The 1934 Open Championship was the 69th Open Championship, held 27–29 June at Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich, England. Henry Cotton dominated the championship, leading wire-to-wire on his way to a five-stroke win and his first of three Open titles.
Qualifying took place on 25–26 June. Entries played 18 holes at St. George's and 18 holes at Royal Cinque Ports. The top 100 and ties qualified. The qualifying score was 152 and 101 players qualified. George Gadd led the qualifiers on 140. Henry Cotton scored a course record 66 in the first round at Royal St George's and 75 at Royal Cinque Ports to be a shot behind on 141. He was joined on 141 by Jimmy Adams and Percy Alliss. The top 60 and ties would make the cut and qualify for the final 36 holes.
Henry Cotton began the tournament with a round of 67 to take a three shot lead over Fred Taggert. Cotton then shot a tournament-record 65 in the second round to open up a nine shot lead over Alf Padgham and eleven shots on Joe Kirkwood, Denny Shute and Charles Whitcombe.
Conditions were tougher on the last day with a stiff breeze blowing. Cotton scored a third round of 72 and extended his lead to 10 shots over Kirkwood and 11 from Marcel Dallemagne going into the final round. Scottish amateur Jack McLean had 7 threes in his outward nine of 31 and finished with a third round 69, the best third round score. Despite his comfortable lead, Cotton suffered from nerves and began to feel the pressure in the final round. He made the turn in 40, then dropped three shots on the next three holes. With Sid Brews scoring 71 Cotton needed a last round of 83 to win. Suddenly it appeared as if his victory was in jeopardy. He managed to get up-and-down on the 13th, however, and steadied himself on his way to a 79 and a five shot win over Brews. His 283 total tied the tournament record set by Gene Sarazen two years earlier.
Cotton was the first Englishman to win the Open Championship since Arthur Havers in 1923. The previous 10 Opens had all been won by American-born players or Englishmen living in the United States. Cotton's win was part of a long period of sustained excellence in the tournament. From 1930 through 1952, he finished in the top-10 of every Open he played except one. In all, he played in 20 Opens between 1927 and 1958, winning three and finishing in the top-10 in 17 of them.
Cotton received the Ryle Memorial Medal, awarded to members of the British P.G.A. winning the Open Championship. He was the first recipient since Arthur Havers in 1923. Living in Belgium, Cotton was not eligible for the Tooting Bec Cup awarded to the British P.G.A. member living in Great Britain scoring the lowest round in the Open Championship. It was won by Bill Davies for his second round of 68.