1902 US Open
Champ establishes two important 'firsts' on road to victory
The winner of the 1902 U.S. Open was Laurie Auchterlonie, and he established two "firsts" to claim the trophy:
- Auchterlonie was the first golfer in U.S. Open history to score below 80 in all four rounds;
- And he was the first golfer to win the U.S. Open using the newly invented Haskell ball.
The two "firsts" were linked: the Haskell ball helped make possible the lower scoring as a big improvement over the previous gutta-percha golf balls. One year earlier, Walter Travis won the U.S. Amateur and Sandy Herd won the British Open using Haskell balls. The Haskell made its way into the U.S. Open this year. Haskell balls had a solid core with rubber strips or threads wound around the core (a method of golf ball construction used throughout the remainder of the 20th century). They flew farther than the gutta-percha balls they replaced.
Auchterlonie trailed by a stroke following Round 1, but took the lead after the second and stretched it with a third-round 74. He wound up lowering the young tournament record by six strokes. Six shots was also his margin of victory over runner-up Stewart Gardner. In third was amateur Travis, who was the designer of the host golf course, Garden City Golf Club.
Auchterlonie, a Scotsman, played the British Open several times before emigrating to the United States. From 1899 through 1906, he finished in the Top 10 in seven out of eight U.S. Opens.
1902 U.S. Open Golf Tournament Scores
Results from the 1902 U.S. Open golf tournament played at Garden City Golf Club in Garden City, New York (a-amateur):
|Walter Fovargue n||90-86-81-84=341|
|a-Robert C. Watson||88-85-86-86=345|
|a-Louis Livingston Jr.||90-83-87-88=348|