1956 U.S. Open (golf)
|Dates||June 14–16, 1956|
|Location||Rochester, New York|
|Course(s)||Oak Hill Country Club|
|Length||6,902 yards (6,311 m)|
|Field||159 players, 51 after cut|
The 1956 U.S. Open was the 56th U.S. Open, held June 14–16 at the East Course of Oak Hill Country Club near Rochester, New York. Cary Middlecoff won his second U.S. Open title, one stroke ahead of runners-up Julius Boros and Ben Hogan, both former champions.
Middlecoff began the final round with a two-stroke lead over Hogan, Ted Kroll, and Wes Ellis. After an erratic finish where he bogeyed 16 and 17, he carded a third consecutive round of even-par 70 to post a 281 (+1) total and waited. Hogan, pursuing his record fifth U.S. Open, had a chance to tie Middlecoff but missed a 4-foot (1.2 m) par putt on the 17th to finish one back. Boros also had a chance to catch Middlecoff, but missed a 15-foot (4.5 m) birdie on the last and also finished a stroke behind. The last contender on the course, Kroll led by a stroke after a birdie at the 14th hole, but immediately followed it with a bogey and triple bogey and finished four strokes back.
Reigning British Open champion Peter Thomson made a rare appearance in the United States and finished tied for fourth, his best finish at any other major. He was the 36-hole leader by a stroke over Hogan, but fell back after a four-over 39 on the back nine in the third round. Thomson won five British Opens, and his third consecutive (1954–56) came three weeks later at Royal Liverpool.
Several future champions made their mark at this U.S. Open. Arnold Palmer, 26, recorded the first of his thirteen top ten finishes at the U.S. Open, six strokes back in seventh place. Ken Venturi captured low-amateur honors in eighth place, two months after he lost a four-stroke lead at The Masters with an 80 in the final round. Billy Casper, 24, made his major championship debut and finished 14th.
Defending champion Jack Fleck, who upset Hogan in a Sunday playoff the year before at Olympic, shot 76-74 and missed the cut by a stroke. Jack Burke, Jr., winner of the Masters two months earlier, also missed with a 152.
A record-setting 13,914 were in attendance for the final two rounds on Saturday.
This was the first of three U.S. Opens at the East Course at Oak Hill; Lee Trevino won in 1968 and Curtis Strange successfully defended in 1989. It also hosted the PGA Championship in 1980, 2003, and 2013, and the Ryder Cup in 1995.
Past champions in the field
Made the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||R3||R4||Total||To par||Finish|
|Cary Middlecoff||United States||1949||71||70||70||70||281||+1||1|
|Julius Boros||United States||1952||71||71||71||69||282||+2||T2|
|Ben Hogan||United States||1948, 1950,
|Ed Furgol||United States||1954||71||70||73||71||285||+5||T4|
Missed the cut
|Player||Country||Year won||R1||R2||Total||To par|
|Jack Fleck||United States||1955||76||74||150||+10|
|Lew Worsham||United States||1947||83||72||155||+15|
Thursday, June 14, 1956
Friday, June 15, 1956
|2||Ben Hogan||United States||72-68=140||E|
|T3||Jerry Barber||United States||72-69=141||+1|
|Wes Ellis||United States||71-70=141|
|Ed Furgol||United States||71-70=141|
|Cary Middlecoff||United States||71-70=141|
|T7||Julius Boros||United States||71-71=142||+2|
|Ted Kroll||United States||72-70=142|
|Arnold Palmer||United States||72-70=142|
|T10||Fred Haas||United States||72-71=143||+3|
|Billy Maxwell||United States||72-71=143|
|Frank Taylor, Jr. (a)||United States||72-71=143|
Amateurs: Taylor (+3), Ward (+7), Hyndman (+8), Patton (+8), Venturi (+8), Garrett (+9), Magee (+10), Ervasti (+11), Rodgers (+11), Simmons (+11), Dahlbender (+12), Holland (+12), Croonquist (+15), Shields (+16), Kuntz (+17), Moore Jr (+18), Aldrich (+19), Dixon (+20), Kelly (+23), Beman (+24), Myers (+25), Kleist (+27), Deal (+30), Watson (+34), Mandeville (+35), Brownell (WD).
Saturday, June 16, 1956 (morning)
|1||Cary Middlecoff||United States||71-70-70=211||+1|
|T2||Wes Ellis||United States||71-70-71=212||+2|
|Ben Hogan||United States||72-68-72=212|
|Ted Kroll||United States||72-70-70=212|
|5||Julius Boros||United States||71-71-71=213||+3|
|T6||Ed Furgol||United States||71-70-73=214||+4|
|Arnold Palmer||United States||72-70-72=214|
|T9||Jerry Barber||United States||72-69-74=215||+5|
|Fred Haas||United States||72-71-72=215|
Saturday, June 16, 1956 (afternoon)
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|1||Cary Middlecoff||United States||71-70-70-70=281||+1||6,000|
|T2||Julius Boros||United States||71-71-71-69=282||+2||2,650|
|Ben Hogan||United States||72-68-72-70=282|
|T4||Ed Furgol||United States||71-70-73-71=285||+5||1,033|
|Ted Kroll||United States||72-70-70-73=285|
|7||Arnold Palmer||United States||72-70-72-73=287||+7||600|
|8||Ken Venturi (a)||United States||77-71-68-73=289||+9||0|
|T9||Jerry Barber||United States||72-69-74-75=290||+10||416|
|Wes Ellis||United States||71-70-71-78=290|
|Doug Ford||United States||71-75-70-74=290|
Amateurs: Venturi (+9), Patton (+12), Taylor (+18), Hyndman (+20), Ward (+25), Garrett (+29).
- "Middlecoff wins US Open with 281". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. June 17, 1956. p. 1-sports.
- Bartlett, Charles (June 17, 1956). "Middlecoff wins Open by stroke". Chicago Sunday Tribune. p. 1, sec. 2.
- Drum, Bob (June 17, 1956). "Middlecorr edges Hogan, Boros for Open title". Pittsburgh Press. p. 1, sec. 4.
- Wind, Herbert Warren (June 25, 1956). "The Chase of the Doc at Oak Hill". Sports Illustrated. p. 6.
- Bartlett, Charles (June 16, 1956). "Thomson leads Hogan by stroke in Open". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, sec. 3.
- "Peter Thomson shoots 139, leads Open". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 16, 1956. p. 11.
- "US Open led by Middlecoff". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. June 16, 1956. p. 10.
- Bartlett, Charles (June 15, 1956). "Rosburg scores 68 for lead in National Open". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, sec. 4.
- "Middlecoff edges Hogan, Boros to win US Open golf". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. June 18, 1956. p. 26.