Johnny Goodman

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Johnny Goodman
Personal information
Full nameJohn George Goodman
Born(1909-12-28)December 28, 1909
South Omaha, Nebraska
DiedAugust 8, 1970(1970-08-08) (aged 60)
South Gate, California
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight165 lb (75 kg; 11.8 st)
Nationality United States
SpouseJosephine A. Kersigo[1][2] Goodman (1910–2002)
(m. 1938–1970)
Turned professional1960
Professional wins1
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour1
Best results in major championships
(wins: 2)
Masters Tournament43rd: 1936
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenWon: 1933
The Open ChampionshipDNP
U.S. AmateurWon: 1937
British AmateurT9: 1934

John George Goodman (December 28, 1909 – August 8, 1970) was the last amateur golfer to win the U.S. Open, 87 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 caddie 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 Ray Billows

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1927 1928 1929
U.S. Open T45
U.S. Amateur DNQ R16
British Amateur
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF NYF 43
U.S. Open T11 T14 LA 1 LA T43 T36 T22 8 LA CUT
U.S. Amateur R32 R32 2 R32 R128 SF SF 1 QF R32
British Amateur R16 R32
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947
Masters Tournament NT NT NT
U.S. Amateur DNQ R64 NT NT NT NT DNQ R32
British Amateur NT NT NT NT NT NT

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

  Top 10
  Did not play

LA = low amateur
NYF = tournament not yet founded
NT = no tournament
CUT = missed the half-way cut
DNQ = did not qualify for match play portion
R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = round in which player lost in match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place

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

U.S. national team appearances[edit]



  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]