28th U.S. Open | June 5-6, 1924
Oakland Hills Country Club South Course, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
|Cyril Walker, England||74||-||74||-||74||-||75||—||297|
|Bobby Jones, United States (a)||74||-||73||-||75||-||78||—||300|
|Bill Mehlhorn, United States||72||-||75||-||76||-||78||—||301|
|Bobby Cruickshank, Scotland||77||-||72||-||76||-||78||—||303|
|Walter Hagen, United States||75||-||75||-||76||-||77||—||303|
|MacDonald Smith, United States||78||-||72||-||77||-||76||—||303|
Even long shots have their moments — and Walker certainly qualified as that type of golfer in the 1924 U.S. Open.
The diminutive Englishman, who settled in as the club professional at Englewood Golf Club, chased away all contenders, including Jones, the defending U.S. Open champion, in the final round where few golfers broke 80. Walker’s 75 was considered one of the better final-round showings to date.
Even today, few pundits can explain how a man who failed to break 80 in 13 of 28 rounds he played in professional majors saved his best week for one of America’s toughest layouts.
After that win, Walker’s life spiraled into a mess: A notoriously slow player, he was disqualified from the 1930 Los Angeles Open for that infraction and was escorted off the course by police officers. Following the incident, many PGA Tour golfers refused to play in the same group, or behind Walker — forcing tournament officials to often let him go out by himself in the final tee time.
All the money he made in golf in the 1920s, he lost in absurd investments, especially in real estate. After bouts with alcohol addiction, he became estranged from his wife and son. Eventually, he was homeless and started living in Salvation Army shelters. He took odd caddying jobs at municipal courses.
Walker died in a jail cell in Hackensack, New Jersey, of pleural pneumonia in 1948.