May 08, 20121893: Birthday Of Francis Ouimet, Three-Time USGA Champion
As a 20-year-old amateur from Brookline, Mass., Francis Ouimet captured the nation’s attention with his spectacular upset victory in the 1913 U.S. Open. Ouimet’s defeat of British stars Harry Vardon and Ted Ray served as a catalyst for the jump-start of the game’s soon-to-be enormous popularity in America. In addition, Ouimet made the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur nine times between 1914 and 1932, winning twice. Ouimet competed in the first eight Walker Cups, twice as a playing captain, compiling a 9-5-2 overall record and served as non-playing captain four more times after his retirement from competition. In 1951, Ouimet was selected as the first non-British captain of the R&A.
Chicago Golf Guy Tip: The USGA logo is said to be the silhouette of Francis Ouiment and his caddie. I was lucky enough to play The Country Club in Brookline Mass shorty after the Ryder Cup was played there. The golf course is something I will never forget, and the large statue of Fancis is always something that I will remember as part of the golf course. The history that you feel when playing a course like the Country Club is palpable, and something that I wish every golfer could experience.