1939 Open Championship
|Dates||5–7 July 1939|
|Location||St Andrews, Scotland|
|Course(s)||Old Course at St Andrews|
|Length||6,842 yards (6,256 m)|
|Field||129 players, 34 after cut|
The 1939 Open Championship was the 74th Open Championship, held 5–7 July at the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. Dick Burton won his only major title, two strokes ahead of runner-up Johnny Bulla. The purse was £500 with a winner's share of £100. It was the last Open played for seven years, due to World War II.
Qualifying took place on 3–4 July, Monday and Tuesday, with 18 holes on the Old Course and 18 holes on the New Course. As in the previous year, the number of qualifiers was limited to a maximum of 130, and ties for 130th place did not qualify. For the first time a prize of £20 was awarded to the professional with the lowest qualifying score. Amateur Jimmy Bruen led the qualifiers on 138 with Henry Cotton next on 142; the qualifying score was 156 and 129 players advanced.
Despite taking an eight at the 14th hole, Bobby Locke opened the championship on Wednesday with a round of 70 (−3), tying Burton for the lead. In the second round on Thursday, Locke again found trouble on 14, and after a ball out of bounds fell out of the lead. The maximum number of players making the cut after 36 holes was increased from 40 to 44, and ties for 44th place did not make the cut. Eleven players tied for 35th place, so only 34 players made the cut.
John Fallon was the surprise leader after 54 holes by two shots, but he could not cope with the strong winds and fell back to 3rd place with a final round 79 (+6). Bulla, the only American to make the 36-hole cut, began the final round on Friday afternoon four strokes behind Fallon. At the second hole, he hooked his drive over the parallel 17th fairway and into a railway yard; he finished with a round of even-par 73 and established a clubhouse lead of at even par 292. Burton, setting out just as Bulla was finishing, needed a 72 to win the title and came to the 18th needing a par four. He hit a drive over 300 yards (270 m), pitched to 15 feet (4.5 m), then holed the birdie putt for a two-shot win.
The previous three Opens at St Andrews had been won by Americans; Burton was the first Briton to win the Open at the Old Course since 1910, won by James Braid of Scotland. Since Burton's 1939 win, the sole British winner at St Andrews was Nick Faldo of England in 1990. Burton enlisted in the Royal Air Force shortly after his win.
This was the last Open for seven years, until 1946; World War II started in September 1939 and the championship was canceled through 1945. Birkdale Golf Club was scheduled as the venue for the 1940 championship, its first, but did not host until 1954.
|3||Cartgate (Out)||367||4||12||Heathery (In)||316||4|
|4||Ginger Beer||424||4||13||Hole O'Cross (In)||422||4|
|5||Hole O'Cross (Out)||576||5||14||Long||564||5|
|6||Heathery (Out)||377||4||15||Cartgate (In)||424||4|
|7||High (Out)||354||4||16||Corner of the Dyke||380||4|
^ The 10th hole was posthumously named for Bobby Jones in 1972
Past champions in the field
Made the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||R3||R4||Total||To par||Finish|
|Henry Cotton||England||1934, 1937||74||72||76||76||298||+6||T13|
All past champions in the field made the cut.
Did not advance past qualifying rounds (Monday & Tuesday):
- Sandy Herd (1902) 161, James Braid (1901, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910) 162, George Duncan (1920) 164.
Did not enter:
- Alf Padgham (1936), Denny Shute (1933), Gene Sarazen (1932), Tommy Armour (1931),
Bobby Jones (1926, 1927, 1930), Walter Hagen (1922, 1924, 1928, 1929), Jim Barnes (1925), Arthur Havers (1923).
Friday, 5 July 1939
|Bobby Locke||South Africa|
Thursday, 6 July 1939
|Bobby Locke||South Africa||70-75=145|
Friday, 7 July 1939 (morning)
|T4||Johnny Bulla||United States||77-71-71=219||E|
|Bobby Locke||South Africa||70-75-76=221|
Friday, 7 July 1939 (afternoon)
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money (£)|
|2||Johnny Bulla||United States||77-71-71-73=292||E||75|
|Bobby Locke||South Africa||70-75-76-75=296|
- "Little eliminated in British Open; Bulla in running". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 7 July 1939. p. 14. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Gripping struggle for golf title". Glasgow Herald. 6 July 1939. p. 17.
- "Road Hole claims another victim". Glasgow Herald. 7 July 1939. p. 19.
- "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 93. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
- "Memorable last-green spectacle". Glasgow Herald. 8 July 1939. p. 11.
- "Burton takes British title; Bulla second". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 8 July 1939. p. 13.
- "English pro beats Bulla by two shots". Miami News. United Press. 7 July 1939. p. 1B. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Burton cops British golf over Bulla". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 8 July 1939. p. 10. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Golf - The Open Championship - Altered Conditions". The Times. 20 February 1938. p. 5.
- "All eyes on Bruen for "Open"". Glasgow Herald. 5 July 1939. p. 7.
- "Bruen shoots 2d 69; takes lead in British Open". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 5 July 1939. p. 21.
- "Little and Bulla shoot poor golf in first round of British Open". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 6 July 1939. p. 13. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "80 puts Little out of British Open tourney". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 7 July 1939. p. 22.
- "New championship course". Glasgow Herald. 21 January 1939. p. 19.
- "Golf Championships for 1940". The Times. 21 January 1939. p. 4.
1939 U.S. Open
|Major Championships||Succeeded by|
1939 PGA Championship