1971 U.S. Open (golf)
The 1971 U.S. Open was the 71st U.S. Open, held June 17–21 at the East Course of Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, a suburb northwest of Philadelphia. Lee Trevino, the 1968 champion, won his second U.S. Open, defeating Jack Nicklaus by three strokes in an 18-hole playoff. It was the second of Trevino's six major titles and the second of four times in which Nicklaus was the runner-up to Trevino in a major; Nicklaus won his third U.S. Open the following year.
|Dates||June 17–21, 1971|
|Course(s)||Merion Golf Club,|
|Length||6,544 yards (5,984 m)|
|Field||150 players, 64 after cut|
|280 (E), playoff|
The U.S. Open was just part of an outstanding year for Trevino in 1971 and following this playoff win, his confidence soared. Two weeks later he won the Canadian Open in a playoff; the next week the British Open, and became the first to win those three national opens in the same year; only Tiger Woods has done it since, in 2000. Trevino won six times on tour in 1971 with two majors and was PGA Player of the Year. He was named athlete of the year by the Associated Press and Sporting News, and was the Sports Illustrated "Sportsman of the Year." Trevino was the first to win the U.S. and British Opens in the same year in 18 years, last accomplished by Ben Hogan in 1953. The others were Gene Sarazen in 1932 and amateur Bobby Jones in 1926 and 1930, his grand slam year. Subsequent winners of both were Tom Watson in 1982 and Woods in 2000.
For Jim Simons, a Pennsylvania native entering his senior year at Wake Forest, his fifth-place finish remains the most recent top ten by an amateur at the U.S. Open. It is the best since Nicklaus' tie for fourth in 1961, following his runner-up finish the year before at age 20 in 1960. The last victory by an amateur at any major was at the U.S. Open in 1933, won by Johnny Goodman of Omaha. Bobby Jones won four U.S. Opens as an amateur, the last in 1930 was part of his grand slam.
Lengths of the course for previous U.S. Opens:
Past champions in the fieldEdit
Made the cutEdit
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||R3||R4||Total||To par||Finish|
|Lee Trevino||United States||1968||70||72||69||69||280||E||1|
|Jack Nicklaus||United States||1962, 1967||69||72||68||71||280||E||2|
|Arnold Palmer||United States||1960||73||68||73||74||288||+8||T24|
|Orville Moody||United States||1969||71||71||76||71||289||+9||T27|
|Gary Player||South Africa||1965||76||71||72||70||289||+9||T27|
|Gene Littler||United States||1961||74||74||71||71||290||+10||T37|
|Julius Boros||United States||1952, 1963||74||71||73||74||292||+12||T42|
Missed the cutEdit
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||Total||To par|
|Billy Casper||United States||1959, 1966||74||77||151||+11|
Thursday, June 17, 1971
|1||Labron Harris||United States||67||−3|
|T2||Bob Goalby||United States||68||−2|
|Doug Sanders||United States|
|Lanny Wadkins (a)||United States|
|T5||Jim Colbert||United States||69||−1|
|Jack Nicklaus||United States|
|Bobby Nichols||United States|
|T8||Gay Brewer||United States||70||E|
|Charles Coody||United States|
|Dale Douglass||United States|
|Ralph Johnston||United States|
|Johnny Miller||United States|
|Chi-Chi Rodríguez||United States|
|John Schlee||United States|
|Leonard Thompson||United States|
|Lee Trevino||United States|
|Tom Weiskopf||United States|
Friday, June 18, 1971
|T1||Jim Colbert||United States||69-69=138||−2|
|Bob Erickson||United States||71-67=138|
|3||Jerry McGee||United States||72-67=139||−1|
|4||Gay Brewer||United States||70-70=140||E|
|T5||Arnold Palmer||United States||73-68=141||+1|
|George Archer||United States||71-70=141|
|Chi-Chi Rodríguez||United States||70-71=141|
|Bobby Nichols||United States||69-72=141|
|Jack Nicklaus||United States||69-72=141|
Saturday, June 19, 1971
Four strokes back after 36 holes, amateur Simons shot a five-under 65 in the third round, one off the U.S. Open record, to take the 54-hole lead. He got out to a fast start on Saturday, and was five-under for the round after ten holes. Simons played even-par on the last eight and ended with seven birdies and two bogeys to lead Nicklaus by two strokes.
