Olin Dutra

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Olin Dutra
Personal information
Full nameOlin Dutra
NicknameKing Kong[1]
Slammin' Spaniard[2]
Golden Basque[3]
Born(1901-01-17)January 17, 1901
Monterey, California
DiedMay 5, 1983(1983-05-05) (aged 82)
Newman, California[3]
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight230 lb (104 kg; 16 st)[4]
Sporting nationality United States
SpouseGladys M. Dutra
Children1 son, 1 daughter[5]
Turned professional1924
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins20
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour10
Best results in major championships
(wins: 2)
Masters Tournament3rd: 1935
PGA ChampionshipWon: 1932
U.S. OpenWon: 1934
The Open Championship6th: 1933

Olin A. Dutra (January 17, 1901 – May 5, 1983) was an American professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour in the 1920s and 1930s. He won two major titles, the PGA Championship in 1932 and the U.S. Open in 1934, and was the first major champion born in the western United States.[6]

Born in Monterey, California,[5] Dutra was a descendant of early Spanish settlers in California.[4][7] At age nine, he and his older brother Mortimer were introduced to golf as a caddies at the country club in Del Monte,[8] where the club professional was Macdonald Smith.[7] For years, they woke up very early to practice golf before going to work. In 1923, Dutra resigned from a job at his father's hardware store to become a golf professional and joined the PGA Tour in 1924, where he won 10 tournaments.[9] His best years as a golf professional were in the early 1930s, when he won his two majors[5] and played on the 1933 and 1935 Ryder Cup teams. In the 1932 PGA Championship in St. Paul, Dutra played 196 holes and finished an astounding 19-under-par. He was the medalist in the 36-hole qualifier[10] and won his five matches by comfortable margins (9 & 8, 5 & 3, 5 & 4, 3 & 2, and 4 & 3).[11][12]

Dutra is best remembered for his performance at the 1934 U.S. Open at Merion near Philadelphia. More than a year earlier, Dutra became afflicted with amoebic dysentery, an often uncomfortable and painful intestinal infection. While traveling east from Los Angeles, Dutra stopped in the Detroit area to meet up with his brother Mortie, as both were entered in the Open, and began to feel very ill. He spent a short time in the hospital, casting doubt whether he could even play in the tournament. He resorted to unusual measures to cope with the infection, and lost close to 20 pounds (9 kg) off his 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), 230-pound (104 kg) frame.[4] After the first two rounds, Dutra was eight strokes behind the leaders and in 18th place. On the eve of the 36-hole final day, he had an attack of dysentery, forcing him to snack on sugar cubes throughout the day. He was still able to shoot a 71-72, and held off 54-hole leader Gene Sarazen to win by a single stroke.[5][13] (Mortie Dutra finished tied for 28th.)

Dutra began his career as a club pro in Fresno, California at Fort Washington Country Club for several years and then was at Sunnyside Country Club for a year. He won his two majors as the pro at Brentwood Country Club in Los Angeles, and moved over to Wilshire Country Club in 1935.[2][14] While at Brentwood in 1932, he gave Babe Didrickson a two-minute lesson before she played her "first" round of golf, shortly after the 1932 Olympics; her first tee shot was 240 yards (220 m), outdriving her male playing partners.[15] (It was later revealed she had previous golf experience.)[16] Dutra later worked in Mexico City, then back in California in Avila Beach and Watsonville. In 1966, Dutra was inducted into the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame.[17] He died after an extended illness at age 82 in Newman in Stanislaus County.[5][3] Dutra and his wife Gladys are buried in the Hills Ferry Cemetery in Newman.

Professional wins[edit]

PGA Tour wins (10)[edit]

Other wins[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (2)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1932 PGA Championship n/a 4 & 3 United States Frank Walsh
1934 U.S. Open 3 shot deficit +13 (76-74-72-71=293) 1 stroke United States Gene Sarazen

The PGA Championship was match play until 1958.

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1928 1929
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship R32
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF NYF 3
U.S. Open T25 T21 T7 T7 1 T12 T45 T55 T16 T16
The Open Championship 6
PGA Championship 1 R16 DNQ R32
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament NT NT NT
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT
PGA Championship NT
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953
Masters Tournament 63
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
  Top 10
  Did not play

NYF = tournament not yet founded
NT = no tournament
WD = withdrew
DNQ = did not qualify for match play portion
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 0 0 1 1 1 1 2 2
U.S. Open 1 0 0 1 3 7 12 10
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1
PGA Championship 1 0 0 1 2 4 5 4
Totals 2 0 1 3 7 13 20 17


  1. ^ Beers, Joel (December 2010). "2010 Hall of Fame: Olin Dutra". Southland Golf. Archived from the original on September 25, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Olin Dutra" (PDF). Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 16, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Obituaries: Olin Dutra". Toledo Blade. Ohio. Associated Press. May 7, 1983. p. 12.
  4. ^ a b c Alvarez, Robert (January 13, 2011). "Museum Moment: Olin Dutra's Gritty 1934 U.S. Open Victory". USGA Museum. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Olin Dutra, Golf Star in 30's; Won the United States Open". The New York Times. Associated Press. May 7, 1983. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  6. ^ June 10, 1934. "Golf triumph for West". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. p. 7.
  7. ^ a b Darsie, Darsie L. (May 21, 1931). "Olin Dutra is West's leading candidate for Ryder Cup team". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 20.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Photo-Biography—No.40" (PDF). The American Golfer. LA 84 Foundation. September 1935. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 7, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  9. ^ Barkow, Al (November 1989). The History of the PGA TOUR. Copyright PGA Tour. Doubleday. pp. 237–38, 249–50, 253. ISBN 0-385-26145-4.
  10. ^ "Olin Dutra takes qualifying medal". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. August 31, 1932. p. 13.
  11. ^ "Tournament Info for: 1932 PGA Championship". PGA of America. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  12. ^ "Olin Dutra wins pro golf title". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. September 5, 1932. p. 19.
  13. ^ 1934 U.S. Open Archived January 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Glick, Shav (February 2, 1986). "Robinson and Dutra newest inductees into Southland Hall of Fame". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  15. ^ Considine, Bob (August 7, 1956). "No obstacle too big". Milwaukee Sentinel. International News Service. p. 4-part 2.[dead link]
  16. ^ Johnson, William Oscar (October 13, 1975). "Babe Part 2". Sports Illustrated. p. 49.
  17. ^ "Olin Dutra – Golf – 1966". Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on February 4, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.

External links[edit]