Johnny Goodman

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Johnny Goodman
Personal information
Full name John George Goodman
Born (1909-12-28)December 28, 1909
South Omaha, Nebraska
Died August 8, 1970(1970-08-08) (aged 60)
South Gate, California
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg; 11.8 st)
Nationality  United States
Spouse Josephine A. Kersigo[1][2] Goodman (1910–2002)
(m. 1938–1970)
Turned professional 1960
Professional wins 1
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 1
Best results in major championships
(wins: 2)
Masters Tournament 43rd: 1936
U.S. Open Won: 1933
The Open Championship DNP
PGA Championship DNP
U.S. Amateur Won: 1937
British Amateur T9: 1934

John George Goodman (December 28, 1909 – August 8, 1970) was the last amateur golfer to win the U.S. Open, 84 years ago in 1933,[3][4] and also won the U.S. Amateur in 1937.[5][6][7]

Born to Lithuanian immigrants in South Omaha, Nebraska,[8][9] Goodman was orphaned at the age of 14. His mother died when he was 11,[10] after giving birth to her 13th child, and his father later abandoned the family. Goodman became a caddy at the Field Club in Omaha,[9] and while a student at Omaha South High School,[11] he won the Omaha city championship in 1925; four years later, he won the first of three consecutive Nebraska Amateur titles. He won the Trans-Mississippi Amateur three times (1927, 1931, and 1935). He gained national notoriety at age 19 in 1929 when he defeated Bobby Jones in the first round of match play competition at the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.[12]

Goodman served in the U.S. Army during World War II,[13] and did not turn professional until 1960; he supported himself throughout his career by selling insurance.[14] A municipal golf course in southwest Omaha is named for him.[15][16]

Tournament wins (60)[edit]

this list may be incomplete

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1933 U.S. Open 6 shot lead −1 (75-66-70-76=287) 1 stroke United States Ralph Guldahl

Amateur wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship Winning score Runner-up
1937 U.S. Amateur 2 up United States Raymond E. Billows

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1927 1928 1929
U.S. Open DNP DNP T45
U.S. Amateur DNQ DNP R16
British Amateur DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
U.S. Open T11 DNP T14 LA 1 LA T43 T36 T22 8 LA DNP CUT
U.S. Amateur R32 R32 2 R32 R128 SF SF 1 QF R32
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP NT NT NT DNP DNP
U.S. Amateur DNQ R64 NT NT NT NT DNQ R32
British Amateur NT NT NT NT NT NT DNP DNP

Note: Goodman never played in The Open Championship or the PGA Championship.

Source for U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur: USGA Championship Database

Source for 1934 British Amateur: Reading Eagle, May 24, 1934, pg. 17.

Source for 1936 Masters:

Source for 1938 British Amateur: Time Magazine, June 6, 1938

LA = Low amateur
NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
DNQ = Did not qualify for match play portion
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10

U.S. national team appearances[edit]


  • Walker Cup: 1934 (winners), 1936 (winners), 1938


  1. ^ "Sports in brief". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. June 29, 1938. p. 1. 
  2. ^ "Amateur golf king weds". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. June 28, 1938. p. 1, sports. 
  3. ^ Sixty, Billy (June 11, 1933). "Goodman wins golf title by one stroke with 287". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1, sports. 
  4. ^ "Johnny Goodman takes Open crown shooting near record golf in field of pro artists". Palm Beach Post. Florida. Associated Press. June 11, 1933. p. 2. 
  5. ^ "Johnny Goodman wins national amateur golf crown". Palm Beach Post. Florida. Associated Press. August 29, 1937. p. 6. 
  6. ^ "Johnny Goodman worthy successor to Jones as leading amateur golfer". Lewiston Daily Sun. Maine. September 29, 1937. p. 8. 
  7. ^ Rice, Grantland (June 10, 1933). "A brave, bold finish and a stout heart explains Goodman's play". Milwaukee Journal. p. 8. 
  8. ^ "Goodman, from poor boy to throne, finds fame as Open champ". The Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. NEA. June 30, 1933. p. 5A. 
  9. ^ a b Smith, Chester L. (September 8, 1938). "Goodman close to being world's no. 1 amateur". Pittsburgh Press. p. 21. 
  10. ^ "He used to caddy, play with borrowed sticks, ride the cattle cars, but now look at Johnny Goodman". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. June 11, 1933. p. 1, sports. 
  11. ^ ""Hobo of Links" rises to fame". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. September 8, 1929. p. 4, sports. 
  12. ^ "Bobby Jones is eliminated by smart play of young Omaha star, John Goodman". Sarasota Herald. Florida. Associated Press. September 5, 1929. p. 6. 
  13. ^ "Golf pays dividends, says John Goodman". Milwaukee Journal. (final). October 15, 1943. p. 2, part 2. 
  14. ^ Sixty, Billy (September 8, 1937). "Golf has been good to Johnny Goodman". Milwaukee Journal. p. 3, part 2. 
  15. ^ "Johnny Goodman Golf Course". Golfing Nebraska. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Golf courses". City of Omaha Parks. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 

External links[edit]