1935: Sarazen's double eagle makes history in second Masters
According to golf writer O.B. Keeler's newspaper account, Gene Sarazen had a premonition on the 14th hole in 1935. He had hooked his tee shot into the rough, and that's when he heard the roar from Craig Wood's birdie on the final hole.
"Well, Gene, that looks as if it's all over," Walter Hagen said to Sarazen, according to Keeler's report.
The Squire, though, was not giving up.
"Oh, I don't know," Sarazen replied. "They might go in from anywhere."
One hole later, Sarazen backed up his statement. His double eagle gave the tournament its first signature moment.
"Hagen smiled and shook his head. ... There were not more than a dozen spectators by the green, one of whom happened to be Bobby Jones, who had wandered down from the clubhouse out of curiosity, possibly because of the friendly rivalry between Sarazen and Hagen," Price wrote in A Golf Story. "The ball struck the far bank of the water hazard abutting the green, skipped onto the putting surface, and softly rolled into the cup for a two."
When news of the double eagle reached the clubhouse minutes later, not everyone believed it. Ben Crenshaw, a two-time Masters winner and historian of the game, recounted an oft-told tale of a skeptic.
"I don't know how it was carried, but the runner or somebody said, 'Mr. Gene done made a two on 15,'" Crenshaw said. "A guy in the clubhouse said 'No, you've got the holes wrong, 16 is a par 3.' And the guy said, 'No, Mr. Gene done made a two on 15.' No one could believe him for a second."
The water guarding the 15th is more pronounced than it was in the early days of the tournament. The stream was transformed into a small pond in 1961.
The only tangible remnants of Sarazen's double eagle - quickly dubbed the Shot Heard 'Round the World - are the club and ball he used to achieve the feat. They are part of the display in the Trophy Room in the clubhouse.
Sarazen made pars on the remaining three holes. A 36-hole playoff with Wood was held the next day. It was the only time the Masters used that format, and Sarazen prevailed by five shots over Wood.
"There had never before been a shot in an important tournament as sensational as that double eagle, and one can understand how nearly everything else about that Masters has been forgotten - Sarazen's three closing pars, for one thing, and the playoff, for another," Herbert Warren Wind wrote in Following Through.