1939 Open Championship

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1939 Open Championship
Tournament information
Dates5–7 July 1939
LocationSt Andrews, Scotland
Course(s)Old Course at St Andrews
Statistics
Par73 [1]
Length6,842 yards (6,256 m)[2][3]
Field129 players, 34 after cut[1][4]
Cut150 (+4)
Prize fund£500
Winner's share£100
Champion
England Dick Burton
290 (−2)
← 1938
1946 →
St Andrews  is located in Scotland
St Andrews 
St Andrews 
Location in Scotland
St Andrews is located in Fife
St Andrews
St Andrews
Location in Fife, Scotland

The 1939 Open Championship was the 74th Open Championship, held 5–7 July at the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. Dick Burton won his only major title, two strokes ahead of runner-up Johnny Bulla.[5][6][7][8] The purse was £500 with a winner's share of £100. It was the last Open played for seven years, due to World War II.

Qualifying took place on 3–4 July, Monday and Tuesday, with 18 holes on the Old Course and 18 holes on the New Course. As in the previous year, the number of qualifiers was limited to a maximum of 130, and ties for 130th place did not qualify. For the first time a prize of £20 was awarded to the professional with the lowest qualifying score.[9] Amateur Jimmy Bruen led the qualifiers on 138 with Henry Cotton next on 142; the qualifying score was 156 and 129 players advanced.[10][11]

Despite taking an eight at the 14th hole, Bobby Locke opened the championship on Wednesday with a round of 70 (−3), tying Burton for the lead.[2][12] In the second round on Thursday, Locke again found trouble on 14, and after a ball out of bounds fell out of the lead. The maximum number of players making the cut after 36 holes was increased from 40 to 44, and ties for 44th place did not make the cut. Eleven players tied for 35th place, so only 34 players made the cut.[3][13]

John Fallon was the surprise leader after 54 holes by two shots, but he could not cope with the strong winds and fell back to 3rd place with a final round 79 (+6). Bulla, the only American to make the 36-hole cut,[7] began the final round on Friday afternoon four strokes behind Fallon. At the second hole, he hooked his drive over the parallel 17th fairway and into a railway yard; he finished with a round of even-par 73 and established a clubhouse lead of at even par 292. Burton, setting out just as Bulla was finishing, needed a 72 to win the title and came to the 18th needing a par four. He hit a drive over 300 yards (270 m), pitched to 15 feet (4.5 m), then holed the birdie putt for a two-shot win.[5][6]

The previous three Opens at St Andrews had been won by Americans; Burton was the first Briton to win the Open at the Old Course since 1910, won by James Braid of Scotland. Since Burton's 1939 win, the sole British winner at St Andrews was Nick Faldo of England in 1990. Burton enlisted in the Royal Air Force shortly after his win.

This was the last Open for seven years, until 1946; World War II started in September 1939 and the championship was canceled through 1945. Birkdale Golf Club was scheduled as the venue for the 1940 championship, its first,[14][15] but did not host until 1954.

Course[edit]

Hole Name Yards Par Hole Name Yards Par
1 Burn 374 4 10 Tenth ^ 314 4
2 Dyke 411 4 11 High (In) 170 3
3 Cartgate (Out) 367 4 12 Heathery (In) 316 4
4 Ginger Beer 424 4 13 Hole O'Cross (In) 422 4
5 Hole O'Cross (Out) 576 5 14 Long 564 5
6 Heathery (Out) 377 4 15 Cartgate (In) 424 4
7 High (Out) 354 4 16 Corner of the Dyke 380 4
8 Short 163 3 17 Road 466 5
9 End 359 4 18 Tom Morris 381 4
Out 3,405 36 In 3,437 37
Source:[2][3] Total 6,842 73

^ The 10th hole was posthumously named for Bobby Jones in 1972

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Alf Perry  England 1935 71 74 73 76 294 +2 T3
Reg Whitcombe  England 1938 71 75 74 74 294 +2 T3
Henry Cotton  England 1934, 1937 74 72 76 76 298 +6 T13

Source:[4][5][6]

All past champions in the field made the cut.

