Masters took break during World War II
It didn’t take long for Augusta National and the Masters to shut down operations after World War II began.
Five months after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the Masters went on as scheduled. Byron Nelson defeated Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff.
Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts decided almost immediately after the 1942 Masters to cease play for the duration of the war. It’s hard to imagine now, but the club’s greenskeeper raised turkey and cattle on the grounds while the club was closed.
Jones, who was 40, was commissioned as a captain in the Army Air Corps. He was eventually stationed overseas, and the day after D-Day his unit landed at Normandy.
The man who led the invasion of Normandy, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, would later become a prominent member at Augusta National.
Several top players also enlisted. Sam Snead and Jimmy Demaret were in the Navy, Ben Hogan was in the Army Air Corps and Lloyd Mangrum served in the Army. Byron Nelson, who had a medical condition, was exempt from service.
Augusta National was completely closed in 1943 and 1944, but reopened for member play in 1945.
After a three-year hiatus, the Masters resumed in 1946.