Who's who: Gene Sarazen

  • Photo of Gene Sarazen
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  • Photo of Gene Sarazen
  • Photo of Gene Sarazen
  • Photo of Gene Sarazen
  • Photo of Gene Sarazen
  • usa.png
  • Photo of Gene Sarazen
  • Photo of Gene Sarazen
  • Photo of Gene Sarazen

Who's who: Gene Sarazen

  • Name:

    Gene Sarazen
  • Country:

    USA
  • Lived:

    [1902-1999]. Born on Feb 27, 1902 in Harrison, New York. Died on May 13, 1999 in Naples, Florida (aged 97).
  • Original/Home Club:

    Harrison, New York
  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer, TV commentator and presenter, inventor of the modern sand wedge
  • Turned Pro:

    1921

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (7), including a career slam of all four majors. Total professional wins (43), including PGA Tour (39). Ryder Cup player (1927, '29, '31, '33, '35, '37). Donald Ross Award (1997, ASGCA). Old Tom Morris Award (1988, GCSAA). World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 1974).

Did you know?

Born Eugenio Saraceni, the son of an Italian carpenter from Rome, Gene Sarazen's record in golf, both in and outside the USA, established him as one of the game's greatest ever players. Between 1922-41 he accumulated 39 PGA Tour wins, winning his first major (the 1922 U.S. Open) at age 20. During his professional career he became a member of a very elite club (with Hogan, Player, Nicklaus & Woods), recording a career slam by winning all four major championships. It was in the 1932 Open Championship at Prince's in Kent, that he revealed a new club of his own invention, the sand-iron. The club's design is still the basis for all sand wedges used around the world today. Sarazen's last major victory came in the 1935 Masters Tournament, which was only in its second year. During the tournament, Sarazen hit "the shot heard around the world." His 235-yard approach shot to the 15th green in the final round was hit with a 4-wood; it yielded an albatross (double-eagle) two on this infamous par-5 hole.

Top tournaments won by Gene Sarazen

1958
America
288 (E)
$1,200
PGA of America

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

288 (E)

Prize money

$1,200

Title sponsor

PGA of America

Played as the PGA Seniors' Championship. Second-placed Charles Sheppard (USA) finished 3 shots behind Gene Sarazen (USA). [Dunedin GC, Dunedin, nr Tampa, FL. at the time known as PGA National GC].

1954
America
214 (-2)
$1,000
PGA of America

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

214 (-2)

Prize money

$1,000

Title sponsor

PGA of America

Played as the PGA Seniors' Championship. Second-placed Al Watrous (USA) and Perry Del Vecchio (USA) finished 2 shots behind Sarazen (USA). [Dunedin GC, Dunedin, nr Tampa, FL. at the time known as PGA National GC].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

4 & 3

Prize money

Title sponsor

Teacher's

Played as the inaugural Teacher International Senior Professional Championship (Jun 30-July 1; 36-hole match between the US PGA Senior Champion and a leading British senior professional; for the unofficial title of world senior professional champion). Sarazen (USA) beat Percy Alliss (Eng) 4 and 3. [Southport & Ainsdale GC, Southport, Merseyside].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

4 & 3

Prize money

$1,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miami Biltmore International Four-Ball. Winning Team: Ben Hogan & Gene Sarazen, by 4 and 3 in the final. [The Biltmore, Coral Gables, Miami, FL].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Lake Placid Open.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Florida West Coast Open.

1937
America
290 (+7)
$3,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Medinah

Score

290 (+7)

Prize money

$3,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Chicago Open (July 23-25; last played in 1928). Second-placed "Lighthorse" Harry Cooper (Eng/USA), Horton Smith (USA) and Ky Laffoon (USA) finished 1 shot behind Gene Sarazen (USA). [No.3 Course, Medinah CC, Bloomingdale, nr Chicago, IL; first two rounds also used the No.1 and No.2 courses].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

282

Prize money

A£50

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian Open (Sept 24-26). Second-placed Harry Williams (Aus, amateur) finished 4 shots behind Sarazen (USA). [Metropolitan GC, South Oakleigh, Melbourne, Aus].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Long Island Open.

