Bobby Jones in the U.S. Open: Wins, Scores, Yearly Finishes

Bobby Jones shared the U.S. Open tournament record of four wins. He also, at one time, shared the U.S. Open record of four second-place finishes. In other words, Jones was very, very good in the U.S. Open.

Just how good becomes even more clear once it is pointed out that Jones only played in the U.S. Open 11 times. Below are those yearly scores and finishes, but we'll start with brief recaps of each of Jones' four wins.

Bobby Jones' U.S. Open Wins

1923 U.S. Open: Jones' first win wasn't easy. He had a 3-stroke lead entering the final round, but hit a drive out of bounds early and hit an approach into a parking lot late. And then double-bogeyed the 72nd hole. Jones faced Bobby Cruickshank in an 18-hole playoff the next day, and won that by two strokes.

1926 U.S. Open: This time, Jones was three behind after 54 holes. But Jones' 73 was good enough. He reached the final hole needing par to force another playoff. But after a 310-yard drive on the par-5, he had an eagle putt and then a tap-in for birdie.

1929 U.S. Open: Jones' third win in this tournament required another playoff (he was in four U.S. Open playoffs total, see below). He led by three again entering the final round, but nearly collapsed. Jones triple-bogeyed the 15th and bogeyed the 16th, and had to make a 12-foot par putt on the final hole to force a playoff. The 36-hole playoff was against Al Espinosa, and Jones left no doubt this time: He won by 23 strokes.

1930 U.S. Open: His record-tying fourth win in the U.S. Open was also the third leg of Jones' Grand Slam. He had already won the British Amateur and British Open in 1930, and months later added the U.S. Amateur title to complete that era's single-season Grand Slam. A 68 in the third round was the difference for Jones, who shot 75 in the final round and won by two over Macdonald Smith.

Bobby Jones' Yearly Scores, Finishes in U.S. Open

Jones was 18 years old when he first played the U.S. Open in 1920. He was 28 years old when he last played the tournament in 1930. These are Jones' yearly results in the U.S. Open tournament:
  • 1920: 78-74-70-77—299 (+11), tie 8th
  • 1921: 78-71-77-77—303 (+23), tie 5th
  • 1922: 74-72-70-73—289 (+9), tie 2nd
  • 1923: 71-73-76-76—296 (+8), win (won playoff)
  • 1924: 74-73-75-78—300 (+12), 2nd
  • 1925: 77-70-70-74—291 (+7), 2nd (lost playoff)
  • 1926: 70-79-71-73—293 (+5), win
  • 1927: 76-77-79-77—309 (+21), tie 11th
  • 1928: 73-71-73-77—294 (+10), 2nd (lost playoff)
  • 1929: 69-75-71-79—294 (+6), win (won playoff)
  • 1930: 71-73-68-75—287 (-5), win
It's worth reiterating those placements to make sure we all understand how remarkable Jones' U.S. Open record was. In 11 appearances, he never finished lower than 11th. That 11th-place showing was his only finish lower than eighth. In nine of 11 appearances, Jones was in the Top 5. In eight of 11 appearances, he was either the winner or runner-up.

Jones played in four U.S. Open playoffs, winning two and losing two. Here are those scores:

  • 1923: Defeated Bobby Cruickshank by two strokes in an 18-hole playoff, 76 to 78.
  • 1925: Lost a 36-hole playoff to Willie Macfarlane by one stroke, 148 to 147.
  • 1928: Lost a 36-hole playoff to Johnny Farrell by one stroke, 144 to 143.
  • 1929: In a 36-hole playoff, Jones defeated Al Espinosa by 23 strokes, 141 to 164.

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