A Chronicle of the
Philadelphia Section PGA and its Members
by Peter C. Trenham
1940 to 1949
1940 Hershey CC hosted the PGA and Section member Sam Snead lost in the finals to Byron Nelson.
1941 The Section hosted the 25th anniversary dinner for the PGA of America and Dudley was elected president.
1942 Sam Snead won the PGA at Seaview and nine Section members qualified for the 32-man field.
1943 The Section raised money and built a golf course for the WW II wounded vets at Valley Forge General Hospital.
1944 The Section was now providing golf for five military medical hospitals in the Delaware Valley.
1945 Hogan, Snead and Nelson, won 29 of the 37 tournaments held on the PGA Tour that year.
1946 Ben Hogan won 12 events on the PGA Tour the PGA Championship.
1947 CC of York pro E.J. “Dutch” Harrison won Reading Open, plus two more tour titles.
1948 Marty Lyons was elected secretary of the PGA. Ben Hogan won the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open.
1949 In January Hogan won twice and then with a bus in west Texas almost ended his life.
The 1940s began with Ed Dudley, Philadelphia Country Club professional, in his sixth year as the Section president. The first vice-president and tournament chairman, Marty Lyons, agreed to host the Section Championship for the fifth year in a row at the Llanerch Country Club. The British Open was canceled due to war in Europe.
The third Senior PGA Championship was held in mid January. The tournament was moved from December to January so there wasn’t a Senior PGA Championship in 1939. It was played at the Bobby Jones Golf Club in Sarasota, Florida in hopes of having better weather than they had had in Augusta, Georgia. A playoff was needed as Jock Hutchison and Otto Hackbarth were tied at the end of the 36 holes of regulation play with 146s. An 18-hole playoff was held and the two pros were still tied after shooting 74s. A second 18-hole playoff was held and Hackbarth came out on top by one stroke with a 74 against a 75 for Hutchison. Hackbarth’s rounds were 76-70 and the 70 was the low round of the tournament. Charlie Mayo and Fred Miley tied for third at 148. Old York Road professional, Jack Campbell tied with Jim Barnes, the former Section member, for fifth place with 149s. Campbell also won his age group, 55-59. George Morris (151), the professional at the Colonial Country Club in Harrisburg, tied for seventh and Sunnybrook Golf Club professional, Frank Coltart (155) tied for 16th.
In late January Ed Oliver won the Crosby Pro-Am at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club near San Diego. Oliver put together rounds of 68 and 67 on the 6,800-yard course for a nine under par 135. He won $500 as he finished three strokes in front of Vic Ghezzi (138). Ben Hogan and Jug McSpaden tied for third with 139s. After the tournament Bing Crosby hosted all of the contestants, pros and amateurs, at his Del Mar Turf Club.
The next week, in early February, Ed Oliver won again. This victory came at the Phoenix Country Club in the two-day $3,000 Phoenix Open. Oliver opened with a 69 the first day and then he posted a 72 in morning of the second day. Ben Hogan, who was still looking for his first official win on the PGA Tour, finished at 206. Everyone was congratulating Hogan on his victory but Oliver came in with a seven under par 64, which was a course record. That put him in the clubhouse with a 205 total that won by one stroke. Leonard Dodson and Clayton Heafner tied for third with 207s. First prize was $700.
Two new members of the Section were Sam Snead and Jimmy McHale. The 27-year old Snead had been signed on by the Shawnee Inn & Country Club to represent them on the PGA Tour. One of the best young players on the PGA Tour, he had been on the Ryder Cup Team in 1937. In 1938 he won the Canadian Open and was the leading money winner on tour. He replaced Jimmy Thomson, the longest driver on the PGA Tour, who had held the position from 1936 through 1939. Thomson was still a member of the Section but he was concentrating on playing exhibitions for the Spalding Sporting Goods Company. McHale had been hired by Ed Dudley to replace Sam Byrd who had moved over to the Merion Cricket Club as George Sayers’ teaching and playing pro. J. Howard Pew, a member of Merion and president of the Sun Oil Company, paid Byrd’s salary while he worked at Merion.
Nine Philadelphia Section professionals were invited to the Masters Tournament in early April. Jimmy Demaret was the winner by four strokes over Lloyd Mangrum (284) and five over Byron Nelson (285) with rounds of 67, 72, 70 and 71 for a 280 total. First prize was still $1,500. The course was a symmetrical 3,400 yards going out with a par of 36 and 3,400 yards coming back and also par 36. Mangrum took the lead by three strokes the first day with a course record 64. No one broke 70 the last day. Host professional Ed Dudley, Willie Goggin and Harry Cooper tied for fourth at 287. Sam Snead, Henry Picard, the professional at the Hershey Country Club, and Craig Wood tied for seventh at even par 288. Sam Byrd (292), Ed Oliver (294), who was playing the PGA Tour between pro jobs, Jimmy Thomson (301) and Felix Serafin (308), the professional at the Scranton Country Club, were out of the money. Leo Diegel, the head professional at the Philmont Country Club and his assistant Matt Kowal were invited but they didn’t play in the tournament.
On the third Monday of April the Section’s spring meeting was at Raymond’s Restaurant in Philadelphia. Section president Ed Dudley, was back from Augusta National and presided at the meeting. The members decided to invite apprentices with two years of eligibility toward PGA membership, to play in all the Section tournaments except the championship. At the Section’s 1939 fall meeting the members had decided to put together a plan to promote junior golf in the Philadelphia Section. The plan was to have buttons made with the inscription “PGA HONORARY MEMBER”. The buttons were sold for $1 to amateur golfers in the area to promote the junior program. The newspapermen agreed to give it their full support, which was a big help. Four pro-junior tournaments were held in 1940, two for boys and two for girls. The money derived from the sale of the buttons was used to put on the pro-juniors, provide free instruction for juniors and cover any other costs associated with the program. Every junior who played in the pro-junior tournaments received a prize.
In mid May the Section held its second annual PGA Golf Week. Tournaments were held, exhibitions were played and the radio stations all helped with the promotion of the golf week. Ed Dudley and Jimmy D’Angelo, the professional at the Baederwood Golf Club, visited several clubs to give talks and show movies promoting golf.
Qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at 25 locations in the country on the last Monday in May. Seven players from the Philadelphia Section were exempt from qualifying for being in the top 30 the year before. They were Sam Snead, Ed Dudley, Henry Picard, Sam Byrd, Matt Kowal, Ed Oliver and Felix Serafin. There were 82 pros and amateurs competing for ten spots in Philadelphia at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club. Seaview Country Club professional Bruce Coltart led the qualifying by three over Ted Turner (142), the playing pro from the Pine Valley Golf Club, with a 72-67 for 139. The others were Newark Country Club professional Dave Douglas (145), Plymouth Country Club professional Terl Johnson (146), Jack Grout (147) now the professional at the Irem Temple Country, Holmesburg Country Club professional Gene Kunes (148), Saucon Valley Country Club professional Ralph Hutchison (149), Philadelphia Country Club assistant professional Joe Ludes (149) along with amateurs Harry Haverstick and Dick Chapman.
Jimmy Thomson qualified for the U.S. Open in New York on the last Monday of May. Qualifying was held at the Mount Vernon Country Club. Al Brosch led the qualifying for 17 spots with a 140. Thomson finished tied for second at 143. Al Brosch was low with a 140. A score of 149 won the last spots.
The Section’s Pro-Lady Championship was first played in 1924 and over the years it had evolved from a one-day tournament to a three-day event. One thing that stayed the same was that the format was scotch foursomes. In the first week of June the tournament was held at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club. The teams qualified on Monday morning and after the flights of eight were sorted out the first round matches were played that afternoon. Two rounds were played on Tuesday and the final was held on Sunday. Two of the Philadelphia Section’s biggest names wound opposing each other on Sunday. The host professional, Joe Kirkwood, Sr., and his partner Mrs. Frank O’Neil were playing the Ed Dudley–Helen Sigel team. The Dudley team was three down with five holes to play, but they made four straight birdies to take a one-up lead. The Dudley team now held a one-up lead as they drove from the 18th tee, the Kirkwood team won the hole with a par to send the match into a sudden-death playoff. The Kirkwood team was three under par for the 18 holes but that wasn’t good enough to win. On Huntingdon Valley’s first hole the pros played their lady’s drives. Dudley put his shot eight feet from the hole and Kirkwood’s shot ended up in a greenside bunker. Dudley and Sigel’s par won the match. By the time the match ended there were 300 spectators.
The U.S. Open was at the Canterbury Country Club near Cleveland in early June. The Philadelphia Section had sixteen of its professionals in the starting field. For the first time the players were paired in threes for the first two rounds. They played the last day in twos. Lawson Little (70) beat Gene Sarazen (73) in an 18-hole playoff for the title. They had tied with one-under-par 287s. Little’s rounds were 72, 69, 72 and 72. On the next to last hole of regulation play Sarazen holed a 30-foot-putt with a lump of mud on the side of the ball. The players weren’t allowed to clean their golf balls even on the green. With the players playing the last 36 holes on Saturday, Ed Oliver and five other players went out to the first tee after lunch for their final 18 holes. The official starter wasn’t there and the weather was threatening. The six teed off about 30 minutes ahead of their assigned starting times. Oliver shot a 71 and finished in a three-way tie for first but he and the five others were disqualified. Horton Smith finished third at 288 and Craig Wood was next with a 289. Six of the Philadelphia Section’s professionals finished in the money at Canterbury. Ed Dudley (292) led the Section pros with a tenth place tie winning $137.50 and Henry Picard (293) tied for 12th. Gene Kunes and Sam Snead were in a group tied for 16th with 295s and each won $50. Felix Serafin (296) tied for 20th, winning $50. Bruce Coltart (300) won $30 for a tie for 29th. Everyone who finished 30th or better was exempt for the 1941 US Open. Matt Kowal (301) and Sam Byrd (302) also made the cut. Jack Grout, Ralph Hutchison, Ted Turner, Terl Johnson, Jimmy Thomson, Joe Ludes and Dave Douglas missed the cut. First prize was $1,000 and the total purse was $6,000.
A rumor was going around that a new hot ball was being used by some of the entrants. The USGA stated that the only rule concerning the ball was that it might not weight more than 1.62 ounces or be less than 1.68 inches in diameter. They stated that tests on the balls would be done later in Chicago. Henry Picard stated that there was a new ball out and he intended to acquire some of them. He said the ball was perfectly legal but it would require a complete makeover of his game. He said the new ball demanded that a stiff shaft club be used, while most of the pros used clubs with plenty of whip.
The next week the big stars were in Ohio for the $6,500 Inverness Four-Ball. Sam Snead teamed up with Ralph Guldahl to pick up another PGA Tour victory. They were plus 15 points for the seven rounds. Jimmy Demaret and Dick Metz (plus 12) were in second place three points back. Other Section members in the eight-team field were Henry Picard, Jimmy Thomson and Ed Dudley.
A former U.S. Open champion, Pittsburgh’s Sam Parks, Jr., won the Pennsylvania Open. It was held in mid June at the Edgewood Country Club in Pittsburgh. Parks won the $250 first prize with a 74-70 for an even par 144 and nipped Uniontown’s Art Clark (145) by one stroke. Gene Kunes and Matt Kowal led the Philadelphia pros tying for third. They shot 146 and won $87.50 apiece. There were ten money places.
On the fourth Friday of June Sam Snead returned to the Philadelphia Country Club on year after tossing away a great opportunity to win the US Open. The occasion was an exhibition to raise money for the French War Relief Fund. Snead and Ben Hogan took on the team of Ed Oliver and Gene Sarazen. Snead got a bit of revenge by carding a six under par 64 that was finished off with a birdie four on the 18th hole, which was half the strokes he had used up on that hole on the last round of the 1939 US Open. Snead and Hogan won 4-up.
On the third Monday of July Ed Dudley won his fourth Philadelphia Open at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. For the first time since 1912 the tournament was contested at 36 holes instead of 72. Dudley outscored 80 pros and amateurs to win the $200 first prize with a pair of 71s for a two-under-par 142. Gene Kunes (143) was in second place one stroke back and one stroke ahead of Matt Kowal (144). Cooper River Golf Club professional Charlie Arena finished fourth at 146 one stroke ahead of George Fazio (147) who was now the professional at the Glendale Golf Club, Bruce Coltart (147) and amateur Dick Chapman (147). There were ten money prizes and the purse totaled $575.
In mid July the Ryder Cup team that had been selected in late 1939, played a match a match for charity against a challenge team led by Gene Sarazen. Sarazen, who had been left off the Ryder Cup team for the first time, had proclaimed that he could field a team, which he named, that was better than the US Ryder Cup team. One flaw in that, was that there were three members of Sarazen’s team who had not been born in the United States and not eligible for the US team. The match was played near Detroit at the Oakland Hills Country Club. With all matches scheduled for 36 holes, the Cup team eked out a victory, 7 points to 5. Ed Oliver, Jimmy Thomson, Ben Hogan and Lawson Little were on Sarazen’s team of challengers Hogan was victorious in both the foursomes match and his singles match. Oliver won his singles match over Jimmy Hines by 8&7. Sam Snead lost to Hogan 2-down. Henry Picard won both of his matches as he defeated Gene Sarazen in their singles match by 8&7. Byron Nelson and Jug McSpaden won their foursomes match over Thomson and Tommy Armour by 8&7. $18,500 was raised for the Red Cross. Hagen and Sarazen also had a side bet of $1,000 which went to the Red Cross.