1935
Majors
282 (-6)
$1,500
x

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

282 (-6)

Prize money

$1,500

Title sponsor

x

The Masters Tournament (2nd) (April 4-8; played as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament). Sarazen (USA) beat Craig Wood (USA) in a 36-hole playoff: Sarazen 144 (E), Wood 149 (+5). Wood was also runner-up in the first Masters a year earlier. [Augusta National GC, Augusta, GA].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Massachusetts Open.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

289 (+1)

Prize money

$300

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Hawaiian Open. Second-placed Paul Runyan (USA) and Hawaiian native Guinea Kop (USA) finished in second place behind Sarazen (USA). [Waialae CC, Honolulu, Hawaii]. Note: After its well-publicised first two years in 1928/29, the Hawaiian Open settled down to become a local, relatively low money event from 1930 thru' 1964. It was typically played at Waialae CC, and occasionally attracted a few top professionals from the PGA Tour. Most famously during this period, Gene Sarazen won it in 1934. Local amateur Arthur Armstrong, from Palolo, Honolulu, was the most prolific winner of the title (1939, '40, '43, '45, '46).

1933
Majors
Blue Mound
5 & 4
$1,000
PGA of America

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Blue Mound

Score

5 & 4

Prize money

$1,000

Title sponsor

PGA of America

The US PGA Championship (16th) (Aug 8-13). Sarazen (USA) beat Willie Goggin (USA) 5 and 4 in the 36-hole final. [Blue Mound G&CC, Wauwatosa, nr Milwaukee, WI].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

287 (+3)

Prize money

$2,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Coral Gables-Miami Biltmore Open (March 18-20; the first of two Miami Biltmore Opens played in 1932). Second-placed Walter Hagen (USA) and Paul Runyan (USA) finished 1 shot behind Gene Sarazen (USA). [The Biltmore, Coral Gables, Miami, FL; at the time known as the Miami Biltmore CC].

1932
Majors
Fresh Meadow CC
286 (+6)
$1000
USGA

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Fresh Meadow CC

Score

286 (+6)

Prize money

$1000

Title sponsor

USGA

The US Open (36th) (June 23-25). Second-placed Bobby Cruickshank (Scot) and Thomas Philip "Phil" Perkins (Eng) finished 3 shots behind Gene Sarazen (USA), who added the US Open to the British Open title he won two weeks earlier. [Fresh Meadow CC, Flushing, NY; this A.W Tillinghast-designed course no longer exists. In 1946, Fresh Meadow CC took over, moved to and renamed the course of the defunct Lakeville G&CC at Lake Success, L.I.].

1932
Majors
283
£100
R&A

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

283

Prize money

£100

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (67th) (June 8-10). Second-placed Macdonald "Mac" Smith (Scot) finished 5 shots behind Sarazen (USA), in the only Open Championship played at Prince's. [Prince's GC, Sandwich, Kent].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the True Temper Open.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Florida West Coast Open.

1931
America
La Gorce CC
282 (-2)
$5,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

La Gorce CC

Score

282 (-2)

Prize money

$5,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the (last) La Gorce Open (March 19-21). Second-placed Tommy Armour (Scot/USA) finished 3 shots behind Gene Sarazen (USA), whose 5-under-par 66 final round clinched the win. [La Gorce CC, Miami Beach, FL].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Lannin Memorial Tournament.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Concord Country Club Invitational

1930
America
Indianwood
278 (-10)
$500
WGA

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Indianwood

Score

278 (-10)

Prize money

$500

Title sponsor

WGA

Played as the Western Open (Aug 21-23). Second-placed Al Espinosa (USA) finished 7 shots behind Gene Sarazen (USA). [Old course, Indianwood G&CC, Lake Orion, Mich].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Lannin Memorial Tournament.

1930
America
Tijuana CC
295 (+11)
$10,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Tijuana CC

Score

295 (+11)

Prize money

$10,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the inaugural Agua Caliente Open (Jan 20-23; at the time the world's biggest money event in golf). Second-placed Horton Smith (USA) and Al Espinosa (USA) finished 2 shots behind Gene Sarazen (USA). [CS&DC de Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; at the time called Agua Caliente CC].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the United States Pro Invitational.

1930
America
Miami CC
300 (+12)
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Miami CC

Score

300 (+12)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miami Open (Jan 4/5). Second-placed William Leach (USA) finished 1 shot behind Gene Sarazen (USA), who recorded his fourth straight win in this event. [Miami CC, Miami, FL; this course closed for good in 1956. It was located at NW 11th St and NW 12th Ave, alongside the Miami River].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Florida West Coast Open.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Middle Atlantic Open.

1929
America
Miami Springs G&CC
294 (+6)
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Miami Springs G&CC

Score

294 (+6)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miami Open (Jan 4/5). Second-placed Jock Hutchison (Scot) finished 8 shots behind Gene Sarazen (USA), who recorded his third straight win in this event. [Miami Springs G&CC, Miami, FL; at the time known as Miami Springs Municipal Course].

