Gene Sarazen

Gene Sarazen

Gene Sarazen was christened Eugenio Saraceni, the son of an Italian carpenter in New York. He almost died of pneumonia and doctors recommended an outdoors lifestyle so he took up golf – he finally died of the same illness aged 97.
  • He won the PGA Tour's first Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996

    Did you know?

  • 49

    Professional wins

  • Sarazen claimed to have invented the modern sand wedge

    Fun fact

Gene Sarazen was christened Eugenio Saraceni, the son of an Italian carpenter in New York. He almost died of pneumonia and doctors recommended an outdoors lifestyle so he took up golf – he finally died of the same illness aged 97.

He changed his name aged 17 because he did not want to sound like a violinist. As a 20-year-old he burst into the limelight by winning the US Open and the PGA Championship in 1922, winning the latter again the following year. His ambition then was to win The Open.

His first attempt failed in 1923 at Troon when he did not even qualify. He was second in 1928 and third in 1931 before winning the only Open ever staged at Prince’s, next door to Royal St George’s in Sandwich. He was helped by having invented the sand wedge the previous year and by his old caddie from the 1928 Open, “Skip” Daniels.

Sarazen

Sarazen almost did not use him due to the caddie’s frailty and when Daniels died months later, he said: “When old Dan died the world was poorer by one Champion.” Sarazen set a new Open record of 283 and led outright after every round, winning by five strokes from Macdonald Smith.

He was the fourth player to win all three of the majors but became the first to win all four when he claimed the second Masters in 1934. He hit the “shot heard round the world” when he holed a 4-wood shot over the pond at the 15th for an albatross.

The miracle shot helped him tie Craig Wood and he then won the play-off. As a 71-year-old at the 1973 Open at Troon, he holed in one at the Postage Stamp, the eighth, and holed from a bunker for a 2 the next day.

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Royal Birkdale 1976
NR
-
-
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Troon 1973
M/C
79
81
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1970
M/C
81
85
-
-
-
M/C
St Andrews 1960
Wd
83
-
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1958
16
73
73
70
72
288
-
Royal Liverpool 1956
Wd
78
74
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Birkdale 1954
17
75
74
73
70
292
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1952
17
74
73
77
76
300
-
Carnoustie 1937
M/C
81
76
-
-
-
M/C
Royal Liverpool 1936
5
73
75
70
73
291
-
Royal St George's 1934
21
75
73
74
80
302
-
St Andrews 1933
3
72
73
73
75
293
-
Princes 1932
1
70
69
70
74
283
-
Carnoustie 1931
3
74
76
75
73
298
-
Muirfield 1929
8
73
74
81
76
304
-
Royal St George's 1928
2
72
76
73
73
294
-
Royal Liverpool 1924
41
83
75
84
81
323
-

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