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1969


Orville Moody

Orville Moody, 35, of Yukon, Oklahoma had spent 14 years in the Army before joining the Professional Golfers' Association tour in 1967. He won the United States Open Championship in his second full year on the tour with rounds of 71-77-68-72 for a 72-hole score of 281 at the Cypress Creek Course of the champions Golf Club, Houston, Texas. Moody won by one stroke over Deane R. Beman, Bethesda, Maryland, Al Geiberger, Santa Barbara, California, and Bob Rosburn, St. Louis, Missouri. All three had scores of 282.

Moody had played in the Open only once before and had failed to survive the 36-hole cutoff in 1962. He rose to the rank of sergeant in the Army, then left the service in 1967 and qualified for the tour at the Approved Tournament Players School that fall. Bob Murphy, the 1965 United States Amateur Champion, was the first-round leader with a score of 66 four under par. Miller Barber was next with 67, followed by Beman and Geiberger. Beman took the lead the next day with a 36-hole score of 137. Barber and Murphy were tied for second at 138 and Rosburg, the 1959 PGA Champion, was fourth with 139.

Barber scored 68 in the third round and seemed to be turning the Championship into a runaway. He had a 54-hole record and was three strokes ahead of second-place Moody, whose 68 gave him a 54-hole total of 209. Beman and Bunky Henry were tied for third at 210, followed by Rosburg at 211. Geiberger was among five players at 212. Barber collapsed in the final round, shooting 78 and dropping to a tie for sixth place. Moody went ahead to stay at the 12th where he salvaged a par 3 and Barber took 5.

At one time eight players were within two strokes of one another and all of them were playing the last nine holes. Moody was the steadiest in the closing moments. He went over par on the 14th hole then made pars on all the rest. Geiberger scored 70 in the final round, the best of the leaders and might have tied had he not three-putted the 16th hole. Rosburg missed a three-foot putt on the 18th after a brilliant recovery from a bunker and Beman holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the final green.

For the second time in Open history no amateur survived the 36-hole cutoff. This happened previously in 1963. Entries reached an all-time high of 3,397 and the prize money of $205,300 was also a record.

OPEN RECORDS


Starts - 7

Best Finish - Winner 1969

Rds - 20

Cuts Made - 3

Top 3 - 1

Top 5 - 1

Top 10 - 1

Top 25 - 2

Avg. - 74.15

Scores In 60s - 1

Rds Under Par - 2

Earnings - $34,653.33
Current Leaders
PosPlayerTodayThruTotal
1ROSE, J.EF+1
T2DAY, J.+1F+3
T2MICKELSON, P.+4F+3
T4DUFNER, J.-3F+5
T4ELS, E.-1F+5
T4HORSCHEL, B.+4F+5
T4MAHAN, H.+5F+5
T8DONALD, L.+5F+6
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    Historical Notes
    On Oct. 4, 1895, the first U.S. Open Championship was conducted by the United States Golf Association on the nine-hole course of Newport (R.I.) Golf and Country Club.
    The first U.S. Open was considered something of a sideshow to the first U.S. Amateur, which was played on the same course and during the same week. Both championships had been scheduled for September but were postponed because of a conflict with a more established Newport sports spectacle, the America's Cup yacht races.
    Ten professionals and one amateur started in the 36-hole competition, which was four trips around the Newport course in one day. The surprise winner was Horace Rawlins, 21, an English professional who was the assistant at the host course. Rawlins scored 91-82-173 with the gutta-percha ball.
    Prize money totalled $335, of which Rawlins won the $150 first prize. He also received a gold medal and custody of the Open Championship Cup for his club for one year.
    In its first decade, the U.S. Open was conducted for amateurs and the largely British wave of immigrant golf professionals coming to the United States.
    As American players began to dominate the game, the U.S. Open evolved into an important world golf championship. Young John J. McDermott became the first native-born American winner in 1911 and repeated as champion in 1912.
    In 1913, the U.S. Open really took off when Francis Ouimet, a 20-year-old American amateur, stunned the golf world by defeating famous English professionals, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, in a playoff.
    Another surge in the championship's popularity coincided with the amazing career of Georgia amateur Bob Jones, who won the U.S. Open four times (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930). Spectator tickets were sold for the first time in 1922 and a boom in entries caused the USGA to introduce sectional qualifying in 1924.
    In 1933, John Goodman became the fifth and last amateur to win the U.S. Open. The others were Ouimet, Jerome D. Travers (1915), Charles Evans Jr., (1916), and Jones.
    In each era, the world's greatest players have been identified by surviving the rigorous examination provided by the U.S. Open. Ben Hogan's steely determination boosted him to four victories (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953). Arnold Palmer's record comeback win in 1960, when he fired a final round of 65 to come from seven strokes off the lead, cemented his dashing image. Jack Nicklaus' historic assault on the professional record book began when he won the first of his four U.S. Open Championships in 1962, his rookie season as a professional.
    Nicklaus, who also won in 1967, 1972, and 1980, is one of only four golfers to win four U.S. Opens. The others are Willie Anderson (1901, 1903, 1904, 1905), Jones and Hogan.
    In 1954, the U.S. Open course was roped from tee to green for the first time. That year also marked the first national television coverage. Coverage was expanded by ABC Sports in 1977 so that all 18 holes of the final two rounds were broadcast live. In 1982, on the ESPN cable network, the first two rounds were broadcast live for the first time. NBC began televising the U.S. Open in 1995.
    The format of the U.S. Open has changed several times. The USGA extended the championship to 72 holes in 1898, with 36 holes played on each of two days. In 1926, the format was changed to 18 holes played each of two days, then 36 holes on the third day. In 1965, the present format of four 18-hole daily rounds was implemented for the first time.
    In 2002, a two-tee (Nos. 1 and 10) start was used for the first and second rounds. In addition, Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y., was the first facility owned by the public to host a U.S. Open. International qualifying sites were added in 2005 and the champion at Pinehurst Resort in N.C. was Michael Campbell, who qualified in England.