The Western Open, which was run by the Western Golf Association (WGA) from 1899 until 2006 was the 3rd oldest PGA Tour event next to the British and U.S. Open’s. The WGA has administered the Evans Scholars Foundation since its inception, which Canterbury Golf Club is proud to be a part of.
The 32nd edition of the Western Open came to Canterbury in 1932 and at the time of the event it was considered by visiting professionals as a major championship.
The flamboyant and immensely talented Sir Walter Hagen won his record 5th Western Open crown by a single shot over Olin Dutra.
After the first two rounds, Hagen was positioned atop the leaderboard by one shot after rounds of 72-70. Then difficult playing conditions in the third round led to a 75 and left Hagen trailing the leaders by two strokes. One of the third round leaders was Ohio legend Denny Shute. Shute bolted to the top of the leaderboard on the strength of a third round 68, which was the lowest round of the tournament.
Hagen’s quest for a fifth Western title looked very unlikely when he trailed Dutra by three strokes with four holes to play. However, on Canterbury’s famed finishing holes, Hagen played them like the Hall of Famer that he is and rallied for a one shot victory.
During the event, Canterbury played at 6,431 yards to a par of 72. Hagen was the only player to break par, shooting a one under par 287 with rounds of 72-70-75-70. 135 players entered the event, including two Canterbury members; Eddie Meister Jr. and Fred Welbourne. For the tournament, the course played to a stroke average of 77.2. Hagen took home the winner’s share of $500 of the $2,144.98 purse.