The British Open was also a casualty of war in Europe. It was canceled for 1940 and was not played again until 1946.
Huntingdon Valley Country Club assistant Charlie Sheppard won the Central Pennsylvania Open on the first Monday of August. He broke Byron Nelson’s Reading Country Club tournament record from the previous year by two strokes with rounds of 67 and 68 for a seven-under-par 135. Nelson didn’t defend his title, as he was now the pro at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Finishing five strokes back in second place was The Springhaven Club’s playing professional Bud Lewis (140). He was one stroke ahead of Charlie Schneider (141) the professional at the Concord Country Club. There was a four-way tie for fourth. The host pro Henry Poe, Ed Dudley, Gene Kunes and Fred Johnson the assistant pro at the Philadelphia Cricket Club all posted 142s. First prize was $100 and 15 pros cashed a check.
The PGA Championship returned to the Section at the Hershey Country Club and the Philadelphia Section had seven places to qualify for. The Section qualifying was held at the Paxon Hollow Country Club on the second Monday in August. Ted Turner was the low qualifier with a nine-under-par (69-66) 135. Charlie Sheppard was second with a 136 and Jimmy Thomson finished third at 137. Walter Brickley, the professional at the Riverton Country Club, and Bruce Coltart tied for fourth with 138s. Five professionals tied at 139 for the last two qualifying places in their national championship. In an 18-hole playoff the next morning Ed Dudley and George Fazio secured the last two places. Dudley shot a ten-under-par 62 which was thought to be the lowest competitive round ever shot in the Philadelphia area, pro or amateur, and Fazio’s score was 65. The three that didn’t make it were Gene Kunes (71), Matt Kowal (73) and Jimmy D’Angelo (74). Leo Diegel was exempt as a former PGA champion and Sam Snead had an exemption as a member of the Ryder Cup team. Henry Picard was exempt as the defending champion and the host professional.
Sam Snead got married on Monday and won the Canadian Open that week. The championship was held in mid August at Toronto. At the end of the 72 holes of regulation play Sam Snead and Jug McSpaden were tied for the top spot with three under par 281s. Snead had led by five after 36 holes (67-66) 133, but he faltered the last day with rounds of 75 and 73 that allowed McSpaden to catch him. The final round was played on Saturday and the playoff was held on Monday. Snead (71) prevailed by one stroke in the playoff to capture his second Canadian Open when McSpaden (72) missed a two-foot putt on the final green. First prize was $1,000 and second paid $600. Ray Mangrum (283) was two shots back in third place and one ahead of Ralph Guldahl (284).
Ed Oliver won the $7,500 St. Paul Open at the Keller Course in the last week of July. Oliver put together rounds of 66, 71, 70 and 69 for a 276 total. Oliver birdied the last two holes to edge out Dick Metz (277) and Willie Goggin (277) by one stroke. Lawson Little and amateur Jim Ferrier tied for fourth at 278. First prize was $1,600.
In late August Henry Picard was both the host pro and the defending champion for the PGA Championship. Ten Section members were entered which included the seven qualifiers and three exempt professionals. At Hershey the pros had to qualify again to land a place in the 64-man match play. Picard (142), Ed Dudley (145), Sam Snead (147), George Fazio (148), Charlie Sheppard (150) and Jimmy Thomson (153) qualified. Leo Diegel, Bruce Coltart, Walter Brickley and Ted Turner failed to qualify. In the first round Thomson lost to Alex Gerlak one-down and Fazio lost to Ray Mangrum 3&2. Sheppard won his first round match over Gene Marchi 4&3 and then lost to Snead by 3&2 in the second round. The first two rounds were 18-hole matches. Picard and Dudley each won two matches before losing. Picard eliminated Leonard Gallett 6&4 and then he put out Gerlak 4&3. Dudley beat Henry Bontempo 5&4 and John Gibson 2&1. Snead kept on winning all the way to the finals where he met Byron Nelson. On Saturday the day of the 36-hole semifinal matches only 18 holes were played due to very heavy rains. The second eighteen was played on Sunday with the finals rescheduled for Monday, which was Labor Day. Nelson finished birdie-birdie-par to outlast Snead by a one-up margin to win another major championship. On the way to the finals Snead beat Nelson Giddens 2&1, Sheppard, Jimmy Hines 7&6, Gene Sarazen one-down and Jug McSpaden 5&4. Nelson beat Ralph Guldahl in semifinals 3&2. The purse was $11,050.
The next week the tour moved to the Country Club of Scranton for the $5,000 Anthracite Open. The tournament was preceded by a driving contest on Thursday, which Jimmy Thomson won. He took both of the top prizes, one ton of anthracite coal for each. His three drives totaled 863 yards and his longest was 290. Sam Snead was second with a total of 800 yards and Ed Oliver was third at 794.
Henry Pickard was the defending champion again this week at the Anthracite Open, having won the inaugural one the previous year with a seven under-par 273. The results were reversed from the week before as Sam Snead turned in rounds of 65, 73, 68 and 70 for a 276, to finish two strokes in front of Byron Nelson (278). Lawson Little finished third at 279. Ed Dudley and Ed Oliver tied for fourth with 281s. The host professional, Felix Serafin had a 66 in the opening round and finished sixth at 282. Picard (283) tied for seventh, Sam Byrd (286) tied for 11th and Jack Grout (287) tied for 15th. First prize was $1,200. The total purse was $5,000, which was about average for a regular weekly tournament on the PGA Tour at that time.
On the second Monday of September the Wood Memorial was held at the Jeffersonville Golf Club. The tournament ended in a tie as George Fazio and Charlie Sheppard posted 68s. There was no playoff. Ed Oliver, who was playing the PGA Tour most of the time, finished one stroke back in third place with a 69. Even though Oliver was connected to a club in western New York, he was still affiliated with the Philadelphia PGA Section. Joe Ludes, Carmen Steppo, an assistant pro at the Wilmington Country Club, and Joe Zarhardt, who was back in the Section and the host professional, tied for fourth with even par 70s. First place money was $50 from the $150 purse.
On the second Friday of September the one-day South Jersey Open was held at the Atlantic City Country Club. Two pros from outside the Section, Vic Ghezzi and Horton Smith tied for first with 140s. They posted identical rounds of 71 in the morning and 69 in the afternoon. There was no playoff and the two pros each received $225. Tied for third one stroke back were Jimmy Thomson (141), Charlie Sheppard (141) and amateur James “Sonny” Fraser (141) of the home club. Jimmy McHale (143) was alone in sixth place. Ted Turner, Sam Byrd and Ed Oliver tied for seventh with 144s. Tying for tenth and finishing in the money at 145 were Matt Kowal, Ray Mangrum, Ky Laffoon, Ralph Beach and Dick Renaghan, who was now the professional at the Woodcrest Country Club.
George Fazio and Jimmy McHale won the Section’s pro-pro championship. Later that year McHale applied for reinstatement as an amateur. After World War II he was one of the leading amateurs in Philadelphia and the United States.
World War II was on the horizon and the people in the United States were doing whatever they could to help their friends in Europe. On September 15th an exhibition was played at Philadelphia Country Club’s Spring Mill Course. A gallery of 5,000 turned out to see Bing Crosby and Ed Dudley play a better ball match against Jimmy Thomson and Horton Smith for the benefit of the British War Relief Society. It was one of the largest turnouts to see a golf match in years. Between golf shots Crosby signed autographs on golf balls and anything else that the fans put in front of him.
The Section Championship was held the next week in September. For a fifth straight year the Llanerch Country Club hosted the tournament. It was all Matt Kowal. He won the medal, qualifying with a 71 and a 65. His 136 set a new standard for the Section Championship 36-hole qualifying round, breaking Byron Nelson’s record 137, which was shot at Llanerch the previous year. The 65 was a Llanerch course record as well. Ed Dudley was next with a 139 and Clarence Ehresman, the professional at the Ashbourne Country Club, was third at 140. Jimmy Thomson qualified but he didn’t play in the match play. Thirty-two players qualified for the match play as the 153s played off for the last spots. The defending champion Charlie Schneider and the host pro Marty Lyons were exempt. On Sunday Kowal defeated Dudley in a 36-hole final before a gallery estimated at 1,500. On the last green Kowal holed a ten-foot putt for a birdie to win 1-up. As the medalist he received the Evening Ledger Cup and as the Section champion he received the Bulletin Cup, which was awarded for the first time that year. Kowal reached the finals by defeating Gene Kunes in the semi-finals 3&2. In the other semi-final match Dudley beat Schneider 5&4.
The annual meeting of the Section was held at Raymond’s Restaurant on the third Monday in October. Ed Dudley was elected president for an unprecedented seventh year. He was also still a vice-president of the PGA of America. Marty Lyons was reelected first vice president and the Beverly Hills Country Club professional Ted Bickel, Jr. was elected second vice president. Jimmy D’Angelo was reelected secretary and Walter Brickley was elected treasurer for the sixth consecutive year. The Section’s members decided to continue with the junior program and the sale of the buttons. They knew that junior golf had benefited and these juniors would be future club members. It kept the words “junior golfer” and “PGA” in front of the adult golfers during the entire season and generated enthusiasm among the various clubs. At the meeting the members were notified that the entire membership would receive a questionnaire asking for suggestions concerning junior golf and other programs that might benefit the Section.
The PGA of America’s annual meeting was held at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago during the second week of November. An innovation at the meeting was the informal meeting of the delegates prior to the regular meeting. The delegates discussed the numerous resolutions and the next day they were ready to vote which resulted in time saved for other matters. One resolution that passed created a vice-president for each of the PGA Districts. Each District was made up of three PGA Sections. For the first time each District elected their vice-president to represent them on the Executive Committee. Before that the VPs were elected by the PGA of America executive committee, which was composed of the national officers and the VPs. Tom Walsh was unanimously reelected president and a former Section member Frank Sprogell was elected secretary. Sprogell won out over the incumbent Captain Charles R. Clark by one vote (35 to 34). Sprogell had worked in the Section when Philadelphia was part of the Southeastern Section. Willie Maguire was reelected treasurer. Ed Dudley was the tournament chairman for a fourth consecutive year and he reported to the delegates that the contract of Fred Corcoran, the tournament bureau manager, had been renewed. Leo Diegel and Sam Snead were on Dudley’s committee. The PGA Tour had played 26 tournaments for $160,000 during the past 12 months and attracted 500,000 spectators. Sponsored tournaments had donated $50,000 to the Red Cross treasury that year. Seventeen events had been lined up for the upcoming Winter Tour. The entry fees were $1 per $1,000 in the tournament purse. Caddy fees were $1 to $1.50 per round. It was estimated that it cost about $10 a day to play the PGA Tour. The PGA announced that it was starting a Hall of Fame. The selection committee was made up of four sportswriters, the chairman Grantland Rice, O.B. Keeler, Kerr Petrie and A. Linde Fowler. The delegates from the Philadelphia Section were Jimmy D’Angelo and Dick Henkel, the professional at the Schuylkill Country Club.
The PGA’s winter tour began in Pinehurst, North Carolina with the Mid-South Open at Pinehurst Country Club’s No. 2 course. Ed Oliver and Clayton Heafner won the preliminary two-day better ball tournament with rounds of 64 and 68. Their 12 under par 132 won by five strokes over an all amateur team of Jim Ferrier and Frank Stranahan. Oliver and Heafner each won $250. The 36-hole open tournament was played the next day with 76 entries. Sam Snead and Stranahan posted identical scores of 70 and 73 to tie for first at 143. There was no playoff. First prize was $350. Oliver and Vic Ghezzi tied for third one stroke back at 144. They each won $225. The talk of the day was a morning round course record of 69 (38-31) turned in by future Section member Rod Munday. He faded in the afternoon to a tie for 14th. No one else broke 70 in the tournament.
The leading money winner and scoring average leader was Ben Hogan. The Vardon Trophy was figured on a point system and Hogan led with 423 points. Sam Snead was second with 390 points. Hogan won $10,655, Byron Nelson was second with $9,653 and Snead was next with $9,206. Ed Oliver was 11th with $4,725. Hogan’s scoring average was 70.53 for 75 tournament rounds. Hogan finished in the money in all of the 23 tournaments that he entered that year. He won four times and three wins came back to back to back. There were 26 tournaments on the PGA Tour that year and the purses totaled $160,000.
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Former Philadelphia professional, Jack Burke, Sr., won Senior PGA Championship on the second weekend in January. The seniors were back in Sarasota, Florida for their fourth annual championship. Burke’s (75-67) score of 142 for 36-holes, won by seven strokes. Par was 71. Eddie Williams finished second at 149. Jock Hutchison, Jack Gordon and H.C. Hackbarth tied for third with 150s. Frank Coltart and George Morris tied for 15th. Jack Campbell (159) finished second to Gil Nicholls (157) in the 60-64-year-old age group.
