ralph lauren polo women Patton to win 1954 Masters
An unheard of amateur, Billy Joe Patton, almost stole the show. His heroics included a hole in one and the lead on the final nine before he found disaster on the incoming par 5 holes.
Almost lost in the shuffle is that Sam Snead and Ben Hogan wound up tied after 72 holes, with Patton alone in third just one shot back. The two golf legends would meet in an 18 hole playoff the next day.
Snead, Hogan and Byron Nelson formed a trio of American golfers that dominated the game from the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s. While Nelson had been retired from full time competition for nearly a decade, Hogan and Snead were still at the top of their games. Hogan had won three majors in 1953, and Snead was eager to add to the six majors he had already won.
While that trio of golfers got the lion share of attention, Patton came to Augusta with little fanfare. He earned his invitation on the basis of being an alternate on the 1953 Walker Cup squad. Other than a couple of regional victories, no one expected much from the North Carolina native.
Everyone, that is, except Patton. Right after getting his invitation, he ordered a new white jacket.
couldn buy a cashmere jacket in Morganton, you had to order it, his brother, James Patton, said. said he wanted to look good at the presentation ceremony. started off with a bang, winning the long driving contest held before the tournament, and shot 2 under 70 to share the first round lead with Dutch Harrison. Patton slipped to 74 in the second round, but he still held the 36 hole lead.
running my way, Patton told reporters. supposed to shoot 80 sometime in this tournament, you know, and I probably will. wasn an 80, but Patton did shoot 75 in the third round. Hogan shot 69, the tournament first sub 70 round, and he led Snead by three and Patton by five entering the final round. Cary Middlecoff and Tommy Bolt also were in the mix.
In 1954, the Masters didn pair golfers by score. The leaders were often staggered, and there were not a lot of leaderboards around the course.
Patton was paired with three time Masters winner Jimmy Demaret, and for five holes his round was uneventful. Then lightning struck, in the form of an ace, on the par 3 sixth.
and I are standing behind the sixth green, he coming up, and I go away to get a Coke at the concession stand, Jenkins said. hear the roar. happened? Joe made a one. I said, did it look like? And, you know Drum, he was incredibly funny. I said, did it look like, Bob? He said, the hole and here the ball. That a one. I said, it bounce, did it fly? added birdies at Nos. 8 and 9 to finish the front side in 32 and grab the lead, and by the time he reached No. 13 he was still in the thick of things. Hogan and Snead were not pulling away from the amateur.
Patton tee shot at the par 5 13th was pushed to the edge of the fairway. Unsure of where he stood, Patton elected to go for the green in two.
Drum and I were standing right there on 13 and he was in the rough, Jenkins said. wanted him to lay up. And he said, audibly so we could all hear it and quote it, didn get where I am by playing safe. And he got in the water. found the tributary of Rae Creek that fronted the green, and wound up with a double bogey.
He bounced back with a birdie at the 14th, but made another poor decision on the par 5 15th. From a questionable lie, he tried to hit the green in two but found the water again. This led to a bogey.
Up ahead, Snead had birdied the 13th and 15th to shoot even par 72 and get in the clubhouse with a total of 1 over 289.
Patton parred the final three holes and missed an 18 foot birdie putt that would have tied him with Snead.
Hogan, playing behind the other two, struggled to 37 on the front nine. He fell behind on the 11th when his second shot found the pond guarding the green. That led to a double bogey and later prompted the famous quote from Hogan: you ever see me on the 11th green in two, you know I missed my second shot. played the final seven holes in even par, but his 75 opened the door for Snead to tie. Just a few years removed from his near fatal car accident, the last thing Hogan wanted was to have to walk another 18 holes.
After an epic final round, the Monday playoff between two of the all time greats didn come close to matching the excitement of the day before. But it was Hogan vs. Snead with a green jacket on the line, and that was enough for Jenkins.
The playoff was tight, and Snead took the lead on the 10th with an unlikely birdie.
the playoff he played so much better than Snead, Jenkins said of Hogan. missed two fairways and greens. Sam chips in on 10 with a 7 iron all the way across the damn green. gave back a stroke at the 12th, and they came to the par 5 13th all square again. Hogan elected to lay up and wound up with a par, while Snead hit the green in two and made birdie.
Hogan three putted the 16th to fall two shots behind, and after Snead made a bogey on the final hole, the final tally was 70 to 71 in Snead favor.
happy I was there, Jenkins said. was historic. Two of the greatest players in the world. The best kept secret in golf was that they were really good friends. Ben and Sam were much better friends than Ben and Byron, who grew up together.
loved Sam humor, and he admired his game. He always said Sam Snead the greatest golfer in the world, he got the greatest swing in history. He said if I could caddy for him he never lose a tournament. lucky enough to have witnessed the playoff could not have guessed it would be the end of an era. Although both men would challenge for future majors, they would never win another major.
me, I wrote in the Fort Worth Press that this will be the last time we see these two giants contending for a major, Jenkins said. was a little bit wrong, because they did contend, but they never won another major. who also had lost an 18 hole Masters playoff to Byron Nelson in 1942, was gracious in defeat.
always gives you some good shots and a few chuckles, he said of Snead.
At the awards ceremony, Patton was on hand to receive his low amateur medal. With tournament co founder Bobby Jones, Snead and Hogan all wearing their green jackets, Patton stood out with his white coat.