6/24/1921: 19 year-old Bobby Jones infamously picks up out of a sand trap during the Open Championship


Bobby Jones picks up; Hutchison wins The Open

On this day, In 1921 Jock Hutchison won the Open Championship at St. Andrews in Scotland. He won by playing through a tough playoff against amateur, Roger Wethered in a 36 hole playoff.  There was another Amateur at St. Andrews who didn’t receive the same fortune that Wethered had.

In the third round of the 1921 Open Championship, Amateur king Bobby Jones famously found the bunker on the 11th hole.  He took four shots to get out and out of anger proceeded to pick up & tear up his scorecard.  This would be the 1st time Jones played the Old Course at St. Andrews and even was the low amateur after 36 holes before this blunder.  The young Jones would have his revenge though, as he would win the Grand Slam nine years later.

Hutchison, a native of St. Andrews was also an American citizen, so technically he was the first golfer to hold American citizenship to win The Open.  Just a year later, there were no doubts as Walter Hagen won the 1922 Open Championship over Jim Barnes & George Duncan.

The American push for the Claret Jug

The 1921 Open Championship included an an unusually large number of U.S.-based player entries following a funding-raising campaign by an American golf magazine. On September 27, 1920 Golf Illustrated wrote a letter to the Professional Golfers’ Association of America with a suggestion that a team of twelve to twenty American professionals be chosen to play in the British Open, to be financed by popular subscription. At that time no American golfer had won the British Open. The idea was that of James D. Harnett, who worked for the magazine. The PGA of America made a positive reply and the idea was announced in the November 1920 issue. The fund was called the British Open Championship Fund. By the next spring the idea had been firmed-up.

The American team was: Jim Barnes, Emmet French, Clarence Hackney, Walter Hagen, Charles Hoffner, Jock Hutchison, Tom Kerrigan, George McLean, Fred McLeod, Bill Melhorn, and Wilfrid Reid.

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