskopf and Mike McCullough in the fourth round.

Sixty-one professionals and two amateurs made the 36-hole cut at 151, nine over par. Bob Clampett was the low amateur with a 297 total, 13 over par. Prize money reached a record $310,200 with $295,200 awarded in the Championship proper and $15,000 in the Sectional Qualifying Championships. A record 4,897 entries were received for the Championship.

OPEN RECORDS


Starts - 21

Best Finish - Winner 1978 & '85

Rds - 66

Cuts Made - 12

Top 3 - 2

Top 5 - 2

Top 10 - 4

Top 25 - 8

Avg. - 73.17

Scores In 60s - 5

Rds Under Par - 12

Earnings - $203,568.88
Current Leaders
PosPlayerTodayThruTotal
1W. Simpson-2F+1
T2M. Thompson-3F+2
T2G. McDowell+3F+2
T4D. Toms-2F+3
T4P. Harrington-2F+3
T4J. PetersonEF+3
T4J. DufnerEF+3
T4J. Furyk+4F+3
javascript:launchPicstream()
http://www.usopen.com/en_US/tickets/index.html
U.S. Open Shop
Historical Notes
On Oct. 4, 1895, the first U.S. Open Championship was conducted by the United States Golf Association on the nine-hole course of Newport (R.I.) Golf and Country Club.
The first U.S. Open was considered something of a sideshow to the first U.S. Amateur, which was played on the same course and during the same week. Both championships had been scheduled for September but were postponed because of a conflict with a more established Newport sports spectacle, the America's Cup yacht races.
Ten professionals and one amateur started in the 36-hole competition, which was four trips around the Newport course in one day. The surprise winner was Horace Rawlins, 21, an English professional who was the assistant at the host course. Rawlins scored 91-82-173 with the gutta-percha ball.
Prize money totalled $335, of which Rawlins won the $150 first prize. He also received a gold medal and custody of the Open Championship Cup for his club for one year.
In its first decade, the U.S. Open was conducted for amateurs and the largely British wave of immigrant golf professionals coming to the United States.
As American players began to dominate the game, the U.S. Open evolved into an important world golf championship. Young John J. McDermott became the first native-born American winner in 1911 and repeated as champion in 1912.
In 1913, the U.S. Open really took off when Francis Ouimet, a 20-year-old American amateur, stunned the golf world by defeating famous English professionals, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, in a playoff.
Another surge in the championship's popularity coincided with the amazing career of Georgia amateur Bob Jones, who won the U.S. Open four times (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930). Spectator tickets were sold for the first time in 1922 and a boom in entries caused the USGA to introduce sectional qualifying in 1924.
In 1933, John Goodman became the fifth and last amateur to win the U.S. Open. The others were Ouimet, Jerome D. Travers (1915), Charles Evans Jr., (1916), and Jones.
In each era, the world's greatest players have been identified by surviving the rigorous examination provided by the U.S. Open. Ben Hogan's steely determination boosted him to four victories (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953). Arnold Palmer's record comeback win in 1960, when he fired a final round of 65 to come from seven strokes off the lead, cemented his dashing image. Jack Nicklaus' historic assault on the professional record book began when he won the first of his four U.S. Open Championships in 1962, his rookie season as a professional.
Nicklaus, who also won in 1967, 1972, and 1980, is one of only four golfers to win four U.S. Opens. The others are Willie Anderson (1901, 1903, 1904, 1905), Jones and Hogan.
In 1954, the U.S. Open course was roped from tee to green for the first time. That year also marked the first national television coverage. Coverage was expanded by ABC Sports in 1977 so that all 18 holes of the final two rounds were broadcast live. In 1982, on the ESPN cable network, the first two rounds were broadcast live for the first time. NBC began televising the U.S. Open in 1995.
The format of the U.S. Open has changed several times. The USGA extended the championship to 72 holes in 1898, with 36 holes played on each of two days. In 1926, the format was changed to 18 holes played each of two days, then 36 holes on the third day. In 1965, the present format of four 18-hole daily rounds was implemented for the first time.
In 2002, a two-tee (Nos. 1 and 10) start was used for the first and second rounds. In addition, Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y., was the first facility owned by the public to host a U.S. Open. International qualifying sites were added in 2005 and the champion at Pinehurst Resort in N.C. was Michael Campbell, who qualified in England.