1903: Willie Anderson wins the second of his four total U.S. Opens at Baltusrol GC

Willie Anderson

Willie Anderson wins the U.S. Open at Baltusrol

On this day, In 1903 Willie Anderson won the second of his four U.S. Open titles at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey.  This one came in a playoff with fellow Scotsman David Brown and played on the “Old Course”, which no longer exists.  The Old Course at Baltusrol hosted the U.S. Open again in 1915, then was plowed three years later in 1918 by course architect A. W. Tillinghast to create the Upper and Lower Courses.

Willie Anderson & Alex Smith

Anderson was a favorite amongst other champions in the field like defending champion Laurie Auctherlonie and 1899 Champion Willie Smith. Anderson led after each of the first three rounds, carding a 73, 76, 76, but carded 82 in the final round on Saturday afternoon.  Brown’s final round of  76 equaled them at 307 total, eight strokes clear of the field. The playoff was moved to Monday because Sunday was reserved for member play.  The playoff started around 10 o’clock in pouring down rain, with reports that some greens were submerged with water.  Nevertheless, they played…

Anderson took a two-stroke lead at the turn, but Brown managed to tie after 14. At the next hole, Brown made a seven after his tee shot went out of bounds, but Anderson only gained a stroke after three-putting for a six.  At 16, Brown made a six to Anderson’s five, and both made fours on the last two holes; Anderson ended at 82, two shots ahead.  He received $200 for the win and would go on to win two more U.S. Open’s consecutively. Anderson is still the only person to win three U.S. Open’s in a row.

Horace Rowlins, Willie Anderson, Alex Smith

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