The Greatest Game Ever Played:

Release Date: September 30, 2005

Genre: Drama
Cast: Shia Labeouf, Stephen Dillane, Elias Koteas, Peyton List, Josh Flitter
Director: Bill Paxton
Written by: Mark Frost based on his book The Greatest Game Ever Played
Producer: Larry Brezner, David Blocker





From the studio that brought you “The Rookie” and “Miracle” and director Bill Paxton, comes a story of courage, passion and of the greatest American sports hero you have probably never heard of…

An amateur player from a working class family, Francis Ouimet – played by Shia LeBeouf (“Holes”) – shocked the golf world when at the 1913 U.S. Open, flanked by his 10-year-old caddie, he defeated his idol, the defending British champion Harry Vardon – played by Stephen Dillane. An unlikely match-up – “the ingénue versus the seasoned champ” – theirs was the greatest match the sport had ever known.

Caught between a world of hardship and a beckoning life of privilege, Francis needed to prove his unfailing will and ability to make it to the tournament. Elias Koteas (“Traffic,” “Ararat”) plays Francis’ tough, hardworking father. Newcomer Peyton List is Sarah Wallis, the beautiful young woman, who catches Francis’ heart. Josh Filtter is Eddie Lowery, the pint sized caddie who helps Francis find his way through the troublesome fairways to victory.

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The True Story:

20 years old, a former caddie, relatively unknown but supremely talented, Francis Ouimet became America’s first golf hero. In a sport dominated by the British and the wealthy, Ouimet showed the character and the skill to challenge the greatest names in the sport at the time, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at the 1913 US Open at The Country Club in Brookline Massachusetts.

Seen as a turning point in the history of the sport in America, the self taught Ouimet, toppled the British powerhouse in a playoff victory forever changing the sport and the dreams of kids from any walk of life who thought they may have what it takes to win one of the most coveted titles in world sport.

The Open was played at The Country Club in 1913. The oldest golf course in the United States provided a picturesque setting for the championship. Vardon and Ray, both British and both considered to be exceptionally talented golfers, were expected to walk over the less experienced field and, while much had been prophesized about Ouimet, his inexperience seemed too great to overcome.

The match was close and the course proved challenging to both Vardon and Ray who each posted final rounds of 79 and who, as a result, seemed destined to be caught by Ouimet…and of course they were. The playoff was considered to be one of the most exciting rounds of golf ever played.

Ouimet played exquisitely in the playoff, the course was soaked and muddy from a weeks worth of bad weather, but he managed a 72 whilst Vardon and ray posted a 77 and 78 respectively. Vardon, one of Ouimets childhood heroes, was unable to hoist the Open cup above his head and claim victory for England. Instead, that honor went to the young amateur who used phone books to practice accuracy and had never before been allowed to walk the halls of golf clubs as an equal, let alone a celebrated hero of Americas sporting elite.



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