1937 U.S. Open (golf)

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1937 U.S. Open
Tournament information
Dates June 10–12, 1937
Location Birmingham, Michigan
Course(s) Oakland Hills Country Club,
South Course
Organized by USGA
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Format Stroke play − 72 holes
Par 72[1]
Length 7,037 yards (6,435 m)
Field 166 players, 65 after cut
Cut 152 (+8)
Winner's share $1,000
United States Ralph Guldahl
281 (−7)
Oakland Hills Country Club is located in USA
Oakland Hills Country Club
Oakland Hills Country Club
Location in the United States

The 1937 U.S. Open was the 41st U.S. Open, held June 10–12 at the South Course of Oakland Hills Country Club in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb northwest of Detroit. Ralph Guldahl won the first of his two consecutive U.S. Opens,[2] two strokes ahead of runner-up Sam Snead, making his U.S. Open debut.[3]

Snead opened with a 69 to share the lead with Denny Shute.[3] Through 54 holes, Snead and Guldahl trailed Ed Dudley by a stroke. During the final round on Saturday afternoon, Dudley shot a 76 and fell out of contention, while Snead birdied the last to finish with a 71 and a 283 total. Guldahl, playing well behind Snead, holed a 65-foot (20 m) putt for eagle at 8, then a birdie from 25 feet (8 m) at 9. After bogeys at 10 and 11, he rallied with birdies on the next two holes. He then went even on his last five holes to finish with a 69 and a 281 total, two better than Snead and a stroke better than the previous tournament record, set the previous year by Tony Manero.[4]

Two years earlier, Guldahl had become so frustrated with the game that he quit to become a carpenter. After deciding to return to the game, he went through a period of dominance throughout the late-1930s. He won the Western Open, then considered on-par with the major championships, three years in a row; was runner-up in the Masters Tournament in 1937 and 1938 before winning in 1939; and he would defend his U.S. Open title in 1938. For Snead, this tournament was just the beginning of a hard-luck career in the U.S. Open. He finished runner-up four times at the U.S. Open, the only major he never won.

Guldahl won the title with 19 clubs in his bag.[5] The USGA rule (4-4) regarding a maximum of 14 clubs went into effect the following January.[6][7]

Set at 7,037 yards (6,435 m), Oakland Hills was the first U.S. Open venue to surpass 7,000 yards (6,400 m); its average elevation is approximately 800 feet (244 m) above sea level.

The South Course previously hosted the U.S. Open in 1924 and later hosted in 1951, 1961, 1985, and 1996. It also later hosted the PGA Championship in 1972, 1979, and 2008.

Final leaderboard

Saturday, June 12, 1937

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
1 Ralph Guldahl  United States 71-69-72-69=281 −7 1,000
2 Sam Snead  United States 69-73-70-71=283 −5 800
3 Bobby Cruickshank  Scotland 73-73-67-72=285 −3 700
4 Harry Cooper  England
 United States
72-70-73-71=286 −2 600
5 Ed Dudley  United States 70-70-71-76=287 −1 450
6 Al Brosch  United States 74-73-68-73=288 E 375
7 Clarence Clark  United States 72-75-73-69=289 +1 275
8 Johnny Goodman (a)  United States 70-73-72-75=290 +2 0
9 Frank Strafaci (a)  United States 70-72-77-72=291 +3
T10 Charles Kocsis (a)  United States 72-73-76-71=292 +4
Henry Picard  United States 71-75-72-74=292 175
Gene Sarazen  United States 78-69-71-74=292
Denny Shute  United States 69-76-75-72=292
(a) denotes amateur


  1. "Long Course Awaits National Open Field". The Milwaukee Journal. June 7, 1937. Retrieved June 24, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Gould, Alan (June 13, 1937). "Guldahl's 281 wins National Open". Youngstown Vindicator. Ohio. Associated Press. p. D1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Snead and Shute shoot subpar 69's to take lead in Open". Palm Beach Post. Florida. Associated Press. June 11, 1937. p. 8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Sixty, Billy (June 13, 1937). "Ralph Guldahl wins Open title with record 281". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1, sports.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Uses 19 clubs". Milwaukee Journal. June 13, 1937. p. 1, sports.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Golfers limited to 14 clubs in competition". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. United Press. January 1, 1937. p. 14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Tournament golfers limited to 14 clubs". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. Associated Press. January 1, 1937. p. 7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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