Height: 5 ft 10 in
Born: April 1, 1901
Died: June 16, 1988
Birthplace: White Plains, New York
Turned Pro: 1922
Johnny “the Gentleman” Farrell was one of America’s top professioanl golfers during the 1920’s. Like most players of that era, Farrell got his start working as a caddy.
He became the head professional at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in 1919 and remained in that position through his touring days until 1930.
During the decade, Farrell won 22 PGA titles, including a stretch in 1927 when he won eight consecutive tournaments, a feat that wouldn’t be equaled until Bryon Nelson won eleven consecutive times in 1945.
Farrell was named “The Best Professional Golfer of 1927 and 1928.”
The apex of Farrell’s playing career occurred in 1928 at Olympia Fields in Chicago. He stared down one of the greatest players of all time, Bobby Jones, and captured the U.S. Open. Five behind Jones when the day started, Farrell found himself tied with Jones after 72 holes and defeated him the next day in a grueling 36-hole playoff by a single stroke. Farrell holed a ten foot birdie putt on the final hole in the rain to secure the title.
Farrell would threaten to win a second Major twice more the following season, finishing second at both the Open Championship and the PGA Championship.
In 1934, Farrell decided to essentially retire as a touring professional and become the head professional at Baltusrol Golf Club. Baltusrol desired a prominent professional whose top priority would be to service the members. Farrell did just that and was an exceptional host during some of the nation’s top tournaments, including three U.S. Opens. Farrell retired from Baltusrol in 1971.