Early that year George Izett moved his custom club making shop to 1035 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. He formed a partnership with Bill Bailey and Al Allen. They called it Bailey, Allen & Izett, Inc. Bailey had been working for Wanamakers Department Store in Philadelphia running their golf department. When it came to golf, Wanamakers had been in both the retail and wholesale business importing golf equipment from Great Britain for sale in America. It was the Wanamaker family who had spearheaded the formation of the PGA in 1916 to improve their customer relations with the professionals. The Wanamakers put up cash and the trophy for the first PGA Championship. Now the store had decided to close its golf department. Bailey, Allen & Izett sold woods, the PGA ball, golf shoes and a complete line of golf accessories. They also sold the Walter Hagen golf clubs that were made in Michigan by the L.A. Young Company. The Izett clubs were sold all over the world. Izett made drivers for several United States presidents and many of the greatest playing professionals.
Early in 1941 the Selective Service Board was beginning to interfere with the careers of professional golfers as well as many other people. In late January Ed Oliver, still using Wilmington as his address even though he was the head professional in Hornell, New York, had to make a hurried trip home from the tour for his physical. Oliver drove home to Wilmington and then drove back across the country to play in the Crosby Pro-Am. He was Bing Crosby’s partner in the tournament and the defending champion. While Oliver was home his father had taken his clubs out of the car and stored them away. He didn’t know that his son was going to get a deferment and thought that he would not be playing golf for a while. Oliver arrived in California without any clubs and had to play with a borrowed set. At the tournament Ed Dudley gave Bing Crosby a plaque from the PGA for participating in six Red Cross matches sponsored by the PGA in 1940. Sam Snead won the 36-hole tournament, played at Rancho Sante Fe Golf Club, with a 67 and a 69 for a 136 total. There were over 300 entries and it took two days to play the first round. Craig Wood finished second at 137. This was Snead’s third Crosby Pro-Am victory and he had won every one he had played in. Jug McSpaden and Bill Nary tied for third with 138s.
In early February Ed Oliver (275) won the $5,000 Western Open in Phoenix beating Ben Hogan (278) and Byron Nelson (278) by three strokes. Oliver, who had won three times the year before, finished strong. In the morning of the last day he played the back nine in 30 for a 67 and he tacked on a 69 in the afternoon to win the $1,000 first prize. His first two rounds were 67 and 72. Johnny Bulla finished fourth at 280.
Henry Picard grabbed the spotlight one last time for the Hershey Country Club by winning the $5,000 New Orleans Open in mid February. Picard toured the City Park Course in rounds of 72, 65, 66 and 73 for a total of 276 to finish two strokes in front of Ben Hogan (278). Picard broke the tournament record that he had set two years before, by eight strokes. The 65 was a course record also. Clayton Heafner finished third at 279. Jimmy Demaret, Toney Penna, Craig Wood and Ralph Guldahl tied for fourth with 284s. There were 168 entries and first prize was $1,200.
In mid February the PGA selected the Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver to host the PGA Championship. PGA president Tom Walsh made the announcement after polling the association’s executive committee.
In the last week of February Sam Snead handled cold gusty winds off the Gulf of Mexico to win the $5,000 St. Petersburg Open. Snead finished two strokes in front of other pros with rounds of 67, 72, 68 and 72 for a five-under-par 279. First prize was $1,200. Tying for second at 281 and winning $525 were Ben Hogan, Jug McSpaden, Barron and Chick Harbert. Sam Byrd (284) tied for sixth.
The next week in February Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen won the International Four-Ball in Miami. The $5,000 tournament was held at the Miami Biltmore Hotel Course. Hogan and Sarazen each won $1,000 by defeating Sam Snead and Ralph Guldahl in the 36-hole final 4&3. Hogan made seven birdies in the fourteen holes needed in the afternoon to finish the match.
It was announced that on March 15, that Ben Hogan would be the professional at the Hershey Country Club. He was replacing his good friend Henry Picard, who had moved to Oklahoma. Due to problems with arthritis in his hands and a family of four children Picard wanted to reduce his tournament schedule and Milton Hershey wanted someone to represent Hershey and the Hershey Chocolate Company on the PGA Tour.
Sam Snead won the North and South Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina in the third week of March. Snead picked up his third victory of the year on the PGA Tour with rounds of 69, 66, 73 and 69 a record tying 277 on the Pinehurst #2 course. He tied Ben Hogan’s winning score from the year before and the 66 tied the course record that Hogan had set that same year. First prize was $2,000. Clayton Heafner finished second at 280. Willie Goggin finished third at 284. Byron Nelson and Lawson Little tied for fourth with 285s. Hogan (288) who was now officially the pro at Hershey Country Club and another Section member Terl Johnson (290) finished sixth and eighth.
The next week in March it was Ben Hogan’s turn to win as he won the $5,000 Land of the Sky Open in Asheville, North Carolina. Hogan was the defending champion and it took a very unusual finish to keep the title. After earlier rounds of 67 and 73 on the Biltmore Forest Country Club course he began the last day with a four-stroke lead. At the end of the morning round he had shot a 75 and now trailed Lawson Little by five strokes. In the afternoon Hogan put together a two-under-par 69 in spite of a four-putt green when two putts wouldn’t stop near the hole and kept rolling back to where he had putted. His 284 total finished two strokes in front of Lawson Little and earned him a check for $1,200. Lloyd Mangrum finished third at 289 and Craig Wood was next with a 290.
The PGA’s Hall of Fame selection committee, composed of sports writers and headed by Grantland Rice met at the Masters and announced their selections. These were the first inductees. That first class was Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Bobby Jones and Francis Quimet. It was also announced that a PGA hall would be erected at Augusta National Golf Club.
After several near misses Craig Wood came through with his first major victory at the Masters Tournament in the first week of April. Wood won by three strokes over Byron Nelson (283) with rounds of 66, 71, 71 and 72 for 280. First prize was still $1,500. The entry fee was $5. Sam Byrd (285), Ben Hogan (286) and Ed Dudley (288) finished third, fourth and fifth respectively and Sam Snead (289) tied for sixth. Jimmy Thomson (293) missed the money by one stroke. Gene Kunes (297), Felix Serafin (297) and Bruce Coltart (308) were also in the field.
The big employment news came in April when Section president Ed Dudley announced that he was resigning as the professional at the Philadelphia Country Club and would be leaving for a new summer head pro position at The Broadmoor. The Philadelphia Country Club had been putting pressure on him to be back from Augusta by April 1. Since the Masters was played in early April he had to make a choice between the two and his choice was the Augusta National Golf Club. Dudley would be at The Broadmoor from June 1 until after Labor Day. He was still a member of the Philadelphia PGA and president of the Section.
For the first time in a number of years Ed Dudley was not at the Section’s spring meeting. The meeting was at Raymond’s Restaurant in Philadelphia on the third Monday in April. The Section’s members decided that first vice president Marty Lyons would handle the presidential duties for Dudley in his absence along with continuing to be the tournament chairman, until the next election. At the meeting they also decided to hold two junior championships in addition to the pro-junior tournaments. There would be one for girls and one for boys. It was announced that the Philadelphia Open was being held at the Pine Valley Golf Club and the GAP had decided that the tournament would be open to all comers. Leo Diegel had been named the chairman of a committee to arrange for a PGA Silver Anniversary banquet in September to celebrate the founding of the PGA in 1916.
In early May the Section held their third annual PGA Golf Week. Pro-am tournaments were held for men and ladies, there were tournaments for junior golfers, and exhibitions were played. Patty Berg and Helen Detweiller put on a clinic at the City Line Driving Range that was operated by Bud Lewis and George Fazio. The next day Berg and Detweiller played an exhibition at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club where Joe Kirkwood, Sr. was the professional. On Saturday Ben Hogan and Kirkwood played an exhibition against Jimmy Thomson and Al MacDonald at the Langhorne Country Club where MacDonald was the professional. Kirkwood demonstrated his trick shots after the exhibition match.
Qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Flourtown Course on the fourth Monday in May. The entry fee was $5. Joe Zarhardt led with a pair of 73s for 146. Sam Byrd was next at 147. George Fazio (150) now the playing professional at the Cedarbrook Country Club and the Yardley Country Club professional Tom O’Connor (150) earned the last two spots in a sudden death playoff with Joe Kirkwood, Sr. Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Ed Dudley, Gene Kunes, Bruce Coltart and Felix Serafin were exempt due to having been in the top 30 the previous year at Canterbury.
Also on the fourth Monday of May Jimmy Thomson qualified for the U.S. Open. He was in New Jersey at the Ridgewood Country Club. Jimmy Demaret led 62 players in qualifying for 12 spots on Ridgewood’s East and West courses with a 140. Thomson turned in a 152 and lost a sudden death playoff to Jim Turnesa for the third alternate spot. As the fourth alternate Thomson got into the Open. For the first time all former U.S. Open winners were given exemptions into the tournament.
Craig Wood won his second major of the year at the U.S. Open in the first week of June. The Open was played at the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas. Wood won by three strokes over a former Section member, Denny Shute (287) with rounds of 73, 71, 70 and 70 for 284. First prize was $1,000 and second was $800. Ben Hogan (289) tied for third with Johnny Bulla (289) and won $650. Ed Dudley (295) tied for 10th winning $125 and Sam Snead (296) won $100 as he tied for 13th. Gene Kunes (299), Joe Zarhardt (302) and Sam Byrd (303) were also in the money and they made the top 30 to qualify for the next U.S. Open. They each won $50. Felix Serafin (309) and Tom O’Connor (318) made the cut and played the 72 holes. Bruce Coltart (154) and George Fazio (156) made the cut and withdrew. Jimmy Thomson missed the cut.
Two days after the U.S. Open ended the Pennsylvania Open was played at the Merion Cricket Club’s East Course. Gene Kunes, who had just completed 72 holes at Ft. Worth, with 36 on Saturday, came out on top. The tournament was scheduled for one day and 36 holes but Kunes needed two days and 72 holes to nail down the victory and the $250 first place check. At the end of 36 holes Kunes (73-77) and Terl Johnson (75-75) were tied with 150 totals. The next morning they played 18 holes and were still tied after shooting a pair of 75s. They went back out for another 18 holes and Kunes prevailed with a 74 against Johnson’s 78. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (151) and Howard Everitt (151), a former Section assistant pro but now reinstated as an amateur, tied for third one stroke back. Tied for fifth were Jack Grout (152), now the professional at the Fox Hill Country Club, Lorman Kelley (152), the teaching professional at the Springfield Driving Range and William “Red” Francis (152), a former Section member. There were twelve money prizes.
Twenty-six Section members were at the Lancaster Country Club on the third Monday in June to try and qualify for the PGA Championship. Bruce Coltart led the field with a pair of 70 for a four-under-par 140. Coltart was playing with his right foot taped up due to an injured tendon suffered in a fall the night before. Also qualifying were Jimmy Thomson (142), George Fazio (144), Gene Kunes (145), Jack Grout (145) and Ed Dudley (147), who got the last spot. Dudley, now working in Colorado but still a Section member, had to win a nine-hole playoff that same day over Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (147) and Henry Williams, Jr. (147) the professional at the Phoenixville Country Club. Dudley won the playoff with a 32. Sam Snead, Leo Diegel and Ben Hogan were exempt. Diegel, a two-time winner of the PGA didn’t enter the tournament. The entry fee was $5 and the qualifiers received mileage money unless they won more than that in the tournament.
Ben Hogan teamed up with Jimmy Demaret to win the Inverness Four-Ball at Toledo, Ohio in the third week of June. They finished with the highest number of points in the tournament history (plus 11) and three points ahead of the second place team of Jimmy Thomson and Byron Nelson. Sam Byrd was also in the field but Sam Snead had to withdraw three days before the tournament due to a back injury. The event was made up of eight two-man teams with every team playing a match against each of the other teams. They played seven rounds in four days. The winners each took away $1,000 from the $7,000 purse and the contestants received expense money for their room and meals. There were 25,000 spectators for the four days at $1 per person.
The size and the weight of the golf ball had been regulated since 1921 but now the USGA decided to limit the distance the ball traveled as well. In late June the USGA announced limitations on the speed of the golf ball. The new regulation would go into effect on January 1. The limit placed on the ball was that its velocity could not be greater than 250 feet per second when measured on the USGA’s driving machine. The USGA stated that it would standardize golf courses by controlling a factor that could distort the whole game.
In the first week of July the Section held a junior championship for boys and girls. Everyone was eligible whether he or she played at a private or public golf course. The Section officers were concerned that the kids might be away at camp but there were 125 entries. The contestants were placed in three classes, age 12 and under, thirteen to fifteen and sixteen to eighteen. A local newspaper awarded medals to the low gross winners and the Section presented the other winners with prizes.
