Laurie Auchterlonie won his only major championship on this date
In 1902, the common newspaper gave Laurie Auchterlonie and the U.S. Open about three inches of column space, how times have changed. The popularity of the U.S Open wasn’t always how it is today. It was seen as a second rate tournament after the U.S. Amateur mainly due to the fact that there vastly more amateurs than professionals. It was on this date, 115 years ago that St. Andrews native and Scottish immigrant Laurie Auchterlonie won the 8th staging of the U.S. Open. At the time of the win, he was connected to Glenview Golf Club near Chicago playing there for many years.
The 1902 United States Open at Garden City Golf Club
Auchterlonie was destined to be the U.S. Open Champion after beating his competitors by six strokes over seventy-two holes. Behind him were amateur Champion Walter J. Travis of Garden City and Stewart Gardner, the professional at Garden City Country Club. The 1901 U.S. Open Champion, Willie Anderson finished disappointingly behind the Garden City duo. Unusually out of the ninety-five entries submitted in this even, only 45 cards were turned in after the 72 hole mark.
The final day of competition deemed to be tough on the players in the morning they battled fog and in the afternoon they drudged through heavy rains. Although, Walter Travis had a phenomenal final 36 holes Auchterlonie still prevailed to be the victor. Travis had gotten off to a rough start by shooting a pair of 82’s only to shoot a total of 149 (75-74). Auchterlonie, besides winning a cash prize of $200 he was also awarded a gold medal for his win.
Fact: Auchterlonie’s win in the 1902 U.S. Open was the first time that 80 was broken in all four rounds, as he posted a score of 78-78-74-77=307. The low scores were in large part due to the introduction of the Haskell golf ball, which soon replaced the gutta-percha ball as the prominent golf ball in use.
Josh Morris is the Editor of Golf History Today. A proud USGA Volunteer and golf enthusiast. In his free time he enjoys being a weekend caddie as well as playing as much as he can.