PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — The oldest golf championship in America was the U.S. Amateur. It was held in 1895 at Newport Country Club — one day before the U.S. Open.
There was a time when amateur golf was celebrated, and professionals were not allowed into the locker room.
Now it's a professional game.
The last amateur to win the U.S. Open was John Goodman in 1933 at North Shore Country Club outside Chicago. In fact, Goodman is the last amateur to win any major. The last amateur who even had a chance at the U.S. Open was Jim Simon, and it was a good one. He had the 54-hole lead at Merion in 1971 until closing with a 76. Lee Trevino wound up beating Jack Nicklaus in a playoff.
That kind of history doesn't bode well for the 12 amateurs at Pinehurst No. 2, whether it's U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick of England or Cameron Wilson, the NCAA champion from Stanford who got in as an alternate on Monday.
The five amateurs to win the U.S. Open, ranked here in reverse order, still have their place in history:
5. JOHN GOODMAN
Goodman not only is the last amateur to win one of the four current majors, he joined an elite group at North Shore in 1933 by winning the "professional" championship before winning the "amateur" championship.
He tied the U.S. Open record with a 66 in the second round to take the lead, and he was never seriously challenged after that. He followed with a 70 in the third round to take a six-shot lead over Ralph Guldahl. He closed with a 76 for a one-shot victory.
Goodman won the U.S. Amateur four years later. The only other amateurs to win the U.S. Open before they won a U.S. Amateur were Francis Ouimet, Chick Evans and Bobby Jones.
4. JEROME TRAVERS
Travers was a leading amateur in the early 20th century, winning the U.S. Amateur four times, including back to back in 1912 and 1913.
In 1915, he became only the second amateur to win the U.S. Open.
Travers opened with round of 76-72 at Baltusrol and was two shots behind Jim Barnes, who would win the first PGA Championship a year later. Travers took the outright lead with a 73 in the third round, and then closed with a 76 to hold off Tom McNamara for a one-shot victory.
That was his only top-10 finish in four appearances at the U.S. Open. Not only did he choose not to defend, he never played another U.S. Open.
3. CHICK EVANS
Evans' victory in 1916 continued a run started by Frances Quimet in 1913 during which amateurs won the U.S. Open three out of four years. Evans became the first to win the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in the same year.
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