1913 U.S. Open Golf Tournament Winner and Scores

The 1913 U.S. Open was the 19th time the tournament was played, and a young American amateur defeated two British legends in a playoff.

Winner: Francis Ouimet, 304

Where it was played: The Country Club in Brookline, Massachussetts

Tournament dates: September 18-20, 1913

Leader after first round: Macdonald Smith and Alex Ross, 71

Leader after second round: Harry Vardon, 147

Leader after third round: Francis Ouimet, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, 225

What Happened at the 1913 U.S. Open

British legends Harry Vardon and Ted Ray were on an exhibition tour of the United States, and were such big stars the USGA delayed the 1913 U.S. Open until September just so they could make it to the tournament. But then-little-known amateur Francis Ouimet, who grew up across the street from the golf club, instead won in a playoff over Vardon and Ray.

Ouimet's victory had a huge impact on golf in the USA, helping spread the game out of the circle of wealthy and to the masses. This tournament is subject of a Mark Frost book, The Greatest Game Ever Played, and also a Hollywood motion picture of the same name.

Ouimet, age 20, was not well-known to the public at the time of the tournament. But he wasn't a nobody in the golf world: He won the Massachusetts Amateur earlier in the year, and reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur. Ouimet wasn't planning to play the U.S. Open, but the president of the USGA asked him to. It would look good to have a hometown boy, a former caddie, in the field.

The tournament was scheduled for two days, 36 holes both days. At the end of Day 1, Vardon, already a 5-time British Open champion and the most-famous golfer on the planet, was tied for the lead at 147. Ray, winner of the 1912 Open Championship, was two strokes behind, tied for third. And Ouimet was four behind Vardon, tied for seventh.

In the third round, Ouimet shot 74, Ray 76 and Vardon 78, leaving them in a three-way tie for the lead. All three carded 79s in the final round, tying at 304 (three strokes in front of anyone else). That set up an 18-hole playoff for the following day.

And after nine holes of the playoff, they were still tied. But on the back nine, Ray quickly got into trouble and a double-bogey on the 15th knocked him out of contention. Ouimet, who made no bogeys on the back nine, led Vardon by one stroke at that point. But Vardon bogeyed the 17th while Ouimet birdied it, producing a 3-stroke edge. Vardon then double-bogeyed the final hole, making the final margin — 72 for Ouimet, 77 for Vardon — appear worse than it really was from Vardon's perspective. Ouimet really won it on the 17th hole of the playoff. Ray finished with a 78.

Ouimet was the first amateur to win the U.S. Open. He was the second-youngest winner of the tournament at that time, and he remains so today. Ouimet never turned pro. He tied for fifth in the 1914 U.S. Open, and tied for third in the 1925 U.S. Open. He won the U.S. Amateur in 1914 and 1931.

Vardon and Ray returned for the 1920 U.S. Open (by which time Vardon had won a sixth British Open, but was now 50 years old), and Vardon led most of the final round. But Ray wound up the winner.

Walter Hagen, a future 2-time U.S. Open winner and 11-time major championship winner, made his tournament and major championship debut here. He tied for fourth place. John McDermott, going for a three-peat after winning the 1911 and 1912 U.S. Opens, tied for eighth place. He played only once more in a U.S. Open.

1913 U.S. Open Final Scores

a-Francis Ouimet 77-74-74-79—304 (72)
Harry Vardon 75-72-78-79—304 (77)
Ted Ray 79-70-76-79—304 (78)
Jim Barnes 74-76-78-79—307
Walter Hagen 73-78-76-80—307
Macdonald Smith 71-79-80-77—307
Louis Tellier 76-76-79-76—307
John McDermott 74-79-77-78—308
Herbert Strong 75-74-82-79—310
Pat Doyle 78-80-73-80—311
a-W.C. Fownes Jr. 79-75-78-80—312
Elmer Loving 76-80-75-81—312
Alex Campbell 77-80-76-80—313
Mike Brady 83-74-78-80—315
Matt Campbell 83-80-77-76—316
a-Fred Herreshoff 75-78-83-82—318
Jock Hutchison 77-76-80-85—318
Tom McNamara 73-86-75-84—318
Wilfred Reid 75-72-85-86—318
Alex Smith 82-75-82-79—318
a-Robert Andrews 83-73-83-80—319
Jack Croke 72-83-83-81—319
Charles Murray 80-80-80-79—319
Peter Robertson 79-80-78-82—319
George Sargent 75-76-79-89—319
Charles Thom 76-76-84-85—321
Jack Dowling 77-77-82-85—321
Bob Macdonald 80-79-84-79—322
a-Jerome Travers 78-78-81-85—322
Frank Belwood 79-83-80-81—323
James Donaldson 79-76-85-83—323
J.H. Taylor 81-80-78-84—323
Jack Hobens 78-79-84-83—324
Albert Murray 76-82-81-85—324
David Ogilvie 81-77-82-84—324
Herbert Barker 80-79-85-82—326
Alex Ross 71-80-93-82—326
Tom Anderson Jr. 82-83-82-80—327
Fred McLeod 80-85-82-80—327
Tom Vardon 85-78-79-85—327
John Shippen 81-73-87-87—328
James Thomson 80-80-84-84—328
Willie Maguire 85-80-82-82—329
Walter Fovargue 79-83-81-87—330
Karl Keffer 79-84-81-88—332
Joe Sylvester 81-81-87-83—332
George Cummings 81-79-88-86—334
Tom Bonnar 86-79-85-88—338
Robert Thomson 84-79-90-87—340

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