1955 U.S. Open (golf)
|Dates||June 16–19, 1955|
|Location||San Francisco, California|
|Course(s)||Olympic Club, Lake Course|
|Length||6,700 yards (6,126 m)|
|Field||158 players, 58 after cut|
|287 (+7), playoff|
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.
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.) 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.
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.
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,
|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
|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|
Thursday, June 16, 1955
|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|
|Fred Hawkins||United States|
|Elmer Reed||United States|
Friday, June 17, 1955
|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|
Saturday, June 18, 1955 (morning)
|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|
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.
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|T1||Jack Fleck||United States||76-69-75-67=287||+7||Playoff|
|Ben Hogan||United States||72-73-72-70=287|
|T3||Tommy Bolt||United States||67-77-75-73=292||+12||1,500|
|Sam Snead||United States||79-69-70-74=292|
|T5||Julius Boros||United States||76-69-73-77=295||+15||870|
|Bob Rosburg||United States||78-74-67-76=295|
|T7||Doug Ford||United States||74-77-74-71=296||+16||540|
|Bud Holscher||United States||77-75-71-73=296|
|Harvie Ward (a)||United States||74-70-76-76=296||0|
|T10||Jack Burke, Jr.||United States||71-77-72-77=297||+17||390|
|Mike Souchak||United States||73-79-72-73=297|
- (a) denotes amateur
Sunday, June 19, 1955
Despite overwhelming odds against him, Fleck held a two-stroke lead over Hogan at the turn. After a third consecutive birdie at 10, Fleck's lead was three. But after a bogey at 17, the lead had dropped to just a single stroke on the 18th tee. Hogan hooked his drive into the very deep rough and took three strokes to get on the fairway: he made a 25-foot (8 m) putt to save double-bogey, but Fleck's regulation par sealed the upset by three strokes, 69 to 72.
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|1||Jack Fleck||United States||69||–1||6,000|
|2||Ben Hogan||United States||72||+2||3,600|
- "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.
- "Harvey Ward Ties Bolt for Open Lead at 144". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 17, 1955. p. 11. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- Wind, Herbert Warren (June 27, 1955). "Jack, The Giant Killer". Sports Illustrated. pp. 17–23. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- 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.
- "Dejected Hogan Quits Because Of Backache". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. June 14, 1957. p. 24. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- Hogan, Ben; Wind, Herbert Warren (June 24, 1957). "Fame Calls On Dick Mayer". Sports Illustrated. pp. 8–13. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- "Hot Casper catches Arnie to throw Open into playoff". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. June 20, 1966. p. 10.
- "First Round Open Scores". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 15, 1955. p. 19. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- "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.
- "Fleck equals Hogan's 287 on final hole". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. June 19, 1955. p. 1-sports.
- "U.S. Open history: 1955". USGA. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- "Playoff Cards". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 20, 1955. p. 21. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- Barkow, Al (2012). The Upset: Jack Fleck's Incredible Victory over Ben Hogan at the U.S. Open. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1-61374-075-0.
- Sagebiel, Neil (2012). The Longest Shot: Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf's Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open. Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 978-0-312-66184-7.