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Golf: Amateurs who have won a major golf tournament

There are seven amateur players who have won golf Majors and those successes have all come in the Open Championship and the US Open.

No amateur has ever won the Masters and non-professionals are not invited to play in the US PGA Championship

Open Championship Amateur winners

John Ball - 1890

John Ball was the first amateur to get his hands on the Claret Jug and is one of only two players with Bobby Jones to have won the Open Championship and Amateur Championship in the same year. 

He grew up playing golf at Royal Liverpool and beat Scots Willie Fernie and Archie Simpson by one shot at Prestwick Golf Club. He won the Amateur Championship eight times and claimed three victories at the Irish Amateur Championship.

Harold Hilton - 1892, 1897

Ball finished tied for second two years after his success when Harold Hilton, who also hailed from Merseyside, became the second Amateur winner at Muirfield. 

Scots Sandy Herd and Hugh Kirkaldy also finished second three shots behind Hilton, who repeated his success at his local course Royal Liverpool five years later, beating James Braid by a single shot.

Bobby Jones - 1926, 1927, 1930

Lawyer Bobby Jones was one of golf’s most influential figures, winning seven Majors as an amateur and completing the Grand Slam of winning both the Open and Amateur Championships in Britain and the USA in 1930. 

He also designed Augusta National and founded the Masters tournament. 

His three Claret Jug wins came in 1926, when he beat Al Watrous by two shots at Lytham St Annes, a six-shot victory at St Andrews over Aubrey Boomer and Fred Robson the following year and a two-shot success over fellow American Leo Diegel and Macdonald Smith in 1930.

US Open Amateur winners

Francis Ouimet - 1913

Francis Ouimet was the first amateur to win a Major and was just 20 when he triumphed at Brookline, Massachusetts, a course where he caddied as a child. He worked in a sports shop and beat Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in an 18-hole playoff.

Jerome Travers - 1915

Jerome Travers claimed the trophy two years later having never finished in the top-ten in his three previous US Open appearances. He had previously won four US Amateur titles and beat Tom McNamara by one shot at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey and, after claiming the big prize, he never entered the tournament again.

Chick Evans - 1916

Chick Evans won the US Open in 1916 and was also crowned US Amateur champion that year. He carried only seven hickory-shafted clubs and saw off Jock Hutchison by two at the Minikahda Club in Minnesota.

Bobby Jones - 1923, 1926, 1929, 1930

Jones was a US Open star in the 1920s, winning four times and also finishing runner-up in 1922, 1924, 1925, and 1928. He beat Bobby Cruickshank in a playoff for his first triumph at Inwood in 1923 and then saw off Joe Turnesa by a single shot at Scioto in Ohio three years later. 

Al Espinosa was beaten in a playoff at Winged Foot in 1929 before he beat MacDonald Smith by two at Interlachen in Minnesota in 1930, the year in which he completed the Grand Slam of victories in the US Amateur, the US Open, the Open and the Amateur Championship.

Johnny Goodman - 1933

Insurance salesman Johnny Goodman was the last amateur to win a Major championship when he claimed the US Open in 1933. He was made to sweat after taking a six-shot lead into the final round at North Shore in Illinois, but he came through for a one-shot success with Ralph Guldahl his nearest rival.

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