21st U.S. Open | June 17-18, 1915
Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, N.J.
|a-Jerome Travers, United States||76||-||72||-||73||-||76||—||297|
|Tom McNamara, United States||78||-||71||-||74||-||75||—||298|
|Bob MacDonald, Scotland||72||-||77||-||73||-||78||—||300|
|Jim Barnes, England||71||-||75||-||76||-||79||—||301|
|Louis Teller, France||75||-||71||-||76||-||79||—||301|
a — denotes amateur
Before Bobby Jones posted the most impressive amateur career in golf history, there was Jerome Travers. In one decade, this native New Yorker won four U.S. Amateurs before capturing the U.S. Open. As a boy, he honed his skills under two-time U.S. Open winner Alex Smith, at Nassau Country Club. By the time he hit the amateur circuit, he quickly established himself as a cold, calculated, rip-your-heart-out match-play standout. But he often took long layoffs, attributed to his playboy lifestyle off the course.
In the 1914 U.S. Open, Travers held a slim lead entering the back nine at Baltusrol, and knocked his tee shot out of bounds at the 10th hole. Back then, no one-stroke penalty came with those types of errant shots; only the distance. Travers hit a second tee shot and got up and down for a par. It propelled him to his one-stroke win over McNamara, who registered the last of his three U.S. Open runner-up finishes.
It would be Travers’ final U.S. Open appearance. Instead, he replaced competitive golf with a burgeoning career on Wall Street. That would be short-lived, however — Travers was wiped out by the Great Depression. He suffered through personal tragedy, too — his first wife, Dorris, died of influenza; and his second wife, Geraldine, spent 13 years in a mental institution. All of that weighed on Travers, who suffered through his own bouts of clinical depression. He died of a heart attack in 1951 at age 63.