On this day, In 1922 Gene Sarazen wins the PGA Championship over Emmet French 4 & 3

Gene

The youthful Sarazen becomes the first simultaneous holder of the U.S. Open and 1922 PGA Championship trophies

By: Josh Morris – The 1922 PGA championship was held at the famous Pennsylvania championship golf Course, Oakmont Country Club and was won by a young Gene Sarazen over Emmet French.  Sarazen was only 20 years old at the time and had just become part of the first four players in golf history to win the U.S. Open and the PGA championship in one season.   The previous major championship, the U.S. Open was held at Skokie Country Club and it was Sarazens first major championship victory of his young career defeating players like Jim Barnes and Jock Hutchinson.

A major headline swirling around before the tournament was that the previous years winner, Walter Hagen wouldn’t be there to defend his title due to exhibition engagements he had.  This left the door open to numerous contenders including the young squire.

The PGA Championship used to be played in Matchplay

The format for the PGA championship before 1958 was matchplay and it consisted of six rounds. Over the course of the tournament Sarazen’s  had to march through six different men—beating Tom Mahan 3 & 2, Willie Ogg 2 & 1, Frank Sprogell 9 & 7, Jock Hutchinson 3 & 1, Bobby Cruikshank 3 & 2 in the semifinals before meeting Emmet French on the last day in the finals.

The first eighteen holes was a stalemate without Sarazen nor French really advancing on each other.  There was a lunch break between rounds then play resumed for the final 18 holes.  After 26 holes the match was still even before Sarazen won the next three holes.  After halving two more holes Sarazen would go on to win one more hole to finish off French 4 & 3.

This was Sarazen’s second major championship, he would go on to win five more including the major “grand slam”.  He was the first to hold the U.S. Open and PGA Championship simultaneously, only three others since have accomplished the feat: Ben Hogan in 1948, Jack Nicklaus in 1980, and Tiger Woods in 2000.

Josh Morris

Josh Morris is the Editor of Golf History Today. He is also a featured writer on GolfWRX.com. In his free time he enjoys being a weekend caddie as well as playing as much as he can.

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3 Comments

  1. The PGA was a test of endurance. The first two rounds were 18 hole matches played in one day. The remaining 4 rounds were 36 hole matches played on consecutive days! Plus there were qualifying rounds just to make it into the 64 man bracket. I’m exhausted just writing about it.

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