1955 U.S. Open (golf)

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1955 U.S. Open
Tournament information
Dates June 16–19, 1955
Location San Francisco, California
Course(s) Olympic Club, Lake Course
Organized by USGA
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Statistics
Par 70
Length 6,700 yards (6,126 m)[1][2]
Field 158 players, 58 after cut
Cut 155 (+15)[2]
Winner's share $6,000
Champion
United States Jack Fleck
287 (+7), playoff
Olympic Club is located in the US
Olympic Club
Olympic Club
Location in the United States

The 1955 U.S. Open was the 55th U.S. Open, held June 16–19 at the Lake Course of the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California. In one of the greatest upsets in golf history, Jack Fleck, a municipal course pro from Iowa, prevailed in an 18-hole playoff to win his only major title and denied Ben Hogan a record fifth U.S. Open.[1][3]

Fleck, 32, won two more titles on the PGA Tour and later won the Senior PGA Championship in 1979. He won the U.S. Open with clubs manufactured by Hogan's company.[1]

Hogan, 42, never did win his fifth U.S. Open or a tenth major; he won just one more tour event the rest of his career, in 1959. It was his fourth and final playoff in a major championship, all at 18 holes. Hogan won at the U.S. Open in 1950 but lost twice by a stroke at the Masters, to Byron Nelson in 1942 and Sam Snead in 1954. He repeated as runner-up at the U.S. Open in 1956, and had top ten finishes in 1958, 1959, and 1960. (A pre-tournament favorite in 1957, he withdrew due to a back ailment before teeing off.)[4][5][6] When the U.S. Open returned to Olympic in 1966, Hogan finished twelfth at age 53 and received a standing ovation at the 72nd green.[7]

Byron Nelson came out of semi-retirement to play in his final U.S. Open and finished in 28th place. Arnold Palmer made the cut for the first time at the U.S. Open and finished in 21st. For the first time since 1919, Gene Sarazen did not play in the U.S. Open, ending a streak of 31 consecutive appearances.

This was the first U.S. Open at the Lake Course of the Olympic Club; it returned in 1966, 1987, 1998, and 2012.

Course layout[edit]

Lake Course[1]

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Yards 530 423 220 433 457 437 266 139 420 3,325 417 429 387 187 410 144 603 461 337 3,375 6,700
Par 5 4 3 4 4 4 4 3 4 35 4 4 4 3 4 3 5 4 4 35 70

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Ben Hogan  United States 1948, 1950,
1951, 1953
72 73 72 70 287 +7 2
Julius Boros  United States 1952 76 69 73 77 295 +15 T5
Cary Middlecoff  United States 1949 76 78 74 75 303 +23 T21
Byron Nelson  United States 1939 77 74 80 75 306 +26 T28
Ed Furgol  United States 1954 76 79 80 77 312 +32 T45

Missed the cut[edit]

Player Country Year won R1 R2 Total To par
Lew Worsham  United States 1947 77 79 156 +16
Lawson Little  United States 1940 81 80 161 +21

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Thursday, June 16, 1955

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Tommy Bolt  United States 67 –3
2 Walker Inman, Jr.  United States 70 E
3 Jack Burke, Jr.  United States 71 +1
4 Ben Hogan  United States 72 +2
T5 Mike Souchak  United States 73 +3
Babe Lichardus  United States
T7 Doug Ford  United States 74 +4
Harvie Ward (a)  United States
Arthur Bell  United States
Celestino Tugot  Philippines
Fred Hawkins  United States
Elmer Reed  United States

Source:[8]

Second round[edit]

Friday, June 17, 1955

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Harvie Ward (a)  United States 74-70=144 +4
Tommy Bolt  United States 67-77=144
T3 Julius Boros  United States 76-69=145 +5
Jack Fleck  United States 76-69=145
Ben Hogan  United States 72-73=145
Walker Inman, Jr.  United States 70-75=145
T7 Sam Snead  United States 79-69=148 +8
Bob Harris  United States 79-69=148
Jack Burke, Jr.  United States 71-77=148
10 Gene Littler  United States 76-73=149 +9

Source:[9]

Third round[edit]

Saturday, June 18, 1955 (morning)

