When's the last time an amateur won a major championship?

When’s the last time an amateur won a major championship?



Irishman Paul Dunne is looking to make history in only the second-ever Monday finish at the British Open. He's looking to become the first amateur to win the Claret Jug since Bobby Jones in 1930, a season in which he won what was then considered the Grand Slam, adding in the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and British Amateur.

However, Jones isn't the last amateur man to win a major championship.

Johnny Goodman won the 1933 U.S. Open as an amateur, beating Ralph Guldahl by a shot at North Shore Country Club in Illinois.



The last player to finish runner-up in the U.S. Open was Jack Nicklaus in 1960 at Cherry Hills, where Arnold Palmer prevailed. Nicklaus' 282 total remains the best-ever by an amateur in the national championship.

An amateur has never won the Masters, but Ken Venturi came closest in 1956. The leader by four shots after 54 holes, Venturi didn't actually go off in the final group, instead playing with an unfriendly Sam Snead, shooting an 8-over 80 in difficult conditions that left him a shot behind Jack Burke Jr. Burke's win remains the biggest final-round comeback in Masters history.

No amateur has ever won the PGA Championship, as the field is limited to professionals.

But back to the Open. Though it has been 85 years since an amateur won the Claret Jug, 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose had one of the best British Open finish since Jones by an amateur. He finished T-4 at Royal Birkdale in 1998 at 17. However, it was the strong Frank Stranahan who finished runner-up in the Open in 1947 and '53, which was the year Ben Hogan won the first three legs of the Grand Slam, the only time it's been done with the current major makeup.

About the author

Golf News Net

We use the Golf News Net byline sometimes just to change things up. But, it's one of us humans writing the story, we promise. Anyway, follow us on social media.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

GNN PLUS LOGIN