1939 U.S. Open (golf)

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1939 U.S. Open
Tournament information
Dates June 8–12, 1939
Location Gladwyne, Pennsylvania
Course(s) Philadelphia Country Club
Spring Mill Course[1]
Organized by USGA
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Statistics
Par 69[2]
Length 6,786 yards (6,205 m)[1]
Field 161 players, 65 after cut
Cut 152 (+14)
Prize fund $5,000[3]
Winner's share $1,000
Champion
United States Byron Nelson
284 (+8), playoff
Philadelphia Country Club is located in the US
Philadelphia Country Club
Philadelphia 
Country Club
Location in the United States

The 1939 U.S. Open was the 43rd U.S. Open, held June 8–12 at Philadelphia Country Club in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, a suburb northwest of Philadelphia. Byron Nelson won after two playoff rounds to prevail against Craig Wood and Denny Shute to claim his only U.S. Open title,[2] and the second of his five major championships. It was the first playoff at the U.S. Open in eight years and the first three-way playoff since 1913.

Sam Snead led after each of the first two rounds but his triple-bogey on the 72nd hole dropped him to fifth place, two strokes back. Two years earlier, he was runner-up in his first U.S. Open in 1937. Following World War II, Snead finished second three more times, but never won the title to complete a career grand slam.

In his fourth U.S. Open, Ben Hogan made his first 36-hole cut at the championship and finished in a tie for 62nd. He finished in a tie for fifth the following year; after the war he won four U.S. Opens and contended in numerous others. He made every subsequent cut he played in at the U.S. Open, the last in 1967 at age 54.

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Ralph Guldahl  United States 1937, 1938 71 73 72 72 288 +12 T7
Olin Dutra  United States 1934 70 74 70 78 292 +16 T16
Tommy Armour  Scotland
 United States
1927 70 75 69 80 294 +18 T22
Sam Parks, Jr.  United States 1935 73 73 77 76 299 +23 T38
Billy Burke  United States 1931 74 74 77 75 300 +24 T42
Gene Sarazen  United States 1922, 1932 74 72 79 76 301 +25 T47
Tony Manero  United States 1936 74 76 78 76 304 +28 T56

Missed the cut[edit]

Player Country Year won R1 R2 Total To par
Johnny Goodman  United States 1933 78 78 156 +18
Johnny Farrell  United States 1928 77 79 156 +18

Source:[4]

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Thursday, June 8, 1939

Place Player Country Score To Par
1 Sam Snead  United States 68 –1
T2 Lawson Little  United States 69 E
Bud Ward (a)  United States
Matt Kowal  United States
T5 Craig Wood  United States 70 +1
Tommy Armour  United States
Denny Shute  United States
Olin Dutra  United States
Lloyd Mangrum  United States
Harold "Jug" McSpaden  United States

Second round[edit]

Friday, June 9, 1939

Place Player Country Score To Par
1 Sam Snead  United States 68-71=139 +1
2 Horton Smith  United States 72-68=140 +2
3 Craig Wood  United States 70-71=141 +3
T4 Denny Shute  United States 70-72=142 +4
Bud Ward (a)  United States 69-73=142
T6 Frank Moore  United States 73-70=143 +5
Johnny Bulla  United States 72-71=143
Harry Cooper  United States 71-72=143
Harold "Jug" McSpaden  United States 70-73=143
Lawson Little  United States 69-74=143

Source:[4][5]

Third round[edit]

Saturday, June 10, 1939 - (morning)

Place Player Country Score To Par
1 Johnny Bulla  United States 72-71-68=211 +4
T2 Sam Snead  United States 68-71-73=212 +5
Craig Wood  United States 70-71-71=212
Denny Shute  United States 70-72-70=212
5 Bud Ward (a)  United States 69-73-71=213 +6
T6 Tommy Armour  United States 70-75-69=214 +7
John E. Rogers  United States 75-70-69=214
Olin Dutra  United States 70-74-70=214
9 Horton Smith  United States 72-68-75=215 +8
T10 Byron Nelson  United States 72-73-71=216 +9
Ralph Guldahl  United States 71-73-72=216
Henry Picard  United States 72-72-72=216

