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Lawson Little

Lawson Little
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name William Lawson Little, Jr.
Nickname Cannonball
Born (1910-06-23)June 23, 1910
Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island
Died February 1, 1968(1968-02-01) (aged 57)
Monterey, California
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st)
Nationality  United States
Spouse Dorothy Hurd (m. 1936-1968)
Children Linda, Sandra, Sonya, William Lawson III
College Stanford University
Turned professional 1936
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 9
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 8
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 5)
Masters Tournament T3: 1939
U.S. Open Won: 1940
The Open Championship T4: 1935
PGA Championship T17: 1946, 1951
U.S. Amateur Won: 1934, 1935
British Amateur Won: 1934, 1935
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 1980 (member page)
James E. Sullivan Award 1935

William Lawson Little, Jr. (June 23, 1910 – February 1, 1968) was an American professional golfer who also had a distinguished amateur career.

Little was born in Newport, Rhode Island, and lived much of his early life in the San Francisco area, where his father was a senior military officer. Little was one of the most dominant amateur players in the history of the sport, capturing both the British Amateur and the U.S. Amateur, then regarded as major championships, consecutively in 1934 and 1935. He remains the only player to have won both titles in the same year more than once. Little's winning margin of 14 and 13 in the 1934 British final remains the record for dominance. Bob Dickson, Harold Hilton and Bobby Jones are the only other golfers to have won the two titles in the same year.

Little graduated from Stanford University in 1934 and is a member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame. He won the James E. Sullivan Award for outstanding amateur athlete in 1935. Little was a student of golf instructor Ernest Jones.

Little turned professional in April 1936, and he won eight times on the PGA Tour including one professional major, the 1940 U.S. Open. This tally was considered somewhat disappointing; he was said to have lost interest in golf during World War II, when the major championships were cancelled, and to have focused his attention more on the stock market. He carried up to 26 clubs in his bag, and this prompted the United States Golf Association to introduce the 14-club limit in 1938.

Little died in Monterey, California in 1968. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1980.


  • Amateur wins (9) 1
  • Professional wins 2
    • PGA Tour wins (8) 2.1
    • Other wins 2.2
  • Major championships 3
    • Professional wins (1) 3.1
    • Amateur wins (4) 3.2
    • Results timeline 3.3
    • Summary 3.4
  • U.S. national team appearances 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Amateur wins (9)

Professional wins

PGA Tour wins (8)

Professional major championship is shown in bold.

Other wins

Major championships

Professional wins (1)

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1940 U.S. Open 1 shot deficit −1 (72-69-73-73=287) Playoff 1 Gene Sarazen

1 Defeated Sarazen in an 18-hole playoff - Little 70 (−2), Sarazen 73 (+1).

Amateur wins (4)

Year Championship Winning score Runner-up
1934 U.S. Amateur 8 & 7 David Goldman
1934 British Amateur 14 & 13 James Wallace
1935 U.S. Amateur 4 & 2 Walter Emery
1935 British Amateur 1 up William Tweddell

Results timeline

Tournament 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935
U.S. Amateur QF R16 DNQ R32 SF 1 1
The Amateur Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 1 1
Tournament 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament DNP 6 LA T20 T19 T10 T3
U.S. Open T25 LA DNP DNP CUT T38 T42
The Open Championship DNP T4 LA DNP DNP DNP CUT
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament T19 8 T7 NT NT NT T21 T14 T40 T23
U.S. Open 1 T17 NT NT NT NT T10 T31 CUT CUT
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT 10 DNP T32 DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP NT DNP DNP R32 DNP R64 R64
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957
Masters Tournament 9 6 WD WD T38 65 T72 T28
PGA Championship DNP R32 R64 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

LA = Low amateur
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
DNQ = Did not qualify for match play portion of U.S. Amateur
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

Sources: Masters,[1] U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur,[2] British Open[3]


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 1 1 7 13 20 18
U.S. Open 1 0 0 1 2 4 16 9
The Open Championship 0 0 0 1 2 2 4 3
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 5
Totals 1 0 1 3 11 21 45 35
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 13 (1940 Masters – 1948 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (three times)

U.S. national team appearances


See also


  1. ^ "Past Winners & Results". Masters Tournament. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ USGA Championship Database
  3. ^ "Muirfield – 1935 Results – Lawson Little". The Open. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 

External links

  • World Golf Hall of Fame profile
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