Miracles Lift Jones to 1930 Open En Route to Slam


Bobby Jones was halfway home to the Grand Slam when he came to Interlachen outside Minneapolis, Minn., for the U.S. Open. It was the last year he would play competively, the last time for an adoring nation to see their idol.
Jones shot a 71 in the opening round, which placed him one off the lead of Tommy Armour and Macdonald Smith. And he was two back of Horton Smith at the halfway point.
Two enormous breaks were all Jones needed. The first occurred in that second round at the ninth hole, when he unwisely tried to go at the green in two shots from a poor lie in the rough. He cold-topped it, but the ball skipped across water and wound up by the far bank, from which point Jones pitched up and sank the putt for birdie.
Jones fired a 68 in the third round to charge to the lead, five strokes ahead of the second-place performer. He spun off seven birdies in the first 16 holes, three of them by knocking his approach shot to within inches of the flagstick. And he held that lead throughout the front nine Sunday afternoon.
A bogey at No. 12 Sunday, followed by a double-bogey at No. 13, brought him back to the field, however. Macdonald Smith was now only one behind. Time for another miracle, which aided Jones after he had made birdie at 16.
Seventeen was the longest par-3 in Open history, 263 yards over water to a green bordered by bunkers. But Jones pushed his tee shot, into a wildly cheering crowd who wanted to see the famed gentleman after winning the British Amateur and British Open.
No one ever found the ball. However, the USGA referee, Prescott Bush ' father of U.S. President George Bush ' ruled it had gone into the water. The ruling cost Jones a stroke, but he was allowed to drop in the fairway. He made a double-bogey when a triple-bogey appeared imminently possible.
At 18, Jones helped himself. He underestimated the club he would need to reach the back pin placement. Forty feet from the pin up a bank, he rolled it in for a birdie to thunderous applause from the 15,000 who took up every inch of space. It was his fourth and final U.S. Open Championship.
Ten weeks later, he won the U.S. Amateur for the celebrated Impregnable Quadrilateral, the Grand Slam of Golf.
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