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Remembering Ouimet: Trivia

Remembering Ouimet
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•  The date Sept. 11, which would become infamous in U.S. history in 2001, was a key date in the lives of two of the protagonists of the 1913 U.S. Open. Francis and Stella Ouimet were married on Sept. 11, 1918, and writer Bernard Darwin's mother died on Sept. 11, 1876, four days after giving birth to him.

• Ouimet's wife was the sister of John Sullivan, a former schoolboy rival he had once defeated in the first round of the Boston Interscholastic Championship.

 Remembering Ouimet
Baggs: Who was Francis?
Baggs: Search for Ouimet
Tays: Anatomy of upset
Tays: Turning point in U.S.
Mosier: Eddie Lowery story
Timeline | Trivia | Bag | Photos
Why Vardon and Ray?
The Country Club
Vardon and the Titanic
Inspiring other writers
Full Coverage

• In a 1963 article in Golf Journal written by Joe Dey, then the executive director of the USGA, Scotsman Charles D. Thom said about the 1913 U.S. Open: 'I remember an amusing incident. You should have seen the expression on the faces of the players when, on the first tee, they were given a small bottle of Scotch whiskey before starting off in the pouring rain.'

• The original purpose of Harry Vardon's 1900 tour of the U.S. was to promote his gutta-percha golf ball, the Vardon Flyer. But it turned out to be a commercial failure because of the development of the wound-rubber Haskell ball, which far surpassed it in performance.

• Ouimet was also interested in baseball and (unsuccessfully) applied to become a batboy for the Boston Red Sox.

• A lifelong fan of Boston's sports teams, Ouimet served as president of the NHL Bruins in 1931 and vice president of the baseball Boston (now Atlanta) Braves in 1941.

• Ouimet’s younger brother, Raymond, won the first Massachusetts Junior Championship in 1914.

Portrait of Francis Ouimet as captain of the R&A

• Ouimet's and Vardon's birthdays are one day apart – Ouimet's on May 8 (1893), Vardon's on May 9 (1870).

• A version of the famous painting of Ouimet wearing the red jacket symbolic of his being named the first American captain of the R&A in 1951 was done by future U.S. president and golf enthusiast Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Eisenhower painting now hangs in the R&A clubhouse at St Andrews.

• Bernard Darwin, the British golf writer who was sent to America in 1913 to chronicle the expected victory of Vardon or Ray, was a grandson of the famous naturalist Charles Darwin. He also was an accomplished golfer himself.

• Eddie Lowery became a top amateur player in his own right, winning the 1919 and 1920 Massachusetts Junior Championships (the former played at The Country Club) and the 1927 Massachusetts Amateur.

• Winning the 1913 U.S. Open was NOT Ouimet's greatest thrill in golf. In a 1963 interview with Joe Looney of the Boston Herald, he said, 'My greatest thrill, however, came when I won the United States Amateur Championship in 1914 at Ekwanok, Manchester, Vt. Winning the Open was one thing. The winning of the Amateur was the fulfillment of an ambition. The Open was a windfall. The Amateur was within reach, or so I thought.'

• Criticism of overly demonstrative golf galleries (think 'You da man,' 'Mashed potatoes,' et al) is nothing new. British golf writer Henry Leach had this to say about American galleries at the 1913 U.S. Open: '... I do wish these American golfing congregations would restrain themselves more in the matter of their applause, which becomes very wearisome and trying in its frequency. ... I wish that officials and people with flags would do something to discourage this constant clapping of hands and cheering at strokes which are often nothing much out of the ordinary, for after all a golf course is not a circus ...'