Junior Amateur Championship
Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif.
35-35 - 70
champion: Brian Harman
1918 (club was founded in 1860)
Sam Whiting (Robert Trent Jones Sr. did some revisions prior
to 1955 U.S. Open)
championships: This will be the eighth held at Olympic, following
four U.S. Opens (1955, '66, '87 and '98), two U.S. Amateurs (1958 and
'81) and one America 's Cup (1958).
members: "Gentlemen" Jim Corbett (1892 heavyweight boxing champion);
Billy Johnston (1923 Wimbledon champion); Ken Venturi (1964 U.S. Open
champion); Mark Twain (novelist); Ty Cobb (baseball); Joe DiMaggio (baseball).
to repeat: Brian Harman is bidding to become only the second
repeat champion of this event (Tiger Woods won three consecutive titles
from 1991-93). Meanwhile, Jordan Cox is hoping to join an elite fraternity
of players who have lost in the final and come back the next year to
win it. Mason Rudolph (1950) and Tim Straub (1983) are the only players
to achieve the feat.
dreaming: Californians have captured 21 of the 56 Junior Amateurs,
the highest number champions from any other state.
the name: The Olympic Club doesn't have golf or country in
its title because when the club was founded, golf wasn't a key component.
The Nahl brothers ( Charles and Arthur ) turned their backyard into
a gym in the 1850s and it was the forerunner to the actual club. The
club champions itself as an all-around athletic club and during the
early part of the 20th century, many Olympic members participated in
the Olympic Games. In 1924, the club sent more participants (24) to
the Paris Games than any other club in the country.
anyone?: Prior to World War II, the Olympic Club had a football
team that often competed against Bay Area colleges, including Stanford,
California-Berkeley, Santa Clara and St. Mary's. The club dropped football
when intercollegiate teams began forming conference affiliations and
no longer needed to play area clubs for top competition.
anyone?: Olympic was the first West Coast site to host the
Davis Cup (1937).
magical year: In 1964, three Olympic Club members held USGA
titles - Johnny Miller (U.S. Junior), Ken Venturi (U.S. Open) and Bill
Higgins (USGA Senior Amateur).
success: Olympic runs a highly successful junior membership
program, which produced Venturi and Miller, who as an 18-year-old amateur,
tied for eighth in the 1966 U.S. Open held at Olympic. Lately that program
can boast of Elliott Wainwright (2002 U.S. Junior semifinalist and 2003
U.S. Amateur qualifier) and Jordan Cox, the 2003 U.S. Junior runner-up.
Cox, now 16, is exempt for this year's championship.
finishes: Olympic Club has been the site of some of the most
dramatic final-round comebacks in U.S. Open history. In 1955, unheralded
Jack Fleck rallied to beat Ben Hogan in a playoff, thus denying him
a record fifth Open title. Eleven years later, Arnold Palmer blew a
seven-stroke lead over the last nine holes to Billy Casper , and lost
in an 18-hole playoff.
hole: At the 1998 U.S. Open, the 18th hole became the focus
of attention in the second round when the flag was located toward the
back of the severely sloping green. Any putt from above the hole turned
into an adventure for the competitors. The green has since been rebuilt
and leveled slightly.
you know?: Former baseball great and Hall of Famer Ty Cobb
was competing in the club championship in 1940 and got handily defeated
by a young junior. The drubbing was so bad that Cobb , who was known
to have a temper, simply walked off the course in a huff of anger and
did not return for several years. The young hotshot who beat the ex-Detroit
Tigers second baseman was Bob Rosburg, who would go on to win the 1959