1934 PGA Championship : Short-Hitter Beats the Long-Hitter

Recap and Scores for the 1934 PGA Championship Golf Tournament

Detail view of the Wanamaker Trophy for the PGA Championship
Paul Runyan won the Wanamaker Trophy as winner of the 1934 PGA Championship. Donald Miralle/Getty Images

One of the shortest hitters of his era defeated one of the biggest hitters of the era in a 38-hole finals matchup to win the 1934 PGA Championship.

Quick Bits

  • Championship match: Paul Runyan over Craig Wood (match scores below)
  • Dates: July 24-29, 1934
  • Golf course: Park Club of Buffalo (New York)
  • Tournament number: This was the 17th time the PGA Championship was played.

Notes on the 1934 PGA Championship

Paul "Little Poison" Runyan defeated Craig "Blond Bomber" Wood in the final of the 1934 PGA Championship.

It was Runyan's first major championship victory, the first of his two wins in the PGA Championship. And as in his victory over Sam Snead at the 1938 PGA Championship, in this final the short-hitting Runyan won despite being outdriven by his much farther hitting oppponent.

Then there was this: Wood was the golf instructor who had helped Runyan hone his game. So the teacher lost to the pupil.

The big-hitting Wood was a very accomplished player in his own right. Later, in 1941, he won his own pair of major titles (The Masters and U.S. Open). But at this point in his career, Wood was in the process of earning a reputation for being snakebit in big events.

Over the course of his career, Wood lost in extra holes at all four professional majors. He lost 36-hole playoffs at the 1933 British Open and 1935 Masters, and lost in a playoff at the 1939 U.S. Open.

The final here was close throughout. Runyan took a 1-up lead on the 33rd hole, but Wood squared it on the 35th.

On the 36th hole, both golfers chipped to approximately 12 feet from the hole. Runyan, a great putter, rolled his par putt in. Then Wood drained his as well, necessitating extra holes.

Wood had a chance to win with an 8-foot eagle putt on the 37th hole, but missed. Then Wood bogeyed the 38th hole while Runyan parred it to claim the victory.

To earn their places in the championship match, Runyan beat Johnny Farrell, Vic Ghezzi, Dick Metz and Gene Kunes; Wood defeated Leo Fraser, Harry Cooper, Al Watrous and Denny Shute.

Five-time champion Walter Hagen lost in the first round to Shute, 4 and 2. Gene Sarazen fell in the second round to Watrous, 4 and 3, and Tommy Armour also went out in the second round.

1934 PGA Championship Scores

Results from the 1934 PGA Championship golf tournament played at Park Club of Buffalo in Williamsville, New York. All matches scheduled for 36 holes.

First Round

  • Gene Sarazen def. Herman Barron, 3 and 2
  • Al Watrous def. Errie Ball, 8 and 7
  • Harry Cooper def. Bill Mehlhorn, 4 and 2
  • Craig Wood def. Leo Fraser, 6 and 5
  • Ky Laffoon def. George Smith, 12 and 10
  • Denny Shute def. Walter Hagen, 4 and 3
  • Al Houghton def. George Christ, 7 and 6
  • Fay Coleman def. Leo Diegel, 4 and 2
  • Dick Metz def. Joe Paletti, 6 and 5
  • Tommy Armour def. Al Nelson, 4 and 3
  • Vic Ghezzi def. Eddie Burke, 2 and 1
  • Paul Runyan def. Johnny Farrell, 8 and 6
  • Johnny Revolta def. Jim Foulis, 7 and 6
  • Gene Kunes def. Orville White, 3 and 2
  • Ted Turner def. Willie Goggin, 1-up (37 holes)
  • Bob Crowley def. Eddie Loos, 3 and 2

Second Round

  • Al Watrous def. Gene Sarazen, 4 and 3
  • Craig Wood def. Harry Cooper, 4 and 3
  • Denny Shute def. Ky Laffoon, 3 and 2
  • Al Houghton def. Fay Coleman, 4 and 3
  • Dick Metz def. Tommy Armour, 3 and 2
  • Paul Runyan def. Vic Ghezzi, 2 and 1
  • Gene Kunes def. Johnny Revolta, 2 and 1
  • Bob Crowley def. Ted Turner, 1-up

Quarterfinals

  • Paul Runyan def. Dick Metz, 1-up
  • Gene Kunes def. Bob Crowley, 4 and 3
  • Craig Wood def. Al Watrous, 2 and 1
  • Denny Shute def. Al Houghton, 6 and 5

Semifinals

  • Paul Runyan def. Gene Kunes, 4 and 2
  • Craig Wood def. Denny Shute, 2 and 1

Championship Match

  • Paul Runyan def. Craig Wood, 1-up (38 holes)

1933 PGA Championship | 1935 PGA Championship

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