Thursday, August 4, 2011

Willie Anderson & Alex Smith

Willie Anderson with his arm around Alex Smith

Willie and Alex

Both Scottish professionals who came to America to work in the game of golf, Willie Anderson won four of the first dozen U.S. Open Golf Championships, but died young of hardening of the arteries. Alex Smith also won two early U.S. Opens. From a family of great golfers from Carnoustie, Scotland, four of his brothers were also golf professionals, including Willie, who also won the U.S. Open, and MacDonald Smith, who tied brother Alex and John McDermott in the 1910 U.S. Open in Philadelphia. In the playoff Alex defeated McDonald and McDermott. When Alex tried to console the 18 year old McDermott for losing, McDermott replied, "I'll get you next time you big lout!" And he did, winning the 1911 U.S. Open in Chicago.

Both Alex and McDonald Smith visited Jolly Jim Fraser when he was the golf pro at Seaview.

At the 1913 U.S. Open at the Country Club at Brookline, Alex Smith was at the bar in the clubhouse arguing with Ted Ray about socialism when they were interrupted by Wilfrid Reid, who told Ray he shouldn't be a socialist because of all the money he made. In response Ray punched Reid in the face and knocked him over a table.

Alex Smith's brother Willie "moved to Mexico City to become the golf pro at the Mexico City Country Club. He was injured during the Mexican Revolution. He had refused to leave his post at the country club and was found trapped under a fallen beam after Emiliano Zapata's troops ransacked the club which they saw as a symbol of the corrupt ruling class."

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