1971 U.S. Open (golf)

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1971 U.S. Open
Tournament information
Dates June 17–21, 1971
Location Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Course(s) Merion Golf Club,
East Course
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Statistics
Par 70
Length 6,544 yards (5,984 m)[1]
Field 150 players, 64 after cut
Cut 148 (+8)
Prize fund $192,200[2]
Winner's share $30,000
Champion
United States Lee Trevino
280 (E), playoff
Merion GC is located in United States
Merion GC
Merion GC
Location in the United States

The 1971 U.S. Open was the 71st U.S. Open, held June 17–21 at the East Course of Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, a suburb northwest of Philadelphia. Lee Trevino, the 1968 champion, won his second U.S. Open, defeating Jack Nicklaus by three strokes in an 18-hole playoff.[3][4][5] It was the second of Trevino's six major titles and the second of four times in which Nicklaus was the runner-up to Trevino in a major.

The U.S. Open was just part of an outstanding year for Trevino in 1971 and following this playoff win, his confidence soared. Two weeks later he won the Canadian Open and the next week the British Open, and became the first to win those three national opens in the same year;[6] only Tiger Woods has done it since, in 2000. Trevino won six times on tour in 1971 with two majors and was PGA Player of the Year. He was named athlete of the year by the Associated Press and Sporting News, and was the Sports Illustrated "Sportsman of the Year."[7] Trevino was the first to win the U.S. and British Opens in the same year in 18 years, last accomplished by Ben Hogan in 1953. The others were Gene Sarazen in 1932 and amateur Bobby Jones in 1926 and 1930, his grand slam year. Subsequent winners of both were Tom Watson in 1982 and Woods in 2000.

For Jim Simons, a Pennsylvania native entering his senior year at Wake Forest, his fifth place finish remains the most recent top ten by an amateur at the U.S. Open. It is the best since Nicklaus' tie for fourth in 1961, following his runner-up finish the year before at age 20 in 1960.[5] The last victory by an amateur at any major was at the U.S. Open in 1933, won by Johnny Goodman of Omaha.

This was the third U.S. Open played at Merion, which previously hosted in 1934 and 1950. A fourth was played in 1981, and a fifth in 2013.

Course layout[edit]

East Course

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Yards 355 535 183 600 426 420 350 360 195 3,424 312 370 405 129 414 378 430 224 458 3,120 6,544
Par 4 5 3 5 4 4 4 4 3 36 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 34 70

Source:[8]

Lengths of the course for previous U.S. Opens:

  • 1950: 6,694 yards (6,121 m), par 70
  • 1934: 6,694 yards (6,121 m), par 70

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Lee Trevino  United States 1968 70 72 69 69 280 E 1
Jack Nicklaus  United States 1962, 1967 69 72 68 71 280 E 2
Arnold Palmer  United States 1960 73 68 73 74 288 +8 T24
Orville Moody  United States 1969 71 71 76 71 289 +9 T27
Gary Player  South Africa 1965 76 71 72 70 289 +9 T27
Gene Littler  United States 1961 74 74 71 71 290 +10 T37
Julius Boros  United States 1952, 1963 74 71 73 74 292 +12 T42

Missed the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 Total To par
Billy Casper  United States 1959, 1966 74 77 152 +11
Tony Jacklin  England 1970 75 77 152 +12

Source:[9][10]

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Thursday, June 17, 1971

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Labron Harris  United States 67 −3
T2 Bob Goalby  United States 68 −2
Doug Sanders  United States
Lanny Wadkins (a)  United States
T5 Jim Colbert  United States 69 −1
Jack Nicklaus  United States
Bobby Nichols  United States
T8 Gay Brewer  United States 70 E
Charles Coody  United States
Dale Douglass  United States
Ralph Johnston  United States
Johnny Miller  United States
Chi-Chi Rodríguez  United States
John Schlee  United States
Leonard Thompson  United States
Lee Trevino  United States
Tom Weiskopf  United States

Source:[11]

Second round[edit]

Friday, June 18, 1971

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Jim Colbert  United States 69-69=138 −2
Bob Erickson  United States 71-67=138
3 Jerry McGee  United States 72-67=139 −1
4 Gay Brewer  United States 70-70=140 E
T5 Arnold Palmer  United States 73-68=141 +1
Bruce Devlin  Australia 72-69=141
George Archer  United States 71-70=141
Chi-Chi Rodríguez  United States 70-71=141
Bobby Nichols  United States 69-72=141
Jack Nicklaus  United States 69-72=141

Source:[9]

Third round[edit]

Saturday, June 19, 1971

Four strokes back after 36 holes, amateur Simons shot a five-under 65 in the third round, one off the U.S. Open record, to take the 54-hole lead.[12] He got out to a fast start on Saturday, and was five-under for the round after ten holes. Simons played even-par on the last eight and ended with seven birdies and two bogeys to lead Nicklaus by two strokes.[13]

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Jim Simons (a)  United States 71-71-65=207 −3
2 Jack Nicklaus  United States 69-72-68=209 −1
3 Bobby Nichols  United States 69-72-69=210 E
T4 Lee Trevino  United States 70-72-69=211 +1
George Archer  United States 71-70-70=211
Jim Colbert  United States 69-69-73=211
Bob Erickson  United States 71-67-73=211
T8 Ken Still  United States 71-72-69=212 +2
Larry Hinson  United States 71-71-70=212
Bruce Devlin  Australia 72-69-71=212

Source:[14]

Scorecard[edit]

Third round

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

Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par
Source:[13]

Final round[edit]

