A Chronicle of the Philadelphia Section PGA and Golf in the Philadelphia Area
by Peter C. Trenham
1935 to 1939
Go Back to 1930 - 1934... ...
Henry Picard won six PGA Tour events and Gene Kunes won the Canadian Open.
Jimmy Thomson reached the finals in the PGA Championship and won the Richmond Open.
Byron Nelson won the Masters Tournament and Henry Picard won his second consecutive Hershey Open.
The Section hosted the PGA Championship at Shawnee Inn & CC and Henry Picard won the Masters Tournament.
Byron Nelson won the U.S. Open and Vardon Trophy while Henry Picard won the PGA and led the money list.
1935 - On the second weekend in February Henry Picard
won the Agua Caliente Open in Mexico. He picked up a first prize of
$1,000 from the $5,000 purse plus a percentage of the betting money by finishing
two strokes in front of Harry Cooper (288) and Willie Goggin (288).
Picard put together rounds of 73, 73, 70 and 70
for 286. Jimmy Demaret and Ky Laffoon tied for fourth with 290s. There was
pari-mutuel betting there and a strong field was entered even though the PGA had
gone on record in opposition to those tournaments. The pros received 10% of what
was bet on each round.
Henry Picard and Johnny Revolta won the $4,000 International
Four-Ball tournament in Miami in mid March. They defeated Paul Runyan and Horton
Smith one-down in an 18-hole playoff. Their better-ball score was a
four-under-par 68. The day before they had finished up tied at the end of the
36-hole final match. The winners each received $1,000. The
Picard-Revolta team reached the finals by
beating Willie Klein and Vic Ghezzi one-down. In the other semifinal match the
Runyan-Smith team eliminated Jug McSpaden and Gene Sarazen 5&4.
Leo Fraser followed George Izett
as the professional at the Seaview Country Club.
Leo’s father James had been the professional at Seaview
from 1916 to 1922 and Leo had grown up next
to the course. Now 25-years-old he had been working in Michigan as a head
professional for nine years. Izett,
a former assistant at the Merion Cricket Club and the head professional at the
Seaview Country Club for the previous two years, opened a custom club shop in
Haverford that spring. Izett had been trained in club making in his
native Scotland and had gained an enviable reputation as a club maker. Later
that year he moved his business to Ardmore.
On March 15 with the opening of the golf season just weeks away Llanerch
Country Club announced that Denny Shute
would not be retained for another season. A salary difference that could
not be worked out was the reason given. The next day Shute’s
assistant Marty Lyons was hired
to succeed him when the contract expired on May 1. 150 members had signed a
petition asking the officers of the club to hire
Lyons had started at Llanerch as a caddy and
he had been an assistant there under two professionals,
John Edmundson and
Shute. Lyons contract, which was identical to Shute’s,
included a guarantee that he would earn $10,000 or more. He stayed at Llanerch
as the head professional for the rest of his life, 34 years.
Henry Picard won the $3,000 Charleston Open on the fourth Saturday
in March. He had just left Charleston in December to take the head professional
position at the Hershey Country Club. He led from the start, to finish two
strokes in front of Johnny Revolta (280). Picard’s
rounds were 68, 69, 71 and 70 for 278. Harry Cooper (282), Wiffy Cox (283)
and Byron Nelson (284) finished third, fourth and fifth. Walter Hagen,
who finished up at the end of the money list in 14th place, was
allowed to enter the tournament one day late. Hagen played 36 holes the last day
while the rest of the field played 18 holes.
The next week in March several Philadelphia Section members cashed checks in
the $4,000 North and South Open. The tournament was played on the Pinehurst
Country Club #2 Course. Felix Serafin (284)
and Henry Picard (285) finished second and
third, well back of the winner Paul Runyan. Runyan put together rounds of 65,
71, 72 and 68 for a 276. Ray Mangrum finished fourth at 286. First prize was
$1,000. Serafin won $700 and
Picard won $500. Ted
Turner (290 for a tie for 9th) and
Gene Kunes (294 and tied for 13th) were also in the
money. The tournament ended on Friday.
Two days later the pros were at the Atlanta Open. On April 1st
Henry Picard won again with a last round 65,
which added to his earlier rounds of 70 and 74 gave him a 209 total.
Picard ended up two ahead of Harry Cooper
(211) and six in front of Byron Nelson (215). Horton Smith and Johnny
Revolta tied for fourth with 216s. First prize was $400.
At the second Masters Tournament in early April
Henry Picard (286) finished fourth and Denny Shute (287)
finished fifth as Gene Sarazen (282) won beating Craig Wood (282) in a 36-hole
playoff with a 71-73 for 144 against Wood’s (75-74) 149. In the last round
Sarazen had holed a 230-yard spoon shot for a double eagle on the 15th
hole to catch Wood. Sarazen’s tournament rounds were 68, 71, 73 and 70 for 282.
Olin Dutra finished third at 284. Sarazen won $1,500,
Picard $500, and Shute $400. Leo
Diegel (296) and Ed Dudley (296)
tied for 19th. Gene Kunes (298),
who had worked for Dudley at Augusta the
winter before, tied for 28th.
With the playing of the Masters Tournament the Winter Tour had been completed
and new Section member Henry Picard was the
leading money winner with $5,560. He had won three tournaments, Agua Caliente,
Charleston, and Atlanta, since early February.
On April 13th Ed Clarey left
Juniata Golf Club and started his new job as the professional at the Cobbs Creek
Golf Club. That winter the Fairmount Park Commission had put the position up for
auction and Clarey had won the bid. He
succeeded Horace Gamble as the professional.
Gamble, who was retiring, had been the
professional at Cobbs Creek since the day the course opened in 1917.
The Section’s spring meeting was in Philadelphia at Raymond’s Restaurant on
the third Monday of April. The main topic of business was their first annual
Philadelphia PGA Invitation Tournament that was scheduled for the end of May at
the Llanerch Country Club. The Section officers had decided to invite some
amateurs. They thought that the dates would give them an excellent chance to
attract a strong field since the U.S. Open was in Pittsburgh a week later. It
would be a two-day tournament with 18 holes the first day and 36 the second day.
If there were more than 60 entries the field would be cut to the low 60 after
the first day. The purse would be $3,000 and it would be generated by selling
ads in a program book and charging admission fees to the spectators. A.B.
"Al" Nelson, one of the Section’s three
vice presidents, had moved across the Delaware River to the Hopewell Valley
Country Club and was now a member of the New Jersey PGA. The tournament chairman
and First Vice President Charlie Schneider
presented the season’s schedule of nineteen competitions to the members at the
U.S. Open qualifying was held at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club in mid
May. Qualifying was now being held at 25 cities in the country, five more than
the year before. The entry fee was still $5. Philadelphia entries totaled 111
and the players were competing for eleven places in the championship. In spite
of 200 yards having been recently added to the course the course record of 70
was broken twice. Forty yards was added to the 8th hole.
Ted Turner led the field with a
four-under-par 68 and a 72 for140 as he broke the record in the morning round.
Even though Henry Picard was the leading
money winner on the winter tour he had to qualify. He grabbed the second spot
with an afternoon 69 for 142. Next in line to earn their passes to the Open were
Ed Dudley, George B. Smith and
Clarence Ehresman with 149s.
Gene Kunes, Felix Serafin and John W.
Campbell were one stroke higher at 150 and safely in.
Joe Zarhardt, the
professional at the Burlington Country Club and
Joe Brennan, now the assistant at the Langhorne Country Club, also
qualified with 151s. Buzz Campbell (152)
grabbed the eleventh and last spot in a sudden-death playoff with a par on the
first hole. All eleven qualifying places were won by the Philadelphia Section
pros. Leo Diegel and
Joe Kirkwood, Sr. were exempt from qualifying for having finished
among the top thirty in the previous U.S. Open.
Kirkwood withdrew just before the U.S. Open was played.
In late May Henry Picard was still on his
game winning the Met Open at the Lakeville Country Club on Long Island. With his
four rounds of 69, 75, 67 and 73 for a 284 total he finished four strokes ahead
of South Africa’s Sid Brews (288). Former Section member Charles Lacey
now the head professional at the host club tied for third with Willie Macfarlane
at 289 and the defending champion Paul Runyan was next with a 290.
Two days after the Met Open the Section’s members held their stroke play
championship at the Concord Country Club. There was a small entry due to the
number of tournaments scheduled near the same time. Some of the pros said they
had a problem with the expense of tournaments so close together and the time
away from their clubs. Clarence Ehresman
edged out the host professional and the Section’s tournament chairman
Charlie Schneider (148) by one stroke with a
71 and a 76 for a 147 score for the day. Ehresman
took possession for one year of a new solid silver cup that replaced the
Public Ledger Cup. Ed Dudley had retired the
original cup the year before by winning the tournament three consecutive times.
Gene Kunes, Bruce Coltart and
George Low, Jr. tied for third with 149s. The
entry fee was $5 and the secretary-treasurer of Concord added $100 to create a
purse of $180. First prize was $60.
The Section held its first annual Philadelphia PGA Invitation Tournament at
the Llanerch Country Club. The two-day tournament began on the last day of May
with 78 professionals and 34 amateurs entered. Among the pros entered were five
Japanese professionals who were touring the country and playing in their first
tournament in the United States. Clarence Ehresman
led the first day with a 67, sparked by a front nine 30. The field was
cut for the second day and the contestants played 36 holes. Sid Brews, runner-up
in the British Open the year before, finished on top with rounds of 68, 74 and
71 for a 213 total. Brews, who had been born in England, had been living in
South Africa for a number of years. He took away $300 from the $1,225 purse.
North Jersey’s Clarence Clark (214), who set a new course record with a last
round 66, missed tying for first by one stroke and won $250. Five hundred
spectators watched Clark just miss a 15-foot putt on the last green, that would
have forced a playoff. Leo Diegel (216) and
Henry Picard (216) tied for third and
Felix Serafin (218) finished fifth. Merion
Cricket Club assistant Al
Keeping (221), Ted Turner (221),
Clarence Ehresman (222) and
George Fazio (222), the assistant pro at the
Jeffersonville Golf Club, were also among the thirteen pros cashing
was played at the Oakmont Country Club in first week of June. Eleven Section
members were in the starting field.
The course had over 300 bunkers and the greens were
the fastest the pros played on all year. Henry
Picard shot a two-under-par 70 in the third round, which was the low round of
the tournament, but his other three rounds were in the high 70s.
Picard’s 306 total
left him tied for sixth, seven strokes behind the winner Sam Parks, Jr. a local
professional from the Pittsburgh area. Parks won with rounds of 77, 73, 73 and
76 for 299. Jimmy Thomson (301) reached the 621 yard twelfth hole in two
on the way to a second place finish. Walter Hagen was next with a score of 302.
Denny Shute and Ray Mangrum tied for fourth with 303s.
Ted Turner (309)
tied for 14th. Picard
won $218.75 and
Turner won $55.
Ed Dudley (312) and
(312) tied for 21st, missing the money by
one stroke and Felix Serafin
(324) also made the cut. Leo Diegel, George B.
Smith, Buzz Campbell and Joe Zarhardt
missed the cut.
John W. Campbell,
Clarence Ehresman and
Joe Kirkwood, Sr. withdrew in the first
The annual Pennsylvania Open was played at the Hershey Country Club in late
June. Ray Mangrum of Los Angeles won with rounds of 72, 73, 75 and 70 for a two
under par 290. Clarence Clark finished second one stroke back with a 291.
Gene Kunes led the Section pros finishing
third with a 294, which included a 68 in the third round. Country Club of
Scranton professional Felix Serafin and
Clarence Ehresman tied for fourth at 296
with former Section President Bob Barnett who was visiting from Chevy
At the same time the Pennsylvania Open was being played at
Henry Picard’s home course he was
playing in the British Open at the Honorable Company golf club, Muirfield,
Scotland and finishing sixth. Picard’s (292)
total was nine shots off Alf Perry’s winning score of 283. Perry’s rounds were
69, 75, 67 and 72. Alf Padgham finished second at 287 and Charles Whitcombe was
next with a 288. Lawson Little and Bert Gadd tied for fourth with 289s.
Joe Kirkwood, Sr. withdrew.
In the third week of July Ted Turner won
the Philadelphia Open at the Aronimink Golf Club. Par for the course was reduced
from 73 to 72 for the tournament. The defending champion, Herman Barron (297)
finished second, five strokes back of Turner’s
four over par 292 total and Ed Dudley
was third with a 298. For his rounds of 75, 69, 76 and 72
Turner won $350 and received a gold medal.
Ralph Hutchison the new head professional at
the Saucon Valley Country Club and Angelo Paul
tied for fourth with totals of 300. Charlie
Schneider and the Skytop Club’s professional
Harold Calloway tied for sixth at 302.
Calloway’s brother thought up the Calloway
System for handicapping events for golfers who didn’t have handicaps. Some of
the Philadelphia pros received checks for being affiliated with clubs that were
members of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. The purse totaled $950.
Henry Picard teamed up with Johnny Revolta to win the first annual
Inverness Four-Ball at Toledo in early August. This was
Picard’s fifth win of the year on the PGA Tour. The winners each
took away $500. The field consisted of eight two-man teams with a team playing
an 18-hole match against each of the other teams. This meant that each team
played 126 holes of match play golf in four days. The pros burned up the
Inverness Club as Picard and Revolta were 24
under par and Leo Diegel and Jimmy
Thomson who finished last were 11 under par. Denny Shute and Vic
Ghezzi finished second and they split the second prize of $800.
On the first Monday in August Ed Dudley
won the Central Pennsylvania Open at the Reading Country Club. Even though the
weather was perfect no one broke 70. Dudley
shot a 70 and a 73 for a one-over-par 143, to edge out
Felix Serafin (144) and Gene Kunes
(144) by one stroke. Kunes had a 70
in the afternoon. Dudley won $100 plus he
and Kunes made $25 extra for having the low
individual rounds. Harry Markel (145),
Jack Hiner (146),
now the professional at the Tavistock Country Club and
Ted Turner (147) finished fourth, fifth, and
Ed Dudley won the $3,500 True Temper Open in mid August.
Dudley put together rounds of 71, 70, 73 and 71
for 285. True Temper was the brand of steel golf shaft that most golfers used at
that time. The company that manufactured the shafts was the American Fork & Hoe
Company. In 1949 the company changed its name to True Temper, after its
best-known product. The company was located in Madison, Ohio and the tournament
was held at the Acacia Country Club near Cleveland. Terl Johnson, who had
been working at the Valley Country Club near Hazleton the year before and was
now in Decatur, Illinois, tied for second one stroke back at 286 with Clarence
Clark. Johnson would be the head pro at the Plymouth Country Club two
years later. Billy Burke and Ted Luther tied for fourth with 287s. Walter Hagen
(288) finished fifth and Henry Picard (289)
tied for sixth.
Five days later in August the third annual Hershey Open got under way at the
Hershey Country Club. At the completion of the second round a gallery of about
600 watched Joe Kirkwood, Sr. demonstrate
his trick shots. Ted Luther of Ohio and Felix Serafin
ended up tied at the conclusion of 72 holes with two-under-par 290s. Milton
Hershey, the president of the Hershey Chocolate Company that also owned the
Hershey Country Club, invited all of the 60+ contestants who completed the
72-hole tournament to a dinner that evening. The next day, a Sunday, after 72
holes in three days, an 18-hole playoff was held and that ended in a tie when
Serafin chipped in for a birdie 2 on the 18th
hole. The two pros tied with 76s. They were then sent out for another 18-hole
playoff. After 108 holes in four days Luther finally emerged the winner of the
$1,000 first prize with a 75 against Serafin’s
80. Luther’s tournament rounds were 72, 73, 74 and 71. The total purse was
$4,000 purse. Denny Shute (293) and Milwaukee’s John Revolta (293) tied
for third three strokes back and two strokes ahead of
Gene Kunes (295), who finished fifth. Leo Diegel was in the
money as he finished tenth at 297. The host pro, Henry
Picard (300) tied for 13th keeping his money-winning streak alive. It
had been nine months since he had missed cashing a check in a tournament.
Joe Kirkwood, Sr. and
Clarence Ehresman came in at the end of the money list with 301s.
The Section Championship was played at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in
late August. It started on Monday, the day after the Hershey Open ended.
Bruce Coltart, Woodcrest Country Club
professional, won the qualifying medal with a one-under-par 71. The low sixteen
qualified. The host professional Morrie Talman
qualified with a 74 and lost in the quarterfinals to
Walter Work. The clubhouse and pro shop at
the Altwold Golf Club, where Work was the
professional, had burned to the ground recently without one cent of insurance.
Robert "Buzz" Campbell, the son of 1926
champion Jack Campbell and his assistant at
the Old York Road Country Club, won the title defeating
Harry Markel in the finals 6 & 5. In the semifinals
George Low, Jr. 2&1 and Markel
ousted Work two-down. The defending champion
Gene Kunes opted not to defend his title as
he had entered the Canadian Open instead.
1935 Section Champion
The same week of August the Section Championship was being played the
Canadian Open was also being held near Montreal at
the Summerlea Golf & Country Club. Gene
Kunes showed that he had made the right
decision by outplaying a strong international field.
Kunes’ even par 280, which was made up of rounds of 70, 68, 74 and
68, won by two strokes over Vic Ghezzi (282). Ed Dudley
tied for third with Tony Manero at 285. Jimmy Hines (286) finished
fifth while Horton Smith (287) and Ray Mangrum (287) tied for sixth.
Kunes had won two Connecticut PGA
Championships and the East Falls Open along with the Philadelphia PGA
Championship. By reaching the semifinals of the PGA Championship at the Park
Club in Buffalo the year before, he had shown that he was getting close to a big
win on the PGA Tour.
1935 Canadian Open Champion
Won Philadelphia PGA twice
Won the Pennsylvania Open
The 72-hole Wildwood Open was played on the first
Saturday and Sunday of September. The course was very wet due to heavy rains the
day before the tournament started. The players were allowed to improve their
lies in the fairways and on the greens they were allowed to clean the mud off
their golf balls. George B. Smith, now an
assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club and Joe
Brennan were tied for the top spot at the end of the 72-holes with
287 totals. On a Saturday two weeks after the tournament had been concluded
Brennan in an 18-hole playoff with a 73
against Brennan’s 74.
Smith’s rounds in regulation
play were 71, 69, 73 and 74. North Jersey’s Maurice O’Connor finished third with
a 290 and Bruce Coltart ended
up in the fourth spot at 291. At the same time the amateurs in the field played
for the Bright Memorial Trophy. Smith
won $250 and nine other pros won checks.
Qualifying for the PGA Championship
was held at the Rolling Green Golf Club in late September. Thirty-one Section
members played for eight places in Oklahoma City.
Ed Dudley grabbed the medal with a 72 and a
70 for an even par 142. The only other professional to score under 150 was
Ted Turner with a 145 total.
Charlie Schneider finished third with a 150.
Ed Ginther (151) and
Ralph Hutchison (152) finished fourth and
fifth. The Lancaster Country Club professional, A.B.
Thorn, qualified with a 150 but he decided that he didn’t want to go
to Oklahoma City and didn’t turn his card in.
Walter Brickley, Charlie Hoffner
and Jimmy Lyons tied at 153 for the
last three spots. That necessitated an 18-hole playoff, which was required by
the PGA. Before the playoff was held Lyons
also decided not to go to Oklahoma City and the other three were in.
Henry Picard was exempt from qualifying as a
Ryder Cup Team member and Gene Kunes had a
free pass as a semifinalist the previous year.
The Ryder Cup matches were held at the Ridgewood
Country Club in New Jersey at the end of September. Walter Hagen was the captain
for the fifth time and his team won 9 points to 3 for the British team. Section
member Henry Picard won his foursomes match
and his singles match. There were three Whitcombe brothers on the British team.
Henry Cotton was not on the team again as he was still working in Belgium. A
ticket for Sunday’s play cost $2.20. Byron Nelson was working at
Ridgewood as an assistant to George Jacobus, the president of the PGA of
The PGA Championship was played in mid October at Oklahoma City. Five Section
members made it through the 36-hole on site qualifying for the 64-man match
play. Ted Turner (146),
Henry Picard (147), Ed
Dudley (147), and Gene
Kunes (149) qualified with ease.
Charlie Schneider (153) made it with one stroke
to spare as the 154s played off. Walter Hagen led with a (67-72) 139.
Sixty-three players plus the defending champion qualified for the match play
that year. The 36-hole qualifying round was scheduled for one day but darkness
prevented some of the players from finishing. The first two rounds of 18-hole
matches had been scheduled for the next day but the extended qualifying was
causing a problem. The committee estimated that scores of 151 and under would
qualify and made some of the match play pairings based on that. Those matches
were sent off early the next morning. The players that had been able to complete
their rounds finished the next morning but then a sudden death playoff was
needed as there were ten players tied at 154 for the last three places. Three
players holed birdie putts on the first hole and the playoff was over. By the
time all of the qualifiers had been determined it was too late to get in two
match play rounds that day so one round was played that day and one the next
day. With the other four rounds being 36-hole matches the tournament had to be
extended one more day, which meant it would end on a Wednesday.
Leo Diegel, Ed Ginther, Charlie Hoffner, Walter
Brickley and Ralph Hutchison
failed to qualify. In the first round Henry
Picard was edged out by Horton Smith one-down,
Gene Kunes lost to Denny Shute 4&3 and
Ted Turner was beaten 2&1 by Eddie Loos.
Charlie Schneider beat Steve Holloway
4&3 in the first round and then he lost to Tommy Armour in the second round 3&2.
Ed Dudley won three matches to advance to
the quarterfinals before losing to Tommy Armour in 39 holes. On the way to the
quarterfinals Dudley beat L.G. Wilcox in the
first round one-down, Dick Metz 3&1 in the next round and Jimmy Thomson
in the third round by 6&4. Armour went on to beat Al Watrous 2&1 in the
semifinals before losing to Johnny Revolta in the 36-hole final that went three
extra holes. Revolta beat Al Zimmerman 4&3 in the semifinals. The purse was
bumped up to $7,820. First prize was $1,000.
Forty Section members were at the Llanerch Country Club to reelect
Ed Dudley President on the first Monday in
November. Bob Aitken and
Jim Govan, Pine Valley Golf Club
professional, were elected first and second vice president.
Walter Brickley was retained as the
secretary-treasurer. Dudley appointed
Marty Lyons to the chairmanship of the
tournament committee. George Jacobus, the national president was in
attendance also. He noted that in the three years that he had been president the
national membership had nearly tripled rising from 600+ members to more than
1,700. Jacobus stated that when he was first elected the PGA had 637 members and
a business manager making $22,000 so he decided to drop the business manager.
Now with the increase in members he was swamped with detail work and didn’t have
time to do his job or the work of the PGA properly. He said that if the
association would pay him $15,000 he would give up his job at Ridgewood Country
Club and spend all his time working for the PGA as the president and business
manager. The Section members went on record as approving Jacobus’ plan.
Dudley and Brickley
were elected delegates to the national meeting scheduled for later in
In mid November Gene Kunes and Dick Metz
won the Midsouth Best Ball Championship at the Pinehurst #2 Course. Their 69
and 68 for 137 nipped Tommy Armour and Bobby Cruickshank (138) by one stroke to
win the $400 first place check for the team. Jimmy Hines and Willie Klein
finished third at 139.
The national PGA meeting was at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago during the
third week of November. The delegates rejected George R. Jacobus’ plan to be the
business manager, but did elect him president again. Jacobus’s club Ridgewood
Country Club had bailed out the PGA by taking the Ryder Cup matches on late
notice. The matches even turned a small profit. The other officers, Secretary
R.W. "Doc" Treacy and Treasurer Jack B. Mackie, were reelected also. The vice
presidents were James M. Anderson, Thomas Boyd, John J. Martin, Johnny Farrell,
Willie Maguire and George Norrie. The delegates unanimously adopted the new
vulcanize covered golf ball for the PGA line. The ball would be made in two
grades, 75 cents and 50 cents. The PGA had retained A.W. Tillinghast, a
respected golf course architect and a member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
His assignment was to be a consultant to golf courses employing PGA
professionals. He outlined the work he would be performing for the PGA members
and their clubs. He said that he was not out to spend the clubs’ money but he
wanted to show them how to save money.
The $10,000 Miami Open was held at the Biltmore Golf Club in Coral Gables,
Florida in the third week of December. Horton Smith overtook
Ted Turner in the last round to win by three
strokes. Smith’s rounds were 69, 70, 72 and 70 for 281.
Turner who led at the end of the third round
with a score of 209 ended up tied with Ky Laffoon for second at 284. Willie
Macfarlane finished fourth at 285. Henry Picard
tied for fifth with a 286 total. First prize was $2,500 and
Turner won $1,125.
Henry Picard finished the year on the PGA Tour as the second
leading money winner and had the second lowest scoring average. Paul Runyan won
the Radix Trophy for the lowest scoring average on the tour with 72.29 strokes
per round. Picard averaged 72.37 for 95
tournament rounds. He entered 30 events and had more tournament rounds than
anyone else in the top ten scoring averages. The leading money winner, Johnny
Revolta won $9,543 in the 34 tournaments he entered and
Picard won $8,417. Picard and
Revolta played in more tournaments than any of the 63 leading money winners.
Gene Kunes played in seventeen tournaments and
finished 17th on the money list with $2,535.
Felix Serafin ($2,070),
Ed Dudley ($1,739)
and Ted Turner
($1,442) each played in less than nine tournaments but still managed to end up
in the top 32 money winners. During the year the pros played for $135,000 in
total purses. The top twelve won more than half of the money.
Leo Diegel failed to make the top ten in scoring average on the
PGA Tour for the first time since 1919. Starting in 1937 the trophy for the low
scoring average was changed from the Radix Cup to the Vardon Trophy.
Diegel had injured his shoulder in a
friendly wrestling match with Harry Cooper during the trip to Australia the year
before. He announced that he had lost so much distance on his shots that he
could not compete successfully and would take a year off from competitive golf
to rest his shoulder.
1936 - The Section had a new
member Jimmy Thomson, the longest driver on
the PGA Tour, who had signed on to represent the Shawnee Inn & Country Club at
Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pennsylvania. Thomson
had finished second in the U.S. Open the previous summer at Oakmont. In mid
January he and Henry Picard tied for second
to Jimmy Hines at the Los Angeles Open winning $650 each.
Henry Picard and Johnny Revolta won the twelfth annual
International Four-Ball tournament in Miami. Picard
and Revolta were the defending champions. The tournament was played at
the Miami Country Club in the second week of March. They defeated Gene Sarazen
and Jimmy Hines in the 36-hole finals by a margin of 4 and 2.
Picard and Revolta beat Willie Macfarlane
and Willie Klein by 5&4 to reach the finals. Picard
and Revolta won $1,000 each and Sarazen and Hines received $500 each from
the $4,000 purse.
On the third Monday in March the Section pros held their spring meeting at
the Wanamakers Men’s Store in Philadelphia. The tournament chairman,
Marty Lyons, laid out a tentative tournament
schedule for the season. Final plans would be approved when the Section
President Ed Dudley returned from Augusta.
The Lancaster Pro-Am was on the schedule for the first time. The format was
better ball of partners and the professional invited an amateur to play as his
partner without a handicap. The tournament was later renamed the
A. B. Thorn Pro-Am for the long time
professional at the Lancaster Country Club who initiated the event.
Leo Fraser wrote a letter to the PGA of America stating that they
should own their own golf course. He mentioned that Florida was the place for it
and that there was a course in the Miami area that had been closed for several
years and could be had for the "proverbial song".
For the second straight year Henry Picard
won the Tournament of the Gardens. The $3,000 open was played at
Charleston, South Carolina in the third week of March.
Picard had started his career in Charleston nine years before as a
caddymaster. He had the same winning score, 278, both years.
Picard’s rounds were 67, 69, 71 and 71. Paul
Runyan (285) finished second seven strokes back and Frank Walsh (286) was third.
Walter Hagen and Dick Metz tied for fourth with 289s.
The $4,000 North and South Open was held the next week on Pinehurst Country
Club’s remodeled #2 Course. Henry Picard
(288) and Ray Mangrum (288) tied for first at the end of 72-holes one stroke
ahead of Horton Smith (289). The next day Picard
won another title and his second North and South Open defeating Mangrum
in an 18-hole playoff with a 72 against a 77 for Mangrum.
Picard’s tournament rounds were 71, 72, 73 and 72.
Picard won $1,000 and a gold medal. Horton
Smith (289) finished third and Tony Manero (292) was next.
Ed Dudley (296) and Felix Serafin
(296) tied for eighth.
The third Masters Tournament played the first week in April was plagued by
rain. Two days were rained out and the players had to play 36-holes on Monday in
heavy rains just to be able to finish one day late. Horton Smith won his second
Masters title in three years with 74, 71, 68 and 72 for 285. Harry Cooper
finished second at 286 and Gene Sarazen was next with a 287. Paul Runyan and
Bobby Cruickshank tied for fourth with 290s. Ed Dudley
(293) tied for sixth, Henry Picard
(294) tied for ninth and Jimmy Thomson
(299) tied for 15th. Joe Kirkwood,
Sr. (305), Ted Turner (310) and
Gene Kunes (311) missed the money. First
prize was $1,500.
On the Friday after the Masters Tournament many of the touring pros were at
the $3,000 Richmond Open. The two-day 72-hole tournament was held at the Country
Club of Virginia’s James River Course. Jimmy Thomson,
who had been born in Scotland but learned his golf in Richmond, came out on top
with a 285 total. Thomson began with a 73 in
the morning of the first day and came back with an afternoon 68, which was
played in a cold rain. The next day he put together a pair of 72s to finish four
strokes in front of Ray Mangrum (289). Harry Cooper (290), Frank Walsh (290) and
Bobby Cruickshank (290) tied of third one stroke in front of the Masters
champion Horton Smith (291). Thomson won
$700 and Mangrum won $450. Sixteen years before that Cruickshank had arrived in
America on the same ship with Jimmy Thomson
and his father.
Two days later some of the pros that had played at Richmond were entered in
the second annual 72-hole Wildwood Open held at the Wildwood Golf & Country
Club. The players did 36 holes the first day and 36 holes the second day. Ray
Mangrum led by four strokes on a cold windy first day with a 71 and a 72. The
next day was cold and windy again and Mangrum shot another solid 73 in the
morning but he slipped a bit in the afternoon with a 78. Wisconsin’s Leonard
Dodson picked up six strokes on the last round to pull even with Mangrum at 294.
The two pros were all set to call it a tie, split the money and move on out of
town but the tournament chairman Gus Heil said there had to be a tournament
champion. Heil suggested a nine-hole playoff but Mangrum, who had finished
earlier, said he had had four drinks. Dodson told the bartender to set up four
drinks for him and promptly tossed them down. Out they went into the cold
twilight and both struggled through the nine holes in 42 strokes apiece. Then
sudden death was agreed on and Mangrum won with a par on the tenth hole to win
the $500 first prize. The touring pros must have played much faster in 1936 than
they did in later years to get in 46 tournament holes in one day in mid April.
Bruce Coltart (296) finished third two
strokes back. The defending champion George B. Smith
(298) came in fourth one stroke ahead of Clarence
Hackney (299) and Joe Kirkwood, Sr.
(299). Ten of the fourteen pros that won a check from the $1,500 purse were
Section members. Joe
Zarhardt (305) tied for 7th, Cooper River Golf Club
professional Tony Midiri
(307) finished 11th, Jack
Hiner (309) was next and
Dick Renaghan, the
professional at the Moorestown Field Club, (311) was 13th.
and Buzz Campbell
tied for 14th at 312. The host professional was
In mid May 112 pros and amateurs were at the Aronimink Golf Club qualifying
for the U.S. Open. Qualifying was held the same day at 27 other locations in the
country. After five years of declining entries there was a record entry of
1,277. Thirty-three players were exempt. For the first time the contestants had
to enter using formal entry blanks obtainable from USGA member clubs.
Philadelphia had 11 spots and seven were taken by the Section’s pros.
Bruce Coltart led the scoring with a 71 and
a 76 for 147. Woodbury Country Club professional Ray
Raynor shot a 151 to finish one stroke in front of
Joe Zarhardt (152) and
Charles Schneider (152).
Clarence Hackney, Felix Serafin and
George Low, Jr., the new professional at the
Plymouth Country Club, won the last spots with 153s. Five Section members,
Ed Dudley, Gene
Kunes, Henry Picard,
Jimmy Thomson, and
Ted Turner were exempt from qualifying for having finished in the top
30 at the U.S. Open the year before.
Henry Picard (289) won fourth money and
Ted Turner (294) finished tied for sixth in the Met Open during the
fourth week of May at the Quaker Ridge Golf Club. Ridgewood Country Club
assistant pro Byron Nelson won with
rounds of 71, 69, 72 and 71for a score of 283. Craig Wood finished second with a
285 and Paul Runyan was next at 286. Joe Kirkwood, Sr.
played in the tournament and put on his trick shot exhibition after the
second round on Friday.
In the fourth week of May, the day after the Met Open ended, the second
annual 54-hole Philadelphia Section professional invitation tournament drew an
entry of 84 pros and amateurs to the Woodcrest Country Club. The contestants
played 18 holes on Sunday and 36 holes on Monday. Deal, New Jersey professional
Vic Ghezzi won the $500 first prize with rounds of 74, 70 and 74 for 214. The
70s were course records. Ghezzi finished five strokes ahead of
Ed Dudley (219) and the host professional
Bruce Coltart (219) who each won $200.
Twenty-five-year-old Leo Fraser held the
lead after the first round with a par 71. He finished in a tie for fourth with
Yardley Country Club professional Al MacDonald
at 222. New York’s Craig Wood grabbed the sixth place money from the
total purse of $1,195 as ten pros won money.
The caddies at the Woodcrest Country Club and Tavistock Country Club had been
on strike in mid May. They were striking for increased fees and use of the golf
courses on Mondays. The caddies were making seventy-five cents for an 18-hole
round and wanted $1. The interclub matches were postponed and the members were
carrying their own bags. State police were assigned to guard both clubs but the
pickets were entirely peaceful. Before the Great Depression most of the caddies
were school age kids. As a result of the Depression a large percentage of the
caddies were now men. There were more caddies than golfers and the tips were
The first week in June the U.S. Open was held at the Baltusrol Golf Club in
New Jersey. There were 170 starters in the Open, which was also a record. Twelve
Section members were in the field and ten made the cut but only
Henry Picard and
Jimmy Thomson finished in the money. Picard
tied for fifth seven strokes behind the winner Tony Manero. Manero
put together rounds of 73, 69, 73 and 67 for 282. Harry Cooper finished second
with a 284, Clarence Clark was third at 287 and Macdonald Smith was fourth with
a 288. Picard (289) won $350 and
Thomson (293) tied for 14th
winning $60. Felix Serafin (295) tied for 22nd,
missing the money by one stroke. Bruce Coltart
(300), George Low, Jr. (301),
Gene Kunes (302),
Ted Turner (304), Ed Dudley
(304), Charlie Schneider (307) and
Clarence Hackney (309) made the cut but
finished well down the list. Joe
Zarhardt and Ray
Raynor missed the cut. The prize money totaled
After waiting six years for a renewal of the event,
Ed Dudley defended his title from 1930 by winning the $3,000 Shawnee
Open. The entry fee was $5. The tournament drew a strong field even though it
started the day after the National Open finished at Baltusrol.
Dudley tacked on two rounds of 70 the last
day to go with his first day’s 76-70 and finished with a 288 total.
Dudley finished one stroke ahead of
Washington D.C.’s Roland Mackenzie and Ralph Guldahl who won the next two
National Opens. Byron Nelson, Orville White, and Ray Mangrum tied for
fourth at 290. Shawnee’s Jimmy Thomson (291)
led the other Section pros tying for seventh and Pat
Browne, the professional at the Glen Brook Golf Club, came in
two strokes further back at 292. Felix Serafin
tied for 12th with a 295. The host professional
Jack Patroni (298) tied for 16th.
Charles Lacey & Ed Dudley
In late June Felix Serafin won the
Pennsylvania Open for the second time. Seventy-five pros and amateurs entered
the two-day championship at the Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh.
Serafin’s 72-hole total of 295 won by four
strokes over Al Espinosa (299), playing out of Akron, Ohio. Serafin’s
rounds were 74, 74, 71 and 76. Ed Dudley led
the first day with a score of 145 but a third round 80 finished his chances of
winning and he wound up in third place with a 300 total. Sam Parks, Jr. ended up
alone in fourth place at 304.
On 1st tee before their playoff
In the fourth week of June Ted Turner
could have been playing in the Pennsylvania Open but he was entered in
the British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England, instead. The
Open was won by Alf Padgham with rounds of 73, 72, 71 and 71 for 287. Jimmy
Adams (288) finished second by one stroke. Henry Cotton and Marcel Dellemagne
tied for third with 289s. Turner (299) tied
Ed Dudley won his third Philadelphia Open in the third week of
July at the Manufacturers Golf and Country Club. He defeated former Section
member Charles Lacey in an 18-hole play-off 69 to 73. They had tied with
two-day 72-hole totals of 286, which was two-over-par.
Dudley put together rounds of 74, 73, 71 and a last round of 68 to
catch Lacey. The 68 was the low round of the week.
Ed Oliver, an assistant at the Wilmington Country Club,
made his first strong showing in professional golf. The former Philadelphia
caddy champion finished third with a 293, one stroke ahead of
Dick Renaghan (294).
Bruce Coltart and New York’s Herman Barron tied
for fifth with 295s. There were six cash prizes and
Dudley took home $350 from the $950 purse. The Golf Association of
Philadelphia provided three additional prizes for pros that were affiliated with
their member clubs. There were 130 entries.
The first annual Lancaster Pro-Am was played at the Lancaster Country Club on
the last Monday in July. The host professional, Arthur
B. "A.B." Thorn, had come to Lancaster from the Middle Atlantic
Section in 1934 and it was through his efforts that a number of teams were
entered from there as well as the Philadelphia Section. Tavistock Country Club
professional Jack Hiner and his amateur
partner Horace Horton tied with Roland Mackenzie, the professional at the
Congressional Country Club near Washington D.C., and his partner Rodger Peacock
with five-under-par 67s. A winner was determined when Mackenzie, who had been a
three-time Walker Cup member, birdied the second hole in a sudden-death playoff.
Sixty-one teams were entered. Some pros and amateurs entered with more than one
partner. Nineteen teams finished under par (72). Horton was later a longtime
salesman for the Dunlop Golf Company. When Thorn
died in late 1959 the tournament was named the A.B
Thorn Memorial in his memory and was still being held at Lancaster CC
more than 50 years later. .
Nineteen-year-old Ed Oliver won the
Central Pennsylvania Open at the Reading Country Club on the second Monday in
August. In second place was Bruce Coltart
(141) two strokes off Oliver’s (69-70) 139
score. Oliver broke par in both rounds and
set a tournament record even though he broke his putter on the 10th
green in the morning round. Dick Renaghan
and George Fazio tied for third with 142s.
George Low, Jr. had the low round of the
tournament, a 68 in the morning, and finished fifth at 143.
In early September Henry Picard, the host
pro, won a tightly contested Hershey Open. Picard
began with rounds of 72, 74 and 74 to trail the leaders by six strokes. His
six-under-par 67 in the last round gave him a 287 total and a one-stroke victory
over Jimmy Thomson (288). Two thousand
spectators watched Picard hole-out a
nine-foot comeback putt on the last green for the win.
Picard collected $1,250 and Thomson
$800 from the $5,000 purse. Harry Cooper finished third at 289 and
Ed Dudley and Orville White tied for fourth
with 290 totals. 24-year old Sam Snead was playing in his first
tournament outside his home region of Virginia. In the last round Snead’s
drive reached the 343-yard 11th green. He ended up in a tie with
Ralph Guldahl for sixth place at 291.George Fazio
and Snead had played a practice round before the tournament. On the
329-yard first hole, which was then straight and not a dogleg like later, Snead
hit his first two drives into the chocolate factory and the third one was on the
green. Other than the major championships, the Hershey tournament had the
richest purse in the eastern United States.
The next week at the Canadian Open the Philadelphia Section members made a
good showing even though Gene Kunes wasn’t
there. He was back in Philadelphia too ill to defend his title. Lawson Little
of San Francisco earned his first victory as a professional and $1,000 with a
nine-under-par 271. Little broke Leo Deigel’s
tournament record by three strokes with rounds of 67, 66, 69 and 69 for an
eight-stroke win. For the second straight week Jimmy
Thomson (279) finished second earning $600. Craig Wood finished third
with a 282. Leo Diegel and Vic Ghezzi tied
for fourth at 283. Ed Dudley (285) was also
in the money as he finished in a tie for seventh.
The Section Championship was played at the Llanerch Country Club in the third
week of September. The host pro was Marty Lyons.
On Monday Leo Diegel was the medalist with a
70 and a 69 for a five-under-par 139 that included eleven birdies. The Section’s
stroke-play and match-play championships were combined for the first time. As
the stroke-play champion Diegel took
possession of the Evening Ledger Cup for one year. Thirty-one pros qualified and
the defending champion, Buzz Campbell, was
exempt. Henry Picard and
Jimmy Thomson were entered but didn’t appear
for the qualifying rounds. Gene Kunes and
Bruce Coltart withdrew due to illnesses. The
quarterfinals and the semifinal matches were scheduled for Wednesday.
Ted Turner, Leo Fraser, Leo Diegel and
Joe Coble won their quarterfinal matches in
the morning. In the afternoon Turner
defeated Fraser 3&1 in the semifinals. The
semifinal match between Diegel and
Coble had to be postponed until the next day
because Diegel was playing in an exhibition
at the Merion Cricket Club with Glenna Vare, Patty Berg and
Ed Dudley, who he had beaten that morning.
The next day Diegel eliminated his
assistant Joe Coble by the count of 5&4. In
the 36-hole finals Ted Turner birdied the
last two holes to defeat Diegel two-down.
Section Champion 1936
Won Phila. Open 1935 & 1938
Won New Jersey Open 1938
The next week qualifying was held at the Atlantic City Country Club for the
PGA Championship. Thirty-nine Section members were competing for seven places in
the championship. Wind and rain caused high scores, as
Jimmy Thomson was the medalist with rounds of 72 and 74 for 146. That
beat out the host pro Clarence Hackney (148)
and Leo Diegel (148) by two strokes. The
other qualifiers were Bruce Coltart (154),
Harry Markel (154), Ted Turner
(155) and Jack Patroni (156).
Ed Dudley was exempt as a quarterfinalist
the previous year and Henry Picard was
exempt as a member of the 1935 Ryder Cup Team.
On the fourth Monday in October sixty Section members were at the Hotel
Walton in Philadelphia for their annual meeting. Their national President George
Jacobus was there to report on the national affairs. Jacobus informed the
Section members that the PGA Championship, which hadn’t been held as yet that
year, was going to be played in May the next year. He stated that in the future
the tournament would be held in June in order to bring more attention to the
winner. The Section was now the third largest in the PGA of America with 116
members, an increase of 15 over the previous year. There were 94 "Class
A" and 22 "Class D" members. Ed Dudley was
reelected president and Walter Brickley was
reelected secretary-treasurer. Clarence Hackney
was elected first vice president and George
Sayers was elected second vice president. At that meeting it was
decided to make a change in the Section Championship. A decision was made to
invite amateurs to compete in the tournament. The reasons given were to
stimulate interest among the better amateurs and to receive better co-operation
from the newspapers in publicizing the Section’s tournaments. Qualifying would
be 36 holes at stroke play. The professional having the lowest score in the
qualifying rounds would be recognized as the Section champion for that year and
the winner of the Evening Ledger Cup. Dudley
and Brickley were elected to
represent the Section as delegates to the national meeting.
The PGA’s national meeting was held in Chicago at the Congress Hotel during
the second week of November. George R. Jacobus and Jack B. Mackie were reelected
president and treasurer respectively. There was a new secretary, Tom Walsh.
Ed Dudley was elected to the office of vice
president at large. He was one of two vice presidents representing the eastern
part of the United States. There were now eight vice presidents and 28 PGA
Sections. This office was later renamed District Director. Also he held the
position of chairman of the tournament committee. The other vice presidents
elected were Grange Alves, Thomas Boyd, Al Collins, Ray Hall, Dewey Longworth,
Willie Maguire and R.W. "Doc" Treacy, who had declined to run for secretary
again. A report was made on the consulting work of A.W. Tillinghast. It was
estimated that his work had saved the clubs he had worked with $320,000. He had
visited 370 courses and removed 7,427 bunkers, 92 at one course. It was
announced that the touring pros had played for $156,745 that year. The big news
was that the federal government had agreed to build close to 600 new public golf
courses in the next few years. Tillinghast would inspect the site for each
course and no course would be constructed where it would compete with an
existing course. Only PGA members would be hired to serve as the professionals.
Tillinghast had just designed and supervised the construction of four courses
for the state of New York at the Bethpage State Park on Long Island. The
delegates decided to continue paying the railroad fares of the qualifiers for
the PGA Championship. That total expense money was between three and four
thousand dollars. The Metropolitan Section wanted this money added to the $9,200
purse but it was voted down. Plans were made to have a senior professional
championship the next year for PGA members who were more than 50 years old.
Those contestants would receive mileage money also.
The PGA Championship was played in North Carolina on the Pinehurst Country
Club’s Number 2 course. The PGA Championship was played the week after the
national meeting. The Section members made a very good showing. Nine Section
members had qualified locally or were exempt. Six of them were able to qualify
on site for the 64-man match play field. Fay Coleman was the medalist with a
(68-75) 143. Ed Dudley
and Henry Picard led the Section pros
with 147s. Jimmy Thomson (150),
(152), Ted Turner
153) and Jack Patroni
(156) also qualified. Patroni had to
survive an eight-man playoff for the last seven spots.
Leo Diegel, Bruce Coltart and Harry Markel
failed to qualify. Turner lost in the
first round to Jimmy Hines two-down. Patroni
sent Gene Sarazen home in the first round by holing an eight-foot par putt on
the 18th green to preserve his one-up lead. In the second round
Patroni lost by 6&5 to Horton Smith.
Hackney won his first round match by
defeating Orm Beaupre in 21 holes. In the second round
Hackney lost to Leo Walper 2&1. Ed Dudley
and Henry Picard each won two
matches before losing. Dudley beat Herman
Barron in the first round 3&2 and Tom LoPresti by 2&1 in the second round.
Dudley lost by 6&4 to Bill Mehlhorn
in the third round. Picard beat Leo Mallory
in the first round two-down and then he eliminated Alvin Krueger in the second
round 5&4. Picard lost to his fellow Section
member Thomson in the third round 4&2.
Thomson won five matches to reach the finals
where he lost 3&2 to former Section member Denny Shute. To reach the
finals Shute defeated Mehlhorn one-down in semifinals. On his way
to the finals Thomson beat Rod Munday
5&3, Willie Klein by 3&2, Picard 4&2, Jug
McSpaden one-down and Craig Wood 5&4. The first two rounds were 18-hole
matches and the rest were 36-holes. First prize was $1,000 from a purse of
RU 1936 PGA Championship
Longest driver on the PGA Tour
Late that year Sam Snead, a rookie on the PGA Tour, bought a driver
from Henry Picard for $5.50. Snead
had been having problems with a hook and the new driver straightened out his
drives. The club had been made for Picard by
George Izett. It had a stiff shaft that
weighed five ounces. The driver weighed 14 and 1/2 ounces and had 8 degrees of
loft. Izett, an accomplished club maker, had
been trained in Scotland. Snead used
the driver for over thirty years even though he was on the staff of the Dunlop
Golf Company when he got the club and then he was a member of the Wilson
Sporting Goods Company’s staff for many years after that.
and U.S. Presidents
played the clubs that he made.
The year ended with Henry Picard in third
place on the PGA Tour money list with $7,681 and Jimmy
Thomson in sixth place with $5,927. Horton Smith led the money chase
with $7,884.75. Picard was third in scoring
with an average of 72.11 strokes for his 60 tournament rounds on the tour that
year. The scoring leader and winner of the Radix Cup was Ralph Guldahl with an
average of 71.63.
The PGA dismissed Bob Harlow from PGA Tour management citing conflict of
interest. He was also Walter Hagen’s manager. Several of Harlow’s ideas were now
an accepted part of the PGA Tour.
1937 - Early that year it was discovered that an individual who worked at Llanerch
Country Club had the experience and the equipment to make motion pictures with
sound. Arrangements were made to take pictures of some of the Section’s
professionals swinging a club while playing various shots and explaining how it
was done. About one hundred feet of film was taken and it turned out to
perfection. The thought was that the film could be rented out to clubs or other
groups to bring money into the Section’s treasury. A second reason for the film
was that it would keep the golf professionals in the golfing public’s eye.
Marty Lyons had pictures taken of his junior
golfers while he was giving them instructions and he found this to be very
helpful in achieving the results he wanted. One of those juniors was
twelve-year-old Dorothy Germain. She would go on to win the Women’s U.S. Amateur
in 1949 as Mrs. Dorothy Germain Porter.
Ed Dudley won the Sacramento Open in California in the fourth week
of January. He put together one of the lowest 72-hole totals on record. The
course measured 6,700 yards. His fifteen-under-par score of 65, 70, 71 and 67
for 273 was ten strokes better than Harry Cooper (283) who finished second.
Jimmy Hines was next at 285. Jug McSpaden and Horton Smith tied for
fourth with 286s. Byron Nelson was next at 287.
Henry Picard finished seventh at 288. Many of the big names in golf
were there but no one could come close to Dudley’s
scores. Dudley won $750.
Ed Dudley tied for first at the $3,000 Thomasville, Georgia Open
in the third week of February. Dudley and
Dick Metz had tied with 284s. The next day Dudley
lost a playoff to Dick Metz shooting a 76 against a 72 for Metz. Metz won
$700 and Dudley won $450.
Henry Picard (285) tied for third and
Jimmy Thomson (289) tied for eighth.
Henry Picard and Johnny Revolta won the International Four-Ball
tournament at the Miami Country Club in the second week of March. They won the
tournament for the third year in a row defeating Lawson Little and Tony
Manero 4&3 in an 18-hole playoff. Their 36-hole finals match had ended in a tie
the day before. It took two extra days to complete the tournament. The day that
the semifinal matches were to be played was rained out. To reach the finals
Picard and Revolta defeated Jimmy Thomson
and Harry Cooper 7&6. In the other semifinal match Little and Manero
edged out Willie Macfarlane and Frank Walsh one-down.
Picard and Revolta won $1,000 each and Little and Manero won
$500 apiece. All of the matches were 36 holes.
The next week Henry Picard and his
partner won the $3,000 National Pro-Am championship at St. Augustine,
Florida. Picard won $1,000 by defeating
Jimmy Hines and his partner in the finals. Picard
and a different partner had lost in a 39-hole final match against Gene
Sarazen and his partner the year before.
Two new members of the Section that spring were
Byron Nelson and Sam Byrd.
Byrd had played in the outfield six years
with the New York Yankees and two years for the Cincinnati Reds. With the
Yankees he usually got his chance to play when Babe Ruth had over indulged and
wasn’t feeling well. They called him the Babe’s caddy because he was his
substitute and he was as good at golf as he was at baseball. Early that year his
contract had been sold to the St. Louis Cardinals and he turned down their
salary offer to concentrate on golf. He soon joined Ed
Dudley’s staff as an assistant pro at the Philadelphia Country Club.
The fourth annual Masters Tournament was played in the first week of April. Twenty-five-year-old Byron Nelson, the new professional at the Reading Country Club, opened up with a course record 66 in the first round. He followed that up with a 72 and a 75. On Sunday he picked up six strokes in three holes on Ralph Guldahl by shooting a 32 on the last nine for a 70. He finished with a total of 283. Nelson beat out Guldahl (285) by two strokes and Ed Dudley (286) by three. Harry Cooper finished fourth at 287. The entry fee was $5. Nelson won $1,500, Guldahl $800 and Dudley $600. Jimmy Thomson (291) finished sixth and earned $300. Felix Serafin (299) tied for 19th and Henry Picard finished farther down the list with a 305 total. The total purse was $5,000 and paid twelve places. The fourth annual Masters Tournament was played in the first week of April. Twenty-five-year-old Byron Nelson, the new professional at the Reading Country Club, opened up with a course record 66 in the first round. He followed that up with a 72 and a 75. On Sunday he picked up six strokes in three holes on Ralph Guldahl by shooting a 32 on the last nine for a 70. He finished with a total of 283. Nelson beat out Guldahl (285) by two strokes and Ed Dudley (286) by three. Harry Cooper finished fourth at 287. The entry fee was $5. Nelson won $1,500, Guldahl $800 and Dudley $600. Jimmy Thomson (291) finished sixth and earned $300. Felix Serafin (299) tied for 19th and Henry Picard finished farther down the list with a 305 total. The total purse was $5,000 and paid twelve places. The fourth annual Masters Tournament was played in the first week of April. Twenty-five-year-old Byron Nelson, the new professional at the Reading Country Club, opened up with a course record 66 in the first round. He followed that up with a 72 and a 75. On Sunday he picked up six strokes in three holes on Ralph Guldahl by shooting a 32 on the last nine for a 70. He finished with a total of 283. Nelson beat out Guldahl (285) by two strokes and Ed Dudley (286) by three. Harry Cooper finished fourth at 287. The entry fee was $5. Nelson won $1,500, Guldahl $800 and Dudley $600. Jimmy Thomson (291) finished sixth and earned $300. Felix Serafin (299) tied for 19th and Henry Picard finished farther down the list with a 305 total. The total purse was $5,000 and paid twelve places.
Won five major championships
Won 11 straight PGA Tour events
The fourth annual Masters Tournament was played in the first week of April.
the new professional at the Reading Country Club, opened up with a course
record 66 in the first round. He followed that up with a 72 and a 75. On Sunday
he picked up six strokes in three holes on Ralph Guldahl by shooting a 32 on the
last nine for a 70. He finished with a total of 283.
out Guldahl (285) by two strokes and
Ed Dudley (286) by three. Harry Cooper finished
fourth at 287. The entry fee was $5.
Nelson won $1,500, Guldahl $800 and
Dudley $600. Jimmy Thomson
(291) finished sixth and earned $300.
Felix Serafin (299) tied for 19th
and Henry Picard
finished farther down the list with a 305 total. The total
purse was $5,000 and paid twelve places.
The Section’s spring meeting was held at the Riverton Country Club on
the second Monday in April. The tournament chairman,
Marty Lyons, announced that all entries for the Section tournaments
had to be in his hands no later than the Friday proceeding the day of the
tournament. Any member failing to do this would have his entry fee increased by
one dollar. Some of the other committees were employment, finance, rules,
publicity and membership. The Secretary-Treasurer,
Walter Brickley, was pleased to report that 1936 was a banner year in
payment of dues in the Section. They did not have one delinquent member. All 122
members had paid their dues in full and this was quite an accomplishment as
America was at the peak of the Great Depression. Collecting the Section dues at
that time was more of a challenge, as the Section officers had to do this. Later
on the PGA of America collected the Section dues for the Sections. Also at the
meeting there was a lot of discussion concerning the upcoming True Temper Open.
The Section’s third annual invitation tournament had been combined with the True
Temper event. The American Fork & Hoe Company manufacturers of the True Temper
shafts for golf clubs put up the purse for the tournament. The Philadelphia
Section and Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, the host club, managed the event and
the Section received the proceeds. The profits were earmarked for the Section’s
benevolent fund, which had been created to assist members who were having
difficulties. Brickley handled the entries,
and the Section set the daily admission price at $1. They also decided to
offer a fee of $1.50 for the three-day ticket as Leo
Diegel said this had proved to be a success at some other
That same week right after the Masters Henry Picard
won the Tournament of the Gardens at Charleston, South Carolina for
the third consecutive year. Picard put together rounds of 68, 67, 76 and
71 for a 282 total that nipped Jimmy Thomson
(283) by one stroke and Sam Snead (285) by three. The third round
was played in 35-mile-per-hour winds. Craig Wood and Harry Cooper tied for
fourth with 290s. Picard collected $1,250
and 25% of the entry fees that were $20 per contestant. The total purse came to
The stop in Charleston marked the end of the Winter Tour. With that win
Henry Picard held on to his lead in the
money title race. Picard
ended the winter with $5,583 and Sam Snead was in second place
with $4,150. Byron Nelson was in fifth place
with $3,312 and Ed Dudley was seventh with
$3,022, even though he was serving as the professional at the Augusta National
Byron Nelson, the new professional at the Reading Country Club,
arrived in Reading the week after winning the Masters. Before that he had worked
two years as an assistant at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey for George
Jacobus, President of the PGA of America. Jacobus had hired
Nelson on the recommendation of
Ed Dudley. Nelson
said that he used the $1,500 first prize from the Masters to stock his pro shop
at Reading. The total Masters purse that year was $5,000.
Qualifying for the PGA Championship was held at the Riverton Country Club the
first Monday in May. Forty-nine pros were entered and the Section had seven
places to qualify for. The various Sections were vying for 100 places in their
championship at the Pittsburgh Field Club. Seventeen professionals were exempt.
The Sections were allotted one place for every 18 members in the Section.
Bruce Coltart was the medalist with a pair
of one-under-par 70s edging out Ed Dudley
(141) by one stroke. Next came two assistants, Clarence
Doser, new to the Merion Cricket Club’s staff, at 142 and
George Fazio at 143.
Doser put together a 67 in the morning and
Fazio turned in one in the afternoon. Also
making the grade with a 145 was the Masters champion
Byron Nelson. Two-time PGA champion Leo
Diegel had to qualify also. Diegel
and Charlie Schneider won the last two
spots with 146s. Henry Picard was exempt as
a member of the 1935 Ryder Cup Team and Jimmy Thomson
had an exemption as the runner-up in the 1936 PGA Championship.
The thirtieth Met Open was held at the Forest Hill Field Club in New Jersey
in mid May. Henry Picard had a chance to win
his second Met Open in three years. Picard
took a two-stroke lead with five holes to play, but he three-putted on two of
the next three holes. Picard (280) finished
second one stroke behind the winner Jimmy Hines and three strokes in front of
Sam Snead (283). Paul Runyan finished fourth at 284. Snead had
a course record 65 washed out when the second round was canceled due to
torrential rains. Hines’ rounds were 68, 71, 70 and 70 for 279.
Byron Nelson did not defend his title.
In late May the PGA Championship was held at the Pittsburgh Field Club.
Byron Nelson led the 107 professionals in
the on-site qualifying by three strokes with a 68 and a 71 for a 139 total. As
the medalist Nelson’s name was engraved on
the Alex Smith Trophy. Eight of the nine Philadelphia Section representatives
qualified for a place in the 64-man match play field.
Ed Dudley was next Philadelphia qualifier at 145.
Jimmy Thomson (147),
Henry Picard (148), Bruce Coltart
(149), Leo Diegel (151),
Charles Schneider (152) and
Clarence Doser (154) all qualified with strokes
to spare as the 157s played off. George Fazio
was the only Philadelphia casualty as he failed to qualify.
Diegel, Coltart and
Doser lost in the first round.
Diegel lost to Nelson
2&1, Doser lost to Olin Dutra 3&2 and
Coltart lost to Pat Wilcox 2&1.
Schneider won his first round match over
Neil Christian 4&3 and then he took Johnny Farrell to the last green before
losing one-down. Thomson and
Ed Dudley won two matches each.
Thomson beat Dan Galgano 3&1 in the first round
and then he beat Ralph Guldahl by 6&4 in the second round.
Thomson then lost to Ky Laffoon 4&3.
Dudley beat Herman Barron in the first round
5&3 and he beat Wilcox in the second round 4&3. Dudley
lost in the third round to a former Section member, Denny Shute,
by a 3&2 margin. Nelson and
Picard each won three matches to reach the
quarterfinals. On the way to the quarterfinals Nelson
beat Diegel 2&1, Craig Wood 4&2 and
Farrell 5&4 before losing to Laffoon two-down. Picard
beat Perry Del Vecchio 5&4, Sam Bernardi one-down, and Horton Smith 4&3
before losing to a future Section member, Jug McSpaden, in 39 holes.
Shute went on to win the championship by defeating McSpaden, in the
finals on the 37th hole. In the semifinals Shute outlasted
Tony Manero one-up and McSpaden beat Laffoon 2&1. The first two rounds
were 18 holes and the remaining rounds were 36 holes. The total purse was
Qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the North Hills Country Club on the
first of June. Ed Dudley and
Byron Nelson led the qualifying for the
eight spots in the national championship with 140s. Dudley was around in
71-69 and Nelson turned in a pair of 70s. Jimmy Demaret from Houston,
Texas tied John Beadle and
Bruce Coltart for third with 144s.
Dick Renaghan (145) and
Al Heron (146) also qualified. There were
1,302 players competing for 130 places at 30 locations in the country. Forty
players were exempt from qualifying including Section members
Henry Picard, Jimmy Thomson,
Felix Serafin and
Zell Eaton. They earned their exemptions for having finished in the
top 30 in the Open the previous year. Eaton,
who had just been hired as the assistant at the Saucon Valley Country
Club, didn’t enter the Open. Eaton replaced
Ralph Hutchison’s brother
Willard who had just moved to the Gulph Mills
Golf Club to be their head professional. Eaton
had been invited to the Masters Tournament in April but he didn’t play there
Won Western Amateur
Won one tour title
In the second
week of June Ed Dudley
led after three rounds
at the U.S. Open
with 211. The Open was at the Oakland Hills Country Club near Detroit. A final
round 76 left Dudley
(287) in fifth place with a check for $450. Ralph Guldahl won beating
by six strokes with a 281.
Guldahl’s rounds were 71, 69, 72 and 69. Sam Snead, playing in his first
U.S. Open, finished second at 283. Bobby Cruickshank (285) finished third
and Harry Cooper (286) finished fourth.
(292) tied for tenth and won $175.
(296) also were in the money
finishing 20th and 28th. Also making the cut were
made the cut right on the number with 152 but he
didn’t make his starting time for the third round on Saturday morning.
Bruce Coltart and
Dick Renaghan missed the cut.
The purse was increased from
$5,000 to $6,000 and the money places from 21 to 30. First prize was $1,000.
1937 Ryder Cup team with three
As of late May Henry Picard, former
Section member Denny Shute and four other professionals had earned places
on the Ryder Cup Team based on their tournament records. The Cup committee ruled
that the other four places on the team would be filled based on the total score
from the thirty-six hole on site qualifying at the PGA Championship and the
seventy-two hole scores in the U.S. Open. Based on that 108-hole qualifier
Byron Nelson and Ed
Dudley won two of the spots along with future Section member Sam
Philadelphia Section members
Byron Nelson, Henry Picard, Ed Dudley
Former member Denny Shute and
future member Sam Snead
Back Row-L to R-Nelson, Shute,
Picard, Smith & Manero
Front Row-L to R-Corcoran, Snead,
Guldahl, Dudley & Revolta
Team on way home with cup—Hagen
and Sarazen came home later
In the fourth week of
June the True Temper Open
was held at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. This was the third annual
Philadelphia Section PGA invitational tournament. All of the committee members
for managing the tournament, except the tournament chairman, were members of the
Philadelphia Section. This year the True Temper Golf Company that made the steel
golf shafts joined up with the Philadelphia Section as a co-sponsor. The True
Temper Company was trying to play their tournament in different states each
year. Harry Cooper won the tournament with a last round 68 that was topped off
with a 30 on the back nine. Cooper’s earlier rounds of 70, 73 and 69 gave him an
eight-under-par score of 280, which finished two strokes in front of Wiffy Cox
(282). Texan Harry Cooper, who was working in Chicago, was one of the great
golfers that never won a major championship. Jimmy Hines finished third at 286.
Billy Burke, Clarence Clark and Bud Oakley tied for fourth with 287s. Also
history was being made in what had been men’s professional golf in Pennsylvania.
Along with a strong contingent of male professionals from outside the
Philadelphia Section the first females were in the starting field. Babe
Didrikson, the star of the 1932 Olympics and now a professional golfer, and
Helen Hicks were entered. The Shawnee professionals,
Jack Patroni (288) and Jimmy Thomson
(290), had the highest finishes of the Philadelphia Section members, finishing
7th and 11th. Dick Renaghan (292) tied for
12th and George Fazio (292) won
last money tying for 15th. First prize from the $4,000 purse was
Zarhardt, Leo Diegel, John Beadle, Bruce Coltart and
Felix Serafin each won $25 as
the highest finishing Philadelphia Section pros that were out of the True Temper
money. The entry fee was $5.
Two days later in June the Pennsylvania Open was played at the Merion Cricket
Club’s East Course. This was probably the strongest field in the history of the
tournament. Again Babe Didrikson was entered in what had always been an all-male
event. Once again the title left the state as Ohio’s Toney Penna came out on top
with rounds of 75, 71, 72 and 71, which gave him a nine-over-par 289. First
prize was $500. Penna was working for the MacGregor Golf Company of Dayton,
Ohio. He was their number one club designer and many of the best professionals
played MacGregor clubs at that time. Ed Oliver,
Bill Mehlhorn, Louisville, Kentucky and Willie Goggin, San Francisco,
California tied for second two strokes back at 291. Ted
Turner and Lloyd Mangrum tied for fifth with 292s. The total purse
came to $1,750.
On the last two days of June the Ryder Cup matches
were held at Southport, England with Walter Hagen as the non-playing
captain again. Ed Dudley and
Byron Nelson teamed up to win a foursomes
match. Also Dudley and
Henry Picard won their singles matches.
Dudley’s win in the singles was the clinching point as the American
team defeated the British team on their soil for the first time. The final tally
was eight points for the USA and four points for Great Britain. That would be
the last match until after World War II.
At the British Open in the second week of July Ed
Dudley led the first day with a 70. Held at the Carnoustie Golf Club,
Angus, Scotland, it was won by Henry Cotton as he put together rounds of 74, 73,
72 and 71 for 290. Reg Whitcombe finished second with a 292. Former Section
member Charles Lacey (293) was the low pro from the states
finishing third, three strokes behind Cotton. Reg Whitcombe’s brother
Charles finished fourth at 294. Byron Nelson
(296) finished fifth, Ed Dudley (297)
was next in sixth place, and Henry Picard
(303) tied for 15th. Joe Kirkwood, Sr.
missed the cut.
Jimmy Thomson won a $1,000 driving contest in early July staged in
conjunction with the General Brock Open in Ontario, Canada. The balls were
driven from the club’s first tee that was 164 yards above the course.
Thomson drove ten balls that totaled 3,407
yards, the longest being 386 yards and one-half inch. Finishing second was a
young pro from Ft. Worth, Texas named Ben Hogan with 3,354 total yards.
Lawson Little won the 20th, and what turned out to be the last
Shawnee Open in mid July. He carded rounds of 74, 71, 71 and 68 for a total of
284 at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club to win out over a field of 100 entries.
Shawnee’s Jimmy Thomson (285) bogeyed the
par three final hole and finished tied for second with Connecticut’s Leo Mallory
(285), one stroke off the winning pace. Toney Penna finished fourth at 286, one
stroke in front of Harry Cooper (287), who played the last round back nine in
29. Philmont Country Club assistant Matt Kowal
(288) led at the halfway point with 137 but fell back the second day to tie for
sixth. Felix Serafin (289) tied for ninth
and Sam Byrd (291) tied for 12th.
The host professional was Jack Patroni.
Five days later in July the Philadelphia Open title left the Section again.
Leonard Dodson, Springfield, Missouri won at the Concord Country Club in a
playoff with Bruce Coltart. The two
professionals had tied with four-over-par 284 scores at the completion of the
two-day tournament. The next day Dodson won an 18-hole play-off by one stroke
with a 74 against Coltart’s 75. Dodson’s
tournament rounds were 75, 70, 69 and 70. After the playoff Dodson caught a 5 PM
airplane from the Camden Airport to play in the Chicago Open.
Matt Kowal and
Charlie Schneider, the host pro, tied for third with 287s.
Ed Oliver finished fifth at 288.
Oliver won a $75 check for being the low pro
affiliated with a Golf Association of Philadelphia club.
Sam Byrd, who finished sixth, received the fifth place check.
First prize was $350 from the total purse of $950.
Byron Nelson, just back from the Ryder Cup matches in England,
won the Central Pennsylvania Open at his home course on the first Monday of
August, but it didn’t come easy. He drove 300 miles the night before to get to
Reading for the tournament. Nelson led after
round one with a 69 but he had to share the lead with three other professionals.
In the afternoon he posted a 71 and at the end of regulation play he was tied
with Bruce Coltart with two-under-par 140s.
Five days later on a Saturday Nelson won an
18-hole playoff with a course record 68 against a 75 for
Coltart. First prize was $150 and second was $75 from the total
purse of $425. Ed Oliver, the defending
champion, and Sam Byrd tied for third at
143. Dick Renaghan and
Charlie Schneider tied for fifth with 144s. The tournament drew a
gallery of 500 people.
The fifth annual, $5,000 Hershey Open, was played at the Hershey Country Club
in early September. The tournament’s $1,200 first prize went to the host pro,
Henry Picard, as he won the title for the
second straight year. Picard finished three
strokes ahead of the U.S. Open champion Ralph Guldahl’s 283 total. His
tournament record twelve under par 280 included a 65 in the second round that
was witnessed by 1,000 spectators. Picard’s
three other rounds were 70, 73 and 72. Ray Mangrum (285) and Jimmy Hines (289)
finished third and fourth. Sam Byrd (292)
finished fifth two strokes in front of his employer Ed
Dudley who tied for sixth at 294 with Gene Sarazen.
Jack Grout and Ed
Oliver tied for ninth with 297s. The total purse was $5,000 and paid
fifteen places. On the first Tuesday of September Ed
Dudley and Jimmy Thomson
represented the United States in a team match against the Canadian PGA. The
match was played at the St. Andrews Golf Club in Toronto. Eight singles matches
were played in the morning followed by four four-ball matches in the afternoon.
Dudley won his four-ball match and
Thomson won his singles match. The U.S. team
made up of eight professionals defeated the Canadians by a score of 8 to 4.
Byron Nelson & Henry Picard
Sixteen of the Section’s top professionals were in Massachusetts playing in
the $12,000 Belmont Open Match Play tournament just four days before their
championship was scheduled to begin. This included Ted
Turner the defending champion of the previous year’s Section
Championship along with the medalist and runner-up Leo
Diegel. The Belmont Match Play’s $12,000 purse was the largest that
golfers had ever competed for in the United States. As a comparison the total
purse at the U.S. Open that year had been $6,000 and would be the same amount
for the next four years. A 36-hole qualifying tournament was held to trim the
221 pros and amateurs who had entered down to 64 for the match play. Seven of
the Philadelphia Section pros qualified. Byron Nelson
(141), Diegel (144),
Henry Picard (146), Ed
Oliver (148), Jimmy Thomson
(148), Clarence Doser (149) and
Matt Kowal (151) all made the grade with ease.
Tony Manero won the medal with a 140 and the 153 scorers played off for the last
spots. The first two rounds of the match play were 18-holes and the last four
rounds were 36-hole matches. In the first round Kowal
lost to Harry Cooper 4&3 and Doser lost
to amateur Ray Billows one-down. Oliver won
his first round match over Joe Stein by a one-up margin but he lost in the
second round to Ralph Guldahl two-down. Diegel
and Thomson each lasted two rounds.
Diegel beat Herman Rama 3&1 in the first round
and Charlie Yansick in the second round by 5&4 before losing to Cooper 2&1.
Thomson eliminated Willie Hunter 3&2 in the
first round and Dutch Harrison two-down in the second round before losing
to Johnny Revolta 3&1. The Philadelphia Section’s two other qualifiers went all
the way to the finals. After 216 scheduled holes and seven days
Nelson emerged victorious. He defeated
Picard, who had been born about fifty miles
away in Plymouth, by a margin of 5&4. They were even after the first 18 holes.
The second 18 was played in a pelting rain that seemed to bother
Picard more than
Nelson as many of his tee shots found the rough. To reach the finals
Nelson defeated amateur John Levinson in 19
holes, Frank Walsh one-down, Ray Mangrum two-down, Charles Lacey 6&4 and
Cooper 5&4. Picard made the finals by
beating Dan Galgano 6&5, Tom Mahan 5&4, Wiffy Cox 4&3, Lawson Little
6&4 and Guldahl 7&6.Nelson won $3,000, which
was double his first place Masters check, and Picard
at the Belmont Match Play
and Llanerch Country Club hosted the Section
Championship again on the last Monday of September. Only four of the
professionals who had played in Massachusetts were entered.
Byron Nelson and
Henry Picard were still in the Belmont Match Play but the others had
all been eliminated before Sunday. Bruce Coltart
won the match play portion of the event beating Matt
Kowal on the 38th hole, but he was not the Section
champion. Since the decision had been made to invite amateurs to enter the
championship, the low professional in the stroke play qualifying rounds would be
the Section champion. Six amateurs played in the qualifying but none played in
the match play. On a chilly day Charlie Schneider
turned in the low medal play score with two rounds of 70 and 69 for a
five-under-par 36-hole score of 139. Therefore
Schneider was crowned Section champion. Tied for second four strokes
back were Coltart and
Clarence Doser with 143s. Joe Zarhardt
finished fourth with a 144. The defending champion
Ted Turner did not enter either the stroke
play or match play portions of the championship. He did not have to qualify and
was paired for the matches. In case Turner
did not show up Bill Neilan, the first
alternate was scheduled to play in his place. Neither
Turner nor Neilan showed up for
the first round match. An interesting bit from the match play finals took place
on Llanerch’s par-four 18th hole when
Coltart and Kowal came to the tee
all even after 35 holes. Kowal drove the
green on the fly and held it, two putting for a birdie but
Coltart also birdied the hole and they moved on
to a sudden death playoff, which Coltart won
two holes later.
1937 Section Champion
In early October Henry Picard,
Byron Nelson and Denny Shute left by
plane for South America and an exhibition tour competing with their golf
professionals. While they were there Picard
won the Argentina Open.
Twenty-one year old Ed Oliver won the
Wood Memorial at the Jeffersonville Golf Club on the first Monday of October.
Oliver was around in 33-35 for a two under par
68. George Fazio and the host professional
Bud Lewis tied for second with 70s.
Sam Byrd, Walter Brickley and
Johnny Schuebel tied for fourth with 71s. First
prize was $60 from the $200 purse.
Sixty professionals attended the Section’s annual meeting at the Hotel Walton
in Philadelphia on the fourth Monday of October. The President,
Ed Dudley, was reelected for a fourth
straight year but he had opposition. Clarence Hackney
ran against him and lost by just two votes. The Secretary/Treasurer,
Walter Brickley, was reelected for the
fourth straight year also. This made Hackney
the first vice president and Marty Lyons
was elected second vice president. Under
Dudley’s leadership the Section now had more money in its treasury
than anytime since it was formed in 1921. Brickley
reported that the Section now had 126 members.
Jimmy D’Angelo, Baederwood Golf Club professional and editor of the
Section’s newsletter, The Reporter, stated that the meeting lasted five
hours with some serious and important discussions. One was a complaint by a
Section member that a fellow professional was selling 75 cent golf balls below
the $8 per dozen price that ha d been set by the Section. The secretary was
instructed to write to the accused member requesting him to appear before the
Board of Control, along with the complainant. Another important subject was
brought up by President Dudley, saying that
he had been accused of placing professionals from outside the district in jobs
within our Section. He proceeded to give an explanation that was acceptable to
the members that were present. George Jacobus, the president of the PGA of
America, was in attendance along with A. W. Tillinghast, the internationally
known golf course architect and PGA course consultant. President Jacobus
discussed several important national subjects including the upcoming national
PGA Championship to be played at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club in July. This
required a lot of detail work and the membership of the Section was told that
they would be looked upon for their assistance. The meeting was followed with a
turkey dinner and a floorshow.
In 1935 the PGA of America had retained A.W. Tillinghast, a member of the
Philadelphia Cricket Club, as a consultant to courses employing PGA
professionals. He was also the editor of Golf Illustrated in which his articles
were written under the byline "Hazard". At the request of a PGA member
Tillinghast would visit the pro’s course and spend a day with the pro and the
green committee. He only came at the invitation of the professional and the PGA
of America paid his fees. He would make suggestions for improvements to the
course and give ideas for saving money such as removal of bunkers that he
considered unnecessary, changing sand bunkers to grass, or narrowing and
recontouring the fairways. He considered rough to be an inexpensive hazard that
didn’t require much maintenance. The clubs were able to reduce their budgets and
make the courses more inviting for the average player with a minimal expenditure
and saving money was of vital importance. The country was in the middle of the
Great Depression and over 600 golf courses would close forever between 1932 and
1952. Tillinghast visited all regions of the country for two years providing
this service. A number of courses in the Philadelphia Section were altered by
Tillinghast during this time.
On the last weekend of October Pine Valley Golf Club held the first of three
annual invitational professional-amateur tournaments.
Seventy members contributed $1,710 to cover the expenses of the 12
professionals and create a purse of $800. The Section was represented by
Ed Dudley, Leo
Diegel, Jimmy Thomson, and
Ted Turner. Dudley shot a 71 in the
first round, the low round of the weekend, and finished third. Sam Snead
and Thomson tied for first with 302 totals,
22 over par.
The national PGA meeting was at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago during the
second week of November. The officers (President George R. Jacobus, Secretary
Tom Walsh and Treasurer Jack B. Mackie) were all reelected.
Ed Dudley was reelected to the office of
vice president at large and he was again named chairman of the Tournament
Committee. Dudley’s committee had put
together a schedule for the next year that consisted of events nearly every week
covering the entire country. The committee had also instituted some new rules
for the PGA Tour starting with the last three tournaments of the year. One rule
was that if a player’s ball was in the line of another player he would have to
putt out instead of marking and lifting his ball. This was done to speed up play
in the tournaments. The new rule would also alleviate the custom of making
indentations or thumbnail scratches to mark the position of the ball on the
green. Also the players were told that they were to only play one ball in the
practice rounds to lessen turf injury caused from playing several practice
shots. The other vice presidents elected were Grange Alves, Thomas Boyd, Al
Collins, Ray Hall, Dewey Longworth, Willie Maguire and Frank T. Sprogell.
The Philadelphia Section delegates to the meeting were
Clarence Hackney and Leo Diegel.
The first official PGA Seniors’ Championship was held at the Augusta National
Golf Club in late November. A PGA member had to have reached the age of 50 to be
eligible. There was no entry fee as only a PGA membership card was needed to
enter and each pro received money for travel expenses.
Dave Cuthbert was a member of the tournament’s committee. There were
37 entries. Jack Campbell and Sunnybrook
Golf Club professional Frank Coltart led the
Philadelphia Section professionals tying for twelfth with 242s and
George Sayers (245) finished 18th.
George Low, Sr. (248) tied for 21st
and he also finished second to Jack Campbell’s
brother Alex in the 60 years and over age group.
Alec Duncan was in eighth place after two rounds but withdrew. Their
old contemporary from the Southeastern Section days, Jock Hutchison, won
with rounds of 76, 75 and 72 for a 223 total. George Gordon finished second at
231 and Jim West was third with a 233. Fred McLeod and Dave Ogilvie tied
for fourth at 234. The PGA of America put up $2,000 to cover the purse and
expenses but the amount won by each professional was not announced. The field
was divided into three age groups. Class A was 50 to 54, Class B 55 to 59 and
Class C was 60 and over. Alfred S. Bourne contributed $1,500 for the purchase of
a trophy that bore his name.
Henry Picard had completed another outstanding year on the
PGA Tour as the second leading money winner with $10,866.58.
Byron Nelson ($6,734.50),
Jimmy Thomson ($5,243.58) and
Ed Dudley ($4,418.58) were in seventh,
tenth, and twelfth place on the list. Harry Cooper topped the money list with
$14,138.69. The PGA Tour professionals had competed for purses totaling $175,000
that year, up $20,000 from the previous year. Cooper also won the Vardon Trophy
with 500 points and he had the lowest scoring average for the year (71.62). That
year the Vardon Trophy had replaced the Radix Cup. For the first five years the
Vardon Trophy was calculated on a point system.
1938 - Effective January 1st the USGA and the R&A imposed a limit of 14 clubs that a player
could use in a round of tournament golf. The caddies applauded the decision.
Henry Picard said he would carry driver, brassie, #4 wood, #2 to #9 irons, sand wedge,
chipper, and a putter.
Early in the year A.W. Tillinghast resigned as the PGA Golf Course
Consultant-Architect. He felt that he had covered all of the clubs that had
officially sought his services through the PGA. He didn’t think that there would
be sufficient requests within the near future to warrant his covering the
country systematically as he had been doing. He stated that he feels at home
among the pros and during the past two years he has come to regard them with
Jimmy Thomson, who had finished second on many occasions, won the
Los Angeles Open in the second week of January. This was his second victory of
the PGA Tour. The tournament was played over Griffith Park’s Wilson and Harding
courses. The field of 290 players competed over the two courses for the first 36
holes and the players that made the cut finished up on the Wilson course for the
last two rounds. Before the final round the tournament sponsor, The Los Angeles
Times, announced that the purse had been increased from $5,000 to $7,500. First
place was worth $2,100. The last day 5,000 people turned out to see
Thomson shoot a 68, which added to his
earlier rounds of 65, 66 and 74 gave him a 273 total. He finished four strokes
in front of Johnny Revolta (277). Henry Picard
and Lawson Little tied for third with 278s.
In late January Henry Picard won the
Pasadena Open in California. Picard won $700
as he edged out Jimmy Hines (278) by two strokes with a 276 score.
Picard’s rounds over the Brookside Park Course
were 70, 66, 71 and 69. Byron Nelson came in
third with 279 and Jimmy Thomson, who had
led going into the last round, finished
fourth at 280. Picard’s assistant
Jack Grout tied for sixth. Jimmy McHale
won the low amateur prize and announced that he was turning pro.
Byron Nelson won the Thomasville Open in Georgia at the end of
February. His 280 total over the Glen Arven Country Club beat Dick Metz (284) by
four strokes and Harry Cooper (285) by five. Nelson’s
rounds were 66, 73, 71 and 70. Frank Moore finished fourth at 289.
Felix Serafin finished seventh and five
other Philadelphia Section professionals made the cut. First prize was $700.
In the second week in March Byron Nelson
won again at the $3,000 Hollywood Open in Florida. He won $700 shooting 275 to
beat out Horton Smith and Frank Moore by one stroke. Denny Shute
and Frank Walsh tied for fourth with 278s. Nelson’s
rounds over the Orange Brook course were 71, 68, 69 and 67.
Ed Oliver (281) tied for eighth and five
other Section pros made the cut. First prize was $700.
The fifth Masters Tournament was scheduled for the first four days of April
with a Friday start and a wrap up on Monday. The defending champion was
Byron Nelson and the favorite was Sam Snead
who had just won the Greensboro Open. Snead arrived at Augusta on his
first airplane flight. In the first round Felix Serafin
played the first nine in four-under-par 32 and was five under par on
the back nine when the rains came. The on-course scoreboard system wasn’t what
it would be in later years so there were discrepancies in the newspaper articles
as to what hole Serafin was on when play was
halted. Unfortunately for Serafin the first
day’s play was canceled. They played 18 holes the next day, 36 holes on Sunday
and finished up on Monday. Ed Dudley (70-69)
led after two rounds and Henry Picard was in
front after the third round. In each of the first three rounds
Picard had finished birdie-birdie-par. The
next day no one broke 70 but Picard was one
of the ones who shot a 70. Picard’s 285
total, won by two strokes over Ralph Guldahl (287) and Harry Cooper (287).
Picard’s rounds were 71, 72, 72 and 70. The
amazing part of Picard’s victory was that due to an injured thumb he had changed
his grip in the second week of March. Picard
had been playing in the Hollywood (Florida) Open, which was held at the
Hollywood Beach Hotel Golf Course where the noted instructor Alex Morrison was
the winter teaching pro. At the suggestion of Morrison Picard changed from the
overlapping grip to an interlocking grip, which included taking his left thumb
off the shaft of the club and wrapping it around behind his right hand. The
Masters was just his third tournament using that grip. Paul Runyan finished
fourth at 288. First prize was again $1,500 and Picard
also received a silver plaque and a gold medal. The Augusta National golf
course was considered to be a little short for a championship but only four
players broke 290. All five of the Philadelphia Section entries finished in the
top eight and the money. Nelson (290) ended
up in fifth place and won $400. Serafin and
Dudley tied for sixth with 291s, each
winning $275. Jimmy Thomson (292) was one
stroke farther back in a tie for eighth. He won $175.
Won 1938 Masters Tournament
Won 1939 PGA Championship
Played on 3 Ryder Cup Teams
The Masters Tournament marked the end of the Winter Tour.
The leading money winner was Harry Cooper with $4,448.83.
Henry Picard, Jimmy Thomson,
and Byron Nelson were in third, fourth, and
The Section’s spring meeting was on the second
Monday in April at the Hotel Walton in Philadelphia. An active tournament
schedule for the coming season was announced. There were open events such as the
Central Pennsylvania Open at the Reading Country Club, the South Jersey Open at
the Atlantic City Country Club, the Wood Memorial at the Jeffersonville Golf
Club, the Philadelphia Open and Pennsylvania Open as well as the usual pro-ams.
The pro-am championship was changed from a three-day match play event to
36-holes of stroke play. The pro-lady was still three days of match play. A PGA
Championship Committee of twenty-five pros was formed with
Leo Diegel chairman. They made weekly trips to the Shawnee Inn &
Country Club for the purpose of getting everything in top shape for their
national championship. A benevolent fund was created and a number of tournaments
were conducted, increasing the treasury considerably. The Section was becoming
interested in the development of junior golf. Marty
Lyons and his brother Tony had
started group lessons for the juniors at his club in 1935. Plans were made to
conduct pro-junior tournaments for both boys and girls. The Section had 130
members and not one was unemployed. The members voted to ask the Golf
Association of Philadelphia to rescind a rule it had just made which restricted
the Philadelphia Open entries to pros that were employed by clubs that were
members of the GAP. They felt that the tournament should be open to all members
of the Philadelphia Section.
In mid May Jimmy Hines won his second Met Open in a row at the Fresh Meadow
Country Club on Long Island. He beat out Sam Snead (290) by three
strokes and Ralph Guldahl (292) by five, with rounds of 70, 72, 73 and 72 for
287. Horton Smith finished fourth at 295. Jimmy Thomson
(297) tied for eighth and Ted Turner
(298) finished one stroke further back in tenth place.
Qualifying for the PGA Championship at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club was
held at Shawnee on the fourth Monday in May. Clarence
Doser, Jimmy Thomson, and Terl Johnson,
the professional at the Plymouth Country Club, made it that day.
Doser led with a 70 and a 74 for 144.
Thomson posted a 146 and
Johnson was next at 149.
Leo Diegel, Felix Serafin, Leo Fraser, Dick Renaghan, Jack
Patroni and Matt Kowal tied for
the last four places with 151s. Eight days later they returned to Shawnee for an
18-hole playoff. Serafin was thirty minutes
late for his starting time because he forgot about the daylight savings time
change. Diegel and
Renaghan had waited for him and all three of them were successful in
the playoff. Serafin led with a 75 that was
two less than Diegel (77) and
Renaghan (77). Fraser
won the other place with a 78. As
1937 Ryder Cup Team members Ed Dudley,
Byron Nelson and
Henry Picard were exempt from qualifying.
The Inverness Four-Ball in Toledo, Ohio was that same week in May. The
round-robin tournament consisting of seven 18-hole matches ended on Sunday.
Ed Dudley and Ky Laffoon tied for second one
point behind the winning team of Sam Snead and Vic Ghezzi. First prize
was $650 per man and the second place tie was worth $375 per player.
Jimmy Thomson and
Henry Picard were also in the 16-man field and all the players won
On a Tuesday, the last day in May, qualifying for the U.S. Open was at the
Aronimink Golf Club. Because the Open was in Denver the local entry was not
large and Philadelphia was allotted only four places. Four professionals from
the Section, Ed Dudley, Henry Picard,
Byron Nelson and
Jimmy Thomson were exempt from qualifying as they had all been in the
top 30 at the Open the previous year. The low qualifier was
George Low, Jr. who was running a driving
range in Jenkintown with his father. He putted right-handed with the back of a
left-handed putter he had borrowed. He only three putted one time to shoot a
70-71 for 141. In the morning round Low made
a double-eagle on the par-five fourth hole when he holed a #4 wood shot for a
two. The other three pros that made it were Sam Byrd
(144), Bruce Coltart (145)
and George Fazio (146).
Joe Kirkwood, Sr., who had just returned from a yearlong world
tour with Walter Hagen, successfully qualified for the U.S. Open in San
Francisco on the same day that the Philadelphia pros were playing at Aronimink.
There were five spots at San Francisco and Kirkwood
picked up the last one with a 145.
In the second week of June at the U.S. Open Byron
Nelson and Henry Picard had good
opportunities to win. The Open was played at the Cherry Hills Club in Colorado.
Nelson (294) tied for fifth winning $412.50
and Picard (295) tied for seventh and won
$216.67. Ralph Guldahl won his second straight U.S. Open with rounds of 74, 70,
71 and 69 for an even-par 284. Dick Metz (290) finished second, six strokes
back. Harry Cooper and Toney Penna tied for third at 292.
Jimmy Thomson (308) and Ed Dudley
(315) also made the cut but missed the money.
George Fazio made the cut and withdrew after the third round.
Bruce Coltart, Sam Byrd, and
George Low, Jr., missed the cut. Joe
Kirkwood, Sr. withdrew after the first round.
The next week in June Ralph Guldahl won the Western Open for the third
straight year. Played in St. Louis at the Westwood Country Club, this was the 38th
annual open championship of the Western Golf Association and this was the first
time anyone had won it three years in a row. Guldahl put together rounds of 71,
73, 70 and 65 for a 279 that finished seven strokes in front of the second place
finisher Sam Snead (286). Toney Penna was next at 289.
Jimmy Thomson and Leonard Dodson tied for
fourth with 292s. Thomson did it with the
help of a last round hole-in-one. First prize was $750.
The Pennsylvania Open was held at the Pittsburgh Field Club at the end of
June. Lloyd Mangrum who was playing out of Los Angeles stopped off to visit his
brother Ray at Oakmont Country Club on his way to the Shawnee Inn & Country Club
for the PGA Championship. Lloyd won the tournament over Ray who ended up one
stroke back in second place. Lloyd shot a pair of 71s for 142 and Ray’s rounds
were 72-71.Vic Ghezzi (145), Sam Parks, Jr. (147) and
Ed Dudley (148) finished third, fourth, and fifth. Lloyd’s
two-under-par 142 earned him $250 from the $700 purse. There were 71 entries.
The British Open was held at the Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich,
England in the first week of July. Reg Whitcombe (295), the runner-up in 1937,
won with rounds of 71, 71, 75 and 78. The wind blew so hard the last day that
exhibition tent collapsed. Jimmy Adams finished second at 297 and Henry Cotton
was third at 298. Dick Burton, Alf Padgham, Jack Busson and Allan Dailey tied
for fourth with 303 totals.
Shawnee Country Club
In mid July the PGA Championship, hosted by Shawnee Inn & Country Club
and the Philadelphia Section, came to the Philadelphia Section for the first
time. Jack Patroni was the host
professional. The Worthington family, who had made their money in pumps and
owned the facility, had spent $20,000 on course improvements preparing for the
championship. Ten professionals from the Philadelphia Section were entered.
Seven had qualified locally and three were exempt. After the 36-hole qualifying
round at Shawnee only one of the ten failed to make the low 64 who qualified for
the match play. Frank Moore, brother of Terry Moore the St. Louis
Cardinal baseball player, won the medal with a pair of 68s for an
eight-under-par 136. One year later Moore would be running the golf shop
at Reading Country for Byron Nelson. Henry Picard
and Byron Nelson tied for third with
140s. Long hitting Jimmy Thomson, playing
out of Shawnee and Ed Dudley each recorded
141s. Terl Johnson (144),
Leo Fraser (144), Leo
Diegel (147), Dick Renaghan (150)
and Felix Serafin (150) also
survived the qualifying as the 151 shooters played off for the last four spots
in the match play ladder. Clarence Doser was
the lone Section member that didn’t make it through the qualifying rounds into
the match play. The first two rounds of matches were 18 holes each and the rest
were 36 holes. In the first round Fraser
lost to Bob Shave, Sr. 4&3 and
Renaghan lost to Dick Metz 4&3.
Dudley, Thomson, Diegel and
Johnson won their first round matches only to
lose in the second round. Dudley upset
Johnny Farrell 3&2 and then lost to Harry Bassler 4&3.
Thomson beat Guy Paulsen 5&4 and then lost to Jim Foulis one-down.
Diegel beat Francis Gallett 2&1 and was defeated by Horton Smith 2&1.
Johnson defeated Henry Ransom 2&1 and
then lost to Sam Snead 4&3. Serafin
won two matches before losing in the third round.
Serafin upset Harry Cooper 4&3 and then he upset Ky Laffoon 3&2
before losing to Snead 4&3. Nelson
won three matches. He beat Clarence Yockey 5&4, Al Krueger in 20 holes and
Bassler 11&10 before losing to Jimmy Hines in the quarter-finals 2&1.
Picard made it to the semifinals as he defeated
Andy Gibson 3&2, Shave 3&2, Metz 4&3 and Gene Sarazen 3&2. Picard lost to
Paul Runyan 4&3. In the other semifinal Snead defeated Hines one-down.
The final went down as one of the more amazing matches in the history of the PGA.
The short driving Runyan defeated Snead who was a great player and one of
the longest drivers in the game by a wide margin of 8&7. Runyan picked up a
check for $1,100 and Snead won $600 from the $10,000 purse. Snead
must have made a good impression as less than two years later he would be
representing Shawnee on the PGA Tour.
Host of 1938 PGA Championship
Hosted 20 PGA Tour Shawnee Opens
Hosted 7 Section Championships
Three days later in July
Ted Turner won the
Philadelphia Open for the second time at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club.
Leonard Dodson could not defend the title since the Golf Association of
Philadelphia had held fast to their new rule and only professionals employed by
the member clubs could enter the tournament. Turner
put together rounds of 70, 73, 70 and 73 for a two-under-par 286 in the
two-day event. The 36-hole leader Matt Kowal
and Terl Johnson tied for second with
287s. Johnson had a last round of
68, the best of the tournament. Clarence
Ehresman finished fourth at 290.
Sam Byrd and amateur Dave
Douglas tied for fifth at 291. Leo
Diegel and Clarence Doser
were next with 294s. First place paid $250 and the second place tie earned
$87.50. The GAP pros didn’t have to compete with outside pros that year but
there wasn’t as much money to win. First prize was $100 less and all of the
other prizes were reduced.
Medalist 1938 PGA
Won Westchester Open
1938 & 1939
Ten days after winning the Philadelphia Open
Ted Turner won the New Jersey
Open at the Braidburn Country Club. He was only the second professional from
South Jersey to win this tournament and the first since
Clarence Hackney had won it three years in a row from 1924 to
1926. Turner was the only pro entered from
South Jersey. With rounds of 71, 74, 75 and 75 for a score of
295Turner finished three strokes in front of
John Kinder (298) and the host professional Ralph Guldahl (298), who had won the
last two U.S. Opens. Vic Ghezzi and Craig Wood tied for fourth with 299s.
Harry Anderson, who had been the golf professional at the Kennett
Square Golf & Country Club for the last 13 years, was building another nine
holes for the club that would open in July of the next year.
The first South Jersey Open was played at the Atlantic City Country Club on
the first Monday of August. On a windy morning Ed
Oliver went around the course in 64 strokes making nine birdies on
the way to lead by seven strokes. Leo Diegel,
who played with Oliver, said it was the
greatest round of golf he had ever seen. Oliver
was on all four of the par five holes in two. In the afternoon the wind
picked up and Oliver needed 77 strokes but
his score of 141 still won by six strokes. Matt Kowal
along with amateurs Dave Douglas and Sonny Fraser tied for
second with 147s. The total prize money was $620 and
Oliver won $200.
On the second Monday of August Ed Oliver
made it two wins in a row by annexing the Central Pennsylvania Open at the
Reading Country Club. This was also his second win in this event. The host pro
Byron Nelson led after the morning round
with a course record 66, which included six birdies and an eagle.
Oliver finished with a pair of 70s for a
two-under-par 140 that nipped Nelson (141)
by one stroke. Nelson bogeyed the last four
holes in the afternoon. First money was $125 and 15 pros won money.
Terl Johnson (142) finished third and
Clarence Doser finished (144) fourth. A
driving contest was held that day which Nelson
won with a drive of 273 yards-6 inches. Oliver,
who could drive 300 yards with ease, missed the fairway with his three drives.
The format for the Hershey Open was changed to a better-ball round robin with
eight teams competing. The tournament was held in early September and consisted
of seven rounds in four days as a team played each of the other seven teams. The
16-man field was made up of invitees that had victories on the PGA Tour. The
host pro Henry Picard invited Ben Hogan
who had never won a tournament. Milton Hershey, President of the club and
the Hershey Chocolate Corporation, questioned Picard
about his choice but Picard said
he thought Hogan was going to be a great player. Hogan was to be
paired with 43-year-old Tommy Armour who wasn’t in training for a marathon like
that. Hogan got a break when Armour broke a bone in his hand and could
not make it. Twenty-five year old Vic Ghezzi was brought in at the last minute
to be his partner. The club members purchased the teams in a calcutta auction
and the Hogan-Ghezzi team sold for the lowest amount, by far. Hogan
and Ghezzi proceeded to open up with a 61 and a 63, 22 under par. They
finished the seven rounds 53 under par and plus 17, which was 15 points ahead of
Sam Snead and Paul Runyan who finished second. Hogan and Ghezzi
each won $550. The total purse was $4,600. All the other teams finished with
zero points or less. Byron Nelson, Ed Dudley
and Jimmy Thomson were the other
Section pros in the field.
1938 Section Champion
In the second week of October the Section Championship was once again at the
Llanerch Country Club. The host professional Marty
Lyons and forty-three other professionals entered the qualifying
round. Terl Johnson, who had been in the
money in every Section tournament that year, was the low qualifier with 73-70
for a one-under-par 143. The low 32 players qualified and the 160 scorers played
off for the last three spots. George Fazio
was second with a 144 and Ted Turner was
next at 145. Turnerdidn’t play in the match
play because he couldn’t get away form Pine Valley. Joe
Zarhardt, the former Burlington Country Club head professional but
now unattached and living in Plainfield, New Jersey, became the new champion. He
defeated Ralph Hutchison 3&2 in the 36-hole
final. Hutchison beat his former employer
Ed Dudley one-down in the quarterfinals. He
had caddied for him on the tour and worked as his assistant at the Concord
Country Club, Augusta National and the Philadelphia Country Club. With the aid
of a ruling Hutchison won his semifinal
match one-up against Leo Fraser. It appeared
that Fraser had won the 16th hole
with a par five to make Hutchison dormie,
but Hutchison had seen
Fraser’s caddy use a rake to remove leaves from the line of his
putt. There was a delay of more than an hour in which time the PGA called the
USGA. Fraser was penalized and the penalty
was loss of the hole so instead of winning the hole he lost it. The match was
now even and Hutchison proceeded to win the
17th hole and eliminate Fraser. Zarhardt
eliminated a former champion Gene Kunes
in his semifinal match but it took three extra holes. About 300 spectators came
out to see the 36-hole final match on Sunday.
The Section’s annual meeting was held at the Llanerch Country Club on the
second Monday of October, which was the evening after the Section Championship
qualifying rounds. There were 55 members in attendance. The most important
subject discussed was price-cutting among the so-called outlaw pros and cut-rate
stores. A plan to combat this sort of thing would be decided upon in the
immediate future. Along with this a definite program was put into effect by
Marty Lyons chairman of the tournament
committee, whereby clubs would be asked to submit bids for their championship
events in 1939. Ed Dudley was opposed in the
election for president again by Clarence Hackney.
For a fifth consecutive year Dudley was
elected Section president. He won more easily this year, as the vote was 36 to
12. Lyons was the first vice president and
Hackney was the second vice president.
Walter Brickley was reelected to the dual
office of secretary-treasurer. Dudley was
still one of the vice presidents of the PGA of America and the tournament
chairman and as well. The U.S. Open was coming back to the Section the next year
at the Philadelphia Country Club’s Spring Mill Course.
Dudley mentioned that the Country Club would need about fifteen pros
to assist in marshaling the gallery during the National Open in June.
On the last weekend in October Pine Valley Golf Club held its second annual
professional-amateur tournament. The members
contributed $2,300 this year and 13 professionals were invited. The Section
members in the field were Ed Dudley,
Leo Diegel, and Pine Valley’s
Ted Turner. In the second round Craig Wood
shot a one-under-par 69 to set a new course record and went on to complete the
two-day event with a 286 total. Wood, the only player to break 300, won by 14
strokes. First prize was $500 and he received another $250 for establishing a
new course record.
The PGA’s annual meeting was held at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago the third
week of November. President George R. Jacobus was reelected. Secretary Tom Walsh
and Treasurer Jack B. Mackie were also reelected. Ed
Dudley was elected to a third one-year term as a vice president at
large. The other vice presidents elected were Thomas Boyd, Captain Charles
Clarke, Ray Hall, Dewey Longworth, Willie Maguire, George Norrie and Frank T.
Sprogell. The delegates decided that all past PGA champions would be exempt
from local qualifying for the PGA Championship. The former champions could
attempt to qualify locally. If they failed to qualify locally they would be
permitted to play in the tournament but they would have to pay their own travel
expenses. The exemption of the past champions would not affect the allotment of
qualifying places to the various Sections. The head professional of the course
holding the championship was also exempted from local qualifying. At the
suggestion of Ed Dudley it was decided that
one full day of the next national meeting would be devoted to teaching and
promotion of the game. This would include looking at motion pictures of the
leading players and discussing instruction. Fred Corcoran was retained for
another year as the tournament bureau manager. Corcoran and the tournament
committee reported that when the current PGA Tour schedule closed at the end of
December the professionals would have competed for $182,500 in purses that year.
This was an increase of $19,500 over the previous year. It was decided that the
PGA Senior’s Championship that was held as an experiment the year before would
be an annual event. There were now 1,739 PGA members. The Philadelphia Section’s
delegates to the meeting were Marty Lyons
and Clarence Hackney.
At the same time as the national meeting Henry
Picard and his assistant Jack Grout,
were tying for the top spot in the Mid-South Professional 4-Ball tournament.
They tied two veteran Scottish professionals, Tommy Armour and Bobby Cruickshank,
on the Pinehurst #2 Course with 132s. Picard-Grout
scored 67-75 and Armour-Cruickshank had a pair of 66s. The two winning teams
divided $700 four ways. Felix Serafin and
Terl Johnson tied for third with
Jack Patroni and Jim Turnesa at 133. They
each won $70. Sam Byrd and Dutch Harrison
(134) finished fifth and won last money of $50 apiece.
In early December the senior pros were back at the Augusta National Golf Club
for the second PGA Seniors’ Championship. Again Frank
Coltart (159) and Jack Campbell
(160) led the way for the Philadelphia Section members, finishing sixth and
eighth. Playing in inclement weather Fred McLeod and Otto Hackbarth tied
with 154s as one round was washed out and the tournament was reduced to
36-holes. McLeod shot a 75-79 for 154 and Hackbarth was around in 80-74.
