Robert Gardner (golfer)

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Robert Gardner
Personal information
Full nameRobert Abbe Gardner
Born(1890-04-09)April 9, 1890
Hinsdale, Illinois
DiedJune 21, 1956(1956-06-21) (aged 66)
Lake Forest, Illinois
Sporting nationality United States
SpouseKatherine Keep
ChildrenMary (1919)
CollegeYale University
Best results in major championships
(wins: 2)
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenT23: 1911
The Open ChampionshipDNP
U.S. AmateurWon: 1909, 1915
British Amateur2nd: 1920

Robert Abbe Gardner (April 9, 1890 – June 21, 1956) was an American multi-sport athlete best known for winning the U.S. Amateur in golf twice.

Early life[edit]

Gardner was born in Hinsdale, Illinois. He spent most of his life in the Chicago area. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University in 1912, where he was a member of Skull and Bones.[1]

While a sophomore at Yale, Gardner won the 1909 U.S. Amateur golf tournament over Chandler Egan at the Chicago Golf Club. He was the youngest winner, at 19 years, 5 months, of the U.S. Amateur.[2] His record stood for 85 years until Tiger Woods won his first of three Amateurs at age 18 years, 8 months.

Golf career[edit]

Gardner would make the finals of the U.S. Amateur three more times, winning in 1915[3] and losing in 1916[4] and 1921.[5] He also lost in the finals of two other prominent amateur events, the 1911 Western Amateur and the 1920 British Amateur.

Golf was not the only sport Gardner excelled at. On June 1, 1912, at an intercollegiate track and field competition in Philadelphia, he set the world pole vault record at 13 feet 1 inch (3.99 m).[6] This record would be short lived as Marc Wright vaulted 13 feet 2+14 inches (4.020 m) one week later at the Olympic trials in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[7]

Gardner also was national champion in another sport, racquets. He and Howard Linn won the national doubles racquets championship in 1926 and 1929.

Military career[edit]

Gardner enlisted in the Army in 1917 and served in France during World War I as a lieutenant in a field artillery unit. After the war he returned to Chicago and joined a stock brokerage firm where he spent the rest of his career. He served as president of the Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) for many years and also served on several United States Golf Association committees. He won the CDGA Amateur Championship three times (1916, 1924, 1925).[8]


Gardner died in Lake Forest, Illinois at the age of 66.

Golfing highlights[edit]

Gardner (left) during the 1916 U.S. Amateur. To the right is Chick Evans, who beat Gardner in the final match.


  • 1909 U.S. Amateur
  • 1915 U.S. Amateur
  • 1916 Chicago District Amateur
  • 1924 Chicago District Amateur
  • 1925 Chicago District Amateur

Runner-up finishes[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (2)[edit]

Year Championship Winning Score Runner-up
1909 U.S. Amateur 4 & 3 United States Chandler Egan
1915 U.S. Amateur 5 & 4 United States John G. Anderson

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
U.S. Open T23 NT NT
U.S. Amateur 1 DNQ R32 R32 QF 1 2 NT NT R16
British Amateur NT NT NT NT NT
Tournament 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
U.S. Open
U.S. Amateur R16 2 R16 SF R32 DNQ DNQ DNQ
British Amateur 2 R256 R256
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934
U.S. Open
U.S. Amateur R256
British Amateur
  Top 10
  Did not play

LA = Low Amateur
NT = No tournament
"T" indicates a tie for a place
DNQ = Did not qualify for match play portion
R256, R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play

Source for U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur: USGA Championship Database

Source for 1920 British Amateur: The American Golfer, June 19, 1920, pg. 8.

Source for 1923 British Amateur: The American Golfer, July, 1923, pg. 10.

Source for 1926 British Amateur: The American Golfer, July, 1926, pg. 58.

U.S. national team appearances[edit]


  • Walker Cup: 1922 (winners), 1923 (winners, playing captain), 1924 (winners, playing captain), 1926 (winners, playing captain)


  1. ^ History of the Class of 1912. Yale University. 1912. pp. 142. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  2. ^ 1909 U.S. Amateur
  3. ^ 1915 U.S. Amateur
  4. ^ 1916 U.S. Amateur
  5. ^ 1921 U.S. Amateur
  6. ^ World Record Progression - pole vault - men Archived 2013-01-12 at
  7. ^ World Record Progression - Men - Pole Vault Archived 2007-11-14 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ CDGA Amateur Championship history

External links[edit]