1898 U.S. Open Results

The 1898 U.S. Open was the fourth time the tournament was played. But after three U.S. Opens that were 36 holes in length, this was the first one played over 72 holes.

Winner: Fred Herd, 328

Where it was played: Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton, Massachussetts

Tournament dates: June 17-18, 1898

Leader after first round: Alex Smith, 78

Leader after second round: Willie Anderson, 163

Leader after third round: Fred Herd, 244

What Happened in the 1898 U.S. Open

The fourth U.S. Open was the first one played over 72 holes — four rounds of 18 holes each became established at this point as the tournament format. (The golf course was only nine holes, so one round consisted of playing the course twice.) And the first winner at 72 holes was a golfer who was nearly completely unknown in the United States, Fred Herd. Herd had only been in the U.S. for a few months, having arrived on a ship from Scotland on which Alex Smith, who finished second to Herd, also traveled.

"You wer'na known twa weeks ago," wrote a poet whose poem about the 1898 U.S. Open appeared in an issue of an early golf magazine (you can read the poem below, after the tournament scores).

Herd's 75 in the third round was the low round of the tournament, and one of only two sub-80 rounds. The other (a 78) was carded by runner-up Smith in the first round. This was the first of three runner-up finishes in a U.S. Open by Smith, but Smith also won twice (1906 and 1910). (Smith's brother Willie Smith, who won the next year in 1899, made his tournament debut here.)

According to the USGA's tournament history, Herd's reputation as a hard drinker was such that before he was allowed to take possession of the championship trophy, the USGA required Herd to leave a cash deposit. The USGA was worried Herd might pawn the trophy to get money for liquor.

Fred Herd played in only three other U.S. Opens, with no other Top 10 finishes. His brother Sandy Herd won the 1902 British Open.

1898 U.S. Open Final Scores

Fred Herd 84-85-75-84—328
Alex Smith 78-86-86-85—335
Willie Anderson 81-82-87-86—336
Joe Lloyd 87-80-86-86—339
Willie Smith 82-91-85-82—340
William Hoare 84-84-87-87—342
Willie Dunn 85-87-87-85—344
John Jones 83-84-90-90—347
a-Herbert Leeds 81-84-93-89—347
Robert McAndrew 85-90-86-86—347
Bernard Nicholls 86-87-88-86—347
Harry Turpie 85-87-86-91—349
Alex Findlay 89-88-84-89—350
John Lister 92-88-90-85—355
Willie Tucker 90-89-87-89—355
a-James Curtis 87-88-88-93—356
John Harland 84-93-93-87—357
William Davis 91-88-95-85—359
Horace Rawlins 91-90-92-88—361
a-James Tyng 92-91-88-90—361
a-Quincy Shaw 88-85-93-98—364
Jack Youds 92-90-92-90—364
J.H. Mercer 85-95-93-93—366
Gilbert Nicholls 91-92-91-92—366
John Dunn 91-88-91-97—367
Willie Campbell 93-91-97-101—382
a-H.R. Sweny 92-97-96-99—384
a-Winthrop Rutherford 100-99-98-91—388
Walter Stoddard 103-95-97-96—391

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1897 U.S. Open - 1899 U.S. Open

The 1898 U.S. Open Poem

Shortly after the 1898 U.S. Open finished, the following poem about it appeared in an issue of Golf magazine (not the same as today's Golf magazine), written by R.A. Shand:

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