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On St Patricks Day March 17 1902 Robert Tyre Jones Jr was born in Atlanta Georgia Bobby was the only son of Colonel Robert P Jones a well-known Atlanta lawyer Until the age of five Bobby was so sick that he could not even eat solid foods When he was six years old his family moved to a summer home near the East Lake Country Club where young Bobby grew stronger and began playing golf It was at this young age that Jones developed a love for golf showing unusual natural ability from the beginning His first golf club was a cut-down cleek an early version of a one-iron given to him by a neighbor Although he started playing at such a young age Jones never had any formal lessons Instead he learned the golf swing by mimicking East Lakes Scottish professional Stewart Maiden Following Maiden around the course during 18-hole rounds with club members Jones developed the natural fluid swing that would become his trademark Encouraged by his father to try competitive golf Jones immediately displayed skill beyond his years At age six he won his first tournament against three other children at East Lake At nine he won the Atlanta Athletic Club junior title defeating a 16-year-old opponent When he was 13 he won an invitational tournament in Birmingham Alabama As a pudgy 14-year-old Jones won the East Lake Invitational and the Georgia Amateur defeating his good friend Perry Adair in the 36-hole final Adairs father had already made plans to take his son to the 1916 US Amateur to be held at the Merion Cricket Club in Ardmore Pennsylvania With the Jones familys permission he took Bobby along too making him the youngest player ever to qualify for and play in a US Amateur Championship Although he didnt win Jones stunned 1906 US Amateur champion Eben Byers and Pennsylvania Amateur champion Frank Dyer before losing in the third round to
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