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1910's-20's Francis Ouimet Tournament Used Putter. Francis Ouimet came from a working-class family, and never finished high school. He caddied until age sixteen to help support his family. At sixteen years of age, he went to work for Wright & Ditson's sporting goods store in downtown Boston. He was invited to play in the 1913 U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Brookline, MA because they needed one more player. Francis had to provide his own caddy in that the USGA did not have a caddy for this unknown fill-in. He ended up with ten-year old Eddie Lowery toting the bag. Francis not only made the cut but played his way into contention. Shooting a stunning 74-79 on the second day of play, he forced himself into a three-way playoff with Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, the number one and two golfers in the world at that time. On the morning of the playoff, Sept. 20, 1913, it was deemed that Francis should have a real caddy, in that several were now available, rather than this young and somewhat brazen boy. Francis, always the gentleman, replied, "No thank you, I'll stick with Eddie." The rest is history! Ouimet won the playoff, becoming the first amateur and only the second American to win the U.S. Open. Needless to say, when Francis dropped the final putt, the place went wild.

This lot consists of a thick blade putter with the name "Francis Ouimet" in script on the back of the head. It was manufactured by Tom Stewart in St. Andrews. The putter was made personally by Tom Stewart in that the identifying dot on the back of the head is present near the toe. The club has an offset hosel, and an old short leather grip over an older long leather wrap grip. According to a Ouimet family member that this club originally came from, this was the putter he used in tournament play for many years. The lot includes a letter from Mr. James Sugden, the grand nephew of Alice Ouimet. Alice was the wife of Francis's brother Wilfred. In the letter, Mr. Sugden attests, "I can state with absolute certainty that the wooden shaft putter, engraved with the Francis Ouimet signature/name, is authentic, and was one of his playing clubs." This letter was written to a former owner in 1991, who sold it to the gentleman who placed it in the Sporting Antiquities Auction, May 21, 1993. It was purchased at that sale by the current owner. Also included is a Christmas card with a photo of Francis Ouimet driving himself into office as Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club on Sept. 19, 1951 (the first American to do so). The inscription says, "With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year from Stella and Francis."

Francis won the U.S. Amateur twice, the French Amateur, and was a member of the U.S. Walker Cup Team on several occasions. Lot derives from the Philadelphia Private Golf Museum.

Service and Handling Description: Bats, Clubs, Sticks, Swords, Rifles, etc. (view shipping information)

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Auction Dates
November, 2011
10th-11th Thursday-Friday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 2,117

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