In the second week of July the PGA Championship was played at the Cherry Hills Club near Denver. All eight Section members made it through the 36-hole qualifying. Sam Snead led the qualifying with a 138 and won custody of the Alex Smith Memorial Trophy for a year. Ben Hogan and George Fazio near the top with 140s. Ed Dudley (143), Gene Kunes (145), Bruce Coltart (145) and Jack Grout (148) also qualified with ease. Jimmy Thomson (153) just got under the wire. The 154 scores were in a playoff. Thomson lost in the first round to Jug McSpaden on the 21st hole. The first two rounds of matches were 18-holes and the rest were 36-hole matches. Fazio, Kunes and Dudley each won one match. Fazio beat Charles Malloy one-down and then lost to Coltart on the 19th hole. Kunes beat Frank Commisso two-down and then lost to Ralph Guldahl 2&1. Dudley beat Buddy Poteet 2&1 before losing to Jimmy Hines 3&2. Grout and Coltart won two matches. Grout defeated Jimmy Demaret 4&3, Fay Coleman one-down and lost to Vic Ghezzi one-down. Coltart beat Carl Beljan 3&2 and Fazio on the 19th hole before losing to Gene Sarazen 9&7 in the third round. Snead and Hogan each won three matches before losing in the quarterfinals. Snead eked out a win over Earl Martin on the 23rd hole, beat Phil Greenwaldt 7&6, edged Mike Turnesa one-down and then lost to Lloyd Mangrum 6&4. Hogan eliminated Frank Walsh 5&3, Bud Oakley two-down and Horton Smith 2&1 before losing to Byron Nelson 2&1. Ghezzi went on to earn his only win in a major by beating Nelson in the finals on the second extra hole after being tied at the end of their 36-hole match. In the semifinals Ghezzi beat Mangrum one-down and Nelson beat Sarazen two-down. First prize was $1,100. Hogan and Snead won $250 each and Grout and Coltart each won $200. The winners of one match received $150 and the first round losers won $100. The total purse was $10,000. A special round-trip train fare was set up for the pros from Chicago to Denver and back. Coach was $31.10 and first class cost $35.95. For another $13.75 a round-trip lower berth could be purchased.
On the second Monday of July the Philadelphia Open was held at the Pine Valley Golf Club for the second time in its 37-year history. Terl Johnson staged a big turnaround in the afternoon round to win the title and the $200 first prize. After a 78 in the morning he toured the course in 68 strokes in the afternoon, tying Ed Dudley’s 1939 course record. Johnson (146) edged out Bud Lewis (147), who had shot a 70 in the morning, by one stroke. Sam Byrd and Gene Kunes tied for third at 148. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. finished fifth with a 149, two strokes ahead of Paul Runyan (151), who was playing out of New York. The total purse came to $585.
Ben Hogan won the $5,000 Chicago Open at the Elmhurst Country Club in the third week of July. Hogan opened with a 66 and followed it up with a 70. The last day Craig Wood (276) put together two 67s but Hogan was able to hold him off with a pair of 69s for 274 and a two stroke win. Dick Metz finished third at 278 and Jim Ferrier was next at 284. First prize was $1,200.
Joe Zarhardt won the Central Pennsylvania Open at the Reading Country Club on the first Monday in August. He put together a 68 and a 70 for a four-under-par 138 to edge out three players by one stroke. Tying for second with 139s were Bruce Coltart, Felix Serafin and amateur Johnny Markel, the 19-year-old son of the Berkshire Country Club professional Harry Markel. Coltart and Serafin tied Byron Nelson’s competitive course record with 65s in the morning round. The host professional Henry Poe and the Hershey Country Club assistant Chick Rutan tied for fifth with 140s.
In the second week of August an American won the Canadian Open for the twenty-seventh straight year. The tournament was held at the Lambton Club. Sam Snead repeated as the winner by two strokes with rounds of 71, 68, 66 and 69 for a six-under-par 274. The tournament was held in Toronto and several Toronto pros finished near the top. Toronto’s Bob Gray ended up in second place with at 276. Gene Sarazen won third money at 277. Toronto pros Gordon Brydson (278) and Bill Kerr (280) were next in line.
The next week in August Sam Snead won the Times-Union Open in Rochester, New York at the Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course. Snead won the $1,200 first prize with rounds of 67, 70, 73 and 67 for a three-under-par 277. Ben Hogan was seven strokes back in second place (284) and Craig Wood (287) finished third. Denny Shute and Jug McSpaden tied for fourth with 288s.
In the fourth week of August the U.S. Ryder Cup team met Bobby Jones’s challengers in a two-day match at the Detroit Golf Club. Jones’ team was made up of all professionals. Jones, who had a line of Spalding golf clubs on the market, written books on golf and made a golf instruction movie, was no longer an amateur. The PGA had made him an honorary member. It was Walter Hagen’s last time as the captain of the Ryder Cup Team and it was Jones’ last competitive match. Hagen had been the captain of every Ryder Cup team since the matches were first played in 1927. Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Henry Picard and Jug McSpaden were members of the Ryder Cup Team. Ben Hogan, Ed Dudley, Lawson Little, Denny Shute and Gene Sarazen were on Jones’ challenge team. All matches were scheduled for 36 holes. At the end of the first day of five foursomes matches the Cup Team led 3 to 2. Hagen declared victory but the second day of singles matches was a different story. Jones came back from four down after nine holes to defeat Picard 2&1 and Hogan defeated Nelson 2-down. The challengers won four other singles and tied one for a final count of 8 1/2 points for the Challengers to 6 1/2 for the Cup Team. The match raised $18,221 for the Red Cross.
In early September Ben Hogan won the eighth annual Hershey Open. The host pro at the Hershey Country Club set a new tournament record with rounds of 69, 67, 69 and 70 for a 17-under-par 275. This score was five strokes lower than Henry Picard’s record setting score in 1937. This was Hogan’s fifty-fourth consecutive finish in the money and his check from the $5,000 purse was $1,200. He finished seven strokes in front of the second place Lloyd Mangrum (282). Jack Grout finished tied for third with Clayton Heafner with six-under-par 286s. Sam Snead, Felix Serafin, George Fazio and Denny Shute tied for fifth with 287s. Gene Kunes (288) was next in ninth place. Sam Byrd (293), Henry Poe (293) and Joe Kirkwood, Jr. (293) who was assisting his father Joe, Sr. at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club were among those who tied for fifteenth. There were fifteen money places and last place was worth $80.
The Wood Memorial, played at the Jeffersonville Golf Club on the second Monday of September, ended in a tie. Gene Kunes, Jimmie D’Angelo and Jimmy Lyons, who was an assistant to his brother Marty at the Llanerch Country Club, tied with three under par 67s. An 18-hole playoff was held two days later. In the playoff, Kunes shot a 70 to win with ease as D’Angelo and Lyons turned in 74s. First prize was $60 out of the $200 purse. Philadelphia Cricket Club assistant professional Fred Johnson, finished fourth with a 68.
The tour was at the Atlantic City Country Club for the $5,000 Atlantic City Open in mid September. Lloyd Mangrum’s thirteen-under-par 275 took away the $1,200 first prize beating Ben Hogan (281) and Vic Ghezzi (281) by six strokes. Jack Grout (282) finished one stroke further back in a tie for fourth with Lawson Little (282). Former Section member Denny Shute tied for sixth with Horton Smith and Toney Penna at 283. Sam Byrd and Corporal Ed Oliver, now stationed at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, tied for tenth with 287s. As the sole support of his parents Oliver had received a temporary deferment but in the end he was the first big name golf professional to be drafted. Also finishing in the money were Terl Johnson (290), Bud Lewis (291), Bruce Coltart (292), Dick Renaghan (295), Felix Serafin (296), Joe Zarhardt (296) and Clarence Ehresman (296). Twenty-five players finished in the money with the last nine professionals winning $25 each. Eleven Section members were in the money. The host professional was John Cressey.
The next week the tour was in Philadelphia for the first annual $5,000 Henry Hurst Invitation at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club. The host professional was Jack Sawyer. Sawyer had been the professional at Torresdale- Frankford since 1912 and held the position for over 50 years. The tournament came about because Torresdale-Frankford needed to put a fence around their golf course and Henry Hurst, a member, told the club that if they would let him bring a PGA Tour event there he would make enough profit to put up the fence, and he did. In addition to the $5,000 tournament purse $2,000 extra was paid out for special feats during the practice rounds on Wednesday and Thursday. The entry fee was $5. A “season” ticket for the practice rounds and all tournament rounds cost $2.50. The daily tickets were $1.10. Enough tickets were sold before the tournament started to cover all the expenses of the tournament. Grandstands were placed at convenient places on the course for the spectators and a large scoreboard was erected opposite the eighteenth green.
On Saturday September 20, during the week of the Hurst Invitation, the Philadelphia Section celebrated the PGA of America’ Silver Anniversary. A banquet was held at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel with 800 in attendance. The success of the dinner was due to the efforts of the chairman Leo Diegel and Section secretary Jimmy D’Angelo who promoted and publicized the affair. The toastmaster was Henry McElmore, a nationally known sportswriter. Some of the honored guests were Ben Hogan, the leading money winner on the PGA Tour, and Bud Ward, U.S. Amateur champion. Also attending the banquet were all the country’s leading pros including Section president Ed Dudley, who was back from The Broadmoor for the Hurst Invitation. The featured speakers were Tom Walsh, president of the PGA of America and Philadelphia’s John B. Kelly, director of the national physical education program called “Hale America”. Kelly stated that the reason for the program was that forty-five percent of the American youth were physically unfit for Army duty. Walsh said, in his speech, that the PGA of America and its two thousand members would unstintingly give their time and knowledge to further the program as it applied to golf.
Sam Snead won the Henry Hurst Invitational and the $1,500 first prize with an eight-under-par 272. He began with a 64 and followed it up with 74, 69 and 65. Dick Metz was a distant second nine shots back with 281 and Jimmy Demaret was third at 282. Two strokes further back and tied for fourth were Clayton Heafner (284) and Vic Ghezzi (284). The next lowest Philadelphia Section member was Terl Johnson who tied for sixth at 285 with Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Horton Smith and Billy Burke. There were twelve money places and last money was $100. After being in the money in fifty-six straight PGA Tour events Ben Hogan missed the money by five shots with a 291. The last time he had missed the money was at the U.S. Open at the Philadelphia Country Club’s Spring Mill Course in June 1939. Henry Hurst announced that the tournament would be held again the next year and the purse would be increased from $5,000 to $12,500.
In late September Sam Snead and Jimmy Demaret left for a two and one-half month tour of South America. The two professionals were sent by the PGA of America to participate in some of their championships and play exhibitions.
At the end of September fifty-three Section members were entered in their championship. Marty Lyons and the Llanerch Country Club hosted the tournament again. Bruce Coltart led the qualifying with a 72 and a 68 for a four-under-par 140 as the Section members competed for 32 places in the starting field. The players with totals of 155 played off for the last spot. In the 36-hole finals George Fazio defeated a former winner, Robert “Buzz “ Campbell, Old York Road Country Club assistant, by the count of 11&9. In the semi-finals Fazio had put out the medalist Coltart one-down and Campbell defeated Terl Johnson 3&2. The matches were played on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with the 36-hole finals on Sunday. The defending champion Matt Kowal, now in the United States Army, was not able to defend his title.
On the last day of September the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Torresdale-Frankford Country Club and Henry Hurst had turned down an invitation from the USGA to bid on hosting the 1942 United States Open. Hurst stated that their invitational tournament offered better golf and more publicity for Philadelphia.
At the Section’s fall meeting Ed Dudley stepped down as the president after holding the office for seven years. The meeting was at Raymond’s Restaurant in Philadelphia on the third Monday of October. Marty Lyons was elected president after being a vice-president and tournament chairman for eight years. Even though Dudley wasn’t working in the Section he owned a home in Ardmore and was still a Section member. Dudley had been selected by the Section to represent the Philadelphia Section as the national vice-president representing the Philadelphia, Metropolitan and New Jersey Sections (District II). Lancaster Country Club professional A.B. Thorn was elected first vice president and Charlie Schneider was elected second vice president. Jimmy D’Angelo and Walter Brickley were returned to the offices of secretary and treasurer.
On the fourth Wednesday of October the South Jersey golf professionals took on the Pennsylvania professionals from the Philadelphia Section PGA in a challenge match called the Feud. The match was played at Riverton Country Club. There were fourteen professionals on each team. With 14 individual matches and 7 four-ball matches, points were awarded for each nine holes and the 18 hole match. A total of 63 points were being contested. The Pennsylvania professionals dominated the day winning 46 points to 17. The big winners for Pennsylvania were Ed Ginther (Hercules CC)-John Lewis (City Line DR) over Paul Midiri (Spring Hill GC)-Stanley Pokorsky (Merchantville CC), nine points and Harry Markel (Berkshire CC)-Pete Henry (Pro-golf sales) over Charles Mortimer (Linwood CC)-Nate Jervis (Moorestown Field Club), nine points. The Marty Lyons (Llanerch CC)-George B. Smith (Gulph Mills GC) team won 8 points over Henry Wetzel (Merchantville CC)-Tony Midiri (US Army). The Johnny Moyer (Shamokin Valley CC)-Dick Henkel (Schuylkill CC) team won 7-1/2 points from the Walter Brickley (Riverton CC)-Cas Banas (Burlington CC) team. The Ted Bickel (Beverly Hills CC)-Charlie Schneider (Concord CC) team won six points from the John Cressey (Atlantic City CC)-Charles Hoffner (Ocean City CC) team. Two New Jersey duos were on the plus side. Bruce Coltart (Seaview CC)-Dick Renaghan (Woodcrest CC) team won six points from the George Fazio (Cedarbrook CC)-Bud Lewis (The Springhaven Club) team. The Joe Zarhardt (Burlington CC)-Charlie Arena (Cooper River CC) team won 5-1/2 points from the Al MacDonald (Langhorne CC)-Jimmy D’Angelo (Baederwood CC) team. Even though Zarhardt, who had been the professional at Burlington CC, was now in Pennsylvania as the professional at Jeffersonville Golf Club he played for New Jersey because he still owned a home in Plainfield, New Jersey.
