1935 U.S. Open Winner and Scores

The 1935 U.S. Open was the 39th time the tournament was played. The winner, one of the lesser-known major champs, used local knowledge to claim the victory.

Winner: Sam Parks Jr., 299

Where it was played: Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania

Tournament dates: June 6-8, 1935

Leader after first round: Alvin Krueger, 71

Leader after second round: Jimmy Thomson, 146

Leader after third round: Sam Parks and Jimmy Thomson, 223

What Happened in the 1935 U.S. Open

Writing in the July 1935 issue of American Golfer, sportswriter Grantland Rice said of Oakmont Country Club, site of the 1935 U.S. Open:
"Oakmont, with its ghostlike, haunted greens and its snatching traps peering well out into the fairways, is something more than a savage test of golf. It is also the type of course, as arranged for the recent Open Championship, that breaks down the mental side and rips into the nerves."
The course certainly seemed to have that effect during the 1935 U.S. Open. The winning score of 299 is the highest winning total in a U.S. Open since 1927 (which is the last time the winning score was 300 or more).

That winning 299 belonged to Sam Parks Jr., the club pro at Pittsburgh's South Hills Country Club, who at age 12 took lessons from Gene Sarazen. Parks had been a pro for only three years in 1935, and had no tournament wins. But every day for a month prior to the U.S. Open, Parks, heading to his job at South Hills, stopped off at Oakmont to play nine holes. He entered the U.S. Open thinking his knowledge of Oakmont might pay off.

And it did. Parks was the only golfer to finish the tournament in fewer than 300 strokes.

Parks and Jimmy Thomson were tied for the lead entering the final round, with many others in the hunt. But with bad weather conditions exacerbating Oakmont's treacherous greens, all those big names posted big numbers: Walter Hagen, 76; Denny Shute, 76; Henry Picard, 79; Sarazen, 79; Horton Smith, 79.

Thomson shot 78 and Parks 76, and that was the 2-stroke margin of victory. Parks had only one other Top 10 finish in a major. Thomson never won a major, but also finished second at the 1936 PGA Championship.

Hagen's tie for third was his last Top 10 finish in a major championship. Byron Nelson's tie for 32nd was his first cut made in a U.S. Open (in his second appearance).

Six golfers from Japan were on an exhibition tour across America in 1935, and one of them, Kanekichi Nakamura, made the cut here. He was quoted afterward in Time magazine on the Oakmont greens: "At home we hit ball on green. Here you bunt."

1935 U.S. Open Final Scores

Sam Parks Jr. 77-73-73-76—299
Jimmy Thomson 73-73-77-78—301
Walter Hagen 77-76-73-76—302
Ray Mangrum 76-76-72-79—303
Denny Shute 78-73-76-76—303
Alvin Krueger 71-77-78-80—306
Henry Picard 79-78-70-79—306
Gene Sarazen 75-74-78-79—306
Horton Smith 73-79-79-75—306
Dick Metz 77-76-76-78—307
Paul Runyan 76-77-79-75—307
Olin Dutra 77-76-78-77—308
Vincent Eldred 75-77-77-79—308
Herman Barron 73-79-78-79—309
Bobby Cruickshank 78-76-77-78—309
Mortie Dutra 75-77-80-77—309
Macdonald Smith 74-82-76-77—309
Ted Turner 80-71-81-77—309
Al Watrous 75-80-79-75—309
Vic Ghezzi 75-78-81-77—311
Sid Brews 76-81-78-77—312
Ed Dudley 74-83-75-80—312
Bill Kaiser 78-82-78-74—312
Gene Kunes 76-79-77-80—312
Craig Wood 76-80-79-77—312
Ted Luther 80-76-84-73—313
Frank Walsh 76-82-82-73—313
Harry Cooper 77-81-79-77—314
Al Espinosa 75-76-78-85—314
Willie Hunter Jr. 78-80-80-76—314
Ky Laffoon 75-83-81-75—314
a-Chris Brinke 80-80-81-74—315
Billy Burke 77-84-75-79—315
Jim Foulis 74-81-81-79—315
Byron Nelson 75-81-82-77—315
a-Johnny Goodman 77-78-83-78—316
Philip Perkins 77-82-80-77—316
Johnny Revolta 80-75-82-79—316
Mark Fry 80-77-80-80—317
Perry Del Vecchio 80-81-77-80—318
Willie Goggin 77-82-82-77—318
Ralph Guldahl 78-76-82-82—318
Roland Mackenzie 72-82-80-84—318
Tony Manero 77-80-76-85—318
a-Zell Eaton 81-80-82-76—319
Cliff Spencer 73-82-80-84—319
Floyd Farley 75-84-84-77—320
Al Houghton 78-82-80-80—320
Willie Macfarlane 77-81-78-84—320
James Fogertey 82-79-79-81—321
George Schnieter 77-84-79-81—321
Johnny Farrell 77-79-84-82—322
Phil Turnesa 77-82-82-81—322
a-Charlie Yates 77-79-84-82—322
a-Maurice McCarthy Jr. 79-81-81-83—324
Felix Serafin 80-79-81-84—324
George Von Elm 81-74-83-86—324
Walter Kozak 81-78-81-85—325
Kanekichi Nakamura 82-79-78-86—325
Jack Gordon 75-79-87-87—328
Johnny Golden 79-81-86-86—332
a-Earl Stokes Jr. 76-80-93-85—334

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