Born: January 28, 1874
Alexander Smith was born January 28, 1874 in Dundee Scotland. When it comes to performances in the U.S. Open, Alex Smith’s record stands out more than a century after he won his second title. Smith, like many of his British contemporaries, lived and worked as a club professional in the United States. Incredibly, Smith had 11 top-ten performances in 18 appearances at the U.S. Open.
He won the 1906 U.S. Open at the Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, Illinois and took home the winner’s purse of $300. He defeated Willie Smith by seven strokes with a 72-hole total score of 295, which at the time was the lowest total score ever recorded at both the U.S. Open and the British Open.
Smith captured his second U.S. Open in 1910 in Philadelphia at the St. Martin’s course in more dramatic fashion. At the end of 72 holes, he found himself tied with two other golfers – American John McDermott and his own brother, McDonald Smith. Alex Smith fired a 71 in the 18-hole playoff, winning the playoff by four shots over McDermott.
Like the best players of today’s era, Smith worked in golf course design. He designed a Scottish links course, Wawashkamo Golf Club, in Mackinac Island, Michigan.
In all, Smith won 8 professional tournaments, including two Western Open titles. At the time, the Western Open was treated like a Major as it attracted all of the top players of that era. He tied for 16th place in his only appearance at the British Open (commonly referred to as “the Open Championship” in Europe). He tied for 9th place in his only appearance at the PGA Championship. The Masters Tournament didn’t begin until 1934, four years after Smith’s death in Baltimore at the age of 56.