Robert Tyre Jones Jr. was born March 17, 1902, in Atlanta, Ga. Known by his nickname "Bobby," he dominated golf in the 1920s.
From 1923 to 1930, a career amateur, Jones won five U.S. Amateurs, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens, and one British Amateur. These were the "majors" of golf at the time.
Bobby Jones is the only golfer to have won a single-season Grand Slam, having won the British Amateur, British Open, U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur all in 1930. He then retired from competitive golf at the age of 28. With the level of his domination in the 1920s, Bobby Jones deserves consideration in the debate about who is the greatest golfer of all time.
The following are the Top 10 U.S. Open Championships of Bobby Jones:
10. 1920. Jones made his U.S. Open debut at age 18 and finished tied for 8th place, four shots behind Ted Ray. At age 43 years, four months and 16 days, Ray was the oldest champion of the U.S. Open champion until Raymond Floyd's victory in 1986. While Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen and Tommy Armour, each made his U.S. Open debut in 1920, it was the final appearance for another legend, Harry Vardon.
9. 1921. Bobby Jones improved to a tie for 5th place in his second U.S. Open, played at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md. Warren Harding, the president of the United States, attended the final day and presented the championship trophy to Jim Barnes.
8. 1924. Cyril Walker, a club pro from Englewood, N.J., claimed the only PGA Tour win of his career at the 1924 U.S. Open. Bobby Jones finished alone in second place, three shots behind. This was the first time the Open was played at Oakland Hills.
7. 1922. 1922 marked the first time spectators had to pay an admission fee, $1 to watch a single round. Bobby Jones was tied for the lead after 54 holes, before finishing a single shot behind the champion, Gene Sarazen. This began an incredible run for Jones, who finished first or second in eight out of nine U.S. Opens from 1922 to 1930.
6. 1928. The third-round leader by two shots, it can be argued that Jones should have won the 1928 U.S. Open. A final-round 77, however, forced a scheduled 36-hole playoff with Johnny Farrell. Farrell outplayed Jones in the morning by three shots, 70 to 73, and eventually claimed the title by one shot.
5. 1925. Jones gained four shots in the final round, to force a scheduled 18-hole playoff with Willie Macfarlane. Each player shot 75 in the playoff, so they went another 18. Bobby Jones' failure to get up and down from a green-side bunker at the 36th playoff hole gave the championship to Macfarlane.
4. 1923. The first U.S. Open title for Bobby Jones came at Inwood Country Club. He finished the 72-hole tournament tied with Bobby Cruickshank, who laid up short of a pond at the final hole of an 18-hole playoff. It is reported that Jones then hit a 2-iron approximately 200 yards, over the pond, to within 8 feet of the hole.
3. 1926. Bobby Jones won a U.S. Open Championship, without needing a playoff, for the first time at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. A young Jack Nicklaus took lessons from Jack Grout at Scioto Country Club.
2. 1929. Jones seemed to be cruising to a third U.S. Open victory, leading by three shots after 54 holes. A final-round collapse, with a score of 79, led to yet another 36-hole playoff, this time with Al Espinoza. The playoff itself was a total mismatch, with Bobby Jones crushing Espinoza by 23 strokes.
1. 1930. After a spring trip to Britain as part of the American Walker Cup team (where he won both the British Amateur and British Open championships), Bobby Jones claimed his fourth U.S. Open title at Interlachen, Minn. He then went on to win the U.S. Amateur at Merion, completing the only single-season Grand Slam in the history of men's golf.
Harold Andrews has played golf (competitively and recreationally) for nearly 50 years. He considers Jack Nicklaus to be the greatest golfer of all time.