6th U.S. Open | Oct. 4-5, 1900
Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Ill.
|Harry Vardon, Jersey||79||-||78||-||76||-||80||—||313|
|J.H. Taylor, England||76||-||82||-||79||-||78||—||315|
|David Bell, Scotland||78||-||83||-||83||-||78||—||322|
|Laurie Auchterlonie, Scotland||84||-||82||-||80||-||81||—||327|
|Willie Smith, Scotland||82||-||83||-||79||-||83||—||327|
Oh, how America was spoiled at the turn of the century.
Few superstars have ever had the international cache of the legendary Vardon, a six-time British Open champion. Part of Great Britain’s “Great Triumvirate” (along with Taylor and James Braid), he was a self-taught player who did not play a whole lot of tournament golf until his younger brother, Tom, moved to England to turn professional.
Harry followed, becoming a greenskeeper at Ganton Golf Club in Yorkshire. That was where the older Vardon honed his effortless swing with an intricate practice regimen.
He had already won three British Opens when he began a United States/Canadian tour for Spalding Sporting Goods in 1900, showing off his “Vardon Flyer” golf ball. He often played head-to-head matches on the road, but decided to enter the first of his three U.S. Opens that year.
Taylor, his chief rival, also was in the country on business, and decided to play, creating a pre-tournament buzz that had not been seen to that point.
Three consecutive rounds in the 70s put Vardon in the driver’s seat in capturing his only U.S. Open. He did not enter his second one until 1913 when he lost in a memorable playoff to American amateur Francis Ouimet.
Vardon won 62 career tournaments and was part of the first class inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. Both the PGA and European Tours award the “Vardon Trophy” to the golfer with the lowest scoring average.