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EDUCATION OF A COMPETITOR
Robert Tyre Jones Jr.
November 07, 1960
When Bobby Jones retired from competitive golf in 1930 he had won the U.S. Amateur on five occasions, the U.S. Open four times, the British Open three times and the British Amateur onceā€”in all, 13 major championships which, with a record of gallantly good-natured sportsmanship, established him as the greatest golfer of all time. His story of those years, never before told in his own words, begins on these pages. It shows that in victory or defeat, the 14-year-old genius who first flashed on the national scene in 1916 possessed a gift of whole-souled concentration that gives him a vivid recollection of every decisive match in his career. In this first of a two-part series (based on his forthcoming book Golf Is My Game, Doubleday, $4.50) Jones compares golfing in his day and the present, describes with unsparing candor his own maturing as a golfer and a man and leads up to the climactic year of the Grand Slam when he achieved golfing immortality by winning all four major international championships.
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November 07, 1960

Education Of A Competitor

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My opponent was a young Scot, Andrew Jamieson, then unknown. His performance at Muirfield won him a place on the British Walker Cup team, in which capacity he acquitted himself nobly. It was certainly no discredit to be beaten by a player of his ability. Moreover, he now played a beautiful round of golf, 2 under par for the 15 holes the match lasted, and would probably have beaten me anyway; nevertheless, I was left with some reason for believing that things might have been different if I had remained fit.

It is a fact that in one period of three weeks I managed to win both the British and United States Open Championships for the first such "double" in golfing history. The year ended with a narrow defeat by George von Elm in the final of the Amateur at Baltusrol, but after 1926 I think the Grand Slam idea was always somewhere in the back of my mind. My first opportunity to play in all four championships would come in 1930, when the U.S. Walker Cup team would return to Great Britain. I won the Amateur again in 1928, and the Open again in 1929, that winter keeping in condition as part of a conscious effort to try for all four in 1930. The fireworks were due to begin in May with the Walker Cup Matches, rather than in mid-June with the Open Championship; it behooved me, therefore, to avoid picking up the usual extra weight during the winter layoff. And I made another departure from my normal habits by playing in two winter tournaments against the pros, as a sort of warm-up for the great effort to come.

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