Google+ Badge BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY
Sunday, 26 May 2013
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN JOHN MATTHEW SHIPPEN Jr AN AMERICAN GOLFER WHO COMPETED IN SEVERAL EARLY U.S.. OPENS : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "
The Shinnecock Hills course was chosen to host the second U.S. Open, and the members were so impressed with Shippen's talent for the game that they decided to pay his entry fee for the tournament, along with that of his close friend, Oscar Bunn, a Shinnecock Indian. Shippen was allowed to play because he registered as an Indian (his mother was Shinnecock) rather than as a black. When the professional entrants for the competition found out about this they threatened to boycott the event, but they backed down after USGA president Theodore Havemeyer stated that the tournament would proceed even if only Shippen and Dunn took part. Shippen was paired with Charles B. Macdonald, winner of the first U.S. Amateur in 1895. He was tied for second place after the first of the two rounds, and remained in contention until he drove his ball onto a sandy road at the 13th hole and scored an eleven. If he had made par on that hole, he would have made a playoff for the championship, but he still finished in a tie for sixth and won $10 as the fifth-placed non-amateur. Scottish born James Foulis won the $150 first prize.
Shippen played in five more U.S. Opens, and his best finish was a tie for fifth in 1902. He made his career in golf and served as professional at several clubs, the last of which was Shady Rest Golf Course in New Jersey, where he worked from 1924 to 1960. As a professional, John Shippen made and sold his own clubs, which bore a stamp reading "J.M. Shippen"
No other African-American played in the Open until Ted Rhodes took part in 1948.
In 2009, the PGA of America granted posthumous membership to Shippen, Rhodes and Bill Spiller who were denied the opportunity to become PGA members during their professional careers. The PGA also has granted posthumous honorary membership to boxer Joe Louis.