Golfing World is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first American golfer to be named the world’s best golfer, according to David Fountain, author of ‘Grooves’ on the life of ‘Jock Hutchinson’
TALLAHASSEE, Florida., June 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — One hundred years ago, the Claret Jug, symbol of the world’s best golfer, was presented to John Fowler “Jock” Hutchison, a member of the American Golf Triumvirate, according to Fountain David, author of “Grooves”, the only book about Hutchison’s life and accomplishments.
“The Open took place the week of June 20–25, 1921 on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. The event was a true international competition with golfers from France, Spain, Australia, Scotland, England and Italy,” he said.
United States, for the first time, sent a contingent of nearly 40 golfers to try to qualify for the Open. Among those in the group were “Long” Jim Barnes, Charles “Chick” Evans, Jr., Walter Charles “Sir Walter” Hagen, Robert Tire “Bobby” Jones, Jr., George McLean, Wilfrid Reid, Fred McLeod, Clarence Hackney, Tom Kerrigan, Guillaume Mehlhorn, French emmet, Charles Hoffner, and John Fowler “Jock” Hutchison. Many of their names have been lost in golf history.
While Scotland had its Triumvirate: Vardon, Baird and taylor, America had its own Triumvirate: Barnes, Hutchison and Hagen. The 1921 Open was a test of every man’s ability. The ’21 event is the first of many Open’s for Bobby Jones and the last for the incomparable Harry Vardon.
However, the 1921 Open belonged to Jock Hutchison. Jock equaled the 72-hole open record of 290 English amateurs tied Roger Wethered after two days of regular play.
At the traditional R&A Champions Dinner on Friday night, Hutchison won the 1st place award and Wethered received a medal. The pair then faced a 36-hole playoff on Saturday to determine who would win golf’s most iconic and prestigious trophy, the Claret Jug. Hutchison won the contest hands down and the Claret Jug was on its way to America for the very first time. A minor kerfuffle occurred on the informal way of the trophy presentation. Some claimed he was thrown at Jock, others disputed that claim.
“Jock was involved in many events, including fundraising to support Allied efforts in World War II. However, the ribbed club he used so masterfully was stolen and caused the first major controversy on grooves in golf, when the R&A and USGA banned the design, it didn’t have the same success it had in the 1910s and early 20s,” Fountain said.
Jock retired as Head Professional of Glen View Golf Club, Golf, Ill., in 1953 at age 70, ending his 38-year career at Glen View. He told a reporter that his biggest thrill of his professional career was in the first round of the 1921 British Open, with Bobby Jones as playing partner he scored a hole-in-one on the course’s only par three, followed by an eagle 2 on the next par four hole. Jones confirms the event in his book “Down the Fairway”. I cannot find this feat duplicated by any other professional in any professional tournament.
Hutchison, winner of more than 34 tournaments, including the 1920 PGA, has died Tuesday, September 27, 1977, at the age of 93. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on March 9, 2011.
THE SOURCE Fountain David