8th U.S. Open | Oct. 10-11, 1902
Garden City Golf Club, Garden City, N.Y.
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|Laurie Auchterlonie, Scotland||78||-||78||-||74||-||77||—||307|
|Stewart Gardner, England||82||-||76||-||77||-||78||—||313|
|Walter Travis, United States (a)||82||-||82||-||75||-||74||—||313|
|Willie Smith, Scotland||82||-||79||-||80||-||75||—||316|
|Willie Anderson, Scotland||79||-||82||-||76||-||81||—||318|
Lower scores came to this U.S. Open — Auchterlonie became the first winner to record all four of his rounds in the 70s.
It was plainly obvious to see why — a modernized Haskell golf ball. Years prior, the golf ball most of the professionals played was a spherical-rippled Gutter Percha ball with its tree-sap rubber core.
But in 1898, Coburn Haskell came up with a one-piece rubber ball than gave golfers considerably more distance off the tee. And once the dimple-patterned exterior was created for this Haskell core to maximize carry, the popularity of the new golf ball took off.
Auchterlonie had come close in previous U.S. Opens, tying for ninth in 1899, placing fourth in 1900 and tying for fifth in 1901. As the head professional at Glen Vie Club just outside Chicago, Auchterlonie was an accomplished player, winning the 1901 Western Open.
But that week in October, he blew by a growing U.S. Open field (up to 90 men), smashing Harry Vardon’s tournament scoring mark by six shots.
Travis, the Garden City Golf Club architect, entered the tournament as an amateur, and tied for second as the low American.