The PGA of America’s 25th annual national meeting was held at the Chicago Towers Club in Chicago during the second week of November. Ed Dudley was elected president of the PGA of America. He received 47 of the 70 votes cast. Frank T. Sprogell received the second most votes. Dudley was the first PGA national president to come from the ranks of the touring pros. Even though he had held head professional positions at several clubs he was considered a player. He planned to play a large part of the winter tour as usual. At that time almost all of the top-touring professionals held club jobs as well because it was difficult to make a living from tournament golf alone. He had been chairman of the PGA’s tournament committee for four years. Sprogell was reelected secretary and Willie Maguire was reelected treasurer. Dudley had been the Philadelphia Section’s choice to serve as national vice president, but when he was elected president, Jimmy D’Angelo took his place and was sworn in as the vice president for District II. PGA Districts had been created at the last national meeting and Philadelphia was in a district with the New Jersey and Metropolitan Sections. Each Section’s vice president would serve a three-year term but as this was a new program the Section with the first turn would have a one-year VP and the Section with the second turn would have a two-year term. It would be six years before the Philadelphia Section would be represented again. The delegates voted to tax each tour event 5% to take care of the tournament bureau’s expenses. In 1940 a PGA Hall of Fame had been created. At this meeting five more were added to the Hall. Two of the five new members inducted into the Hall of Fame, Willie Anderson and Johnny McDermott, had been employed in what was now the Philadelphia Section of the PGA. The other three inductees were Alex Smith, amateur Jerry Travers and amateur Chick Evans. Dudley and D’Angelo were the Section’s delegates to the meeting. The PGA, now 25 years old, had 2,041 members.
A Ryder Cup team for 1942 was selected at the PGA’s national meeting in November. Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jug McSpaden and Byron Nelson were selected for the ten-man team, which would be playing exhibitions for charity.
As the year came to a conclusion the leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Ben Hogan with winnings of $18,358. Sam Snead and Byron Nelson were second and third with more than $12,000 each. The touring pros had played for a record total of $202,000 that year and Hogan, Snead and Byron Nelson had won over $43,000 of the money. Hogan won three times and finished second eleven times. He was only out of the money one time and that was in Philadelphia. Hogan also won the Vardon Trophy for the second straight year. He won with 553 points, which was the most in the five-year history of the Vardon Trophy. Hogan’s scoring average was 70.28 for his 101 tournament rounds. Just like the money race, Snead and Nelson were second and third. They both also averaged less than 71 strokes per round.
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The United States was at war but tournament golf had not been affected yet. Ben Hogan started the new-year at the $10,000 Los Angeles Open right where he left off the year before, on the top of the professional golf world. In the second week of January he won the L.A. Open at Hillcrest Country Club where former Section member, Charles Lacey, was the head professional. Hogan went around Hillcrest in 70, 70, 72 and 70. Hogan (282) birdied the last hole with a 325-yard drive, an iron to the green and two putts to tie Jimmy Thomson (282) and force a playoff. Earlier Sam Snead had come to the last hole thinking he needed a birdie to tie and he made an eight. This left him in third place three strokes back at 285 tied with Harry Cooper and Chick Harbert. The next day Hogan won the $3,500 first prize by one stroke with another birdie on the last hole for an even par 72 against a 73 for Thomson. Thomson won $1,700.
Ed Dudley was in Los Angeles playing in the L.A. Open and while he was there he received a telephone call from the USGA. The call was to inform the PGA that in order to focus its full attention on the war effort the U.S. Open would not be held that year. The PGA and the USGA had agreed to work together in the staging of exhibitions in order to raise money for the wartime charities. Another move by the USGA was a change in its bylaws, which would permit amateurs to win war bonds in tournaments up to $100 rather than merchandise or trophies.
The senior professionals were at the Ft. Myers Golf & Country Club for the Senior PGA Championship in the third week of January. Eddie Williams won by six strokes over Jock Hutchison (144) with a pair of three under par 69s for 138. George Morris finished third at 145 and former section member Wilfrid Reid was next with a 146. $125 of the prize money was donated to the American Red Cross.
Ten weeks after his victory at Los Angeles Ben Hogan won the $5,000 San Francisco Open. In between he had finished second to Byron Nelson in the Oakland Open. Hogan opened the tournament at the California Country Club with a seven-under-par 65 and then it rained for two days. When the tournament got under way again Hogan shot a 71 and he tacked on a 72-71 the last day to coast home three shots in front of Sam Snead (279). First prize was $1,000. Lawson Little (284) and Dick Metz (285) ended up in third and fourth place. The prize money was awarded in the form of United States Defense Bonds.
Sam Snead won the $5,000 St. Petersburg Open for the third time in four years. The tournament was played at the Lakewood Country Club in the first week of March. Snead began with a 72 and then brought in a 69 on a very rainy day. Ben Hogan and Henry Picard, who were paired together, left the course for the clubhouse saying that the course was unplayable. They were subsequently disqualified for delay of play. On the third day Snead turned in a 75 and a 70 for a 286, which earned him the $1,000 top prize. Sam Byrd, Byron Nelson and Chick Harbert tied for second at 289 and they each won $583.33. Byrd had now played in nine tournaments on the PGA Tour since the first of the year and he had been in the money seven times winning $1,021.08.
In the spring of 1942 there were three new members of the Section who were top players, Harold “Jug” McSpaden, E. J. ”Dutch” Harrison and Henry Ransom. McSpaden, the new head pro at the Philadelphia Country Club had been runner-up in the PGA Championship in 1937 and had won the Canadian Open in 1939. Harrison, now the professional at the West Shore Country Club and Ransom, the playing professional at the North Hills Country Club, were just beginning to realize their potential as tournament players.
In late March Ben Hogan won the North and South Open on the Pinehurst #2 course for a second time with a record 17 under par score of 271. His rounds were 67, 68, 67 and 69. Hogan had won his first PGA Tour tournament there two years before. Sam Snead finished second five strokes back at 276. Byron Nelson and Lloyd Mangrum tied for third with 281s. First prize was $1,000 and the total purse was $5,000.
The Greensboro Open got under way the day after the North and South Open ended. Sam Byrd made his decision to leave major league baseball in 1937 pay off by picking up his first PGA Tour win. Byrd was tied for the lead at the end of 36 holes with Jimmy Thomson at (69-67) 136. On the last day Byrd posted a 75 in the morning but he came back with a 68 in the afternoon for a total of 279. Ben Hogan and Lloyd Mangrum each put together 138s the last day and tied for second two strokes back at 281. Byron Nelson and Clayton Heafner tied for fourth with 282s. The total purse was $5,500 and first prize was $1,000.
The next week Ben Hogan won the Land of the Sky Open at Asheville, North Carolina for a third straight year. Hogan trailed Lawson Little by three strokes with nine holes to play, but a last nine 32 brought him in a winner by one shot. Hogan played the Biltmore Forest Country Club in rounds of 71, 69, 68 and 68 for 276. Little finished in second place at 277, one stroke in front of Byron Nelson (278). Jimmy Demaret, Ralph Guldahl and Ky Laffoon tied for fourth with 283s. Hogan’s prize was $1,000 in war bonds from the $5,000 purse.
Byron Nelson won the Masters Tournament for a second time on the second weekend in April. At the end of 72-holes he and Ben Hogan were tied at 280. In the playoff the next day Hogan led by three strokes after five holes but from there on Nelson played almost perfect golf. After being two over par after five holes Nelson played the next eleven holes in six under par. He bogied the 18th hole to finish with a 69, against Hogan’s 70. Nelson’s rounds were 68, 67, 72 and 73. First prize was still $1,500. There were ten Section members in the starting field. Paul Runyan (283) finished third and Sam Byrd (285) was fourth. Dutch Harrison (292) and Sam Snead (292) tied for seventh and Gene Kunes (293) tied for tenth one stroke in front of Jimmy Thomson (294). Felix Serafin (299), Jug McSpaden 299), Ed Dudley (305) and Joe Zarhardt (311) were out of the money.
At the conclusion of the Masters Tournament it was announced that Jim Barnes, Tommy Armour and Walter Travis had been added to the PGA Hall of Fame. In 1916 Barnes had won the first PGA Championship as the professional at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. They were nominated by four golf writers; Grantland Rice, O.B. Keeler, Kerr Petrie and A. Lindy Fowler. With the 1940 and 1941 inductees, the PGA Hall of Fame now totaled twelve professionals and amateurs.
The Section’s spring meeting was held at Raymond’s Restaurant in Philadelphia on the third Monday of April. Former Section president Ed Dudley was in town for the meeting. He still had a home in the Philadelphia suburbs and was between his professional positions at Augusta and Colorado Springs. The topic of the meeting was the role of the PGA professional to provide relaxation and healthful exercise to the public. Even though many PGA members were in the service or working in defense plants the others could help raise money for the wartime charities. There were now nine members of the Section in active duty. The tournament chairman, Charlie Schneider, announced that there would be a full tournament schedule with a few adjustments for the war.
In early May the sports editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fred Byrod, reported that there were now nine Philadelphia Section members on active duty. The first one claimed by the Draft Board had been Ed Oliver who had been in the Army since the middle of 1941. He was followed by Elwood Brey, the professional at the Berwick Country Club, Hugh Crawford, assistant at the Rolling Green Golf Club, Leo Fraser, who had been the professional at the Seaview Country Club, Fred Johnson, the assistant at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, Matt Kowal and Tony Midiri, who had been the professional at the Spring Hill Country Club. Recently John Lewis, the teaching pro at the City Line Driving Range, had joined the Marines and Tom O’Connor had enlisted in the Air Corps. When it came to active duty Philadelphia was a leading contributor as more than fifteen percent of the country’s PGA enlisted members were Philadelphia Section members.
The Section’s pros qualified for the PGA Championship on the first Monday in May at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Two seasoned pros, Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (68-74) and Jimmy Thomson (70-72) led the scoring with 142s. Dutch Harrison, Sam Byrd and Felix Serafin were at 145. The last two places went to Ed Dudley (146) and Clarence Ehresman (146). Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Leo Diegel and Jug McSpaden were exempt. Bruce Coltart was exempt as the host professional. Corporal Ed Oliver and Corporal Elwood Brey had military exemptions as members of the Philadelphia Section, which was hosting the championship. It meant that the Philadelphia Section had fourteen of its members playing in the championship. No alternates were allowed by the PGA of America.
In the last week of May Seaview Country Club and its head professional Bruce Coltart hosted the PGA Championship. Seaview had two very dissimilar nines in architecture. There was the Bay Course with 18-holes designed by Donald Ross and 9-holes in the pines designed by Bill Flynn. It was decided that the back nine of the Bay Course would be played first and then the pros would finish on the Pines nine. In the later rounds the Bay nine was played last to accommodate the gallery. In the previous PGA Championships all the players received mileage money, which was based on how far they lived from the tournament site. In 1942 only those who failed to qualify for the match play were paid the mileage money. Hershey CC professional Ben Hogan, who hit more practice balls than anyone, hurt his wrist practicing the day before the championship started and had to have x-rays taken. Fred Corcoran, the PGA Tournament Manager, told the press that Hogan’s starting time for the next day would be pushed back a few hours from his scheduled time. Because the country was now at war, the pros were qualifying for only 32 places in order to shorten the championship by one day. All the matches were scheduled for 36 holes. PGA of America president Ed Dudley led the 100 starters on the first day of qualifying with a six-under-par 66, which tied the record for the lowest qualifying round in the PGA championship. At the end of qualifying Harry Cooper was the medalist with a 138, while Sam Byrd tied for second at 139. Dudley and Hogan were part of a three-way tie for fifth at 141. Coltart (142), Jug McSpaden (143), Jimmy Thompson (143), Dutch Harrison (144), Sam Snead (144) and Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (147) were the other members of the Philadelphia Section who made it into the match play. Kirkwood had to survive a playoff to win one of the last spots. Corporal Elwood Brey, Corporal Ed Oliver, Felix Serafin, Clarence Ehresman and Leo Diegel failed to qualify. Byrd, Coltart, Thomson and Harrison lost in the first round. In the second round Kirkwood lost to Byron Nelson and McSpaden lost to Jim Turnesa. Three Section members; Snead, Dudley and Hogan made it into the quarter-finals. Hogan then lost to Turnesa one-down and Dudley lost to Snead, who was the Shawnee Inn & CC playing professional, one-down. Dudley lost to Snead when his tee shot on the last hole hit a spectator and bounced into the woods for an unplayable lie. Snead beat Jimmy Demaret 3&2 in one semifinal match and Turnesa defeated Byron Nelson in a match that went 37 holes. Snead went on to defeat Turnesa, who was stationed at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, in the 36-hole finals 2&1. Snead took his first prize of $2,000 in a war bond, which would have been worth $1,500 in cash. The total purse was $7,550. Turnesa was granted leave to compete in the championship with the understanding that any money he won would go to the Army Relief Fund. Turnesa won $750 in cash and wore his army uniform while playing in the tournament. The total purse was $7,550. Two days later Snead was in the U.S. Navy as Seaman First Class Snead. The draft board had given Snead a 10-day extension on his reporting date so he could play in the PGA. Snead’s caddy was a young man named Tony DeSimone who went on to own an automobile dealership and a golf course in South Jersey. DeSimone became one of the Philadelphia Section’s most faithful sponsors. All profits from the tournament were donated to the Army and Navy relief funds. This was the last major golf championship played until the end of the war.
