1951 U.S. Open Winner and Scores

The 1951 U.S. Open was the 51st time the tournament was played. Ben Hogan shot the best round of the tournament, a 67, in the final round, including a birdie on the last hole, to win by two strokes.

Winner: Ben Hogan, 287

Where it was played: Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Michigan

Tournament dates: June 14-16, 1951

Leader after first round: Sam Snead, 71

Leader after second round: Bobby Locke, 144

Leader after third round: Bobby Locke and Jimmy Demaret, 218

What Happened in the 1951 U.S. Open

Before the U.S. Open returned to the South Course of Oakland Hills Country Club in 1951, the USGA decided the course needed to be toughed up a little. They brought in Robert Trent Jones to makes some updates to the course. In the weeks leading up to the tournament, they grew the rough higher and mowed the fairways narrower and greens tighter. In later years, the USGA "toughening up" courses for the U.S. Open was common. But this is remembered as the first time they specifically set out to change a golf course to make it play harder for the national championship.

Ben Hogan was the golfer who best responded. Not a single golfer broke par the first two rounds. In the third round, Jimmy Demaret matched par at 70, the only golfer to do so. At that point, after 54 holes, Demaret and Bobby Locke were tied for the lead at 8-over. Hogan was tied for fifth place at 10-over.

But in the final round, Hogan finally got the better of the course that week dubbed "The Monster." Hogan fired a 3-under 67, the best round of the tournament, in the final round. He birdied the 10th, 13th and 15th holes, and closed out the victory with another birdie on the last hole. During the trophy presentation, Hogan said, "I'm glad I brought this course, this monster, to its knees."

Hogan won by two strokes over Clayton Heafner, whose own closing 69 combined with Hogan's 67 as the only two sub-70 rounds of the tournament. Locke slid to third, while Demaret struggled with a final-round 78.

Hogan won the 1948, 1950 and 1951 U.S. Opens, and didn't play in 1949 due to his auto accident. So this was Hogan's third win in his last three tries at the U.S. Open. (He added a fourth national championship in 1953.) With his consecutive wins in 1950-51, Hogan was the last back-to-back champion until Curtis Strange won in 1988-89.

Julius Boros, not yet a winner on the PGA Tour, finished tied for fourth. Boros would get his first victory a year later at the 1952 U.S. Open. Two-time PGA Championship winner Paul Runyan tied for sixth, his final Top 10 finish in a major. Sam Parks Jr., winner of the 1935 U.S. Open, missed the cut in his final appearance in this major.

1951 U.S. Open Final Scores

Ben Hogan 76-73-71-67—287
Clayton Heafner 72-75-73-69—289
Bobby Locke 73-71-74-73—291
Julius Boros 74-74-71-74—293
Lloyd Mangrum 75-74-74-70—293
Al Besselink 72-77-72-73—294
Dave Douglas 75-70-75-74—294
Fred Hawkins 76-72-75-71—294
Paul Runyan 73-74-72-75—294
Al Brosch 73-74-76-72—295
Smiley Quick 73-76-74-72—295
Skee Riegel 75-76-71-73—295
Sam Snead 71-78-72-74—295
Jimmy Demaret 74-74-70-78—296
Lew Worsham 76-71-76-73—296
a-Charles Kocsis 75-74-76-72—297
Henry Ransom 74-74-76-73—297
Buck White 76-75-74-72—297
Raymond Gafford 76-74-74-74—298
Johnny Revolta 78-72-72-76—298
Charles Bassler 79-71-74-75—299
Joe Kirkwood Jr. 74-78-73-74—299
Marty Furgol 78-72-74-76—300
Cary Middlecoff 76-73-79-73—301
Ed "Porky" Oliver 81-71-77-72—301
Johnny Palmer 73-78-76-74—301
Henry Picard 78-73-78-72—301
Earl Stewart Jr. 74-74-78-75—301
Tommy Bolt 77-72-75-78—302
Roberto De Vicenzo 75-76-74-77—302
Fred Haas 77-75-77-73—302
George Kinsman 75-73-75-79—302
a-Sam Urzetta 78-71-78-75—302
a-Bo Wininger 75-71-77-79—302
Clarence Doser 74-76-77-76—303
Charles Klein 73-74-81-75—303
Gene Sarazen 74-76-76-77—303
Al Watrous 77-75-77-74—303
Sam Bernardi 73-76-77-78—304
a-Harvie Ward 74-76-78-76—304
Doug Ford 76-76-78-75—305
Bob Hamilton 74-77-79-76—306
Jack Harden 75-75-80-76—306
Gene Kunes 77-75-77-77—306
a-Dale Morey 76-75-75-80—306
a-Frank Stranahan 74-77-78-77—306
Dutch Harrison 73-78-78-78—307
Craig Wood 76-72-82-77—307
Sam Byrd 73-79-76-80—308
Bill Nary 77-75-77-79—308
Gene Webb 76-74-76-82—308
Johnny Bulla 80-70-82-77—309
a-James Funston 76-75-84-75—310
John Barnum 79-73-79-80—311
Claude Harmon 74-75-79-83—311

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