Sunday, June 20, 1971

In the final pairing with Nicklaus, 21-year-old Simons retained the lead through the first nine holes of the final round, and was one shot back on the 18th tee. Needing a birdie to tie, his tee shot found the thick rough; a double bogey six yielded a 76 and he finished three strokes back in a tie for fifth place. Trevino took the lead with a birdie at 14, but then missed an 8-footer (2.4 m) for par at the last. He backed off before the putt after a disturbance in the gallery. Nicklaus' 15-foot (4.6 m) birdie putt for the win on the 72nd green also narrowly missed, and settled for par to force a Monday afternoon playoff. Bob Rosburg also had a chance to join the playoff with a birdie at the last, but he three-putted for bogey and finished two shots back.[15]

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
T1 Lee Trevino  United States 70-72-69-69=280 E Playoff
Jack Nicklaus  United States 69-72-68-71=280
T3 Jim Colbert  United States 69-69-73-71=282 +2 9,000
Bob Rosburg  United States 71-72-70-69=282
T5 George Archer  United States 71-70-70-72=283 +3 6,500
Johnny Miller  United States 70-73-70-70=283
Jim Simons (a)  United States 71-71-65-76=283 0
8 Raymond Floyd  United States 71-75-67-71=284 +4 5,000
T9 Gay Brewer  United States 70-70-73-72=285 +5 3,325
Larry Hinson  United States 71-71-70-73=285
Bobby Nichols  United States 69-72-69-75=285
Bert Yancey  United States 75-69-69-72=285
(a) denotes amateur

Scorecard[edit]

Final round

Hole  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Par 4 5 3 5 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4
United States Trevino +1 E E E E E E +1 +1 +1 +1 E E −1 −1 −1 −1 E
United States Nicklaus −1 −1 −1 −2 E E E E E E E E E E E E E E
United States Simons −3 −2 −2 −2 −1 −1 −1 −1 −1 E E E E +1 +1 +1 +1 +3

Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par
Source:[15][16]

Playoff[edit]

Monday, June 21, 1971

Prior to the playoff, the first at the U.S. Open since 1966, Trevino and Nicklaus, both 31, were involved in a famous incident on the first tee involving a toy rubber snake. Trevino had acquired it at a zoo gift shop and used it earlier in the week along with a pith helmet and hatchet during a whimsical photo shoot emphasizing Merion's thick and penal rough.[17] Hot and humid in the early afternoon, Trevino reached into his golf bag for a fresh glove and came across the snake and took it out to entertain the crowd. Nicklaus then asked him to toss it over, which Trevino did. Nicklaus picked it up, laughed with the crowd, then threw it back to Trevino.[18] It would later be written that Trevino had tossed the snake at Nicklaus in an attempt to unnerve his rival; in reality, Nicklaus was the one who asked him to throw the snake.[19]

When the playoff began, Trevino bogeyed the first hole and Nicklaus took the lead, but then hit two poor bunker shots on the next two, allowing Trevino to open a two-stroke lead. Although Nicklaus cut into the lead several times, to within one stroke as late as the 12th tee, Trevino never relinquished it. He carded a 68 to Nicklaus' 71 to win by three.[5] Nicklaus won his third U.S. Open the following year in 1972 at Pebble Beach, and a record-tying fourth at Baltusrol at age 40 in 1980.

Television coverage by ABC Sports for the Monday playoff was scheduled for just an hour, beginning at 4:30 p.m. EDT. A 35-minute weather delay after the sixth hole allowed for lengthened coverage.[3]

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
1 Lee Trevino  United States 36-32=68 −2 30,000
2 Jack Nicklaus  United States 37-34=71 +1 15,000

Scorecard[edit]

Playoff

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

Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par
Source:[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Grimmer-than-usual Lee carves up Jack Nicklaus". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. June 22, 1971. p. 11. 
  2. ^ "U.S. Open history: 1971". USGA. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Werden, Lincoln A. (June 22, 1971). "No fooling for Trevino in victory over Nicklaus". Milwaukee Journal. (New York Times). p. 11. 
  4. ^ Jenkins, Dan (June 29, 1971). "Remember the Battle of Merion". Sports Illustrated: 12. 
  5. ^ a b c Shedloski, Dave (June 5, 2013). "Looking Back...1971 U.S. Open at Merion". USGA. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ Harig, Bob (June 10, 2013). "Nicklaus and Trevino: Major history". ESPN. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ Kirkpatrick, Curry (December 20, 1971). "Sportsman of the year: a common man with an uncommon touch". Sports Illustrated: 34. 
  8. ^ "1971 U.S. Open: Par and yardage for the 71st U.S. Open". Trenham Golf History. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "U.S. Open results (second round)". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. June 19, 1970. p. 10. 
  10. ^ "1971 U.S. Open". databasegolf.com. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  11. ^ Loomis, Tom (June 18, 1971). "Surprise leader in Open". Toledo Blade. p. 26. 
  12. ^ "Amateur takes open lead". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. June 20, 1971. p. 1C. 
  13. ^ a b "Jim Simons leads Open". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. June 20, 1971. p. 1-sports. 
  14. ^ Loomis, Tom (June 20, 1971). "Amateur fires 65, seizes Open lead". Toledo Blade. p. D-2. 
  15. ^ a b Sixty, Billy (June 21, 1971). "Trevino, Nicklaus in playoff". Milwaukee Journal. p. 9. 
  16. ^ "Jack's tip helped Trevino". Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. June 21, 1971. p. C-3. 
  17. ^ "Favorite U.S. Open moments: 1971". Golf.com. (photo). June 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Just who was snakebit in Open? Not Lee". Golf World. June 29, 1971. 
  19. ^ Juliano, Joe (April 8, 2013). "Fond memories of Merion from Lee Trevino as U.S. Open approaches". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1971 Masters
Major Championships Succeeded by
1971 Open Championship

Coordinates: 40°00′04″N 75°18′43″W / 40.001°N 75.312°W / 40.001; -75.312