1951 U.S. Open (golf)
|Dates||June 14–16, 1951|
|Course(s)||Oakland Hills Country Club
|Length||6,927 yards (6,334 m)|
|Field||160 players, 55 after cut|
The 1951 U.S. Open was the 51st U.S. Open, held June 14–16 at the South Course of Oakland Hills Country Club in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb northwest of Detroit. Ben Hogan won his second consecutive U.S. Open title, two strokes ahead of runner-up Clayton Heafner. Hogan missed the 1949 U.S. Open due to an automobile accident; this was his third title in his last three attempts.
The South Course, dubbed "The Monster," played exceptionally tough for the first three rounds. No player shot had broke par, and Jimmy Demaret's 70 in the third round was the only score to equal par. Sam Snead owned the first round lead at 71 (+1), while Bobby Locke led after the second round at 144 (+4) and shared the lead with Demaret after the third at 218 (+8).
Two strokes back after a 71 in the third round on Saturday morning, Hogan played one of the finest rounds in U.S. Open history that afternoon. Even-par on the front nine, he birdied the 10th and 13th holes. After a bogey at 14, he responded with another birdie at 15. At the 72nd hole, Hogan hit his approach shot on the par-4 to 15 feet (5 m) and sank the birdie putt to post a 67 (–3), the lowest round of the week, one of two sub-par rounds for the round (and championship). His 287 (+7) was two ahead of Heafner, who shot 69, the only other round under 70. At the trophy presentation, Hogan uttered the famous quote: "I'm glad I brought this course—this monster—to its knees."
This was the first U.S. Open that was notably toughened up by the USGA with narrow fairways and deep rough, attributing to "The Monster" nickname. The course also underwent a redesign by Robert Trent Jones prior to the championship, modifying the original Donald Ross design.
The South Course previously hosted the U.S. Open in 1924 and 1937; the winning score in 1937 was 281, sixteen strokes less than in 1924. It later hosted in 1961, 1985, and 1996, and the PGA Championship in 1972, 1979, and 2008.
Past champions in the field
Made the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||R3||R4||Total||To par||Finish|
|Ben Hogan||United States||1948, 1950||76||73||71||67||287||+7||1|
|Lloyd Mangrum||United States||1946||75||74||74||70||293||+13||T4|
|Lew Worsham||United States||1947||76||71||76||73||296||+16||T14|
|Cary Middlecoff||United States||1949||76||73||79||73||301||+21||T24|
|Gene Sarazen||United States||1922, 1932||74||76||76||77||303||+23||T35|
|Craig Wood||United States||1941||76||72||82||77||307||+27||T47|
Missed the cut
|Player||Country||Year won||R1||R2||Total||To par|
|Billy Burke||United States||1931||77||77||154||+14|
|Lawson Little||United States||1940||76||79||155||+15|
|Tony Manero||United States||1936||77||79||156||+16|
|Sam Parks, Jr.||United States||1935||79||79||158||+18|
Saturday, June 16, 1951
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|1||Ben Hogan||United States||76-73-71-67=287||+7||4,000|
|2||Clayton Heafner||United States||72-75-73-69=289||+9||2,000|
|3||Bobby Locke||South Africa||73-71-74-73=291||+11||1,500|
|T4||Julius Boros||United States||74-74-71-74=293||+13||700|
|Lloyd Mangrum||United States||75-74-74-70=293|
|T6||Al Besselink||United States||72-77-72-73=294||+14||387|
|Dave Douglas||United States||75-70-75-74=294|
|Fred Hawkins||United States||76-72-75-71=294|
|Paul Runyan||United States||73-74-72-75=294|
|T10||Al Brosch||United States||73-74-76-72=295||+15||187|
|Smiley Quick||United States||73-76-74-72=295|
|Skee Riegel||United States||75-76-71-73=295|
|Sam Snead||United States||71-78-72-74=295|
- "Hogan fires 3-under 67 to win third Open crown". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. June 17, 1951. p. 1B.
- "Mighty Hogan baffles par to cop Open". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. June 17, 1951. p. 14.
- Garrity, John (June 10, 1996). "Making the Monster". Sports Illustrated: G32.
- "National Open tourney scores". Youngtown Vindicator. Associated Press. June 16, 1951. p. 7.
- "National Open tourney scores". Youngtown Vindicator. Associated Press. June 17, 1951. p. D-1.