Harry Vardon beats rival J.H. Taylor to win the U.S. Open
On October 5th, 1900 Harry Vardon showed Americans why he was regarded “the best in the world”. The British golfing giant from Ganton, England won the fifth staging of the U.S. Open played at Chicago Golf Club. In a field of English, Scotch, Irish, German, and American players, he had to beat out John Henry Taylor, who was then considered the best golfer in Great Britain. Vardon and Taylor were already known in the golfing world as star’s as they made up two-thirds of the “Great Triumvirate“, which consisted of the two plus, James Braid who combined for 16 Open Championship titles from the years 1894 to 1914.
Out of coincidence Vardon entered the 1900 U.S. Open
First of all by 1900, Harry Vardon had been the Open Champion three times already and had upwards of twenty wins in his career already before he arrived in Wheaton, IL. He was in the U.S. to promote the Vardon Flyer Ball, Vardon made his first appearance at this very U.S. Open. J. H. Taylor was also in America on business and decided to enter the tournament, creating a highly anticipated matchup between the two great British rivals.
Vardon was always considered the favorite over Taylor due to the fact that he had been in the United States longer period of time. After losing to his fellow countryman by two strokes, J.H. Taylor had this to say of his competitor. “His victory was well earned…He played more consistent golf than I, and deserves the good the good fortune. He had the advantage of being more familiar with the course than I, and had been in this country long enough to become thoroughly acclimated, but that was my misfortune and his luck.” Yet, luck was never on either side as the pair never won another major outside The Open.
Neither of the men would enter the U.S. Open again until 13 years later. Due to World War I and World War II many tournaments were cancelled. The 1913 U.S. Open was one to be remembered. Vardon and Ted Ray would go on to lose in a playoff while amateur Francis Ouimet made golf history.
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.