1954 U.S. Open Winner and Scores

The 1954 U.S. Open was the 54th time the tournament was played, and this one produced a surprise champion. Ed Furgol had a 1-stroke lead after three rounds over Dick Mayer, and held on to win by the same 1-stroke margin, but over Gene Littler.

Winner: Ed Furgol, 284

Where it was played: Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey

Tournament dates: June 17-19, 1954

Leader after first round: Billy Joe Patton, 69

Leader after second round: Gene Littler, 139

Leader after third round: Ed Furgol, 212

What Happened at the 1954 U.S. Open

Journeyman Ed Furgol held off hotshot rookie Gene Littler to win the 1954 U.S. Open. For Furgol, it was his only major championship among six wins on the PGA Tour (although he had four other Top 10s in majors).

Littler was the 1953 U.S. Amateur champion and earlier in 1954 won the PGA Tour's San Diego Open as an amateur. After two rounds, Littler led defending champion Ben Hogan and Furgol by two strokes. But Littler shot 76 in the third round, falling three strokes behind Furgol. In the final round, Littler shot 70 to Furgol's 72, but that left Littler one stroke shy. Littler went on to win 29 times in his PGA Tour career, including the 1961 U.S. Open.

Furgol's victory was earned with a great recovery on the final hole. The 1954 U.S. Open was played at Baltusrol, which has two courses, the Upper and Lower. The Lower Course was where this tournament was played. On his final hole, Furgol sprayed his drive into trees. Deciding he couldn't get back into the fairway if he tried to play on the Lower Course's 18th, he went the other direction, hitting his ball onto the Upper course's 18th fairway.

From there he managed to make par, and making par instead of bogey on his 72nd hole turned out to be the winning margin. Furgol was tied with Dick Mayer at that point, but Mayer, playing with Furgol, triple-bogeyed the 72nd.

Hogan, like Littler, shot a third-round 76. That derailed his bid for U.S. Open win No. 5 and he finished tied for sixth. Arnold Palmer, the 1954 U.S. Amateur champion, played in his second U.S. Open here and missed the cut. Lloyd Mangrum, 1946 U.S. Open winner, tied for third. Mangrum finished in the Top 10 each year (and Top 4 four of the five years) from 1950-54. But this was his last Top 10 finish in a U.S. Open. Johnny Farrell, 1928 U.S. Open champ, and Tony Manero, 1936 U.S. Open winner, both missed the cut in their final appearances in this major.

The 1954 U.S. Open was the first one that was nationally televised. The USGA also notes that this Open was the first where the fairways and greens were staked and roped, keeping players "inside the ropes" and the crowds "outside the ropes."

Playing at the same time as Ed Furgol on the PGA Tour was Marty Furgol. Marty and Ed were both from the town of New York Mills, New York. But despite sharing the same surname, being close in age, and coming from the same town, not only were the Furgols not brothers, they were not related in any way.

1954 U.S. Open Final Scores

Ed Furgol 71-70-71-72—284
Gene Littler 70-69-76-70—285
Lloyd Mangrum 72-71-72-71—286
Dick Mayer 72-71-70-73—286
Bobby Locke 74-70-74-70—288
Tommy Bolt 72-72-73-72—289
Fred Haas 73-73-71-72—289
Ben Hogan 71-70-76-72—289
Shelley Mayfield 73-75-72-69—289
a-Billy Joe Patton 69-76-71-73—289
Cary Middlecoff 72-71-72-75—290
Sam Snead 72-73-72-73—290
Rudy Horvath 75-72-71-73—291
Al Mengert 71-72-73-75—291
Jack Burke Jr. 73-73-72-75—293
Claude Harmon 75-72-72-74—293
Jay Hebert 77-70-70-77—294
Marty Furgol 73-74-73-75—295
Leland Gibson 72-77-69-77—295
Bob Toski 70-74-78-73—295
a-Dick Chapman 77-67-77-75—296
Johnny Weitzel 74-76-69-77—296
Julius Boros 78-71-78-70—297
a-William Campbell 75-73-73-76—297
Max Evans 76-74-73-74—297
Lew Worsham 72-77-77-71—297
George Fazio 74-77-74-73—298
Ted Kroll 70-79-73-76—298
Jimmy Demaret 79-71-76-73—299
Dick Metz 75-75-72-77—299
Johnny Revolta 72-75-73-79—299
Bob Rosburg 74-77-74-74—299
Jim Turnesa 74-76-72-78—300
Robert Watson 72-76-77-75—300
Doug Ford 75-75-75-76—301
Lawson Little 78-73-73-77—301
George Bayer 77-74-77-74—302
Paul McGuire 78-69-78-77—302
Lionel Hebert 75-75-77-76—303
Raymond Gafford 76-74-76-78—304
Bo Wininger 74-77-76-77—304
Clarence Doser 76-73-78-78—305
Toby Lyons 77-74-75-79—305
Skee Riegel 75-76-77-77—305
Patrick Abbott 75-75-77-79—306
a-Gene Dahlbender 77-73-77-80—307
Bob Duden 74-77-74-82—307
Loddie Kempa 75-75-85-75—310
Dan Herring 76-75-79-84—314
John Bass 78-73-80-84—315

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