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Ben Hogan  United States 72-73-72=217 +7
T2 Julius Boros  United States 76-69-73=218 +8
Sam Snead  United States 79-69-70=218
T4 Tommy Bolt  United States 67-77-75=219 +9
Bob Rosburg  United States 78-74-67=219
T6 Jack Fleck  United States 76-69-75=220 +10
Harvie Ward (a)  United States 74-70-76=220
Jack Burke, Jr.  United States 71-77-72=220
9 Walker Inman, Jr.  United States 70-75-76=221 +11
10 Gene Littler  United States 76-73-73=222 +12

Final round[edit]

Saturday, June 18, 1955 (afternoon)

After Hogan made par on the 72nd hole to post a 287 total, most observers believed that he had already locked up the championship. Gene Sarazen, providing television commentary, congratulated him on the win and the NBC broadcast went off the air after proclaiming Hogan the champion. Fleck, however, was only a stroke behind playing the 14th. A bogey there, however, dropped him to two back. Fleck then made birdie on 15 and pars at 16 and 17, after a 50-foot (15 m) birdie attempt lipped out. Needing a birdie on 18 to tie Hogan, Fleck played his approach from the edge of the rough to 8 feet (2.4 m), then knocked in the putt for a 67 and forced an 18-hole playoff on Sunday.[10]

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
T1 Jack Fleck  United States 76-69-75-67=287 +7 Playoff
Ben Hogan  United States 72-73-72-70=287
T3 Tommy Bolt  United States 67-77-75-73=292 +12 1,500
Sam Snead  United States 79-69-70-74=292
T5 Julius Boros  United States 76-69-73-77=295 +15 870
Bob Rosburg  United States 78-74-67-76=295
T7 Doug Ford  United States 74-77-74-71=296 +16 540
Bud Holscher  United States 77-75-71-73=296
Harvie Ward (a)  United States 74-70-76-76=296 0
T10 Jack Burke, Jr.  United States 71-77-72-77=297 +17 390
Mike Souchak  United States 73-79-72-73=297
(a) denotes amateur

Playoff[edit]

Sunday, June 19, 1955

Despite overwhelming odds against him, Fleck held a two-stroke lead over Hogan at the turn. After a third consecutive birdie at 10, Fleck's lead was three. But after a bogey at 17, the lead had dropped to just a single stroke on the 18th tee. Hogan hooked his drive into the very deep rough and took three strokes to get on the fairway: he made a 25-foot (8 m) putt to save double-bogey,[3] but Fleck's regulation par sealed the upset by three strokes, 69 to 72.[11]

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
1 Jack Fleck  United States 69 –1 6,000
2 Ben Hogan  United States 72 +2 3,600

Scorecard[edit]

Hole  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Par 5 4 3 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 3 4 3 5 4 4
United States Fleck E E E E E E E –1 –2 –3 –2 –2 –2 –2 –2 –2 –1 –1
United States Hogan E E E E +1 +1 +1 E E E E +1 +1 E E E E +2

Source:[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Jack Fleck Registers 69 to Beat Ben Hogan by 3 Strokes for National Open Title". Youngstown Vindicator. Associated Press. June 20, 1955. p. 7. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Harvey Ward Ties Bolt for Open Lead at 144". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 17, 1955. p. 11. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Wind, Herbert Warren (June 27, 1955). "Jack, The Giant Killer". Sports Illustrated. pp. 17–23. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ Wolfe, Don (June 13, 1957). "Ben Hogan Withdraws From National Open Play As Ailments Refuse To Respond To Treatment". Toledo Blade. p. 1. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Dejected Hogan Quits Because Of Backache". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. June 14, 1957. p. 24. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ Hogan, Ben; Wind, Herbert Warren (June 24, 1957). "Fame Calls On Dick Mayer". Sports Illustrated. pp. 8–13. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Hot Casper catches Arnie to throw Open into playoff". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. June 20, 1966. p. 10. 
  8. ^ "First Round Open Scores". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 15, 1955. p. 19. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Bolt (77), Ward (70) Tied At 144 For Lead In US Open". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. June 18, 1955. p. 9. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Fleck equals Hogan's 287 on final hole". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. June 19, 1955. p. 1-sports. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Open history: 1955". USGA. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Playoff Cards". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 20, 1955. p. 21. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°42′32″N 122°29′42″W / 37.709°N 122.495°W / 37.709; -122.495