Old Tom Morris may have been the first monarch of links golf, but Champion Golfer Gene Sarazen. Who swept all before him in 20 years of near supremacy, and became the sport’s first global superstar. Golf and British Open 2023 fans can buy British Open Tickets from our website.

The American, who won the 1932 Prince’s Championship Golfer of the Year award. He was the first to accomplish a career Grand Slam and retired in 1973 with seven major championships. Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Players, and Ben Hogan all went on to follow in his footsteps. But Sarazen blazed the trail to golfing oblivion.

Sarazen played in the 1922 US Open and become a professional golfer
Sarazen played in the 1922 US Open and become a professional golfer


Born Eugenio Saracini in New York in 1902. Sarazen understood early on what it took to put in a lot of effort. Since his father, a carpenter, was a poor man. Sarazen began working odd jobs that paid money at a young age. Such as selling newspapers and harvesting fruit.

That had an immediate effect. He fell unwell at the age of 15 while serving as his father’s apprentice. And doctors warned him that the dusty surroundings posed a long-term health danger.

The teenaged Eugene, believing that it “sounded like a golfer,” instead went to work at a golf club and quickly changed his name to Gene Sarazen. The wager paid off. That name would spread quickly over the entire world.


Sarazen quickly became well-known. He played in the 1922 US Open a year after turning professional, and one hole from the finish. Sarazen sank a birdie putt to win his first major over fellow Americans Bobby Jones and John Black of Scotland.

He shot 68 to win the tournament, becoming the first person to shoot under 70 in the final round of a major. Just a few months later, to finish off an incredible year. He followed up his achievement by winning the PGA Championship, which was at the time a match-play competition. He defeated Emmet French 4&3.

After starting out as a low-ranking professional, Sarazen quickly rose through the ranks and eventually met President Warren Harding. He only required a rival to help establish his legacy. And fortunately, someone was pounding on the door.


The top player of the era was Walter Hagen. Who was ten years Sarazen’s senior and had previously won three major championships. He was unable to compete in the 1922 PGA Championship due to an exhibition. But he made a comeback the following year, where a matchup with the reigning champion Sarazen was eagerly awaited. Thank goodness, it lived up to expectations.

Walter Hagen was 10 years senio then Sarazen
Walter Hagen was 10 years senior to Sarazen

The two players easily advanced to the Pelham Manor final and put on a thrilling 36-hole contest. Only twice did the lead change hands, and Sarazen maintained his advantage for virtually the whole second round of 18 holes, at one point even being three shots ahead. The 151st Open Championship fans can buy British Open 2023 Tickets from our website.

However, Hagen fought back and forced a playoff, which Sarazen won with a birdie on the second hole. The three guys, played exhibition matches all over the nation and the world. Were at the pinnacle of American golf when Jones joined the rivalry. Inopportunely for Sarazen, he didn’t win another major championship for 9 years before charming the US Open at Fresh Meadow Golf Club in 1932.


Sarazen was unable to withstand the allure of the Claret Jug, like many others of his generation. He initially visited the UK in 1924 to compete at Royal Liverpool, but he struggled and came in a tie for 41st. He did, however, make a comeback in 1928 at Royal St. George’s, where he came in second to Hagen and fell short of winning the trophy by only two strokes.

When everything fell into place in 1932 at Prince’s when Sarazen seized an early lead at the end of the first round by shooting a two-under-par 70. There were two more top-ten finishes. A day later, he increased it to three strokes, and by the end of round three. He had a three-stroke lead over Arthur Havers.

With Arthur Lacey and Charles Whitcombe in third place back at five over par. The two men were comfortably ahead at seven under par and three under par, respectively. The leading pair retreated in the final round, with Sarazen shooting a 74 and Havers a 76. But it was still enough to award the American the Claret Jug. Which he had vowed to bring home to his wife Mary.


The accomplishments of Sarazen didn’t end there. In 1933, he captured his third PGA Championship, and the following year, he made Augusta National famous. It was still in its infancy and known as the Augusta National Invitational when the competition that would become The Masters first took place.

However, Sarazen struck a 4-wood from 225 yards on the tournament’s 15th hole. Making it one of the most recognizable shots ever. It threateningly soared through the air before landing on the green with a perfect pitch and rolling into the hole.

Gene Sarazen won the British Open 1932
Gene Sarazen won the British Open in 1932

It became known as the “shot heard around the world” very fast and was a major factor in Sarazen’s success in winning the Green Jacket and completing the career Grand Slam.

Although there were still more moments, such as at the 1973 Open when he hit a hole-in-one on the renowned Postage Stamp at Royal Troon, live on the BBC, it turned out to be his final major victory. He took early retirement at age 71 and passed away in 1999 at the age of 97 of a golf and true sporting great.

British Open Double Champions

Thomson and Locke’s rivalry

Peter Thomson, a five-time champion golfer, not only won consecutive Claret Jugs during his career, but he also became one of only a select few players to win The Open three times in a row. The Australian won his first championship at Royal Birkdale in 1954.

The following year, he successfully defended his title at St. Andrews, and in 1956, he accomplished the hat trick at Royal Liverpool. Bobby Locke, who won The Open twice in a row in 1950 and 1951, and Thomson frequently competed for the title of Champion Golfer at the time of Thomson’s success.

In addition, Walter Hagen cemented his place in history by capturing his third and fourth Claret Jugs back-to-back in the years before World War II caused The Open to be suspended for five years 1928 and 1929. Hagen’s double occurred during a period of American dominance at The Open.

In 1926 and 1927, amateur Bobby Jones also won back-to-back championships at St Andrews and Royal Lytham & St Annes. Following in the footsteps of James Braid, Jones, who won The Open on three of his four occasions, was the first person to maintain the title of Champion Golfer in two decades.

The Great Triumvirate predominate Scotland’s Braid was the only European to accomplish the feat until Harrington matched him more than a century later. Braid won back-to-back championships at Saint Andrew’s in 1905 and Muirfield in 1906.

Peter Thomson is a five-time British Open Champion golfer
Peter Thomson is a five-time British Open Champion golfer

Braid, Harry Vardon, and JH Taylor made up the Great Triumvirate as the three players who together won The Open five times made the Claret Jug their own.

Champion Golfer Harry Vardon

Vardon, who accomplished this feat at Prestwick and St. George’s in 1898 and 1899, respectively, was the last man to do it in the 19th century. Taylor, who had won The Open for the first time at St. George’s the previous year, kept the Claret Jug in 1895.

Before Taylor, only four other men had successfully defended their titles as Champion Golfers, with Bob Ferguson holding the Claret Jug for three consecutive years from 1880 to 1882. Jamie Anderson, a fellow Scot, had won three times in 1877, 1878, and 1879. Retained the championship for three years before Ferguson’s treble.

Yet Tom Morris Jr., a teenage golf phenom who won four consecutive Open championships, set a standard that no other player has since been able to match. At Prestwick, where The Open was postponed in 1871, Young Tom established his Champion Golfer account in 1868. He would go on to win it three more times there in 1869, 1870, and 1872.

He was not the first to win consecutive championships, though; Old Tom Morris, who won his first two Opens in 1861 and 1862, had already done so. Eticketing.co is the best website to buy all Golf Events and British Open Tickets.