Shute wins The Open at St. Andrews
On this day, In 1933 Denny Shute won The 68th Open Championship which was held at the Old Course at St. Andrews. Shute defeated Craig Wood in a 36 hole playoff for the 1st of his three major championships. The Old Course was playing 6,572 yards, par 73 in 1933; the #17 Road Hole was a par-5 through the 1946 Open.
In the first round, American and past winner Walter Hagen opened up with a 68, 5 under par. This left him two shots clear of the field and after a steady round of 72 in the second round he still had the outright lead. In the third round came a dismal 79 for Hagen who must of been drinking a litte too heavy after leading The Open after two days.
While Hagen was dropping spots on the leaderboard, Henry Cotton, Leo Diegel, Syd Easterbrook, Joe Kirkwood Jr. & Abe Mitchell all led at three under par. At this point, Shute had produced three consistent rounds of 73 before heading into the final round. With conditions getting worse the leaders produced lackluster scored in the Friday afternoon final round. It was a disaster for the leaders as Easterbrook shot 77 (+4), while Cotton and Mitchell both carded 79 (+6). Shute and Wood tied for the clubhouse lead with rounds of 73 and 75, respectively.
Shute found himself in a playoff after shooting his fourth even par 73. During the playoff, Wood opened with a pair of sixes and was four strokes down after two holes. Shute prevailed over Wood in the 36-hole playoff by five shots. Wood lost playoffs at all four major championships before finally winning one, this loss was the first. He won two majors in 1941 at The Masters and U.S. Open.