Since he had won the US Open and the PGA Championship as a 20-year-old in 1922, and the PGA again the following year, Gene Sarazen’s ambition was to win The Open.
In 1923 at Troon, despite his major winner status, he failed to qualify. He was second in 1928 and third in 1931.
Finally, he claimed the Claret Jug in the only Open ever staged at Prince’s, the course next door to Royal St George’s in Sandwich.
It was an emphatic victory by five strokes from Macdonald Smith. He became the third Champion Golfer after Ted Ray and Bobby Jones to lead outright after every round and his total of 283 was two better than Jones’ record from 1927.
He was helped by having invented the sand wedge the previous year and escaping the pot bunkers whenever necessary.
Sarazen opened with a 70 to lead by one, then had a 69 to open up a three-shot lead over Percy Alliss.
After a third round of 70, Sarazen held a four-shot lead over Arthur Havers, who had vaulted over the rest of the field with a course-record 68.
In the final round, Havers teed off just over two hours later than Sarazen, who was round in 74, and needed a 69 to win.
The magic of the morning had disappeared and Havers reached the turn in 37, leaving himself far too much to do.
He could only manage a 76 to finish third, while Smith finished strongly with scores of 71 and 70 to be the runner-up for the second time in three years.