The 1901 U.S. Open was the seventh U.S. Open, held July 14–17 at Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, northeast of Boston. Scottish professional Willie Anderson won the first of his four U.S. Open titles in a playoff over Alex Smith.
Both Anderson and Smith posted total scores of 331, the highest winning score in U.S. Open history, with Smith narrowly missing a putt at the 18th to win the championship. The playoff, the first in U.S. Open history, was pushed back to Monday because Sunday was reserved for member play. When play resumed, Smith jumped out to a three-stroke lead at the turn and led by five with just fives holes to play. He then shot 5-7-5-4 over the next four holes, while Anderson recorded all 4s to even up the match.
At the 18th Anderson found the green in two while Smith's approach landed in the rough. Anderson two-putted for his 4, while Smith chipped to 4 feet and had a chance to tie, but his putt went astray and failed to find the cup. Anderson finished with an 85, a stroke better than Smith.
Smith's brother Willie—the 1899 U.S. Open champion—finished in 3rd place, two shots out of the playoff. Myopia club pro John Jones finished in 12th during regulation play, then caddied for Anderson during the playoff. For the only time in U.S. Open history no player managed to break 80 in any round.
Anderson would go on to win a record four U.S. Open titles, including three consecutive from 1903 to 1905. He remains the only golfer to win three straight Opens, and his mark of four titles has been matched only by Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus.