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1940 U.S. Open
Recap and Scores for the 1940 U.S. Open Golf Tournament

Gene Sarazen was 38 years old in 1940, hadn't won in two years and would win only once more after the 1940 U.S. Open. He didn't win this tournament - Lawson Little did - but in a way it was Sarazen's last hurrah in what are now recognized as the professional majors.

Little had been a major star of amateur golf in the early and mid 1930s, winning the U.S. and British amateurs in 1934, and then doing it again in 1935. Huge things were expected from Little as a professional, and his eight PGA Tour career wins would be regarded as something of a letdown. Still, he won the 1940 U.S. Open by beating Sarazen in an 18-hole playoff.

The 1940 U.S. Open is also known for a mass of disqualifications - most for players who were too early, but one of a player for being late. Walter Hagen, age 47, was disqualified from his final U.S. Open appearance after the third round. Hagen, according to the USGA, "showed up late for his third-round starting time due to a night of partying at his hotel." He played the round, but was DQ'd afterward.

Six others were disqualified when they all started their final rounds ahead of schedule, rushing to get the round in before expected rains arrived. Those six were Porky Oliver, Dutch Harrison, Leland Gibson, Johnny Bulla, Ky Lafoon and Claude Harmon. All were disqualified after the final round ended.

Which was particularly painful for Oliver, because he had tied Little and Sarazen at 287. Despite Sarazen and Little asking the USGA to allow Oliver to take part in the 18-hole playoff, Oliver was DQ'd with the other five.

In the playoff, Sarazen was within one stroke of Little with five holes to play, but Little eased away to win, 70 to 73.

Ben Hogan finished fifth, posting his first Top 10 in a U.S. Open. Defending champion Byron Nelson tied Hogan. The Top 8 finishers - Little, Sarazen, Horton Smith, Craig Wood, Ralph Guldahl, Hogan, Nelson and Lloyd Mangrum - were all past or future major champions, and were all future Hall of Famers.

As noted, Sarazen won only once more after this. But the Squire continued as a figure in golf until the end of the 20th century. He didn't play in his last major until the 1973 British Open - where he made an ace at age 71. And Sarazen was an honorary starter at The Masters until 1999, when he was 97 years old.

1940 U.S. Open Golf Tournament Scores
Results from the 1940 U.S. Open golf tournament played at the par-72 Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio (a-amateur):

x-Lawson Little 72-69-73-73--287$1,000
Gene Sarazen 71-74-70-72--287$800
Horton Smith 69-72-78-69--288$700
Craig Wood 72-73-72-72--289$600
Ralph Guldahl 73-71-76-70--290$325
Ben Hogan 70-73-74-73--290$325
Lloyd Mangrum 75-70-71-74--290$325
Byron Nelson 72-74-70-74--290$325
Dick Metz 75-72-72-72--291$175
Ed Dudley 73-75-71-73--292$137
Frank Walsh 73-69-71-79--292$137
Tommy Armour 73-74-75-71--293$100
Harold "Jug" McSpaden 74-72-70-77--293$100
Henry Picard 73-73-71-76--293$100
Vic Ghezzi 70-74-75-75--294$100
Jim Foulis 73-73-77-72--295$50
Gene Kunes 76-72-73-74--295$50
Johnny Revolta 73-74-72-76--295$50
Sam Snead 67-74-73-81--295$50
Andrew Gibson 71-75-77-73--296$50
Jimmy Hines 73-74-77-72--296$50
Felix Serafin 77-74-71-74--296$50
Jock Hutchison Jr. 73-72-75-77--297$50
Eddie Kirk 73-77-74-73--297$50
a-Wilford Wehrle 78-73-72-74--297  
Leland Wilcox 75-73-74-75--297$50
Ray Mangrum 73-78-75-72--298$50
Johnny Farrell 75-77-76-71--299$50
Bruce Coltart 80-72-74-74--300$30
a-Jim Ferrier 73-74-78-75--300  
Al Huske 70-80-76-74--300$30
Sam Parks Jr. 69-74-79-78--300$30
Henry Ramson 75-77-74-74--300$30
Jack Ryan 75-75-77-73--300$30
a-Andrew Szwedko 76-77-76-71--300  
a-Dick Chapman 74-78-76-73--301  
Willie Goggin 78-74-75-74--301  
Matt Kowal 72-75-77-77--301  
Tony Manero 75-75-77-74--301  
Johnny Morris 75-77-74-75--301  
Sam Byrd 72-78-79-73--302  
Toney Penna 80-73-76-74--303  
Leonard Dodson 72-72-80-81--305  
Al Espinosa 79-71-76-79--305  
Jim Milward 74-79-76-76--305  
John Thoren 73-78-77-77--305  
Al Brosch 74-73-82-77--306  
Johnny Rogers 73-76-79-78--306  
Paul Runyan 74-79-78-76--307  
Jerry Gianferante 76-77-81-74--308  
Henry Kaiser 71-78-80-79--308  
a-Bob Babbish 71-77-80-81--309  
Bill Barbour 75-78-80-76--309  
Mike Pavella 79-74-81-76--310  
Frank Commisso 73-78-80-81--312  
Pete Webb 77-74-83-78--312  
Oscar Willoweit 75-78-82-77--312  
a-Toby Lyons 77-76-80-80--313  

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