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Thomas Francis Kerrigan (October 10, 1895 – May 6, 1964)[2] was an American professional golfer who played in the early 20th century. Kerrigan's best performance in the Open Championship came in the 1921 Open Championship when after enduring an Atlantic voyage aboard the RMS Aquitania he quickly acclimated himself to the Open Championship course at St Andrews on arrival in Britain and finished in third place.[3] He was a frequent competitor in the PGA Championship in which his best results were quarter-final losses (in match play) in 1916, 1922, and 1925.[3]

Tom Kerrigan
Tom Kerrigan US Passport Photo (1923).PNG
Kerrigan in 1921
Personal information
Full nameThomas Francis Kerrigan
NicknameTee Shot
Born(1895-10-10)October 10, 1895
Quincy, Massachusetts
DiedMay 6, 1964(1964-05-06) (aged 68)
Bronxville, New York
Height5 ft 8 12 in (174 cm)
Nationality United States
Career
StatusProfessional
Professional wins4
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour4[1]
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT36: 1937
PGA ChampionshipT5: 1925
U.S. OpenT10: 1915
The Open Championship3rd: 1921

Early lifeEdit

Kerrigan was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, on October 10, 1895[2] to Thomas F. Kerrigan (1873–1926) and Mary E. Kerrigan née Carroll (1869–1914). Like nearly all professionals from his era, he first learned the game of golf as a caddie in his youth. He joined the Siwanoy Country Club in 1914 and served as professional for a year at the Dedham Country and Polo Club in Massachusetts; however, he later returned to Siwanoy and would spend the majority of his career there. In 1939 he shot the exceptionally low score of 62 on the par-71 Siwanoy course. He was often called "Tee Shot" Kerrigan due to his ability to hit unusually long drives.[4]

Golf careerEdit

Westchester OpenEdit

Kerrigan, who by 1920 was playing out of Siwanoy Country Club, carded two rounds totaling 143 and won by six shots in the inaugural 1920 Westchester Open golf tournament held on the Gedney Farm Country Club course (now known as Westchester Hills Golf Club).[5] His driving was described as "long and straight". His iron shots were effectively executed and he was able to handle the treacherous greens when the other players could not. His putting was said to be "wellnigh faultless". Arthur Reid, playing out of Ardsley Country Club, was second on 149 and Jack Dowling came in third on 150.[6]

Canadian OpenEdit

Kerrigan was twice the runner-up in the Canadian Open championship.[2] In the 1922 Canadian Open, held at Mt. Bruno Golf Club in Saint-Bruno, Quebec, Kerrigan shot 304 and Al Watrous was on 303, beating Kerrigan by a single shot. Kerrigan returned to play in the 1923 Canadian Open, held on the Herbert Strong-designed Lakeview Golf Club[7] in Toronto, Ontario, and once again finished in the second spot, this time losing to Clarence Hackney by the score of 295 to 300.[8]

1921 Open ChampionshipEdit

The 1921 Open Championship was the 56th Open Championship, held 23–25 June at the Old Course at St Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland. Former local Jock Hutchison won his only Open Championship, in a 36-hole playoff over amateur Roger Wethered. It was Hutchison's second and final major title.[9] Kerrigan finished in third place, carding rounds of 74-80-72-72=298, and won £40.[10]

Golf teacherEdit

Kerrigan taught many golfers who went on to success in their own right in golf. Among them was Jess Sweetser, the first American-born amateur golfer to win the British Amateur championship which in 1926 was contested at Muirfield.[4] Sweetser also won the 1922 U.S. Amateur championship.

Military serviceEdit

Kerrigan served in the U.S. Navy during World War I.[11] He played in charity matches, sometimes wearing his Navy uniform, to raise money for the American Red Cross.[11]

DeathEdit

After a three-month-long illness, Kerrigan died on May 6, 1964 at Lawrence Hospital (now New York-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital) in Bronxville, New York. His brothers William and George were golf professionals as well.[2][4]

PGA Tour wins (4)Edit

Source:[1]

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
U.S. Open T20 T10 T29 NT NT T26
The Open Championship DNP NT NT NT NT NT
PGA Championship NYF NYF QF NT NT R16
Tournament 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
U.S. Open T23 T35 T31 T46 T19 T18 ? ? ? ?
The Open Championship DNP 3 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP R32 QF DNP DNP QF DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF NYF 42 DNP DNP T36
U.S. Open ? ? ? ? ? ? T11 ?
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Barkow, Al (November 1989). The History of the PGA TOUR. Copyright PGA Tour. Doubleday. pp. 236, 249. ISBN 0-385-26145-4.
  2. ^ a b c d "Tom Kerrigan Dies; Pro Golfer, 68, No. Quincy Native". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ a b Brenner, Morgan G. (2009). The Majors of Golf: Complete Results of the Open, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters, 1860-2008. 1. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3360-5.
  4. ^ a b c "Tom Kerrigan, 68, Siwanoy Golf Pro". The New York Times. May 7, 1964. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Donelson, Dave (2013). "History of Westchester Hills Golf Club, White Plains". Westchester Magazine. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "Siwanoy Golf Professional Takes 143 in Open Tourney". New York Tribune. July 13, 1920. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "Master List of Herbert Strong Golf Courses". golfclubatlas.com. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "Canadian Open – Past Winners". PGA Tour. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved May 3, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "Jock Hutchison, Chicago professional golfer, wins British Open golf championship". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. 25 June 1921. p. 6. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  10. ^ Brenner, Morgan G. (2009). The Majors of Golf: Complete Results of the Open, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters, 1860-2008. 1. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3360-5.
  11. ^ a b "MacFarlane Holes Out Mashie Shot For Win". New York Tribune. July 15, 1918. Retrieved May 3, 2015.