The PGA Championship final was played on Sunday May 31. That evening the PGA of America held a meeting of its executive committee. The Atlantic City Golf Association and Seaview Country Club had issued an invitation for the PGA to hold its championship at Seaview again in 1943. Due to the war the PGA wasn’t sure when it might hold its championship again. The PGA executive committee did vote to hold its championship at Seaview again and publicly stated that when it was played again it would be held at Seaview. There would be no PGA Championship held in 1943 and by 1944 when it was held the commitment to Seaview had apparently been forgotten.
Due to World War II the U.S. Open wasn’t played from 1942 to 1945 but a substitute for the Open called the Hale America National Open Golf Tournament was held in 1942. Local qualifying was held at eighty sites in the country in late May, which trimmed the eligible entries to 520. Sectional qualifying was at twelve locations in the first week of June. Eighty survivors of the qualifying rounds and twenty exempt players would make up the starting field.
Local qualifying for the Hale America National Open was held at the Philadelphia Country Club’s Spring Mill Course on the fourth Monday of May. Gene Kunes led with 71-78 for 149. Also qualifying were amateur Skee Riegel, Bud Lewis who was now the professional at the Tredyffrin Country Club, Henry Williams, Jr. who was doing defense work in a steel mill, teaching pro at the Drive-O-Link Driving Range Alex Burke, Lorman Kelley, Philadelphia Country Club assistant Chick Rutan, Johnny Bishop the professional at the Lansdale Country Club and his assistant Bob DeHaven. The war was taking its toll on the professional competition. By the end of June there were fifteen Philadelphia Section members in the armed forces and many more were working in the defense plants and shipyards. Joe Kirkwood, Sr., Ed Dudley Jimmy Thomson and Sam Byrd were exempt from local qualifying. Ben Hogan and Jug McSpaden were exempt from local and sectional qualifying. Sam Snead was also fully exempt but he was in the navy now.
A 54-hole sectional qualifying for the Hale American National Open was held at the Forest Hill Field Club in New Jersey in the first week of June. Willie Goggin led with a 209. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (213), Jimmy Thomson (213) and Sam Byrd (215) made it at Forest Hill. The 217 scores played off. The tournament chairman, Francis Quimet, gave Ed Dudley an exemption. Dudley had been detained in Washington D.C. on PGA business and could not get back to Denver for the qualifying rounds.
In mid June the USGA held the Hale America tournament in Chicago at the Ridgemoor Country Club. There were 100 pros and amateurs in a field, which included 20 players who had been exempt from qualifying. The day before the tournament began Ed Dudley, Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen and Bob Hope played an exhibition for the wartime charities. Hope’s plane was late arriving so the exhibition was played late in the day over 13 holes. The admission charge was $1.65 each day and the advance ticket sales for the tournament were $15,000. All servicemen were admitted without charge. The purse was $6,000. Ben Hogan was the winner with rounds of 72, 62, 69 and 68 for a seventeen under par 271. Hogan picked up five shots on Jimmy Demaret in the last four holes to win by three strokes. He won $1,000 and received a medal from the USGA just like the ones he got for winning the U.S. Open in later years. Even though it is listed in the Official USGA Record Book in the same section with the U.S. Open records the USGA never counted this as a U.S. Open win but Hogan did. The tournament was co-sponsored by the USGA, the Chicago District Golf Association and the PGA of America. Demaret and Mike Turnesa tied for second with 274s. Jimmy Thomson, Byron Nelson and Horton Smith tied for fourth at 278. Sam Byrd (283) and Jug McSpaden (283) tied for twelfth. Dudley (287) tied for 20th and Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (289) tied for 29th. Hogan donated his putter and the winning ball to wartime charities. At the conclusion of play an auction was held. His putter sold for $1,000 and the ball sold for $650.
Sam Byrd won the Pennsylvania Open at Shannopin Country Club in late June. Byrd shot a 68 in the morning and then came back with a course record 64 that afternoon for a 132 score to win by seven strokes. He was ten under par for the day and didn’t make a bogey. Henry Ransom finished second at 139 and Pittsburgh’s Dick Shoemaker (140) was one stroke farther back. Maurie Gravatt, Ray Mangrum and amateur Steve Kovach tied for fourth with 142s.
The Philadelphia Open was played at the Llanerch Country Club on the second Monday in July. Joseph “Bud” Lewis, now the professional at the Tredyffrin Country Club, came out on top after just missing the year before at Pine Valley. Lewis holed a side-hill 45-foot putt on the last green for a 67. The 67 and a morning 69 gave him an eight under par score of 136. He nosed out Washington D.C. professional Lew Worsham (137) by one stroke. Third money went to Charlie Schneider (138) with Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (139) and Henry Williams, Jr. (139) tying for fourth. Williams completed an eight-hour shift in a steel plant just before coming to the course for 36 holes of competitive golf. This was the strongest field in recent years. George Fazio, Bruce Coltart, Gene Kunes and the defending champion Terl Johnson tied for sixth at 140. Henry Ransom and Sam Byrd followed them with 141s. They tied for tenth two strokes ahead of Jug McSpaden (143). Next was Corporal Ed Oliver (144) who had come down for the tournament from Ft. Dix with Sergeant Jim Turnesa. First prize was $250 and second was $125. Lewis had learned the game as a young caddie at Llanerch.
A wartime Ryder Cup team that had been selected in late 1941, played a match against Walter Hagen’s challengers at the Oakland Hills Country Club in mid July. For the first time since the beginning of the Ryder Cup in 1927 Walter Hagen was not the captain. Craig Wood was the Ryder Cup captain and Hagen captained the challengers. Section members Ben Hogan and Jug McSpaden were there for the Ryder Cup team and Ed Dudley substituted for Sam Snead who was in the U.S. Navy. Byron Nelson was also a member of the team. Having played well since 1939 Gene Sarazen was back on the team. Sam Byrd and Jimmy Thomson played for the challengers. All matches were 36 holes. The Cup Team won, sweeping all five foursomes matches and splitting the singles with the final score 10 points to five. The exhibition raised close to $25,000 for the Red Cross.
On July 20, sponsor Henry A. Hurst announced that the Henry Hurst Invitation tournament was canceled for the duration of World War II. His reason for canceling was that too many of the best players, like Ben Hogan and Sam Snead, were now heading off to military service. He said the tournament would be resumed when the war was over.
Ben Hogan won the $5,000 Times-Union Open in Rochester in mid August. First prize was $1,000. Hogan opened with an eight-birdie first round of 64 on the Oak Hill Country Club course. Hogan followed that up with a 68-72 and finished with a 74 for a 278 that won by three strokes. Craig Wood (281) finished second, Jug McSpaden (282) third and Ky Laffoon (283) was fourth. Dutch Harrison (284) tied for fifth. Twelve Philadelphia Section professionals finished in the top thirty.
In late August Ben Hogan left the PGA Tour, resigned from his position at the Hershey Country Club and enrolled in a civilian flight school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In early 1943 he enlisted in the Army Air Force.
Sam Byrd won the Wood Memorial tournament on the second Monday of September at the Jeffersonville Golf Club. There were 42 professionals entered and 250 amateurs. 50 more amateurs showed up to play but were turned away. Byrd put together a front nine 31 and a back nine 37. He had three bogies on his second nine with the last one on the 222-yard par three eighteenth hole, after overshooting the green. His two under par 68 edged out Marty Lyons (69) and George Fazio (69) by one stroke. Lyons might have been the winner, but he lost a stroke to par on each of the last two holes. Bud Lewis (70) and Chick Rutan (70) tied for fourth.
In late September Marty Lyons and the Llanerch Country Club hosted the Section Championship again. Jug McSpaden was the medalist in the 36-hole qualifying round with a five-over-par (72-75) 147. One stroke off the pace at 148 were Henry Ransom, Terl Johnson and the defending champion George Fazio. It was wet and windy and the weather was so bad that only 32 players finished, the exact number needed for the match play. McSpaden lost in the second round to Charlie Arena. A past champion, Gene Kunes, won the championship for a second time defeating Sam Byrd on the second extra hole, after being all even at the end of the 36-hole finals. Ed Dudley, back from Colorado, refereed the finals. The only complaint that Byrd had was that playing those afternoon matches kept him from being able to listen to the World Series games on the radio. In the semi-finals Kunes put out Terl Johnson on the 19th hole and Byrd eliminated Clarence Ehresman 3&1.
In early October the Augusta National Golf Club announced the cancellation of the 1943 Masters Tournament. Club president Cliff Roberts stated that the club would not open for the winter season and would remain closed for the duration of the war. Ed Dudley now had more time to devote to the PGA and his summer job.
The Section’s annual meeting was at Raymond’s Restaurant in Philadelphia in late October. Marty Lyons was elected president again and the rest of the officers, A.B. Thorn, Charlie Schneider, Jimmy D’Angelo and Walter Brickley were reelected. National president Ed Dudley attended the meeting. The members discussed some of the resolutions that were being presented at the national meeting in November. One of these that the members voted against was to reduce the apprenticeship for instructors from the present five years to three years. Another one was for the elimination of dues, except for the insurance payments, for those in defense work, but it was felt that those members could afford the dues. The Section members also voted against a resolution that would increase the national vice-president’s term of office from the present one year to three years. Jug McSpaden stated that it would only take the PGA back to the turmoil of some years back when the officers could retain office for any length of time. The resolution must have passed at the national meeting though. One item of business that the members did agree on was a resolution for the reduction of dues of all the members.
The Section allowed PGA members from other PGA Sections who were stationed in the Philadelphia area to play in Section events. Jim Turnesa, who was stationed at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, finished second in the Section pro-pro championship in early November.
By the time the PGA’s national meeting was held in the second week of November the PGA of America had 1,624 members and 198 were in the armed services. The meeting was in Chicago again and it was held at the Medinah Club. Ed Dudley was reelected president along with the other officers, Frank T. Sprogell (Secretary) and Willie Maguire (Treasurer). The most urgent problem for President Dudley and the delegates was the PGA Tour schedule and the 1943 PGA Championship. Since the last annual meeting the total purses had dropped from $175,000 to $155,000 but at the same time $250,000 had been contributed by the PGA Tour tournaments to various relief organizations. PGA tournament manager, Fred Corcoran, announced that there were just two events left on a winter schedule that was once crowded with tournaments. The $100,000 winter tour was now only worth $10,000 with just the Miami Open in early December and the North and South Open at Pinehurst in late March remaining. The delegates decided that due to the uncertainties of the war the fate of their national championship would be delayed until after the first of the year. Since the PGA didn’t need a tournament manager for two tournaments Corcoran was going overseas for the winter to work with the Red Cross. Each Section was entitled to two delegates with the expenses for one of them being paid by the PGA. The expenses paid by the PGA were the hotel charges and mileage expenses. Marty Lyons and Jimmy D’Angelo were the delegates from the Philadelphia Section. Lyons and D’Angelo proposed a plan for a PGA golf course in Florida. The idea had surfaced in the Llanerch Country Club pro shop when Sam Byrd had told Lyons and D’Angelo about a golf course in Dunedin that he thought the PGA could lease. There was considerable discussion at the meeting on the idea.
In the first week of December Jug McSpaden came through with a last round four-under-par 66 to win the Miami Open by four strokes over Johnny Revolta (276). McSpaden had won there in 1938 also. McSpaden’s first three rounds on the Miami Springs Golf & Country Club course were 67, 70 and 69, which gave him an eight under par 272. The purse was $5,000 and first prize was $1,000. Everyone was paid in war bonds. Bob Hamilton (277) finished third. Dutch Harrison and Herman Barron tied for fourth with 278s. Harrison won $350.
