49th U.S. Open
June 9-11, 1949
When the 49th U.S. Open was held at Medinah, it was the first time since 1933 that the event was played in the Chicago area. The record crowd of 30,000 was impressive, yet thanks to the first NBC network coverage of a national golf event, millions of TV viewers could see beautiful Medinah Country Club and follow the action.
Les Kennedy, playing in his first Open, was the first round leader with a 69 2-under. Then in Friday’s round, Cary Middlecoff shot a tournament course record 69 to tie with O’Neal White for second position. Al Brosch took the lead.
On Saturday, Middlecoff made an amazing start for a 4-under par on the first five holes. Sam Snead had an even par. Entering the final round, Middlecoff led O’Neal White by one stroke. Middlecoff was paired with Clayton Heafner. They were tied at 1-over at the end of the first nine holes.
It was then that Snead began his round, and he was midway in the back nine when Middlecoff finished in the lead with a 4-under 75. Heafner was one stroke behind. Snead was 2-over with seven holes to play. For a brief time, there seemed to be a chance that he might win the PGA Open, the U.S. Open and Masters in one year. However, on the 17th, he hit the green, but the ball spun out to land in a slight depression in the fringe. He tried to putt, bogeyed, and failed to make the birdie that he needed on the 18th. Sam Snead tied with Clayton Heafner for runner-up. Sam Turnesa and Bobby Lock tied for third. Only five players broke par, Middlecoff, Snead, Heafner, Turnesa, and Locke.
Cary Middlecoff won with a score of 286, 2-over par. He had been an Army dentist, and it was said, that after turning pro, he never needed to fill another cavity.
Played on Course No. 3
Overall Par: 284
Overall Purse: $10,000
Won by Cary Middlecoff: 75-67-69-75 = 286