McLeod won an 18-hole playoff with an 80 against an 82 for Hackbarth.
Frank Belwood finished third at 157. Jock Hutchison and Dave Ogilvie tied
for fourth with 158s.
Henry Picard just missed winning the $10,000 Miami Open in the
third week of December. Jug McSpaden edged out
Picard (276) by one stroke with a 72-hole score of 275. McSpaden’s
rounds on the Miami Country Club’s course were 66, 69, 71 and 69.
McSpaden won $2,500 and Picard won
$1,250. The second place check moved Picard
into third place on the money list for the year with $8,050. With one tournament
left to play Sam Snead topped the list with $19,439. Johnny Revolta (279)
finished third one stroke in front of Denny Shute (280) and Ben Hogan
(280). A total of eight Philadelphia Section pros made the cut.
Jimmy Thomson (282) and
Sam Byrd (285) were in the top twelve and
The last tournament of the year was the Houston Open that ended on December
31. Jug McSpaden won for a second week in a row with a score of 214 for
the 54 holes. Sam Snead needed to win the $700 first prize to top $20,000
for the year but he finished tied for tenth and won $95. Snead still set
a record for one year with his total winnings of $19,534.49. Harry Cooper had
been the money leader the year before with $14,300. Snead also won the
Vardon Trophy with 520 points. Johnny Revolta ended up in second place on the
money list with $9,553.33, less than one-half of what Snead won, and
Henry Picard was third with $8,050.34.
Byron Nelson finished in tenth place on the
money list with $5,455.16. Jimmy
Thomson was eleventh with $5,100.
1939 - The USGA announced that they were working with the manufacturers to stabilize
the golf ball at its present length. They said that there were no plans to make
any change in the ball but some kind of safeguard was needed to prevent somebody
from bringing out a ball that would go 25 or 50 yards farther than the present
Byron Nelson set a new tournament record at the $3,000 Phoenix
Open in early February. There were 78 entries. Playing in forty-degree weather
and an all day rain Nelson had a 68 the
first day. The second day he shot a pair of 65s and finished with a 15-under-par
198. Nelson won the $700 first place check
by twelve strokes as Ben Hogan finished second at 210. Dutch Harrison
was next at 211 and Harry Bassler (212) ended up in the fourth spot.
Nelson’s 130 was a new 36-hole record for
the PGA Tour bettering by one stroke the previous record held jointly by
Jimmy Thomson and Horton Smith. His 198 was
also a PGA Tour record for 54-holes.
Henry Picard won the Crescent City Open at New Orleans in the
third week of February. The purse was $10,000 and there were 90 starters. His
72, 69, 68 and 75 over the City Park Golf Club gave him a 284 for a five stroke
win over Dick Metz (289) and a $2,000 check. Jimmy
Thomson (290) and Jug McSpaden (290) tied for third one stroke
in front of Byron Nelson (291) and Chandler
Harper (291) who tied for fifth.
The next week in February Henry Picard
won again at the $3,000 Thomasville Open. His 54-hole 211 score over the Glen
Arven Country Club course brought him home one ahead of Johnny Bulla (212).
First prize was $700. Sam Snead (213) finished one stroke further back
with a final round 67. Byron Nelson ended up
in a six-way tie for fourth at 215 with Dutch Harrison, Ky Laffoon,
Herman Barron, Horton Smith and Leo Wapler.
Byron Nelson won the North and South Open on Pinehurst Country
Club’s #2 Course in late March. Nelson was
the only contestant to break par in every round as he put together rounds of 71,
66, 70 and 71 for an eight-under-par 280. Horton Smith (282) was in second place
two strokes back while Sam Snead and Dick Metz tied for third with 286s.
Henry Picard tied Harry Cooper and Craig
Wood for fifth place at 287. There were ten members of the Philadelphia Section
in the starting field.
Ralph Guldahl shot a 33 on the
last nine to win the Masters Tournament
in early April. This was his sixth major victory to go along with two U.S. Opens
and three Western Opens. Guldahl’s four rounds were 72, 68, 70 and 69 for 279.
8,000 spectators saw Sam Snead shoot a last round 68 for a total of 280
that missed tying Guldahl by one stroke. Billy Burke and Lawson Little
tied for third with 282s.
Byron Nelson (287)
finished seventh, Henry
Picard (289) was
eighth, and Ed Dudley
(291) tied for tenth.
(296) were in the top 20 but out
of the money. It took a score of 293 to finish in the money
tied for 16th
tied for 18th.
First prize was $1,500.
At the conclusion of the Winter Tour in early April the leading money winners
were Dick Metz with $5,586, Byron Nelson
$4,632, and Henry Picard $4,497.
Jimmy Thomson was in ninth place with
The Section’s spring meeting was at the Riverton Country Club on the third
Monday in April. The topic of discussion was that the Section’s officers had
designated the second week of May as "PGA Golf Week". A committee of pros from
different parts of the Section was formed to promote the week. Baederwood Golf
Club professional Jimmy D’Angelo was
appointed chairman and every possible idea to publicize the week was put into
L to R--Ted Bickel, Jr., Byron Nelson,
Leading up to the "PGA Golf Week", KYW radio interviewed a golf professional
on the air one night each week. Ed Dudley
started the series of interviews and was followed by
Ted Turner, Leo Diegel and
Dudley was also interviewed several times over radio station WIP.
They used radio and newspapers, along with demonstrations at theaters and
driving ranges. Dudley,
Diegel and D’Angelo
visited a Philadelphia Rotary Club luncheon held at the
Bellevue-Stratford Hotel that was attended by 350 Rotarians. They demonstrated
the golf swing on stage and then drove Ping-Pong balls into the audience and any
man receiving a ball was entitled to a free golf lesson. The same idea was used
in the theaters. Over three hundred free golf lessons were donated to the
public. A golf clinic was held on Monday evening at
George Low, Sr.'s driving range. A gallery of approximately 1,000
people watched Jimmy Thomson,
Leo Diegel, Bud
Lewis, George Fazio,
Morrie Talman and
George Low, Jr. demonstrate golf shots. On Thursday the Beverly Hills
Golf Club hosted an exhibition put on by Dudley,
Nelson and the host professional Ted Bickel,
Jr. In the Reading area the week was started with a golf rally at the
City Hall auditorium. Nelson gave a
demonstration of shots and a talk on golf to an audience of nearly 1000 people.
The week was climaxed with an exhibition at the Reading Country Club featuring
Harry Markel, Gene
Kunes, Diegel, and
Nelson, the host pro. In New Jersey
Bruce Coltart, Walter Brickley, Dick Renaghan
and Leo Fraser held demonstrations at golf
courses and driving ranges. Iron Rock Golf Club professional
John Hayes, Cooper River Golf Club
professional Charlie Arena, Spring Hill
Country Club professional Tony Midiri,
Merchantville Country Club professional Henry Wetzel,
and Burlington Country Club professional Cas Banas
had special days at their courses to promote the PGA and golf.
Al MacDonald, now the professional at the
Langhorne Country Club put on a one-man show in his area appearing at
three theaters, making two trips across the river to New Jersey and going on the
radio several times. Probably the biggest piece of publicity obtained for the
PGA Golf Week was a huge sign in electric lights on City Hall in Philadelphia
announcing "PGA GOLF WEEK---MAY 7 TO 14".
Ed Dudley, Leo Diegel
At Beverly Hills Golf Club in May
Qualifying for the U.S. Open was
held at 32 sites. The entry fee was $5. The largest number in the country, 146
players including Walter Hagen, was entered in Philadelphia on the fourth Monday
in of the month. The number of places to qualify for was based on the quantity
and the quality of the players entered at each location. Philadelphia was
allotted the most with 19. The Overbrook Golf Club located in Wynnewood and St.
Davids Golf Club in Wayne hosted the qualifying rounds on the fourth Monday of
May. That was the first time that two courses were needed in Philadelphia for
the qualifying rounds. Ted Turner led the
scoring with a one over par 72 in the morning at St. Davids and a two under par
69 at Overbrook in the afternoon for 141. The Philadelphia Section pros secured
14 of the 19 places. Felix Serafin
and Sam Byrd were tied
for second with amateur Ray Silverstein with 144s. They finished one stroke in
front of George Fazio (145),
Bruce Coltart (145) and Lawson Little.
Also safely qualifying were Gene Kunes
(148), Terl Johnson (149),
Clarence Ehresman (150),
Clarence Doser (151) and Tom O’Connor
(151), the professional at the Yardley Country Club.
Matt Kowal, Charles Schneider, Ralph Hutchison and
Leo Fraser all posted 152s and
prevailed in an eight-man playoff for the last four spots. Local amateurs
and Lawson Little took the other five places. Late in the afternoon a
storm that brought thunder and lightning hit St. Davids. Dick Allman, an amateur
from Philmont Country Club, was struck on the 16th hole and
Max Cross, the professional at the McCall
Field Golf Club, was struck on the 18th hole. Both were knocked flat.
Allman finished the round par-bogie-birdie to qualify at 149.
Cross was carried into the clubhouse unaware
that he had hit his shot onto the green. He was revived and he returned to the
green where he three-putted from eight feet for a six. This put him at 153 and
made him miss the playoff of the 152s for the last four spots. Hagen failed to
make it along with Joe Kirkwood, Sr. and
Leo Diegel, who lost out in the playoff.
Ed Dudley was exempt from qualifying as the host professional and
Henry Picard and
Byron Nelson were exempt for
having finished in the top 30 in the Open in 1938.
Ed Oliver also qualified for the U.S. Open on the fourth Monday of
May. Oliver led the qualifying at the Park
Country Club of Buffalo with a 75 and a 69 for 144. There were four spots in
Later that week in May Henry Picard (283)
won his second Met Open at the Metropolis Country Club in New York.
Picard birdied the last hole to create a
three-way tie for the title at the end of 72 holes with Paul Runyan (283), the
host pro, and Vic Ghezzi (283). The next day Picard
birdied the last hole for a score of 70 that eliminated Ghezzi (77) and tied
Runyan (70), so a second playoff was needed. On the fifth day
Picard shot a two-under par 69 in his sixth round of the tournament
to beat out Runyan (71) for the title. Picard’s
tournament rounds were 71, 71, 69 and 72 for a total of 283.
Jimmy Thomson and Craig Wood tied for fourth
with 285s. First prize was $750.
Host Professional Ed Dudley
On 1st at U.S. Open on day one
In the second week of June the U.S. Open
was back in the Philadelphia Section. The venue was the Philadelphia Country
Club’s Spring Mill Course. Bill Flynn, who had designed the course in 1927, had
revamped the 6,786-yard course with the help of Ed
Dudley and his two assistants, George B.
Smith and Sam Byrd. They had
spent many days on the course the previous year with Flynn making suggestions
for the changes. More than 20 new bunkers were built and many more were enlarged
to tighten the approaches to the greens. Par for the Open course was 69 as the
par five #8 and #12 holes were played from the forward tees as par fours. Due to
problems encountered during one of the qualifying rounds just three weeks before
at St. Davids Golf Club, a fire siren from a fire truck was installed near the
clubhouse to halt play for thunderstorms. The year before the USGA had used the
banging of a hammer against a tire rim to stop play. Some of the contestants
were returning home like Houston's Jack Burke, Sr. He
had started his golf career as a caddy at the Philadelphia Country Club’s Bala
course and had been an assistant pro there in 1908. Three other contestants,
Clarence Ehresman now the professional at
the Ashbourne Country Club, Bruce Coltart
and Ralph Hutchison had also worked there as
assistant pros. Eleven Section pros made the cut that was set at the low 60 and
ties. On Saturday nearly 10,000 people showed up to see the final 36 holes of
the tournament. This number was estimated from a count of 5,000 cars in the
parking areas. Amateur Bud Ward had as good a chance to win as anyone but he
bogeyed the short par-three eleventh hole in all four of his rounds. He finished
fourth at 285, one shot out of a playoff. Sam Snead (286), who would be a
member of the Section the next year, made a bogie on the 71st
hole and a triple bogey eight on the 72nd hole to miss a playoff for
the title by two strokes. Snead finished fifth.
Byron Nelson, Denny Shute
and Craig Wood ended up in a three-way with eight over par 284
totals, which necessitated an 18-hole playoff on Sunday. The "Blue Laws" were
still a part of Philadelphia so sporting events could not be held until one hour
after church services had concluded. The playoff began at two o’clock. Shute
fell behind on the front nine while the battle went back and forth between
Nelson and Wood. On the 17th hole Wood took a one-stroke lead
when he holed a 18-foot putt for a birdie and Nelson three-putted.
Shute was out of contention and he would finish with a 76. With two great
tee-shots Nelson and Wood were in position to reach the par-five 18th
hole in two. Nelson played first and his brassie (two-wood) shot ended up
three-feet short of the green. Wood hit a 4-wood and hooked it toward the
gallery hitting a spectator in the head. The ball wound up in the fairway just
short of the green. The spectator was Bob Mossman, an Ardmore driving range
proprietor. Mossman was unconscious and an ambulance took him to a hospital.
From there Wood pitched his ball eight-feet past the cup. Nelson then
chipped ten-feet beyond the cup and proceeded to hole his putt for a birdie.
Wood’s putt was weak and died to the left. Nelson and Wood were still
tied. After they had finished Wood visited Mossman at the hospital. A second
18-hole playoff was held at 9:30am on the next day. On Monday
Nelson holed a 1-iron on the fourth hole for
an eagle two. That gave him an almost insurmountable lead of four strokes.
Nelson went on to win by three, shooting a
70 against a 73 for Wood. Wood was now 0 for 4 in playoffs for majors as he had
also lost the British Open, Masters Tournament in playoffs and the PGA
Championship final in extra holes. Nelson,
a Section member, had another major championship and a check for $1,000.
Nelson’s tournament rounds were
72, 73, 71 and 68. Nelson was the first
winner of the U.S. Open who didn’t wear a tie. He wore an open neck short sleeve
shirt. Dudley (290) made a very creditable
showing finishing in a tie for 12th with
Henry Picard (290) winning $108.33. Dudley’s
assistant Sam Byrd (292) finished tied for
16th, winning $66.67. Matt Kowal
finished 25th at 295. Felix Serafin
and Ed Oliver tied for
29th and also finished in the money with 296 totals.
Kowal, Serafin and
Oliver each won $50. Making the
36-hole cut but out of the money were Terl Johnson
(299), Gene Kunes (300), now back in
the Section at a driving range in Norristown, Bruce
Coltart (302), and Ted Turner
(305). Tom O’Connor made the cut by three
strokes with a 149 score but was disqualified on Saturday. He missed his
starting time due to a tire blowing out on his way to the club and he had no way
of notifying the officials. Clarence
Doser, Charlie Schneider, Leo Fraser, Clarence Ehresman, George Fazio
and Ralph Hutchison missed
When Denny Shute lost out in the playoff for the U.S. Open the PGA of
America announced that he was out of the
PGA Championship. Even though as a member of
the Ryder Cup team he was exempt from qualifying Shute was not eligible because
he had been two days late paying his PGA dues of $35. The PGA said that if he
had won the U.S. Open he would have been in as there was always a place reserved
in the PGA Championship for the national open winner.
The same day Byron Nelson
was winning the U.S. Open the Philadelphia Section pros were qualifying for the
PGA Championship at the Lancaster Country Club. Byron
Nelson, Ed Dudley, Leo Diegel and Henry
Picard were exempt from qualifying. 1,319 PGA members were eligible
to enter the qualifying rounds for 102 places in the championship. The
Philadelphia Section had 31 entries. The PGA announced that no alternates or
substitutes would be permitted to play in the championship. That was because
there was a rumor that in the past players had sold their spots in the
tournament to alternates. Jimmy Thomson led
the qualifying for the seven places allotted to the Section with a morning 68
and an afternoon 73 for a three-under-par 141. Felix
Serafin and Clarence Doser were
tied for second with 142s. Gene Kunes was
next at 144. Bruce Coltart and
Charlie Schneider tied with 147 and made it
safely. Ted Turner, Tom O’Connor and
Matt Kowal tied for the last spot at 148.
After having played 36-holes that day the three pros were sent out for an
18-hole playoff the same day even though
Kowal had just finished playing
in the U.S. Open with 36 holes on Saturday. Turner
earned the last spot shooting a 72 in the playoff against a 73 for
O’Connor and a 75 for
Kowal. Even though
O’Connor lost the playoff and
the PGA had stated that no alternates would be accepted he went to the
PGA. He replaced Kunes who seemed to be ill
more often than he was well.
The next week in June fourteen of the top professionals were in Toledo, Ohio
for the $5,200 Inverness Four-Ball. Again
Henry Picard and Johnny Revolta were a very
difficult team to beat. They had won the tournament in 1935 and this year they
won again. To achieve victory this time they had to win a three-way playoff. At
the end of the 126 holes of regulation they were tied at plus 6 with the teams
of Byron Nelson-Jug McSpaden and
Sam Snead-Vic Ghezzi. Revolta birdied the first extra hole for the win and
the $1,050 team prize. The two second-place teams each won $850.
Ed Dudley was also a member of
one of the eight teams.
In the fourth week of June the PGA Tour arrived at the Country Club of
Scranton for the $5,000 Anthracite Open. Henry Picard
shot a 65 the first round for a four-stroke lead and led all the way
to the finish with rounds of 69, 71 and 68. His total of 273 won $1,200 as he
beat the second place finisher Sam Snead (279) by six strokes.
