1946 Open Championship
|Dates||3–5 July 1946|
|Location||St Andrews, Scotland|
|Course(s)||Old Course at St Andrews|
|Length||6,863 yards (6,276 m)|
|Field||100, 38 after cut|
The 1946 Open Championship was the 75th Open Championship, played 3–5 July at the Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland. Due to World War II, it was the first Open since 1939, also held at St Andrews. Sam Snead won his only Open title, four strokes ahead of runners-up Johnny Bulla and Bobby Locke. It was the first win by an American in thirteen years and the second of Snead's seven major titles. Four Americans were in the field of 100; the three that made the cut all finished in the top ten.
Qualifying took place on 1–2 July, Monday and Tuesday, with 18 holes on the Old Course and 18 holes on the New Course. The number of qualifiers was limited to a maximum of 100, ties for 100th place would not qualify. The qualifying score was 159 and exactly 100 players qualified. The Australian Norman Von Nida led the qualifiers at 145. The maximum number of players making the cut after 36 holes was set at forty and ties for 40th place did not make the cut.
In his second Open Championship appearance and first since 1937, Snead did not endear himself to the St Andrews crowd on arrival. His first impression of the course was "It looks like an old abandoned kinda place," ensuring a cold reception at the start of the tournament. He opened with a round of 71, two behind the lead of Locke, who led by one from Henry Cotton and Von Nida. Cotton took the lead after 36-holes with consecutive rounds of 70, one ahead of Snead and two ahead of Dai Rees.
Snead, Bulla, and Rees were tied for the lead at 215 (−4) going into the final round on Friday afternoon, with Cotton one behind. Snead best navigated the strong winds of the final round; after dropping four shots on the front-nine, he was able to use his length and accuracy to record a 35 on the back for a round of 75 and a 290 total. Locke moved into second with a 76, while Bulla finished with a 79 to tie Locke for third place. Rees tied for fourth with the help of a tournament record-tying round of 67 in the second round.
Snead's win here was his only Open Championship title and he played the tournament only three more times, not returning until 1962. He was the first American to win the title since Denny Shute in 1933. The next was Ben Hogan in 1953 at Carnoustie in his only trip to Britain, then Arnold Palmer's consecutive wins in 1961 and 1962.
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||70||70||76||79||295||+3||T4|
Missed the cut
|Player||Country||Year won||R1||R2||Total||To par|
Did not enter:
- Denny Shute (1933), Gene Sarazen (1932), Tommy Armour (1931),
Bobby Jones (1926, 1927, 1930), Walter Hagen (1922, 1924, 1928, 1929), Jim Barnes (1925).
Wednesday, 3 July 1946
|1||Bobby Locke||South Africa||69||−4|
|Norman Von Nida||Australia|
|T4||Johnny Bulla||United States||71||−2|
|Joe Kirkwood, Sr.||Australia|
|Sam Snead||United States|
Thursday, 4 July 1946
|2||Sam Snead||United States||71-70=141||−5|
|T4||Johnny Bulla||United States||71-72=143||−3|
|Bobby Locke||South Africa||69-74=143|
|Joe Kirkwood, Sr.||Australia||71-75=146|
|Norman Von Nida||Australia||70-76=146|
Friday, 5 July 1946 (morning)
|T1||Johnny Bulla||United States||71-72-72=215||−4|
|Sam Snead||United States||71-70-74=215|
|5||Bobby Locke||South Africa||69-74-75=218||−1|
|7||Norman Von Nida||Australia||70-76-74=220||−1|
|T8||Fred Daly||Northern Ireland||77-71-76=224||+5|
|Joe Kirkwood, Sr.||Australia||71-75-78=224|
|10||Lawson Little||United States||78-75-72=225||+6|
Friday, 5 July 1946 (afternoon)
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money (£)|
|1||Sam Snead||United States||71-70-74-75=290||–2||150|
|T2||Johnny Bulla||United States||71-72-72-79=294||+2||87 ½|
|Bobby Locke||South Africa||69-74-75-76=294|
|T4||Henry Cotton||England||70-70-76-79=295||+3||26 ¼|
|Norman Von Nida||Australia||70-76-74-75=295|
|T8||Fred Daly||Northern Ireland||77-71-76-74=298||+6||15|
|Joe Kirkwood, Sr.||Australia||71-75-78-74=298|
|10||Lawson Little||United States||78-75-72-74=299||+7|
Amateurs: Bell (+24), Wilson (+25), Dowie (+27), White (+28), Urry (+38).
- "Cotton birdies to lead Open". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. 5 July 1946. p. 14. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Three are tied in British Open". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. 5 July 1946. p. 30.
- "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 92. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "1946 / St Andrews". The Open. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- "'Open' golf trophy goes to America". Glasgow Herald. 6 July 1946. p. 3.
- "Snead's 290 wins British Open; Bulla 2d on 294". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 6 July 1946. p. 11.
- "Snead reaches golf rainbow". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. 6 July 1946. p. 7. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "4 Americans in British Open Field". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 3 July 1946. p. 21.
- "World golfers faced by nerve test". Glasgow Herald. 1 July 1946. p. 3.
- ""Unknown" golfers vie with favourites". Glasgow Herald. 2 July 1946. p. 3.
- "Golf - The Open Championship". The Times. 1 July 1946. p. 2.
- "Overseas challenge for "Open" title". Glasgow Herald. 3 July 1946. p. 5.
- "Golf - Open Championship". The Times. 3 July 1946. p. 2.
- "Threat to Britain's golf power". Glasgow Herald. 4 July 1946. p. 5.
- "Golf - Open Championship". The Times. 4 July 1946. p. 2.
- "Memorable day's golf for Britain". Glasgow Herald. 5 July 1946. p. 5.
- "Final aggregates at St Andrews". Glasgow Herald. 6 July 1946. p. 6.
1946 U.S. Open
|Major Championships||Succeeded by|
1946 PGA Championship