The next tournament on the PGA schedule was not until the North and South Open in late March at Pinehurst. Gasoline rationing was the biggest problem since the PGA could not guarantee the sponsors that the leading players would be able to appear at any set place or time. In 1942 Sunday attendance on the tour had increased by 30% but Corcoran was pretty sure it would not be the same the next year due to the gasoline problems. Because of that the clubs and sponsors were not willing to schedule the tournaments.
Even though Ben Hogan had left the PGA Tour in late August his presence was still being felt. The Vardon Trophy was not awarded but he would have won it for a third straight year. Hogan’s scoring average was 70.87 for 64 tournament rounds. He was the leading money winner for the second straight year. He won six times in 20 starts. His money total of $13,143 was more than $3,500 ahead of Byron Nelson, who finished second with $9,601. Sam Snead was third with $8,078. Nelson and Snead were second and third in the Vardon Trophy race as well. Dutch Harrison won $4,408, which put him in seventh place on the money list. Sam Byrd was eighth as he won $3,905. Jimmy Thomson ended up in tenth place, winning $3,410.
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When the new-year began 99 percent of the Section professionals who were not in the service were working in defense plants. The PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship had been canceled.
In early January Ed Dudley told the nation that professional golf would make an all out effort to raise money for the American Red Cross and other wartime charities. He stated that golf had already raised more than $1,000,000 for these charities. Dudley noted that it was important for the people on the home front to stay fit and that there was no better way to do this than by playing a three-hour round of golf once a week. He encouraged the golf clubs to stay open. He said that golf was a big business, employing many people and paying thousands of dollars each year in federal taxes. Dudley also suggested that all the clubs extend the courtesy of a round of golf to any serviceman who was home on leave.
In March the PGA and president Ed Dudley achieved what no one else in golf either thought of or tried to do, which was obtaining approval of wartime golf from the War Manpower Commission chairman. It took time and effort and Dudley got the run-around several times before he landed it. As a result of that it would no longer be considered unpatriotic to play golf or schedule golf tournaments during the war. Gasoline was rationed and driving to a golf course had been considered joy riding and a detriment to the war effort. The PGA received a great deal of good press from this because they had taken the leadership and accomplished what the USGA might have been expected to do. This was a great break for golf but too late to save most of the PGA Tour’s schedule for that year.
The Section’s spring meeting was at Raymond’s Restaurant on the third Monday of April. Ideas were presented to aid the war effort. The Philadelphia Section had 134 members and 19 were in the service. President Marty Lyons had given the tournament chairman, Leo Diegel, full authority to use the tournament schedule in any way to aid the war effort. One plan was to spur the task the pros had undertaken to obtain steel shafted golf clubs for scrap from which to obtain carbon steel. Three exhibitions were planned for early May featuring the best players in the Section. The admission price to these exhibitions was the donation of a golf club for the scrap drive. Leo Diegel announced that the prizes at three tournaments; the pro-lady, a PGA Victory championship at Llanerch and the pro-am championship, would be war bonds and stamps. A team match consisting of twelve pros, twelve men amateurs and twelve women golfers was scheduled. The pros would give the amateurs two strokes and the women seven. The club that hosted the matches would donate $500 plus all other proceeds from the day to the Red Cross. A .B. Thorn announced that Lancaster Country Club would be open to the public on three Sundays that summer and all the green fees would be turned over to the Red Cross.
On the second Sunday of May three exhibitions were played by Philadelphia PGA members to aid the scrap iron drive. At Beverly Golf Club Jug McSpaden and Ted Bickel, Jr. defeated Gulph Mills Golf Club professional George B. Smith and Marty Lyons. Charles Arena and George Fazio, who was now the playing professional at Pine Valley Golf Club, defeated Old York Road Country Club professional Steve Grady and Dick Renaghan. Bud Lewis and Sonny Fraser defeated Sam Byrd and Leo Diegel at Cedarbrook Country Club. The golf fans donated 500 golf clubs. Carbon steel would be salvaged from the shafts to make surgical instruments and precision tools.
Sam Byrd received a draft notice to report for his physical at Fort McClellan, Alabama, which was where he was from and his permanent address. Due to his age (37) he was not inducted.
On the third Friday of May Bing Crosby and Bob Hope played an exhibition for the wartime charities at the Llanerch. Crosby was paired up with Jug McSpaden and Hope’s partner was Ed Dudley. To make it even more interesting, Joe Kirkwood, Sr. played along with them, demonstrating trick shots. In spite of rain 6,000 golf and movie fans turned out and paid $1 for the privilege. Because many of the spectators were not golfers and the weather it was decided that nine holes would be enough and that turned into five holes. There were 100 marshals, but they could not keep things in order. The exhibition started on #10 and they played #11, before cutting across to finish up on the 16th, 17th and 18th holes. Crosby and Hope put on some dry clothes before putting on a show on the practice putting green. Everything they could part with, like sweaters and scorecards, was auctioned off for war bonds. A golf ball signed by Crosby, Hope, Dudley and McSpaden sold for $50,000. A phonograph record signed by Crosby and a set of woods made by Joe Seka, the second president of the Philadelphia PGA, each brought $5,000. When it was all over Crosby and Hope had sold $130,525 in war bonds.
Due to the rationing of gasoline the Golf Association of Philadelphia canceled all their tournaments for the year in late May. This included the Philadelphia Open that had been held for 40 consecutive years since 1903. The Philadelphia Section’s schedule was unaffected by the gas ban due to the work of their national President, Ed Dudley. The OPA had issued a ruling that the pros could drive to tournaments which were a part of their livelihood.
In the second week of June Sam Byrd and his wife won the qualifying medal at the Bala Golf Club for the Pro-Lady Championship. Playing the format of selective drive/alternate shot, the Byrd team posted a one under par 67 which was five strokes better than the team of Jug McSpaden and Helen Sigel that put together a 72. Eight teams qualified for the match play rounds. The tournament began on a Monday and the final was played on Sunday with the spectator fees from a gallery of several hundred going to the Red Cross. In the final the Byrds prevailed in a tight match over the Old York Road team of Steve Grady and Mrs. Ralph Raynor on the 19th hole. It was the 27th year that the tournament had been played.
On the fourth Monday of June a testimonial golf tournament was held at the Llanerch Country Club for Gene Kunes who had been seriously ill for more than a year. Following an operation in December he had been in the hospital for nearly six months, ailing with stomach problems due to his liver. Kunes was now recuperating at Seaview Country Club. 259 pros and amateurs, took part in the event. All of the leading golfers in Philadelphia were there. In what was referred to as the feature foursome Sam Byrd and Woodie Platt took on Jug McSpaden and Sonny Fraser. George B. Smith, who was now the professional at Gulph Mills Golf Club, turned in a four under par 68, which was the low round of the day and took home a trophy put up by Henry A. Hurst. McSpaden, who had a wrist infection lanced at Lankenau Hospital in the morning was second with a 69.
One tournament that wasn’t canceled was the New Jersey Open. It was held on the second Sunday of July at the Montclair Golf Club. George Fazio, who was playing his first New Jersey Open, and Sergeant Vic Ghezzi were paired together for the one-day of 36 holes. After a hard fought battle they ended the day tied for the title with totals of 142. Ghezzi’s rounds were 70-72 and Fazio’s were 69-73. Tom Harmon was next with a 143, which was two strokes better than Emory Thomas (145) and Jack Mitchell (145). The playoff took place three weeks later, also on a Sunday. In the 18-hole playoff Fazio led by three strokes when he teed off on the last hole. Fazio’s tee shot embedded in a fairway bunker and he finished with a double bogey six. Ghezzi played the hole with a drive, four-iron and a twenty-foot to even the match. The tournament committee sent the two pros out for another nine holes. This time they came to the last hole with Fazio leading by one stroke. Fazio made another double bogey six and Ghezzi equaled par on the hole to win the New Jersey Open for a second time. In the playoff Ghezzi’s scores were 72-36 and Fazio’s were 72-37.
Jug McSpaden won the $10,000 All-American Open at the Tam O’Shanter Country Club near Chicago in late July. At the end of 72 holes McSpaden and Buck White were tied at two under par 282. The next day McSpaden holed a 20-foot putt on the last hole of the 18-hole playoff to pick up the first place check of $2,000 by one stroke. He edged out White by one stroke with a 71 against a 72. This was a large prize at that time. McSpaden’s tournament rounds were 73, 70, 68 and 71. Byron Nelson and Chick Harbert tied for third with 283s. There were also tournaments for the amateurs and the ladies being held there the same week. For the week-long tournament 65,000 spectators attended and purchased $900,000 in war bonds and stamps.
President, Marty Lyons, had given the Philadelphia PGA tournament chairman Leo Diegel full authority to use the Section’s tournament program in any way to aid the war effort. One of the several tournaments that Diegel devised was a charity match between the professionals, the male amateurs and the ladies. In order to host the match a club had to donate $500 and all other proceeds from the day to the Philadelphia PGA’s wartime charity fund. Bala Golf Club agreed to host the match, which was held on the third Sunday of July. The Section professionals, Golf Association of Philadelphia and the Women’s Golf Association all worked together to make it a success. Diegel was the captain of the professionals, Woody Platt captained the men amateurs and Glenna Collett Vare was the women’s captain. The captains were asked to each select eleven players for their team. Before they teed off all 36 players signed up to donate blood at a given date. The pros played at scratch, the men amateurs were given two handicap strokes and the ladies received seven. The pros won but the most important outcome was that two thousand spectators turned out to see the matches, which contributed three thousand dollars to the PGA’s charity fund. The original plan for the money raised that day was to purchase an ambulance for the Red Cross. When the Red Cross was contacted the PGA was informed more good would be done if the money were donated to the new Valley Forge General Hospital in Phoenixville where the wounded servicemen were returning from the war to be rehabilitated. A group representing the PGA, GAP and WGAP was invited to visit the hospital. It was during that visit that the pros suggested the building of a short golf course for the rehabilitation of the servicemen. The pros returned for another visit along with Joe Valentine, Merion Golf Club green superintendent. The result was the planning of a nine-hole course with holes that ranged from 95 to 275 yards.
The next week in early August the wartime Ryder Cup team defeated Walter Hagen’s challengers at the Plum Hollow Country Club in Detroit. Jug McSpaden and Byron Nelson were members of the Ryder Cup team. Sam Byrd and Jimmy Thomson played for the Challengers. One change was made in the format. The first day was four-ball matches instead of alternate shots. Sam Snead and Horton Smith were in the Armed Service, so a couple of Detroit a couple of Detroit professionals with PGA Tour experience filled in. All matches were scheduled for 36 holes. The Cup Team won by 8-1/2 points to 3-1/2. $174,800 was raised for the Red Cross, most of it through an auction of articles signed by the players and other celebrities.
Sam Byrd won the Chicago Victory Open in the fourth week of August by five strokes over Craig Wood (282). His first two rounds at the Beverly Country Club were 68-67 and he followed that up with 70-72 for a seven-under-par 277. Sgt. Jim Turnesa and Pvt. Chick Harbert tied for third at 283 one stroke ahead of Byron Nelson (284).First prize was $1,000 in war bonds.
During that summer, Sonny Fraser, the owner of Atlantic City CC, and Tavistock CC professional Dick Renaghan played a series of exhibitions in southern New Jersey that raised $10,000 for the Red Cross.
In late September Llanerch Country Club and Marty Lyons hosted the Section Championship for the eighth consecutive year. Sam Byrd led the qualifying nipping George Fazio (136) by one stroke. His 69-66 for 135 was a new low for the 36-hole qualifying round. Ten players broke par for the 36 holes. Joseph “Bud” Lewis, who had learned to play golf as a caddy at Llanerch, won the championship. He was now the professional at the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club. Lewis birdied the last hole with a 15-foot putt to beat Terl Johnson two-down in the 36-hole final. In the semifinals Lewis beat former Section champion Charlie Schneider, who was now the professional at the LuLu Country Club in a match that went three extra holes. Johnson knocked out Chick Rutan now the professional at the Yardley Country Club, to reach the finals by 2&1. Lewis won the tournament with a putter that belonged to Gene Kunes and a driver that Fazio had loaned him
Torresdale Frankford Country Club member Henry A. Hurst had sponsored a PGA Tour tournament in 1942 at his club. After planning to hold an even larger event the next year he had to cancel when World War II intervened. In 1943 Hurst and fellow club member Oliver C. Troup decided to hold a two day event to raise money for the Red Cross and other war time charities. On the first Sunday of October they staged an exhibition in the afternoon. Byron Nelson, Babe Zaharias and Dick Metz, who had finished second in the 1941 Henry Hurst Invitation, played 18 holes.
On Monday morning there was another exhibition and a pro-am tournament. This featured Byron Nelson, Craig Wood, Vic Ghezzi and Leo Diegel. With the $10,000 that the two days netted the Section had raised $16,750 in 1943. A portion of the money went to the Navy League Service and another sum was used to purchase two station wagons for the Red Cross. The rest was used for materials, supplies and construction of the course at the Valley Forge General Hospital.
In the afternoon a Red Cross Invitation tournament was held. Five thousand spectators saw Tavistock Country Club professional Dick Renaghan set a course record for the front nine with a 31. His 68 was one stroke better than the second place scores of Byron Nelson (69) and Fox Hill Country Club professional Felix Serafin (69). Jug McSpaden and Sargent Jim Turnesa tied for fourth with 71s.