Terl Johnson tied for third with Jimmy Hines
and Ray Mangrum at 280. Ed Dudley finished
sixth with a 281. Other Section members in the top twenty and the money were
Ed Oliver (284), Sam
Byrd (285), Jimmy Thomson (288),
Gene Kunes (289),
Byron Nelson (291) and Ted Turner
The next day in June after the Anthracite Open ended, which was the last
Monday in June, the Pennsylvania Open was played at the Llanerch Country Club.
Oakmont Country Club’s Ray Mangrum eked out a one-stroke victory to take the
$250 first prize in what was now a one-day 36-hole championship. He kept the
title that his brother Lloyd had won the year before with a 72 and a 67 for a
five-under-par 139. This made him the third person to win the title twice. Lloyd
could not defend his title because the Pennsylvania State Golf Association had
restricted the tournament to players who were affiliated with Pennsylvania clubs
or lived in Pennsylvania. Charlie Schneider,
Matt Kowal, and
Jimmy Thomson tied for second at 140.
Clarence Doser (141) finished fifth and the two other two-time
winners Ed Dudley and
Felix Serafin tied for sixth with 142s.
At the same time the Pennsylvania Open was being played
Byron Nelson was winning the Massachusetts Open at the Worchester
Country Club. Nelson had a two-day 72-hole
score of 283 and won by five strokes over Lloyd Mangrum (288).
Nelson opened with a 70 and then posted
three straight 71s. Horton Smith (289), Tony Manero (290) and Jug McSpaden
(291) finished third, fourth and fifth. McSpaden had won the last three
The British Open was played in the first week of July at the Royal & Ancient
Golf Club, St. Andrews, Scotland. Dick Burton (290) won with rounds of 70, 72,
77 and 71. Johnny Bulla finished second at 292. Sam King, Alf Perry, Bill
Shankland, Reg Whitcombe and Johnny Fallon tied for third at 294.
In the second week of July the PGA Championship was held at Pomonok Country
Club on Long Island. That site was chosen because it was
just one mile from where the Worlds Fair was being held. The first sit-down
strike in championship golf took place when fifty or more of the leading players
refused to tee off unless Denny Shute was allowed to play Shute
had been banned because he had been 48 hours late paying his $35 dues. There
were meetings involving PGA officers, club officials, players and lawyers. Corky
O’Keefe, who had put up $15,000, and the club officials were ready to call the
tournament off. 51 of the players that were entered signed a petition stating
that they would not play if Shute wasn’t in the field. When the first day
of qualifying arrived many of the players weren’t ready to tee off. Some were on
strike and some were in PGA executive meetings. George Jacobus decided to take
matters into his own hands. He overruled his executive committee and gave
Shute a place in the field. The secretary of the PGA Tom Walsh stated that
Shute was ineligible and the championship was illegal. Ninety minutes
after the scheduled start the tournament went off with the players being told
that Shute was in the field, no matter what they heard otherwise. When
Shute teed off he was not given a scorecard but his playing partner Walter
Hagen sent someone back to the clubhouse for a scorecard, which they used to
record Shute’s score. When Shute reached the 10th tee
the PGA offered him $300 to withdraw from the tournament but he refused.
Shute posted a 143 for the two days and qualified with ease. Nine Section
members qualified for the match play. Ben Hogan, Dutch Harrison, Ky
Laffoon and Emerick Kocsis led the qualifying with six under par 138s.
Henry Picard and
Charlie Schneider qualified with 140s and
Bruce Coltart was in with a 142. Byron
Nelson (143), Tom O’Connor (143),
Jimmy Thomson (144),
Leo Diegel (145) and
Clarence Doser (145) also qualified with ease. As usual a playoff was
needed for the last places in the 64-man match play field. One of the ones who
survived the playoff was Felix Serafin (148)
and one of those who lost in the playoff was Ed Dudley
(148), a member of the PGA
executive committee, who had been in favor of Shute being eligible.
Ted Turner also failed to survive the
qualifying. Shute lost in the third round and that seemed to end the
controversy. The first two rounds were 18-holes and the remaining rounds were
36-holes. Coltart, O’Connor and
Doser each won two matches and
Diegel won one.
Coltart beat Buddy Peteet 4&3 and Mike Turnesa
in 21 holes before losing to Harrison 10&9.
O’Connor eliminated Al Morley 7&5 and Laffoon two-down before losing
to Rod Munday two-down. Doser put out
Rut Coffey 3&1 and Ralph Guldahl two-down before losing to Horton Smith 4&2.
Diegel beat Willie Goggin 2&1 and then he lost
to Shute 3&1. Schneider, Serafin
and Thomson lost in the
first round. Schneider lost to Johnny
Farrell one-down, Serafin lost to Munday
in 21 holes and Thomson was beaten
two-down by Herman Barron. The finals turned out to be a Philadelphia Section
match for the title. Picard picked
up his second major title in two years by defeating
Nelson one-down on the 37th hole. On the 36th
hole one of the motion picture trucks ran over Picard’s
ball. Picard was given a free drop by PGA
president George Jacobus, who was referring the match.
Picard proceeded to birdie the hole, which tied up the match and he
birdied the next hole for the win. On the way to the finals
Picard defeated Earl Martin 6&4, Joe
Zarhardt two-down, Al Watrous 8&7, Munday 2&1 and Dick Metz one-down.
Nelson eliminated Chuck Garringer 4&2,
William "Red" Francis 2&1, Johnny Revolta 6&4, Kocsis 10&9 and Harrison
9&8. Nelson was 28 under par for the 156
holes he played in the five rounds leading up to the finals. The purse was
$10,600 and first prize was $1,100. Everyone was guaranteed money for travel
whether they qualified or not, which brought the total payout to $15,000.
Two days after the PGA Championship ended in July the Philadelphia Open was
played at the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Flourtown Course.
Sam Byrd won with 76, 70, 71 and 67 for an
even-par 284 for the two days and picked up $250. The 67, which was capped off
with a birdie three on the last hole, was a course record and the 284 tied the
tournament record. Ted Turner and
Matt Kowal finished just one stroke back
with 285 totals. Gene Kunes (288),
Terl Johnson (289)
and Leo Diegel (292) ended up 4th,
5th, and 6th. There were seven money spots and the purse
added up to $585.
Won Philadelphia Open
Won Pennsylvania Open
Won 6 PGA Tour titles
That next weekend in July Byron Nelson
won the Western Open in Chicago at Medinah Country Club’s #1 and #3 courses. In
the first round one half of the field played on each course and the second day
they switched places. The last two rounds were played on the #3 course. This was
Nelson’s fourth victory of the year on the
PGA Tour. His rounds were 68, 72, 70 and 71 for a total of 281. One stroke back
in second place was Lloyd Mangrum (282) and Henry
Picard (284) finished third. Dick Metz was next at 285. The entry fee
was $5 and there were 349 entries. First prize was $750.
Byron Nelson won the Central Pennsylvania Open on the first Monday
in August at the Reading Country Club. This was his second victory in this
tournament on his home course in three years. He scored 68-69=137, a tournament
record, to win by three strokes over Sam Byrd
(140). The entry fee was $5 and first
prize was $100. Ed Oliver did not defend his
title as he was working in western New York that summer.
Charlie Schneider and Matt Kowal
tied for third with 143s. Lancaster amateur Harry Haverstick finished
fifth at 144. Frank Moore (145) and
George Fazio (145) tied for sixth.
Moore, who had won the Westchester Open the
previous two years, was now Nelson’s
assistant at Reading.
In late August Ed Dudley and Billy Burke
won the Walter Hagen Anniversary tournament in Chicago. This commemorated
Hagen’s first U.S. Open victory on the same course, Midlothian Country Club.
Against a field of seven two-man teams of nationally known professionals, they
won easily. The tournament was based on the most plus holes a team won. In the
four-day 126-hole event they were 50 under par. The final standings showed
Dudley and Burke at plus 19, 13 ahead of
Ralph Guldahl and Jug McSpaden. Byron Nelson
and Dick Metz were third at plus four. Henry
Picard and Jimmy Thomson were
also in the sixteen-man field. Dudley and
Burke won $575 apiece.
New York Times
The Hershey Open was played four days later and ended on September 3.
Felix Serafin won his biggest tournament
putting together four rounds of 68, 73, 72 and 71 for an eight-under-par 284 on
what was later called Hershey Country Club’s West Course.
Serafin had lost a playoff for the title there in 1935 but this
time he won by two strokes over Ben Hogan (286) and Jimmy Hines (286) who
were both members of the Metropolitan Section. Serafin
won $1,250 and the two pros in second place earned $650 each. The
entry fee was $5. Byron Nelson was fourth at
287. On the 70th hole Nelson’s
tee shot was just off the fairway but the ball could not be found so he had to
take a penalty and replay from the tee which cost him two strokes. This ended
his chances of winning and cost him second money for sure. Sam Snead and
Ralph Guldahl tied for fifth with 288s, one stroke ahead of
Ed Dudley and Vic Ghezzi who tied for
seventh at 289. Jimmy Thomson tied for 9th
at 292 and Ed Oliver tied for 15th
with a 296. There were 15 money places and for the first time at Hershey
Henry Picard, the host pro, was out of the
Two weeks after the Hershey Open Byron Nelson
received an anonymous letter from New York with a money order for $300. A
note in the envelope said that a lady in their party at the Hershey Open had
picked up Nelson’s golf ball as a souvenir.
The person who sent the letter said he didn’t realize it until the tournament
was over. The money enclosed was the difference between the $750 second place
prize and the $450 that Nelson won.
In September the Ryder Cup was canceled due to the beginning of World War II
in Europe. The matches were to have been played at the Ponte Vedra Club near
Jacksonville, Florida. The professional at Ponte Vedra was A.B. "Al"
Nelson, the former secretary-treasurer of the Philadelphia Section PGA.
The team had been selected and two Section members,
Byron Nelson and Henry Picard
were on the team along with future Section members Sam
Snead and Jug McSpaden.
In the third week of September Llanerch Country Club and
Marty Lyons hosted the Section Championship
for a fourth consecutive year. The entry fee was $5. The medalist in the
qualifying was U.S. Open titleholder Byron Nelson
with a 36-hole seven-under-par (68-69) 137. This score was a record for a
36-hole Section Championship qualifier. As the low qualifier
Nelson, who couldn’t stay on for the match play
portion of the championship due to a previous engagement, received $100 and his
name was engraved on the Public Ledger Cup. The defending champion, Joe
Zarhardt, could not defend his title, as he was no longer a member of the
Philadelphia Section. The low 32 qualified and the 159 scorers got in just under
the wire without a playoff. Charlie Schneider
won the championship after 36-holes of qualifying, four 18-hole matches and a
36-hole final. Schneider defeated
John Beadle in the final match by the count
of 6&5. A gallery estimated at 1,000 witnessed the Sunday final.
Schneider received $300 for his victory. In
the semifinals Schneider put out
Bruce Coltart one-down and
Tom O’Connor one-down.
1939 Section Champion
The pro-lady championship, played in early October
at the Old York Road Country Club in Jenkintown, started on Monday with
qualifying and continued with one match on Tuesday, two matches on Wednesday and
the 18-hole finals on Sunday. The format for the tournament was selective drive
and alternate shot. The stars turned out for this event.
Joe Kirkwood, Sr., now the professional at the Huntingdon Valley
Country Club, and his partner were the low qualifiers. In the best match of the
event the Kirkwood team defeated
Clarence Doser, Merion Cricket Club
assistant and his partner on the 22nd hole.
Kirkwood and his partner then went up against
Byron Nelson and his partner in a match that ended up all square.
As the players walked to the first tee again for the sudden-death playoff it was
getting quite dark. One of the spectators commented that the winner would be
forced to play a trick shot and there is only one in the foursome capable of
doing it. Kirkwood then hit what they called
"the shot in the dark" as he drove the first green 245 yards away.
Nelson missed the green with his drive and
the Kirkwood team won with a par three. The
Kirkwood team then lost in the finals to
Ed Dudley and Helen Sigel. Sigel would later
be the runner-up in the Women’s U.S. Amateur in 1941 and 1948.
Leo Diegel and his partner won the first
On the second Monday in October a pro-green chairman
tournament was held at Philmont Country Club with forty teams
participating. Byron Nelson bid farewell to
the Section by playing in this event. Also entered and making a rare appearance
in a Section event was Henry Picard.
The Section’s last annual meeting of the decade was held at Raymond’s
Restaurant in Philadelphia on the third Monday in October. Fifty-three members
attended. Ed Dudley was elected president
for a sixth year. Marty Lyons was reelected
first vice president and Charlie Schneider
was the new second vice president. Once again the membership decided to split
the office of secretary and treasurer. Walter Brickley
was just the treasurer now and Jimmy
D’Angelo was elected secretary. D’Angelo
announced that the Section membership now totaled 120, consisting of 94 Class
"A", 25 Class "D" and 1 Class "F", which was a few less than the previous year.
The secretary was instructed to write to those who were not in attendance to
inform them that it was imperative and to their benefit to attend future
meetings. Those present were asked to do their utmost to secure new members.
Henry Picard attended his first Section
meeting since becoming a member of the Section in 1935. He brought up some very
important matters for discussion by the delegates to the national meeting.
President Dudley appointed
Picard to the Section’s Board of Governors
that included nine other professionals.
The third annual Pine Valley Golf Club professional-amateur tournament was
held on the first weekend in November. The members contributed $1,961 and 15
professionals were invited. Ed Dudley,
Leo Diegel, Jimmy
Thomson, Sam Byrd,
Joe Kirkwood, Bruce
Coltart and Pine Valley’s Ted Turner
represented the Section. Dudley led
the first round with a course record 68 and Thomson
shot a 69 in the afternoon round. At the end of the first day
Dudley led Coltart
by one stroke with a 146 total. Due to heavy rain and low
temperatures on Sunday the tournament was shortened to 54 holes. Only two
players broke 80 and they had 79s. Vic Ghezzi shot one of the 79s, which gave
him a 226 total. That allowed him to edge out Turner
by two strokes and Thomson by
three. Dudley posted an 85 and
Coltart 91. Again first prize was $500 and
second prize was $200.
The PGA of America’s annual meeting was held in mid November at Chicago’s
Morrison Hotel. Ed Dudley ran for president
but lost the election to Tom Walsh of the Illinois Section. Walsh as the
secretary of the PGA had been the executive committee spokesman for ruling that
Denny Shute was ineligible for the PGA Championship.
Dudley, a tournament player and a member of
the executive committee had supported Shute. This irritated some
of the club pros. Walsh received 55 votes and Dudley
received 22. George Jacobus, who had been president for seven years,
had announced the week before that he was not running for an eighth term.
Captain Charles Clarke was the new secretary and Willie Maguire was now the
treasurer. The elected vice presidents were Howard Beckett, Charles Congdon,
Alex Cunningham, Johnny Farrell, Ed Gibson, Wendell Kay, Joe Novak, Joel
Smith and Frank T. Sprogell. Dudley
was still the PGA tournament chairman and Leo Diegel
was a member of his tournament committee. The tournament committee
and Fred Corcoran reported that the PGA Tour had played for $174,000 that year
and the thirty-eight tournaments had drawn 500,000 spectators.
Diegel and Clarence Hackney were
the Section’s delegates to the meeting.
The touring pros were in Florida in mid December for the Miami Open and the
last tournament of the year. The competition for the year’s leading money winner
and the Vardon Trophy were both very tight. Henry
Picard, the winner of six tournaments that year, was in first place
in both races.
Sam Snead shot a last round 64 to win the $2,500 first prize in the
$10,000 Miami Open. Jug McSpaden finished second two strokes back.
Byron Nelson was in fifth place.
Gene Kunes, Ed Oliver and Dutch Harrison
tied for sixth. Henry Picard tied for 14th.
Henry Picard won $600 at Miami in the third week of December and
ended the year on the top of the money list with $10,303. Sam Snead
almost caught Picard with his Miami Open
victory ending up with $9,712, about one-half of what he won the year before.
Byron Nelson was in fourth place with
$9,444, Jimmy Thomson finished 11th
with $4,175, Felix Serafin won $2,368
for 17th place and Ed Dudley was
18th with winnings of $2,337.
The Vardon Trophy competition was another story as
Byron Nelson’s fifth place finish at Miami moved him into
first place with 473 points. Henry Picard
slipped down to second place with 461 points. Jimmy
Thomson was 15th and Ed Dudley
finished 18th. The top 20 players in each tournament were
awarded points. The tournament winner received 45 points and the second place
finisher earned 25 points each week. Points were awarded down to 20th
place on a graduated basis.
There was no PGA Seniors’ Championship that year
as the tournament had been moved to Florida in hope for better weather. The next
tournament was scheduled for January of 1940.
The Philadelphia Section had a very productive and successful decade in the
1930s. At the close of the decade there were twenty-eight Sections and the
Philadelphia Section was one of the largest in number of members. They had made
their mark as club professionals promoting the game of golf and as players they
were outstanding locally and nationally. The Section members could look back on
the last ten years as a period of time when the Section had a number of
professionals working in the Section with national playing reputations. During
the decade Section members won the Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, British
Open, Western Open, Canadian Open, the North and South Open, the Vardon Trophy
and led the PGA Tour in money winnings. Four Section members played on Ryder Cup
teams while employed in the Section. Professionals from the Philadelphia Section
also won a number of events on the PGA Tour and several state opens.
Go Back to 1930 - 1934... ...