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Harry Vardon (9 May 187020 March 1937) was a Jerseymarker professional golfer and member of the fabled Great Triumvirate of the sport in his day, along with John Henry Taylor and James Braid. He won The Open Championship a record six times and also won the U.S. Open.


Vardon was born in Grouvillemarker, Jerseymarker, Channel Islands. As a child growing up on the island of Jersey, he did not play much golf. Inspired by his older brother, Tom, he eventually took up the game in his teens and by age 20 he was so good that he turned professional. He was the first professional golfer to play in Knickerbockers -- the "proper" Englishman dressed in an uncomfortable shirt and tie with a buttoned jacket. Nonetheless, within a few years he became golf's first superstar.

In 1896, Vardon won the first of his record six Open Championships (a record that still stands today). In 1900, he became golf's first international celebrity when he toured the United Statesmarker playing in more than 80 matches and capping it off with a victory in the U.S. Open. He was the runner-up of the 1913 U.S. Open, an event portrayed in the film The Greatest Game Ever Played. At the age of 50, Vardon was the runner-up at the 1920 U.S. Open.

During his career, Vardon won 62 golf tournaments, including one run of 14 in a row, still a record to this day. He won the German Open in 1911 and the British PGA Matchplay Championship in 1912. He popularized the grip that bears his name, one still used by over 90 percent of golfers. In his later years, he became a golf course architect [56320], designing several courses in Britain. Following a bout with tuberculosis, he struggled with health problems for years but turned to coaching and writing golf instruction and inspirational books.

During his peak years, Vardon was known for his exceptional accuracy and control with all clubs, the greatest ever seen to that stage. However, after his comeback to the game following a prelonged absence during which he suffered from tuberculosis, he suffered serious problems with his short-range putting, and several commentators claim that he could have added to his list of majors had this disability not afflicted him.

Vardon died in 1937 in Totteridgemarker, Hertfordshiremarker, Englandmarker. After his death, the PGA of America created the Vardon Trophy. It is awarded annually to the player on the PGA Tour with the year's lowest adjusted scoring average.

In 1974, Vardon was chosen as one of the initial group of inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame. His most prestigious medals, including those from his six British Open Championships, are on display in a tribute to him at the Jersey Museum. In the annals of golf, he is considered one of the greats of the game. In 2000, Vardon was ranked as the 13th best golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine.

Vardon is often called "Mr.Golf" and "The Icon of Golfing".

Vardon Grip

Vardon was also famous for the Vardon Grip, or overlapping grip, the grip most popular among professional golfers. In the Vardon grip, one places the little finger of the trailing hand (the one placed lower on the club - right hand for a right-handed player) in between the index and middle finger on the lead hand (the hand that is higher on the club). The lead-hand thumb should fit in the lifeline of the trailing hand. Vardon actually took up this grip some time after Johnny Laidlay, a champion Scottish amateur player, invented it.

Performance in the U.S. Open

Vardon played in the U.S. Open three times. He first played in the event in 1900 and he won by shooting 79-78-76-80=313. The event was played at the Chicago Golf Club that year. That year, Vardon won 70 exhibition matches.

Vardon did not play in the U.S. Open again until 1913. He finished in second place, losing to amateur Francis Ouimet in a playoff necessitated by Vardon missing a six inch putt. Ted Ray was also in the playoff. Vardon shot eight-over-par (75-72-78-79=304). In the playoff he shot a 77 while Ouimet shot a 72 and Ray shot a 78. The event was played at The Country Club. The golf world was shocked when Vardon and Ray lost to the 20-year old amateur.

Vardon played in the U.S. Open for the last time in 1920. He finished tied in second place, one stroke behind fellow Englishman Ted Ray. Vardon shot eight-over-par (74-73-71-78=296). The event was played at Inverness Clubmarker that year.

Media depictions

Tournament wins

this list may be incomplete

Major championships are shown in bold.

Major Championships

Wins (7)

Year Championship 54 Holes Winning Score Margin Runner-up
1896 The Open Championship 4 shot deficit (83-78-78-77=316) Playoff 1 J.H. Taylor
1898 The Open Championship (2) 2 shot deficit (79-75-77-76=307) 1 stroke Willie Park, Jnr.
1899 The Open Championship (3) 11 shot lead (76-76-81-77=310) 5 strokes Jack White
1900 U.S. Open 4 shot lead (79-78-76-80=313) 2 strokes J.H. Taylor
1903 The Open Championship (4) 7 shot lead (73-77-72-78=300) 6 strokes Tom Vardon
1911 The Open Championship (5) 3 shot lead (74-74-75-80=303) Playoff 2 Arnaud Massy
1914 The Open Championship (6) 2 shot deficit (73-77-78-78=306) 3 strokes J.H. Taylor
1 Defeated J.H. Taylor in 36-hole playoff by 4 strokes

2 Defeated Arnaud Massy in 36-hole playoff: Massy conceded after 35 holes

Results timeline

Vardon played in only The Open Championship and the U.S. Open.

Tournament 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
The Open Championship T23 T5 T9 1 6 1 1
Tournament 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
The Open Championship 2 2 T2 1 5 T9 3 T7 T5 T26
Tournament 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
The Open Championship T16 1 2 T3 1 NT NT NT NT NT
Tournament 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
The Open Championship T14 T23 T8 DNP DNP T17 CUT CUT T47 CUT

NYF = Tournament not yet founded

NT = No tournament

DNP = Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut

"T" indicates a tie for a place

Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10

See also


External links

Adapted from the article Harry Vardon, from Wikinfo, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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