William Law "Willie" Anderson (21 October 1879 – 25 October 1910) was a Scottish immigrant to the United States who became the first golfer to win four U.S. Opens, with victories in 1901, 1903, 1904, and 1905. He is still the only man to win three consecutive titles, and only Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus have equalled his total of four championships. He is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Anderson was born in North Berwick, Scotland. He emigrated to the United States in 1896, along with his father, Thomas Anderson, and his brother Tom. He played in the U.S. Open the following year, finishing in second by one stroke after Joe Lloyd eagled the final hole.
His first significant win came in 1899 at the Southern California Open, before he started his run at the U.S. Open. In the 14 straight Opens that he played, Anderson won four, was second once, third once, fourth twice, fifth three times, 11th twice and 15th once. He won titles with both the old gutta-percha golf ball, and the rubber-cored ball which came into use in 1902. Anderson also won the Western Open in 1902, 1904, 1908, and 1909.
Anderson made his living as a golf professional, working at ten different clubs in fourteen years. He died at age 31, officially from epilepsy in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is buried in Ivy Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.
Anderson was an original member of the PGA Hall of Fame and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1975.
|Year||Championship||54 Holes||Winning Score||Margin||Runners Up|
|1901||U.S. Open||1 shot deficit||84-83-83-81=331||Playoff 1||Alex Smith|
|1903||U.S. Open (2)||6 shot lead||73-76-76-82=307||Playoff 2||David Brown|
|1904||U.S. Open (3)||2 shot deficit||75-78-78-72=303||5 strokes||Gilbert Nicholls|
|1905||U.S. Open (4)||1 shot deficit||81-80-76-77=314||2 strokes||Alex Smith|