On this day, In 1914 Walter Hagen won his 1st major championship, the U.S. Open


Walter Hagen, just 22, was poised for greatness after his 1914 win at Midlothian

On this day, In 1914 a twenty-two year old, Walter Hagen won his first of eleven major championships at Midlothian Country Club in Midlothian, Illinois. The start of a magical career was in the midst for Hagen, also credited with being a pioneer of the sport for Americans.

Hagen initially opened the tournament by posting a record 68 at the Midlothian course, one stroke better than the defending champion wonder boy Francis Ouimet.  In fact, he and Ouimet were the only players in the field to post rounds in the 60’s, both coming in that first round.

After that Hagen coasted to victory going 68-74-75-73=290 to finish +2 & take the $300 prize.  Hagen, the former caddie turned pro from Rochester edged Chicago amateur Chick Evans by one stroke. In this particular feat, Hagen tied the lowest scoring mark set in the 1909 U.S. Open set by George Sargent.  John McDermott, the first American to ever win the U.S. Open, finished in ninth place in his final U.S. Open appearance, despite being just 22 years old.

Josh Morris

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.

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  1. Every PGA Tour player today owes gratitude to Walter Hagen who almost single-handed created the environment that enabled club professionals (employees of country clubs that seldom allowed them to play more than a handful of tournaments per season) to become professional golfers, who are in essence independant contractors earning a living by performing for the fans. Book recommendation: “Sir Walter” by Tom Clavin

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