|1||Jim Simons (a)||United States||71-71-65=207||−3|
|2||Jack Nicklaus||United States||69-72-68=209||−1|
|3||Bobby Nichols||United States||69-72-69=210||E|
|T4||Lee Trevino||United States||70-72-69=211||+1|
|George Archer||United States||71-70-70=211|
|Jim Colbert||United States||69-69-73=211|
|Bob Erickson||United States||71-67-73=211|
|T8||Ken Still||United States||71-72-69=212||+2|
|Larry Hinson||United States||71-71-70=212|
Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par
Sunday, June 20, 1971
In the final pairing with Nicklaus, 21-year-old Simons retained the lead through the first nine holes of the final round, and was one shot back on the 18th tee. Needing a birdie to tie, his tee shot found the thick rough; a double bogey six yielded a 76 and he finished three strokes back in a tie for fifth place. Trevino took the lead with a birdie at 14, but then missed an 8-footer (2.4 m) for par at the last. He backed off before the putt after a disturbance in the gallery. Nicklaus' 15-foot (4.5 m) birdie putt for the win on the 72nd green also narrowly missed, and settled for par to force a Monday afternoon playoff. Bob Rosburg also had a chance to join the playoff with a birdie at the last, but he three-putted for bogey and finished two shots back.
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|T1||Lee Trevino||United States||70-72-69-69=280||E||Playoff|
|Jack Nicklaus||United States||69-72-68-71=280|
|T3||Jim Colbert||United States||69-69-73-71=282||+2||9,000|
|Bob Rosburg||United States||71-72-70-69=282|
|T5||George Archer||United States||71-70-70-72=283||+3||6,500|
|Johnny Miller||United States||70-73-70-70=283|
|Jim Simons (a)||United States||71-71-65-76=283||0|
|8||Raymond Floyd||United States||71-75-67-71=284||+4||5,000|
|T9||Gay Brewer||United States||70-70-73-72=285||+5||3,325|
|Larry Hinson||United States||71-71-70-73=285|
|Bobby Nichols||United States||69-72-69-75=285|
|Bert Yancey||United States||75-69-69-72=285|
- (a) denotes amateur
Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par
Birdie Bogey Double bogey
Monday, June 21, 1971
Prior to the playoff, the first at the U.S. Open since 1966, Trevino and Nicklaus, both 31, were involved in a famous incident on the first tee involving a toy rubber snake. Trevino had acquired it at a zoo gift shop and used it earlier in the week along with a pith helmet and hatchet during a whimsical photo shoot emphasizing Merion's thick and penal rough. Hot and humid in the early afternoon, Trevino reached into his golf bag for a fresh glove and came across the snake and took it out to entertain the crowd. Nicklaus then asked him to toss it over, which Trevino did. Nicklaus picked it up, laughed with the crowd, then threw it back to Trevino. It would later be written that Trevino had tossed the snake at Nicklaus in an attempt to unnerve his rival; in reality, Nicklaus was the one who asked him to throw the snake.
When the playoff began, Trevino bogeyed the first hole and Nicklaus took the lead, but then hit two poor bunker shots on the next two, allowing Trevino to open a two-stroke lead. Although Nicklaus cut into the lead several times, to within one stroke as late as the 12th tee, Trevino never relinquished it. He carded a 68 to Nicklaus' 71 to win by three. Nicklaus won his third U.S. Open the following year in 1972 at Pebble Beach, and a record-tying fourth at Baltusrol at age 40 in 1980.
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|1||Lee Trevino||United States||68||−2||30,000|
|2||Jack Nicklaus||United States||71||+1||15,000|
|Nicklaus||E||+1||+3||+3||+2||+2||+2||+2||+1||+2||+1||+1||+1||+1||E||E||+1||+1|Birdie Bogey Double bogey
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- Kirkpatrick, Curry (December 20, 1971). "Sportsman of the year: a common man with an uncommon touch". Sports Illustrated. p. 34.
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- "Just who was snakebit in Open? Not Lee" (PDF). Golf World. June 29, 1971.
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