Did not advance past qualifying rounds (Monday & Tuesday):

Did not enter:

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Friday, 5 July 1939

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Dick Burton  England 70 −3
Harry Busson  England
Max Faulkner  England
Bobby Locke  South Africa
T5 Bill Davies  England 71 −2
John Fallon  Scotland
Alf Perry  England
Martin Pose  Argentina
Dai Rees  Wales
Reg Whitcombe  England

Source:[2][12]

Second round[edit]

Thursday, 6 July 1939

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Dick Burton  England 70-72=142 −4
2 Martin Pose  Argentina 71-72=143 −3
3 John Fallon  Scotland 71-73=144 −2
T4 Harry Busson  England 70-75=145 −1
Syd Easterbrook  England 74-71=145
Bobby Locke  South Africa 70-75=145
Alf Perry  England 71-74=145
Dai Rees  Wales 71-74=145
Bill Shankland  Australia 72-73=145
T10 Henry Cotton  England 74-72=146 E
Max Faulkner  England 70-76=146
Sam King  England 74-72=146
Reg Whitcombe  England 71-75=146

Source:[3][13]

Third round[edit]

Friday, 7 July 1939 (morning)

Place Player Country Score To par
1 John Fallon  Scotland 71-73-71=215 −4
2 Bill Shankland  Australia 72-73-72=217 −2
3 Alf Perry  England 71-74-73=218 −1
T4 Johnny Bulla  United States 77-71-71=219 E
Dick Burton  England 70-72-77=219
Martin Pose  Argentina 71-72-76=219
T7 Dai Rees  Wales 71-74-75=220 +1
Reg Whitcombe  England 71-75-74=220
T9 Sam King  England 74-72-75=221 +2
Bobby Locke  South Africa 70-75-76=221

Source:[4][5][6]

Final round[edit]

Friday, 7 July 1939 (afternoon)

Place Player Country Score To par Money (£)
1 Dick Burton  England 70-72-77-71=290 −2 100
2 Johnny Bulla  United States 77-71-71-73=292 E 75
T3 John Fallon  Scotland 71-73-71-79=294 +2 29
Sam King  England 74-72-75-73=294
Alf Perry  England 71-74-73-76=294
Bill Shankland  Australia 72-73-72-77=294
Reg Whitcombe  England 71-75-74-74=294
8 Martin Pose  Argentina 71-72-76-76=295 +3 15
T9 Percy Alliss  England 75-73-74-74=296 +4 11
13s 4d
Bob Kenyon  England 73-75-74-74=296
Bobby Locke  South Africa 70-75-76-75=296

Source:[4][5][6]

Amateurs: Bruen (+5), Kyle (+8), Crowley (+10), Dowie (+16), Sweeny (+16)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Little eliminated in British Open; Bulla in running". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 7 July 1939. p. 14. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Gripping struggle for golf title". Glasgow Herald. 6 July 1939. p. 17.
  3. ^ a b c d "Road Hole claims another victim". Glasgow Herald. 7 July 1939. p. 19.
  4. ^ a b c d "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 93. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Memorable last-green spectacle". Glasgow Herald. 8 July 1939. p. 11.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Burton takes British title; Bulla second". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 8 July 1939. p. 13.
  7. ^ a b "English pro beats Bulla by two shots". Miami News. United Press. 7 July 1939. p. 1B. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Burton cops British golf over Bulla". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 8 July 1939. p. 10. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Golf - The Open Championship - Altered Conditions". The Times. 20 February 1938. p. 5.
  10. ^ a b c "All eyes on Bruen for "Open"". Glasgow Herald. 5 July 1939. p. 7.
  11. ^ a b "Bruen shoots 2d 69; takes lead in British Open". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 5 July 1939. p. 21.
  12. ^ a b "Little and Bulla shoot poor golf in first round of British Open". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 6 July 1939. p. 13. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  13. ^ a b "80 puts Little out of British Open tourney". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. 7 July 1939. p. 22.
  14. ^ "New championship course". Glasgow Herald. 21 January 1939. p. 19.
  15. ^ "Golf Championships for 1940". The Times. 21 January 1939. p. 4.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1939 U.S. Open
Major Championships Succeeded by
1939 PGA Championship

Coordinates: 56°20′35″N 2°48′11″W / 56.343°N 2.803°W / 56.343; -2.803