It Took 55 Holes of Golf to Decide the 1915 Pennsylvania Open!

“DID YOU KNOW”
It took 55 holes of golf to decide the 1915 Pennsylvania Open!

On the second Wednesday of July, 1915, the fourth Pennsylvania Open was held at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club. The tournament was contested over 36 holes, with a strong field which included Jim Barnes, who would go on to win the first PGA Championship one year later. At that time the Pennsylvania Open was open to all comers. The weather was intensely warm.

At the end of 36 holes Tom Anderson, Jr. (Montclair Golf Club), and Eddie Loos (Pocono Manor Golf Club) were tied for the title with 149 totals. Loos had posted rounds of 79 and 70 while Anderson’s rounds were 78 and 71. On the 36th hole Anderson had a putt to win the tournament, but due to his ball being in a cuppy lie, it would be difficult to hole it. Because his ball was in the line of a fellow competitor Anderson was asked to move his marker to the side. A.W. Tillinghast, the designer of the Shawnee course and president of the club was refereeing the match. He said that he watched very closely to see that Anderson replaced his ball in its original lie. He did exactly that. (At that time in open tournaments because of the money, a referee was sent out with each professional pairing but not with the amateurs.) Anderson missed the putt as expected.

The Pennsylvania State Golf Association committee decided that an 18-hole playoff would be held that day. At the conclusion of the playoff, Anderson, who had won the first PA Open in 1912, and Loos were still tied with 76’s. It was 8 pm and the playoff went to sudden-death. On Shawnee’s first hole Anderson won the title for a second time with a par four. It was the 55th hole of golf for the two professionals that day.

Anderson and Loos split the top two prizes of $100 and $70. Tom Anderson was the brother of four-time U.S. Open champion Willie Anderson, who had died in 1910 as the professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, at the age of 31. One month later Tom Anderson would die learning to drive the automobile he had just purchased.

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