1955 Michigan Open Brought Three Major Championship Winners To Washtenaw
The 2021 Michigan Open wrapped up this past week with Bradley Smithson winning the title at The Bear. This year’s Michigan Open was the same week as the US Open at Torrey Pines.
As I was playing a twilight round at Washtenaw Golf Club yesterday, I thought about that and remembered the story that in 1955, three Major Champions played in the Michigan Open at Washtenaw.
The most prominent of the these was Horton Smith, who won the 1934 and 1936 Masters. Also in the field was Chick Harbert, winner of the 1954 PGA Championship. Joining them was Wally Burkemo, winner of the 1953 PGA Championship.
At the time, all three were head golf professionals at local clubs: Smith at Detroit Golf Club, Harbert at Meadowbrook and Burkemo at Franklin HIlls.
For what it’s worth, the US Open in 1955 was played the week before the Michigan Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco. There, Jack Fleck pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in US Open history by beating Ben Hogan in a playoff.
There weren’t any Major Champions in the Michigan Open this week, but perhaps there was a future Major Champion. There was a lot of young talent in the Michigan Open this year and in golf, nearly anything is possible. Jack Fleck is the proof.
Read the rest of the story about the 1955 Michigan Open at Washtenaw at the link. Read about Bradley Smithson’s win at the 2021 Michigan Open, where he became just the fifth amateur to win the title. Visit the Washtenaw Golf Club course website.