Craig Wood (golfer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Craig Wood
Craig Wood - Lord Calvert - Valentino Sarra, 1947.jpg
Wood in 1947, promoting Lord Calvert Whisky
Personal information
Full nameCraig Ralph Wood
Born(1901-11-18)November 18, 1901
Lake Placid, New York
DiedMay 7, 1968(1968-05-07) (aged 66)
Palm Beach, Florida
Sporting nationality United States
SpouseJacqueline Valentine (1907–1967)
CollegeClarkson College[1]
Rider College[1]
Turned professional1920
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins28
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour21
Best results in major championships
(wins: 2)
Masters TournamentWon: 1941
PGA Championship2nd: 1934
U.S. OpenWon: 1941
The Open Championship2nd: 1933
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2008 (member page)

Craig Ralph Wood (November 18, 1901 – May 7, 1968) was an American professional golfer in the 1930s and 1940s, the winner of 21 PGA Tour titles including two major championships and a member of three Ryder Cup teams (1931, 1933, 1935).

Wood was the first player to lose all four major championships in extra holes.[2] His major wins came late in his career at age 39, winning the first two of 1941, the Masters and U.S. Open.[3]

Playing career[edit]

Born in Lake Placid, New York, Wood turned professional in 1920 at age 18. Despite his two major championships, he is probably most well known as the victim of Gene Sarazen's famous double eagle in the 1935 Augusta National Invitational (now known as the Masters Tournament). The shot left the two players tied at the end of regulation and Sarazen went on to victory in a 36-hole playoff.

This was the fourth runner-up and third playoff loss for Wood in a major in just two years. In the 1933 British Open at St Andrews, Denny Shute had defeated Wood in another 36-hole playoff. In the spring of 1934, Wood was the runner up by a single shot to Horton Smith at the first Masters and later that year he was defeated on the 38th hole by Paul Runyan in the PGA Championship, then a match play event. At the 1939 U.S. Open he birdied the 72nd hole and was again in a playoff, but this time Byron Nelson was the winner, making Wood the first player to lose all four major championships in extra holes. Greg Norman is the only other player to suffer this fate.

At age 39 in 1941, Wood finally beat his "jinx" in noteworthy fashion. He won the eighth 1941 Masters Tournament in April, its first wire-to-wire champion with rounds of 66-71-71-72=280 for a three-shot victory over runner-up Byron Nelson. Two months later, he won the 45th U.S. Open, held at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. His score of 284 (+4) was three strokes ahead of Denny Shute, another on-course nemesis. This was the first time the winner of the Masters had won the U.S. Open in the same year for the first half of the grand slam. Subsequent winners of the first two majors were Ben Hogan (1951, 1953), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Tiger Woods (2002), and Jordan Spieth (2015).

In 1954, the Lake Placid Golf and Country Club changed its name to the "Craig Wood Golf Course" in honor of its native son.[4]


Wood died in Palm Beach, Florida in 1968 at age 66, of a heart attack.[5] He was the second Masters champion to die, preceded by Horton Smith in 1963 and followed by Jimmy Demaret in 1983. Wood and his wife Jacqueline (1907–1967) are buried in North Elba, New York, just south of Lake Placid. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008 on the PGA Tour ballot.[6]

Professional wins (28)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (21)[edit]

Major championships are shown in bold.

Other wins (7)[edit]

Note: This list may be incomplete.

Major championships[edit]

Wins (2)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1941 Masters Tournament 3 shot lead −8 (66-71-71-72=280) 3 strokes United States Byron Nelson
1941 U.S. Open 2 shot lead +4 (73-71-70-70=284) 3 strokes United States Denny Shute

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
U.S. Open T51 CUT T46 T16
The Open Championship
PGA Championship QF
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF NYF 2 2 T20 T26 T34 6
U.S. Open T9 T14 3 DQ T21 T66 T36 2
The Open Championship 2
PGA Championship R32 2 SF R32
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament T7 1 T23 NT NT NT WD T53 T43 34
U.S. Open 4 1 NT NT NT NT CUT CUT T27
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT
PGA Championship R32 R32 QF NT R16 R64
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament 59 62 71 62 70 CUT CUT CUT
U.S. Open CUT T47
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
Masters Tournament WD CUT WD WD
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
  Top 10
  Did not play

NYF = tournament not yet founded
NT = no tournament
WD = withdrew
DQ = disqualified
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 1 2 0 3 5 7 25 17
U.S. Open 1 1 1 4 5 8 19 14
The Open Championship 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1
PGA Championship 0 1 1 4 5 9 10 10
Totals 2 5 2 12 16 25 55 42
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 21 (1934 PGA – 1944 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 4 (1939 Masters – 1940 U.S. Open)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Hall of Fame Spotlight: Craig Wood". New Jersey State Golf Association. March 25, 2019.
  2. ^ "Craig Wood, a study in major championship heartache". Associated Press. April 5, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  3. ^ "Craig Wood makes top Comeback of Year". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Associated Press. December 21, 1941. p. 7.
  4. ^ "Craig Wood Golf Club – The Craig Wood Story". Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  5. ^ "Ex-golfing great, Craig Wood, dies". Gettysburg Times. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. May 9, 1968. p. 12.
  6. ^ "Career female amateur joins World Golf Hall of Fame". PGA Tour. June 24, 2008. Archived from the original on September 30, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2014.

External links[edit]