1940 U.S. Open (golf)
|Dates||June 6–9, 1940|
|Course(s)||Canterbury Golf Club|
|Length||6,894 yards (6,304 m)|
|Field||161 players, 66 after cut|
|287 (−1), playoff|
The 1940 U.S. Open was the 44th U.S. Open, June 6–9 at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio, a suburb east of Cleveland. Lawson Little defeated Gene Sarazen in an 18-hole playoff to win his only professional major.
Little started the final round a stroke behind leader Frank Walsh and carded a 73 to finish at 287. Sarazen made two birdies on the back nine and did not make a bogey to also post 287 and force a playoff on Sunday.
After five holes in the playoff, Little had a four-stroke advantage and was ahead by three at the turn. Sarazen made birdie at 11 and 14 to close the gap to one stroke with four holes to play, but could draw no closer. Little birdied the next two holes and they halved the final two holes. Little won by three, 70 to 73, and became the fifth player to win both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Amateur.
Six players were disqualified after the final round for starting their round too early to avoid a coming storm. One of those players, Ed Oliver, actually tied Little and Sarazen, but his disqualification prevented his participation in the playoff. Walter Hagen, in his final U.S. Open, was also disqualified for showing up late for his third round. Under current rules, Hagen would be penalised two strokes if he arrived within a grace period. Also under current rules, officials, with access to weather radar, reserve the right to accelerate the start of the final round and change its procedure (groups of three starting at the first and tenth tees, or a shotgun start).
The top eight finishers in the tournament were all past or future major champions, and are members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
This was the first of three majors at Canterbury. The U.S. Open returned six years later in 1946, won by Lloyd Mangrum in two playoff rounds. It was the first U.S. Open in five years, due to World War II. The PGA Championship was played at the course in 1973, won by Jack Nicklaus.
Past champions in the field
Made the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||R3||R4||Total||To par||Finish|
|Gene Sarazen||United States||1922, 1932||71||74||70||72||287||−1||2|
|Ralph Guldahl||United States||1937, 1938||73||71||76||70||290||+2||T5|
|Byron Nelson||United States||1939||72||74||70||74||290||+2||T5|
|Tommy Armour|| Scotland
|Johnny Farrell||United States||1928||75||77||76||71||299||+11||28|
|Sam Parks, Jr.||United States||1935||69||74||79||78||300||+12||T29|
|Tony Manero||United States||1936||75||75||77||74||301||+13||T36|
Missed the cut
|Player||Country||Year won||R1||R2||Total||To par|
|Olin Dutra||United States||1934||78||77||155||+11|
|Johnny Goodman||United States||1933||82||79||161||+17|
Thursday, June 6, 1940
|1||Sam Snead||United States||67||−5|
|T2||Ed Oliver||United States||69||−3|
|Sam Parks, Jr.||United States|
|Horton Smith||United States|
|T5||Al Huske||United States||70||−2|
|Vic Ghezzi||United States|
|Ben Hogan||United States|
|T8||Bob Babbish (a)||United States||71||−1|
|Duke Gibson||United States|
|Henry Kaiser||United States|
|Gene Sarazen||United States|
Friday, June 7, 1940
|T1||Lawson Little||United States||72-69=141||−3|
|Horton Smith||United States||69-72=141|
|Sam Snead||United States||67-74=141|
|4||Frank Walsh||United States||73-69=142||−2|
|T5||Ben Hogan||United States||70-73=143||−1|
|Sam Parks, Jr.||United States||69-74=213|
|T7||Leonard Dodson||United States||72-72=144||E|
|Vic Ghezzi||United States||70-74=144|
|Ralph Guldahl||United States||73-71=144|
|Dutch Harrison||United States||74-70=144|
Saturday, June 8, 1940 (morning)
|1||Frank Walsh||United States||73-69-71=213||−3|
|T2||Lawson Little||United States||72-69-73=214||−2|
|Sam Snead||United States||67-74-73=214|
|4||Gene Sarazen||United States||71-74-70=215||−1|
|T5||Lloyd Mangrum||United States||75-70-71=216||E|
|Jug McSpaden||United States||74-72-70=216|
|Byron Nelson||United States||72-74-70=216|
|T8||Ben Hogan||United States||70-73-74=217||+1|
|Henry Picard||United States||73-73-71=217|
|Craig Wood||United States||72-73-72=217|
Saturday, June 8, 1940 (afternoon)
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|T1||Lawson Little||United States||72-69-73-73=287||−1||Playoff|
|Gene Sarazen||United States||71-74-70-72=287|
|3||Horton Smith||United States||69-72-78-69=288||E||700|
|4||Craig Wood||United States||72-73-72-72=289||+1||600|
|T5||Ralph Guldahl||United States||73-71-76-70=290||+2||325|
|Ben Hogan||United States||70-73-74-73=290|
|Lloyd Mangrum||United States||75-70-71-74=290|
|Byron Nelson||United States||72-74-70-74=290|
|9||Dick Metz||United States||75-72-72-72=291||+3||175|
|T10||Ed Dudley||United States||73-75-71-73=292||+4||137|
|Frank Walsh||United States||73-69-71-79=292|
Sunday, June 9, 1940
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|1||Lawson Little||United States||70||−2||1,000|
|2||Gene Sarazen||United States||73||+1||800|
- Ferguson, Harry (June 10, 1940). "Lawson Little beats Gene Sarazen by three strokes in national open playoff". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). United Press. p. 10.
- "U.S. Open history: 1940". USGA. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- Bartlett, Charles (June 9, 1940). "Little defeats Sarazen for Open crown". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 21.
- Bartlett, Charles (June 9, 1940). "Sarazen's 287 ties Little for Open crown". Chicago Sunday Tribune. p. 1, sec. 2.
- McLemore, Henry (June 9, 1940). "Little and Sarazen tie for National Open golf title". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). United Press. p. D1.
- Bartlett, Charles (June 8, 1940). "Little, Smith tie Snead in Open with 141". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 19.
- "National Open tourney scores". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). (second round). June 8, 1940. p. 6.
- Bartlett, Charles (June 7, 1940). "Snead's record 67 leads National Open". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 29.
- "Little wins Open golf playoff, 70-73". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 10, 1940. p. 15.