1929
America
La Gorce CC
286 (+2)
$1,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

La Gorce CC

Score

286 (+2)

Prize money

$1,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miami Beach Open (Jan 11/12; next played in 1950). Second-placed George Christ (USA) finished 1 shot behind Gene Sarazen (USA), who won this title for the third straight year. [Final two rounds at La Gorce CC, Miami Beach, FL. First two rounds at Miami Beach GC; at the time known as Bayshore GC].

1928
America
Miami CC
289 (+1)
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Miami CC

Score

289 (+1)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miami Open (Jan 7/8). Second-placed Jock Hutchison (Scot/USA) finished 1 shot behind defending champion Gene Sarazen (USA). [Miami CC, Miami, FL; this course closed for good in 1956. It was located at NW 11th St and NW 12th Ave, alongside the Miami River].

1928
America
Shackamaxon CC
278 (-10)
Metropolitan GA

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Shackamaxon CC

Score

278 (-10)

Prize money

Title sponsor

Metropolitan GA

Played as the Metropolitan Open (July 18-20). Second-placed and defending champion Johnny Farrell (USA) finished 2 shots behind Tommy Armour (Scot/USA), who shot a course record 66 in the first round. [Shackamaxon CC, Scotch Plains, NJ].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

292 (+8)

Prize money

$1,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miami Beach Open (Jan 2/3). Second-placed Johnny Farrell (USA) finished 3 shots behind defending champion Gene Sarazen (USA). [Miami Beach GC, Miami Beach, FL; at the time known as Bayshore GC].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Nassau Bahamas Open.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

277 (-7)

Prize money

$1,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the inaugural Miami Beach Open (Jan 3/4). Second-placed Jock Hutchison (Scot/USA) finished 4 shots behind Gene Sarazen (USA), who recorded the first of his three straight wins in this event. [Miami Beach GC, Miami Beach, FL; at the time known as Bayshore GC].

1927
America
296 (+8)
Metropolitan GA

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Wykagyl

Score

296 (+8)

Prize money

Title sponsor

Metropolitan GA

Played as the Metropolitan Open (May 25-27). Second-placed Bobby Cruickshank (Scot) finished 1 shot behind Johnny Farrell (USA). [Wykagyl CC, New Rochelle, New York].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Long Island Open.

1926
America
Miami Springs G&CC
289 (+5)
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Miami Springs G&CC

Score

289 (+5)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miami Open (Dec 30/31). Second-placed and defending champion Willie Klein (USA) finished 3 shots behind Gene Sarazen (USA), who recorded the first of his four straight wins in this event. [Miami Springs G&CC, Miami, FL; at the time known as Miami Hialeah Golf Club].

1925
America
Grassy Sprain GC
295 (+3)
$500
Metropolitan GA

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Grassy Sprain GC

Score

295 (+3)

Prize money

$500

Title sponsor

Metropolitan GA

Played as the Metropolitan Open (July 17/18). Second-placed Joe Turnesa (USA) finished 1 shot behind Gene Sarazen (USA). [Grassy Sprain GC, Bronxville, NY; this course no longer exists].

1923
Majors
Pelham CC
38th hole
PGA of America

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Pelham CC

Score

38th hole

Prize money

Title sponsor

PGA of America

The US PGA Championship (6th) (Aug 23-29). Defending champion Sarazen (USA) beat Walter Hagen (USA) 1-up with a birdie-3 at the 38th hole in the final. [Pelham CC, Pelham, nr New York City, NY].

1922
Majors
Skokie CC
288 (+8)
$500
USGA

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

Skokie CC

Score

288 (+8)

Prize money

$500

Title sponsor

USGA

The US Open (26th) (July 14/15). Second-placed Bobby Jones (USA, amateur) and John Black (USA) finished 1 shot behind Sarazen (USA). [Skokie CC, Glencoe, nr Chicago, IL].

1922
Majors
4 & 3
$500
PGA of America

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Score

4 & 3

Prize money

$500

Title sponsor

PGA of America

The US PGA Championship (5th) (Aug 12-18). Sarazen (USA) beat Emmet French (USA) 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final. [Oakmont CC, nr Pittsburgh, PA].

1922
America
New Orleans CC
294 (+10)
$1,000
Southern GA

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sarazen, Gene

Venue

New Orleans CC

Score

294 (+10)

Prize money

$1,000

Title sponsor

Southern GA

Played as the Southern Open (March 3/4; the first SGA-sponsored Southern Open, and the first of two Southern Opens played in 1922). Second-placed Leo Diegel (USA) finished 8 shots behind Gene Sarazen (USA), who recorded his first significant professional tour win. [New Orleans CC, New Orleans, Louisiana].

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