1946 U.S. Open Results

The 1946 U.S. Open was the 46th time the tournament was played; it ended with a 36-hole playoff that involved three golfers, including Byron Nelson. But Nelson wasn't the winner.

Winner: Lloyd Mangrum, 284

Where it was played: Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio

Tournament dates: June 12-16, 1946

Leader after first round: Toney Penna and Sam Snead, 69

Leader after second round: Vic Ghezzi and Ben Hogan, 140

Leader after third round: Byron Nelson, 211

What Happened in the 1946 U.S. Open

The U.S. Open resumed in 1946 for the first time since 1941, having been on pause due to World War II. And a war hero was the winner. Lloyd Mangrum, who earned two Purple Hearts during the war, including one after being wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, won a three-man playoff by a single stroke. He beat Vic Ghezzi and Byron Nelson in that 36-hole playoff.

Nelson led Mangrum and Ghezzi by one stroke heading into the final round, but the three golfers wound up tied at 284. Nelson led by two strokes with three holes to play, but bogeyed the 71st and 72nd holes to fall back into the tie. Nelson's caddie also cost him a stroke in the third round when the caddie accidentally kicked Nelson's ball. The USGA official on-site assessed a 1-stroke penalty. (Herman Barron had a birdie putt on the 72nd hole that would have won him the tournament, but three-putted and finished tied for fourth.)

Mangrum, Ghezzi and Nelson teed off again the following morning in a playoff scheduled for 18 holes. Then all three tied again, each shooting 72. So they played another 18 holes in the afternoon. After nine holes of the afternoon 18, Nelson and Ghezzi were tied, two strokes ahead of Mangrum. On the final nine holes, Nelson bogeyed Nos. 11, 13 and 17, Ghezzi had one birdie but four bogeys, while Mangrum built a lead with birdies on 13, 15 and 16. When Mangrum bogeyed the final two holes, he still had a one-stroke edge — and the U.S. Open trophy. Mangrum's playoff total was 144, Nelson and Ghezzi finished at 145.

Nelson, his nerves wearing thin in the stress of competition, retired from full-time tournament golf later in 1946. He was just one year removed from his spectacular, record-setting 1945 PGA Tour season that included 18 total wins and 11 consecutive victories.

Mangrum never won another major, but he won 36 times total on the PGA Tour. He also finished in the Top 10 at The Masters 10 straight years (1947-56) and in the Top 10 of the U.S. Open from 1950 through 1954. Ghezzi was the 1941 PGA Championship winner who finished his career with 11 total PGA Tour wins.

Ben Hogan, not yet a major winner, tied for fourth, one stroke out of the playoff. Ben's brother, Royal Hogan, missed the cut as an amateur. Willie Macfarlane, winner of the 1925 U.S. Open, withdrew after the first round in his final appearance in any of the major championships.

Following this 36-hole playoff, the USGA instituted a new playoff rule: If a scheduled 18-hole playoff ended in a tie, it would go to sudden death, rather than another full 18 holes.

1946 U.S. Open Final Scores

Lloyd Mangrum 74-70-68-72—284 (72-72—144)
Vic Ghezzi 71-69-72-72—284 (72-73—145)
Byron Nelson 71-71-69-73—284 (72-73—145)
Herman Barron 72-72-72-69—285
Ben Hogan 72-68-73-72—285
Jimmy Demaret 71-74-73-68—286
Ed Oliver 71-71-74-70—286
Chick Harbert 72-78-67-70—287
Dick Metz 76-70-72-69—287
Dutch Harrison 75-71-72-70—288
Lawson Little 72-69-76-71—288
Ed Furgol 77-69-74-69—289
Clayton Heafner 75-72-71-71—289
Henry Picard 71-73-71-74—289
Claude Harmon 72-77-70-72—291
Chandler Harper 76-74-67-74—291
Steve Kovach 71-72-73-75—291
Toney Penna 69-77-74-71—291
Gene Kunes 74-73-73-72—292
Sam Snead 69-75-74-74—292
Paul Runyan 75-72-76-70—293
Johnny Bulla 72-74-73-75—294
Henry Ransom 71-73-73-77—294
Harry Todd 75-73-70-76—294
Lew Worsham 73-74-76-71—294
Leland Gibson 74-71-78-72—295
Smiley Quick 75-76-72-72—295
Mike Turnesa 70-76-74-75—295
Ellsworth Vines 73-72-75-75—295
a-Bud Ward 74-77-72-72—295
Toby Lyons 74-73-72-77—296
Jug McSpaden 76-73-74-73—296
Otey Crisman 77-72-74-74—297
Raymond Gafford 75-73-75-74—297
Johnny Palmer 77-74-74-73—298
Charles Penna 75-74-75-74—298
Jimmy Hines 77-73-75-74—299
Pat Circelli 77-73-75-75—300
Pete Cooper 72-75-74-79—300
Bobby Cruickshank 72-75-78-75—300
George Fazio 77-74-76-73—300
Herman Keiser 76-75-72-77—300
Fred Haas 74-75-77-75—301
Al Watrous 76-75-74-76—301
Billy Burke 76-75-76-75—302
a-Gene Dahlbender 73-76-80-73—302
a-Frank Stranahan 74-76-77-75—302
Skip Alexander 71-79-76-77—303
Bill Jelliffe 73-74-80-76—303
Rod Munday 77-72-78-77—304
a-Bob Servis 76-75-77-76—304
Joseph Zarhardt 74-76-79-75—304
Al Brosch 72-78-77-78—305
Henry Castillo 74-77-80-74—305
a-A.F. Kammer 75-76-74-80—305
Dick Shoemaker 78-72-76-79—305
Joe Kirkwood Sr. 78-73-75-81—307
Joe Mozel 73-77-77-80—307
Frank Commisso 74-76-77-81—308
Willie Goggin 76-73-78-81—308
a-Otto Greiner 75-75-81-77—308
a-Ted Adams 73-78-75-85—311

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