Source:[6]

Final round[edit]

Saturday, June 10, 1939 - (afternoon)

Nelson began the final round on Saturday afternoon five strokes back of leader Johnny Bulla and shot 68 to gain the clubhouse lead at 284. Wood birdied the 18th to also get to 284, while Shute also finished on that number after a bogey at 17. It appeared, however, that that number would not be enough. Snead stood on the par-5 18th needing only a par to win the championship. Snead believed he needed a birdie to win and played the hole aggressively. After finding two bunkers, he made a triple-bogey 8 and missed the playoff by two strokes.

Place Player Country Score To Par Money ($)
T1 Byron Nelson  United States 72-73-71-68=284 +8 Playoff
Craig Wood  United States 70-71-71-72=284
Denny Shute  United States 70-72-70-72=284
4 Bud Ward (a)  United States 69-73-71-72=285 +9 0
5 Sam Snead  United States 68-71-73-74=286 +10 600
6 Johnny Bulla  United States 72-71-68-76=287 +11 450
T7 Ralph Guldahl  United States 71-73-72-72=288 +12 325
Dick Metz  United States 76-72-71-69=288
T9 Ky Laffoon  United States 76-70-73-70=289 +13 175
Harold McSpaden  United States 70-73-71-75=289
Paul Runyan  United States 76-70-71-72=289
(a) denotes amateur

Source:[7][8]

Playoff[edit]

Sunday, June 11, 1939
Monday, June 12, 1939

In the three-way 18-hole playoff on Sunday afternoon, Nelson and Wood each carded 68 (–1), while Shute shot a 76 (+7) and was eliminated. In the second 18-hole playoff on Monday morning, Nelson took control at the third hole with a birdie while Wood double-bogeyed. At the next hole, Nelson holed out for an eagle to take a five-stroke lead. With a three-shot lead at the turn, Nelson matched Wood on the back nine and finished with a 70 to Wood's 73.

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
1 Byron Nelson  United States 68-70=138 E 1,000
2 Craig Wood  United States 68-73=141 +3 800
3 Denny Shute  United States 76-x +7 700

Scorecards[edit]

Sunday, June 11, 1939

Hole  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Par 4 3 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 4 4 5
United States Nelson E E E E +1 +1 E E –1 –1 E –1 E E E –1 E –1
United States Wood E E E E E –1 –1 –1 –1 E E E E E E E –1 –1
United States Shute E +1 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 +3 +3 +4 +4 +4 +4 +5 +7

Monday, June 12, 1939

Hole  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Par 4 3 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 4 4 5
United States Nelson E E –1 –3 –2 –1 –1 –1 –1 E E +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1
United States Wood +1 E +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +3 +4 +5 +5 +6 +5 +5 +4 +4

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Nelson, Shute and Wood to decide Open title today". Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. June 11, 1939. p. 11. 
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Open history: 1939". USGA. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Nelson captures playoff". Vancouver Sun. June 12, 1939. p. 20. 
  4. ^ a b "National Open golf scores (second round)". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 10, 1939. p. 14. 
  5. ^ "Scores in U.S. Open golf". Montreal Gazette. June 10, 1939. p. 12. 
  6. ^ "Open scores". Milwaukee Journal. June 10, 1939. p. 6. 
  7. ^ "Prize winners". Milwaukee Journal. June 12, 1939. p. 3-L. 
  8. ^ a b Boni, Bill (June 12, 1939). "Nelson and Wood deadlocked after 18-hole playoff in U.S. Open golf". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. p. 19. 
  9. ^ "Byron Nelson takes national open golf championship". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. June 12, 1939. p. 11. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°03′43″N 75°17′31″W / 40.062°N 75.292°W / 40.062; -75.292