2nd U.S. Open | July 18, 1896
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.
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|James Foulis, Scotland||78||-||74||—||152|
|Horace Rawlins, England||79||-||76||—||155|
|George Douglas, Scotland||79||-||79||—||158|
|Andrew Smith, Canada (amateur)||78||-||80||—||158|
|John Shippen, United States||78||-||81||—||159|
|Henry Whigham, Scotland||82||-||77||—||159|
Who said big hitters cannot win U.S. Opens?
Foulis was the John Daly of his era, reportedly hitting drives more than 300 yards with modest equipment.
Yet, the St. Andrews native and Chicago Golf Club head professional was not the pre-tournament favorite — another Scot in Willie Park Jr., a two-time British Open champion was. But Park did not arrive to America until the day after the tournament finished.
This U.S. Open field more than doubled in entrants — to 35 — and was still played the day after the U.S. Amateur.
And it did not come without its own controversy.
When it was discovered that Shippen, a black caddie at the host club, and Oscar Bunn, a native American, would enter the tournament, some of the other golfers signed a petition stating in protest they would not play. Then-USGA president Theodore Havemeyer declared the tournament would go on regardless — and Shippen ended up finishing as the first top-five American in U.S. Open history.
But Foulis overcame a two-shot deficit after the first 18 holes by firing a 74 — which stood as the U.S. Open single-round scoring mark for the next seven years.
It was Foulis’ lone career professional victory; he ended up getting into golf equipment manufacturing and course design in the Midwest.