Died: August 8, 1970 (at age 60)
John George Goodman (December 28, 1909 - August 8, 1970) was the last amateur golfer to win the U.S. Open, 84 years ago in 1933, and also won the U.S. Amateur in 1937.
Born to Lithuanian immigrants in South Omaha, Nebraska, Goodman was orphaned at the age of 14. His mother died when he was 11, after giving birth to her 13th child, and his father later abandoned the family. Goodman became a caddy at the Field Club in Omaha, and while a student at Omaha South High School, he won the Omaha city championship in 1925; four years later, he won the first of three consecutive Nebraska Amateur titles. He won the Trans-Mississippi Amateur three times (1927, 1931, and 1935). He gained national notoriety at age 19 in 1929 when he defeated Bobby Jones in the first round of match play competition at the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.
Goodman served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and did not turn professional until 1960; he supported himself throughout his career by selling insurance. A municipal golf course in southwest Omaha is named for him.
Tournament wins (60)
- this list may be incomplete
- 1925 Omaha Caddie Championship, Omaha Metropolitan Golf Championship
- 1927 Trans-Mississippi Amateur
- 1929 Nebraska Amateur
- 1930 Nebraska Amateur
- 1931 Trans-Mississippi Amateur, Nebraska Amateur
- 1933 U.S. Open
- 1935 Trans-Mississippi Amateur
- 1936 Mexican Amateur, Arcola Country Club Invitational
- 1937 U.S. Amateur, Mexican Amateur
- 1939 Arcola Country Club Invitational
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|1933||U.S. Open||6 shot lead||−1 (75-66-70-76=287)||1 stroke||Ralph Guldahl|
Amateur wins (1)
|1937||U.S. Amateur||2 up||Raymond E. Billows|
|U.S. Open||T11||DNP||T14 LA||1 LA||T43||T36||T22||8 LA||DNP||CUT|
Note: Goodman never played in The Open Championship or the PGA Championship.
Source for U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur: USGA Championship Database
Source for 1934 British Amateur: Reading Eagle, May 24, 1934, pg. 17.
Source for 1936 Masters: www.masters.com
Source for 1938 British Amateur: Time Magazine, June 6, 1938
LA = Low amateur
NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
DNQ = Did not qualify for match play portion
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10
U.S. national team appearances
- Walker Cup: 1934 (winners), 1936 (winners), 1938