Past Champions
 

TIMELINE

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1975


Lou Graham

Lou Graham, 37, defeated John Mahaffey, 27, in an 18-hole playoff over the No 3 Course of the Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Illinois after both men scored three-over-par 287s in regulation play. Graham shot 71 in the playoff and Mahaffey shot 73. Bob Murphy, Frank Beard, Ben Crenshaw and Hale Irwin, the 1974 Champion tied for third with 288. Graham could have won outright with a par 4 on the 72nd hole, but after a perfectly placed tee shot in center fairway he hit his 6-iron approach into a greenside bunker and made 5, dropping him into a tie with Mahaffey, who had already finished.

In the playoff Graham sent ahead by scoring a birdie on the fourth hole, and he was never caught. He extended his lead to three strokes after the 10th hole and still led by two with one hole to play. On the 18th, however, Graham hooked his tee shot into the left rough creating the possibility of a tie if he lost a stroke to par and Mahaffey birdied the hole. Graham, however, played a low 4-iron to the edge of the green and saved par, winning by two strokes. Pat Fitzsimons, with a hole-in-one on the 187-yard second and Tom Watson shared the first day lead with 67s. Jim Wiechers was a stroke behind in third place, while Arnold Palmer, Lanny Wadkins, Grier Jones and Peter Oosterhuis, were tied for fourth at 69.

Eight players were under par and seven others matched it. Graham shot 74 to stand seven strokes back of the leaders, while Mahaffey had 73. Play of the second round was interrupted by an electrical storm. When it resumed Tom Watson shot 68 which, coupled with his opening 67, put him in the lead by three strokes over Ben Crenshaw, who also scored 68. Watson's total of 135 equaled the 36-hole record first set by Mike Souchak in 1960 and equaled by Bert Yancey in 1968. Fitzsimons was third at 140 with 67-73. Jim Wiechers shot 73 and was tied for fourth at 141 with Terry Dill (72-69) and Lee Trevino (72-69).

Graham, meanwhile, shot 72 and was 11 strokes behind. Mahaffey stood at 144. Eleven players had sub-par rounds and ten others were at even par for the day. In the third round, Frank Beard shot 67 and climbed from a tie for tenth place after 36 holes into a three-stroke lead after 54 with 210. Fitzsimons and Watson were tied for second 213. Lou Graham shot one of the day's four sub-par rounds and moved into a tie for fourth t 214 with Peter Oosterhuis and Crenshaw. Mahaffey was at 216 tied for tenth place. In the final round, Beard shot 78 and fell into a tie for third place with Bob Murphy, Crenshaw and Irwin.

Beard lost his chance when he bogeyed 17 and 18 and Crenshaw fell back by scoring 5 on the 17th - a par 3 hole. Jack Nicklaus lost a stroke on each of the last three holes and finished two strokes behind at 289. Prize money totaled $235,700; Graham received $40,000 and Mahaffey $20,000. The entry of 4,214 was the second largest in Open history. Attendance for the Championship proper reached 97,345 setting a new record, while the playoff, on a Monday, was viewed by 6,246.

OPEN RECORDS


Starts - 21

Best Finish - Winner 1975

Rds - 71

Cuts Made - 14

Top 3 - 3

Top 5 - 3

Top 10 - 3

Top 25 - 6

Avg. - 74.37

Scores In 60s - 4

Rds Under Par - 5

Earnings - $94,401.90