The Bobby Jones Open dedicates this tournament to the memory of golf’s greatest amateur, Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones, Jr.
Born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1902, in Atlanta, Georgia, he spent almost his entire life in that city, except for golf touring, attending Harvard, or filming the “How I play Golf” series in Hollywood.
In a fifteen-year amateur career begun at the age of fourteen with a victory in the Georgia State Amateur and quarter-finals play in the U.S. Open of 1916, he became known as the best in the game during the “Golden Age of American Sport”. The pinnacle of his career came in 1930 when, at the age of twenty-eight, Bobby Jones won the British Open, the British Amateur, the U.S. Amateur, and the U.S. Open championships in a single season to become the only person to ever attain a “Grand Slam of Golf”.
After his retirement from competitive golf in 1930, Bobby Jones founded Atlanta’s Peachtree Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. (no relation), as well as the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament. He designed Augusta with Alister MacKenzie, who was also the architect of the University of Michigan golf course on which 7 previous Bobby Jones Opens have taken place.
In addition to his phenomenal athletic achievements Robert Tyre Jones Jr. earned academic distinctions, receiving degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, English Literature from Harvard, and Law at Emory University, Atlanta. His business career included a private law practice, Vice-Presidency of A.G. Spalding, and he played an instrumental role in the early growth of Coca-Cola bottling franchises.
Bobby Jones died in 1971 following a 23-year battle with Syringomyelia. The proceeds of our tournaments (over $350,000 to date) are used to help fight this terrible disorder and for scholarships for college students who have Syringomyelia/Chiari.
In 1988, the centennial of golf played in the United States; Bobby Jones was named the Golfer of the Decade, 1928-1937.
Bobby Jones was the outstanding performer in the U.S. Amateur Championship when it was conducted as match play, and still holds these records:
1. Most titles: five won in 1924-25-27-28-30.
2. Most frequent finalist: seven times, in 1919-24-25-26-27-28-30.
3. Most frequent finalist in successive years: five in 1924-25-26-27-28.
4. Youngest quarter-finalist: he was only 14 at Merion in 1916.
5. Most frequent medalist: six times in 1920-23-26-27-29-30 (This record is shared with Walter J. Travis
6. Lowest 18- hole score in the qualifying rounds at the championship proper: 67 at Minidahda in 1927. (D. Clarke Corkran set the original record at Merion in 1924, W.B. “Duff” McCullaugh tied it at Winged Foot in 1940, Skip Alexander at Omaha Field Club in 1941, and Skee Reigel at Baltusrol in 1946.)
7. He never failed to qualify for the championship, either sectionally or at the championship proper.
8. He won the highest percentage of matches: .843 (Won 43, lost 8.)
9. He won his 43 matches by the average margin of 6.1 holes.
10.All eight of his defeats were at the hands of national champions.
11.He won the most scheduled 36-hole matches: 35.
12.He won his scheduled 36-hole matches by an average margin of seven holes.
13.He won the most double-figure victories: eight (career).
14.He won the most double-figure victories in succession three at Brae Burn in 1928.
15.He won the most double-figure victories in one championship: three at Brae Burn in 1928.
16.He achieved the most decisive victory in a scheduled 36-hole match: 14 and 13 over John B. Beck at Brae Burn in 1928. (He shares this record with Jerome D. Travers, who set the original record at the Country Club of Detroit in 1915.)
17.He was the most holes up on opponents in one championship: 42 at Brae Burn in 1928. (In five matches, he had to play only 108 of a possible 144 holes.)
18. He was 32 up on four opponents at Oakmont in 1925, playing only 116 of a possible 144 holes
· Most Victories – Four. (He shares this with Willie Anderson and Ben Hogan.)
· Most Frequent Pacesetter at 54 Holes – Six, in 1922 (tie), 1923, 1924 (tie), 1928, 1929, 1930.
· Most Playoffs in Which a Participant – Four, in 1923-25-29-29,
· Most Playoffs Won – Two, in 1923 and 1929. (He shares this with Anderson.)
· Most Playoff Rounds Played – Seven.
· Most Decisive Playoff Victory – 23 strokes in 1929. He shot 72 – 69 – 141 to 84-80 -- 164 over Al Espinosa, a difference of more than a half stroke per hole.
The four triumphs comprising the Grand Slam required 20 calendar days spread over four months, meaning that Jones had to bring his game to a peak four different times.
The feat required 475 holes – 152 in the U.S. Amateur, 143 in the British Amateur, 108 in the British Open, and 72 in the U.S. Open. He played 36 holes or was scheduled to play 36 on 10 of the 20 days – half the time.
For his 12 rounds at stroke-play (four in each Open, two in qualifying for the British Open, and two in qualifying for the U.S. Amateur), Jones averaged 72.5 strokes.
Jones won 13 matches in the two Amateur Championships. He was 32 up over nine opponents in scheduled 18 hole matches, an average margin of three and a half holes, and 30 up on four opponents in scheduled 36-hole matches, an average margin of seven and a half holes.