1952: Snead wins highest-scoring Masters
Sam Snead won his first Masters Tournament in 1949 in spectacular style as he closed with a pair of 67s. He was rewarded by becoming the first golfer to earn a green jacket for his win.
Two years later, Snead was in position to add another green jacket to his collection. Tied for the lead after 54 holes, he skied to an 80 in the final round to drop into a tie for eighth. The collapse opened the door for Ben Hogan to win his first Masters.
Snead bounced back in 1952 with 70 in the first round and 67 in the second to seize the 36-hole lead. But he slipped to 77 in the third round, which left him tied with Hogan after 54 holes. Leaders weren’t paired together in those days, and Snead went out ahead of Hogan in the final round.
Snead played the front nine in 1-over fashion, but he shot 1-under on the back nine for his 72. The back nine was not without adventure – he made birdies on Nos. 10, 13 and 18, and bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12.
On the par-3 12th, Snead saved bogey after hitting into the water, pitching onto the fringe and sinking a chip shot.
“I dropped back on a spot with no more grass than there is hair on top of my head,” he said of his penalty drop. After chipping in, he said, “I figured then that I still had a chance to win.”
With a stiff breeze blowing on the final day, Snead’s 72 was bettered by only three players. The average score for the field that day was 76.8 strokes. Even the normally steady Hogan struggled, shooting 79 to drop into a tie for seventh.
Snead’s 286 total was the highest in Masters history.
The 1952 Masters also was memorable for the start of one of the tournament’s most famous traditions. After winning in 1951, Hogan suggested that previous champions gather for a dinner each year.
The Masters Club, now known as the Champions Dinner, was born.
|2||Jack Burke, Jr||+2||76||67||78||69||$2,500|