17th PGA Championship
A 36-hole qualifying round was conducted the Tuesday before the Championship. Defending PGA Champion Gene Sarazen was exempt from qualifying, and Bob Crowley was low qualifier with 138. A score of 145 qualified for match play, with 10 players at 146 having to play for eight spots. Some notables who qualified in the playoff were Walter Hagen, Denny Shute and Leo Diegel. All matches were played at 36 holes.
Not since 1923 had any PGA final been so close and gone so long as the 1934 PGA Championhip. Runyan, the pupil and putting wizard, beat his former instructor, the power-hitting Wood, 1-up. In the morning round, Wood, had a 1-up lead, but lost his advantage on the front side of the afternoon round. Wood got his lead back at the 29th hole with an eagle 3, but Runyan squared the match three holes later with a birdie. Runyan picked up a hole with a Wood bogey at the 33rd hole. At the 35th hole, Wood almost holed his second shot, making birdie and bringing the match all square going into the last hole. Both players missed the final green with their second shots and chipped within 12 feet. It took PGA President George Jacobus to decide who would putt first and, with considerable care, he determined that Runyan’s ball was away. Runyan made his putt, and even though Wood had a tougher putt, he putted into the hole, forcing extra holes. At the par-5 37th hole, Runyan was short of the green in two, while Wood was just eight feet away for an eagle. Runyan hit a great chip within two feet of the hole and was able to halve the hole, when Wood missed his match-winning putt. At the next hole, Wood hooked his drive under a tree and sent his second shot into the crowd, left of the green. Runyan didn’t do much better with his second shot, as he pushed it right of the green. He had a tough shot over a bunker, but he played a good shot and the ball stopped eight feet away. Wood chipped 12 feet short of the cup and almost made his par putt. Runyan then took his aluminum-headed putter and made the winning putt to the cheers of 2,500 enthusiastic fans.