|Dates||June 17–21, 1965|
|Location||Town and Country, Missouri|
|Course(s)||Bellerive Country Club|
|Length||7,191 yards (6,575 m)|
|Field||150 players, 51 after cut|
|282 (+2), playoff|
The 1965 U.S. Open was the 65th U.S. Open, held June 17–21 at Bellerive Country Club in Town and Country, Missouri, a suburb west of St. Louis. Gary Player of South Africa defeated Kel Nagle of Australia in an 18-hole playoff to win his only U.S. Open title. Player was the first foreign-born winner of the U.S. Open since 1927, and the win completed his career Grand Slam at age 29. It was the fourth of his nine major titles. The 1965 U.S. Open was the first U.S. Open broadcast on color television.
The five-year-old course at Bellerive was the U.S. Open's longest to date at 7,191 yards (6,575 m), and had the potential to reach 7,500 yards (6,860 m). The quality of the young course's turf varied, with burned out or diseased areas which the USGA did not allow relief from. The field consisted of 136 professionals and 14 amateurs, with the top fifty and ties advancing after 36 holes. This was the first time that the U.S. Open was scheduled for four days, with the final round on Sunday. Previously the third and fourth rounds were both played on Saturday. The U.S. Women's Open also changed to this format, held two weeks later in early July.
Final round and playoff
In the final round on Sunday, Player owned a three-stroke lead over Nagle with just three holes to play. But while Player double-bogeyed the par-3 16th hole, Nagle birdied the 17th. As Player reached the 18th tee, he knew he needed a birdie to win outright, as Nagle had parred the final hole for 282 (+2). Player had a 28-foot (8.5 m) putt for birdie, but left it 4 inches (10 cm) short and tapped in for a 72-hole tie. In the 18-hole playoff on Monday afternoon, Player built a five-shot lead after eight holes and held on to win by three strokes, 71 to 74. He won the championship with fiberglass-shafted golf clubs.
With his win, Player joined Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan as the only to win all four professional major championships, the career Grand Slam. Jack Nicklaus completed the feat himself the next year at the 1966 British Open. Player was also the first foreign-born winner of the U.S. Open in 38 years, since Scotland's Tommy Armour won in 1927.
Arnold Palmer missed the 36-hole cut by two strokes, the only time from 1962 to 1967 that he placed outside the top-5 at the U.S. Open. Defending champion Ken Venturi was hampered by numbed fingers and missed the cut by ten strokes.
The winner's share was $25,000 and both playoff participants received a $1,000 bonus, taken from the gate receipts of the Monday gallery of 6,790. Player donated his winner's share to cancer research ($5,000) and junior golf ($20,000) in the United States, fulfilling an earlier pledge to thank the people of America; his mother died of cancer when he was eight years old. Player paid his caddy $2,000 with his playoff bonus and $1,000 from his pocket.
Past champions in the field
Made the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||R3||R4||Total||To par||Finish|
|Julius Boros||United States||1952, 1963||72||75||70||70||287||+7||T4|
|Gene Littler||United States||1961||73||71||73||72||288||+8||T8|
|Billy Casper||United States||1959||73||73||76||72||294||+14||T17|
|Jack Nicklaus||United States||1962||78||72||73||76||299||+19||T32|
Missed the cut
|Player||Country||Year won||R1||R2||Total||To par|
|Arnold Palmer||United States||1960||76||76||152||+12|
|Ed Furgol||United States||1954||80||75||155||+15|
|Ken Venturi||United States||1964||81||79||160||+20|
Thursday, June 17, 1965
|T2||Deane Beman (a)||United States||69||−1|
|Mason Rudolph||United States|
|T4||Rex Baxter||United States||70||E|
|Lou Graham||United States|
|Gary Player||South Africa|
|7||Gordon Jones||United States||71||+1|
|T8||Miller Barber||United States||72||+2|
|Julius Boros||United States|
|Gay Brewer||United States|
|Raymond Floyd||United States|
|Ron Howell||United States|
|Steve Opperman||United States|
|Dudley Wysong||United States|
Friday, June 18, 1965
|1||Gary Player||South Africa||70-70=140||E|
|Mason Rudolph||United States||69-72=141|
|4||Deane Beman (a)||United States||69-73=142||+2|
|5||Frank Beard||United States||74-69=143||+3|
|T6||Raymond Floyd||United States||72-72=144||+3|
|Gene Littler||United States||73-71=144|
|T8||Rex Baxter||United States||70-75=145||+5|
|Gordon Jones||United States||71-74=145|
Saturday, June 19, 1965
|1||Gary Player||South Africa||70-70-71=211||+1|
|T2||Frank Beard||United States||74-69-70=213||+3|
|4||Mason Rudolph||United States||69-72-73=214||+4|
|5||Al Geiberger||United States||70-76-70=216||+6|
|T6||Julius Boros||United States||72-75-70=217||+7|
|Gay Brewer||United States||72-74-71=217|
|Gene Littler||United States||73-71-73=217|
|Dudley Wysong||United States||72-75-70=217|
Sunday, June 20, 1965
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|T1||Gary Player||South Africa||70-70-71-71=282||+2||Playoff|
|3||Frank Beard||United States||74-69-70-71=284||+4||9,000|
|T4||Julius Boros||United States||72-75-70-70=287||+7||6,500|
|Al Geiberger||United States||70-76-70-71=287|
|Raymond Floyd||United States||72-72-76-68=288|
|T8||Tony Lema||United States||72-74-73-70=289||+9||2,500|
|Gene Littler||United States||73-71-73-72=289|
|Dudley Wysong||United States||72-75-70-72=289|
Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par
Monday, June 21, 1965
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|1||Gary Player||South Africa||33-38=71||+1||26,000|
- Included in earnings is a playoff bonus of $1,000 each, from the playoff gate receipts.
|Nagle||+1||E||E||E||+2||+2||+3||+3||+3||+4||+4||+4||+4||+4||+4||+4||+4||+4|Birdie Bogey Double bogey
- MacDonald, Jim (June 17, 1965). "Open could become putt, putt, putt, putt". Toledo Blade. p. 40.
- "U.S. Open history: 1965". USGA. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
- Wright, Alfred (June 28, 1965). "Two foreign blokes shock the slammers". Sports Illustrated. p. 24.
- Gundelfinger, Phil Jr. (June 17, 1965). "Palmer fires 67 in final Open tuneup". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 32.
- MacDonald, Jim (June 18, 1965). "Banjo". Toledo Blade. Ohio. p. 40.
- Gudelfinger, Phil (June 21, 1965). "Player, Nagle finish in tie for Open". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 25.
- MacDonald, Jim (June 22, 1965). "Foreign aid plan reversed: Player repays 'American kindness' by donating purse". Toledo Blade. Ohio. p. 20.
- "Will Venturi ever be right?". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. June 20, 1965. p. 3B.
- "South Africa's Black Knight unhorses hungry challengers". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. June 20, 1965. p. 3B.
- "Grateful Gary gives $25,000 purse to USGA". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 22, 1965. p. 18.
- Gundelfinger, Phil (June 22, 1965). "Player wins Open playoff by 3 strokes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 1.
- "Open scores (second round)". Toledo Blade. June 19, 1965. p. 18.
- "National Open golf scoreboard". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 19, 1965. p. 13.
- "National Open scores". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 18, 1965. p. 20.
- "U.S. Open History". USGA. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
|Major Championships||Succeeded by|
1965 Open Championship