1939 U.S. Open (golf)
|Dates||June 8–12, 1939|
|Course(s)||Philadelphia Country Club
Spring Mill Course
|Length||6,786 yards (6,205 m)|
|Field||161 players, 65 after cut|
|284 (+8), playoff|
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, 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
Made the cut
|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
|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
|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|
Thursday, June 8, 1939
|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|
Friday, June 9, 1939
|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|
Saturday, June 10, 1939 - (morning)
|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|
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 ($)|
|T1||Byron Nelson||United States||72-73-71-68=284||+8||Playoff|
|Craig Wood||United States||70-71-71-72=284|
|Denny Shute||United States||70-72-70-72=284|
|4||Bud Ward (a)||United States||69-73-71-72=285||+9||0|
|5||Sam Snead||United States||68-71-73-74=286||+10||600|
|6||Johnny Bulla||United States||72-71-68-76=287||+11||450|
|T7||Ralph Guldahl||United States||71-73-72-72=288||+12||325|
|Dick Metz||United States||76-72-71-69=288|
|T9||Ky Laffoon||United States||76-70-73-70=289||+13||175|
|Harold McSpaden||United States||70-73-71-75=289|
|Paul Runyan||United States||76-70-71-72=289|
- (a) denotes amateur
Sunday, June 11, 1939
Monday, June 12, 1939
In the three-way 18-hole playoff on Sunday afternoon, Nelson and Wood each carded 68 (–1), while Shute shot a 76 (+7) and was eliminated. In the second 18-hole playoff on Monday morning, Nelson took control at the third hole with a birdie while Wood double-bogeyed. At the next hole, Nelson holed out for an eagle to take a five-stroke lead. With a three-shot lead at the turn, Nelson matched Wood on the back nine and finished with a 70 to Wood's 73.
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|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|
Sunday, June 11, 1939
Monday, June 12, 1939
- "Nelson, Shute and Wood to decide Open title today". Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. June 11, 1939. p. 11.
- "U.S. Open history: 1939". USGA. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- "Nelson captures playoff". Vancouver Sun. June 12, 1939. p. 20.
- "National Open golf scores (second round)". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 10, 1939. p. 14.
- "Scores in U.S. Open golf". Montreal Gazette. June 10, 1939. p. 12.
- "Open scores". Milwaukee Journal. June 10, 1939. p. 6.
- "Prize winners". Milwaukee Journal. June 12, 1939. p. 3-L.
- Boni, Bill (June 12, 1939). "Nelson and Wood deadlocked after 18-hole playoff in U.S. Open golf". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. p. 19.
- "Byron Nelson takes national open golf championship". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. June 12, 1939. p. 11.