That evening, the first Monday of October, thirty-four members attended the Section’s annual meeting at Raymond’s Restaurant in Philadelphia. Marty Lyons was reelected president for a third successive year. A.B. Thorn was reelected first vice president and Ted Bickel, Jr. was elected second vice president. Jimmy D’Angelo and Walter Brickley were reelected secretary and treasurer. Brickley had resigned as the professional at the Riverton Country Club that year and he would soon be the professional at the Cooper River Golf Club. Two of the guests were Joe Valentine, honorary vice-president of the Section J. Wood Platt, and Lieutenant Fred Morganstern who was in charge of the construction of the golf course at the Valley Forge General Hospital. Their national president, Ed Dudley, told them that golf was playing a big part in rehabilitation of members of the armed forces as evidenced by the Philadelphia Section PGA’s golf course project at the hospital. He also reminded the professionals that there was a scarcity of golf balls since all available rubber was being devoted to the war effort. He urged them to deliver the message to the club members to turn in all old balls this fall so that they could be reprocessed for next summer’s play. Jimmy Conway, the president of the green superintendents association and Woody Platt were honorary vice presidents of the Section.
In July Jug McSpaden had won the All-American Open at the Tam O’Shanter Country Club in near Chicago and in August Sam Byrd won the Chicago Victory Open on the same golf course. Now George S. May, the Tam O’Shanter president, had invited McSpaden and Byrd to play what he called a United States championship on the second weekend of October at his golf club. McSpaden (70-71) won by eight strokes with a one under par 141 against a 149 total of Byrd (76-73). McSpaden took away $1,000 and Byrd picked up $500.
That the fall ground was broken for the Valley Forge General Hospital golf course at Phoenixville on October 11. Joe Valentine, Jimmy Conway and other golf course superintendents supervised the construction. The course was designed by Alfred H. Tull, a New York City based golf course architect. The servicemen stationed at the hospital, who were able, did the construction work. They were paid $7.50 a day, no matter how able they may have been. The Section members volunteered their services to give instruction and exhibitions. Three canvas nets and two miniature putting courses were installed in the gymnasium for use that winter to help with instructing the servicemen about the game.
For a second straight year the PGA’s annual meeting was at the Medinah Club in Chicago. It was held in the third week of November. Ed Dudley was reelected president of the PGA of America for the third consecutive year. Former president George Jacobus ran for president and Dudley defeated him by 50 votes to 16. Frank T. Sprogell and Willie Maguire were reelected secretary and treasurer. Dudley appointed Leo Diegel chairman of the PGA Rehabilitation Program. Marty Lyons and Al MacDonald were members of the committee also. Diegel had been the originator of the movement providing golf facilities and equipment for wounded servicemen confined to Army and Navy hospitals. Dudley appointed Jug McSpaden and Diegel to the tournament committee. Due to the approval of golf that Dudley had obtained from the War Manpower Commission the PGA Tour was going to be back in business. Fred Corcoran reported that there was plenty of demand for winter tournaments. He noted that there were a number of top pros that would be able to compete. Some of those mentioned were Sam Byrd, McSpaden and Byron Nelson. The Section’s delegates to the meeting were Jimmy D’Angelo and Marty Lyons. Again, D’Angelo and Lyons broached the idea of the PGA owning its own golf course. Dudley appointed D’Angelo the chairman of a committee to investigate the possibilities of the PGA having its own course and Lyons was a member of the committee.
The PGA Tour was in such a poor state due to gas rationing, that no records were kept as to the leading money winners and there was no Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average awarded. Only three tournaments of PGA Tour caliber were played that year; the Chicago Victory Open, the All-American Open and the Miami Open. Two of those were won by Philadelphia pros. Sam Byrd won the Chicago Victory Open and Jug McSpaden won the All-American. Byrd and his wife won the Section Pro-Lady Championship, which was the first time a pro and his spouse had achieved that. The Philadelphia pros and amateurs combined to raise more than $100,000 for wartime charities.
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Due to Ed Dudley getting the gasoline restrictions lifted for golf professionals the PGA Tour was back in business on the West Coast in early January and the spectators turned out in record numbers. The tournaments were also broadcast by short wave radio to the armed forces. Jug McSpaden got off to a fast start by winning the $12,500 Los Angeles Open by three strokes over Johnny Bulla (281). McSpaden’s rounds over the Wilshire Country Club course were 69, 72, 71 and 66 for a 278 total. Byron Nelson, Craig Wood and Leonard Dodson tied for third at 283. For his victory McSpaden received $4,375 in bonds. The players could take their winnings in war bonds or cash. If they took cash the amount was 25% less than the value of the bonds. Daily admission was $2.20.
Many golf clubs were having a difficult time, having been through the Great Depression of the 1930s. Now the war had brought gas rationing and a shortage of golfers. Tredyffrin Country Club in Paoli, which hosted the first Section Championship in 1922, closed early in the year. It also had been the home club of Bob Barnett, the first Section president. In early 1945 it was sold for $97,500 and as soon as building materials were available it became a housing project.
In late January Corporal Stanley Pokorsky’s father received a telegram from the War Department that his son was missing on the Italian front. Pokorsky had been an assistant to Henry Wetzel at the Merchantville Country Club for seven years. In 1942 Pokorsky and his amateur partner, Al Besselink, had tied for first in the Section’s pro-am championship with George Griffin, Sr. and George, Jr. He was the first reported casualty from the Philadelphia Section.
Jug McSpaden won again in the second week of February at the $5,000 Phoenix Open. Play was over the par 71 Phoenix Country Club. McSpaden began with 74-67 and then shot 64-68 the last two rounds to catch Byron Nelson as they finished up in a tie with eleven under par 273s. The week before McSpaden had finished second to Nelson at the San Francisco Open. McSpaden won the playoff with a one-under-par 70 against a 72 for Nelson. His winning prize was $1,000 in war bonds. Sam Byrd, who had recently left the Philadelphia Section for a head professional job in Detroit, tied for third with Craig Wood at 280.
After beginning the year by winning two of the first four tournaments and finishing second in the other two, Jug McSpaden was recalled by his draft board at Bryn Mawr in the third week of February. McSpaden had been notified to report to the draft board on February 10 but the Texas Open officials had requested and gotten an eleven day delay so that he could play in their tournament. The basis of their request was that the Texas Open was a war bond event and McSpaden’s absence would reduce sales. McSpaden almost won the Texas Open as he tied for second with Byron Nelson, one stroke out of a first place tie. McSpaden had also finished second at San Francisco his two victories were at Los Angeles and Phoenix. After two days of tests on Monday and Tuesday he was classified 4-F. He then left for New Orleans to rejoin the PGA Tour.
In early March Jug McSpaden added another $1,000 in war bonds to his earnings for the year with a victory at the $4,500 Gulfport Open in Mississippi. McSpaden’s toured the Great Southern Country Club in 68, 70, 70 and 68 to win by six strokes with a 276. Sam Byrd (282) finished second, Byron Nelson (283) third and Toney Penna (284) was fourth. Byrd had won the New Orleans Open the week before.
In the third week of March Sgt. E.J. “Dutch” Harrison won the $10,000 Charlotte Open. Harrison was stationed in Greensboro and earning $78 a month. Winning the $2,000 war bond improved his financial status. He led from start to finish. Harrison opened with a 66 to lead by one stroke. In the second round he made a hole-in-one and an eagle 3 for a 70 and led by two. Then after a rained out day he put up a 66 to give him a four-stroke lead entering the final round. Even with a last round 73 he won by three strokes over Jug McSpaden (276), who had been in second place after each round. Second prize was $1,500 and it kept McSpaden in the money lead on the winter tour. Byron Nelson (279), Craig Wood (281) and Sam Byrd (283) finished third, fourth and fifth.
Henry Picard and Ed Dudley were employed in the Section again. Picard was now the professional at the Country Club of Harrisburg. In March James “Sonny” Fraser, new president of Atlantic City Country Club, announced that Dudley had been retained as their new professional. He was available since the Augusta National Golf Club was closed down for the duration of the war. Dudley said that the clubhouse that had been taken over by the army had now been turned back to the club and was being remodeled. Also the golf course would soon be ready for play again and could be one of the best. He was still the professional at The Broadmoor from mid June through mid September and he would be at Atlantic City the rest of the time.
The Section’s spring meeting was held on the third Monday of April at 1011 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. President Marty Lyons praised the Philadelphia Inquirer and its publisher Walter H. Annenberg for its invitational golf tournament. The tournament was scheduled for June and would bring the PGA Tour back to the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club. Tournament director, Henry Hurst, urged the Section members to give their complete support to the tournament that was going to have one of the largest first prizes ever offered in professional golf. Section Secretary Jimmy D’Angelo had moved to Oklahoma during the winter to take a new pro job and the North Hills Country Club professional Len Sheppard, who had been Section secretary and treasurer in the 1920s, had been appointed to the vacant office. Leo Diegel, Section tournament chairman, announced that the Pro-Am Championship would be at Philmont Country Club with 36 holes of stroke play and an 18 hole playoff between the top two teams on a Sunday. The golf course at Valley Forge General Hospital was shaping up and should open later in the summer. A soldier who had been wounded in the African Campaign gave a talk on what the hospital had done for his recovery. Anne Scott, who worked for the Spalding Sporting Goods Company as secretary to the district manager, had been hired to work part time to assist the Section secretary and the tournament chairman. The Section used her office as the Section’s address, which was 401 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia 8, Pennsylvania. The telephone number was Walnut 5-6494. The officers announced that they needed to raise the Section dues from $5 to $10. A vote was taken and there was only one vote opposing the increase. Some of the pros paid Anne Scott the extra $5 before they left the meeting.
Section qualifying for the PGA Championship was held on the first Monday in June at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club. They thought there were eight places to qualify for but the number would be based on how many members there were in the Section on July 10. Bruce Coltart (70-73) and Joe Zarhardt (70-73), two professionals who had recently been discharged from the army, tied for the medal with 143s. Zarhardt was back as the professional at the Jeffersonville Golf Club after a year in the army. He had been discharged from the army that spring under the 38-year-old age limit rule. Coltart had received a medical discharge and returned to his position at the Seaview Country Club. Bud Lewis was next at 144. Clarence Ehresman, Terl Johnson and Maurie Gravatt, the professional at the Williamsport Country Club tied for fourth with 146s. Henry Williams, Jr. (150) and Ralph Hutchison (151), the professional at the Saucon Valley Country Club, qualified seventh and eighth. Hutchison earned his spot in a playoff over Charlie Schneider (151). Their scores from the first round of the War Bond Tournament were used to break the deadlock. Hutchison posted a 73 against a 76 for Schneider. The Section ended up with eight qualifying places. Henry Picard, Leo Diegel and Sam Snead were exempt as former PGA champions. Jug McSpaden had an exemption as a member of the Ryder Cup Team that was selected but didn’t play because of the war. Gene Kunes was exempt as the 1942 Section champion. Ben Hogan and Ed Dudley had passes for being quarter-finalists in the PGA in 1942.
In the second week of June the First Annual War Bond Invitation Golf Tournament sponsored by The Philadelphia Inquirer Charities, Inc. was held at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club. The tournament was postponed one day in deference to the invasion of France by the allied troops. The runaway winner was former Section member Sam Byrd. He won by seven strokes over Craig Wood (281) with a ten-under-par (66-67-69-72) 274. Byrd took home the first prize of $6,700 in war bonds from the $17,500 purse. Sgt. E. J. Dutch Harrison (283) finished third and won $1,350. Bob Hamilton (287) was fourth and Jug McSpaden (288) ended up in fifth place. McSpaden won $800. Twenty-one pros finished in the money and last money was $125. Bud Lewis (291) tied for 7th and won $500. Ed Dudley (292) and Dick Renaghan (292) tied for ninth and they each won $362.50. Henry Picard (293) and Johnny Moyer (293) tied for 11th and each won $266.67. Bruce Coltart (295) tied for 16th and won $125. Henry Williams, Jr. (296) ended up in 21st place and he also won $125. Moyer was the professional at the Shamokin Valley Country Club and Williams was working in a defense plant and playing his golf at the Spring-Ford Country Club. Joe Zarhardt, Henry Ransom, Al MacDonald, Clarence Ehresman, Charlie Schneider, Felix Serafin, Terl Johnson, George Fazio, Ralph Hutchison and Pat Browne played all 72-holes but missed the money. Ransom was now in the Marine Corps and Schneider was now the professional at the LuLu Country Club. Fazio was in the United States Navy and stationed in Northern New Jersey. Browne was the teaching professional at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club. The host professional was Jack Sawyer.
On the fourth Sunday of June 1944, Philmont Country Club then a jewel of Philadelphia golf with its 36 holes of championship golf, staged an event to sell US War Bonds. Ellis Gimbel of Gimbels Department Store was president of Philmont. A golf exhibition featuring Craig Wood, Bud Lewis, Helen Sigel and Patty Berg was played in the afternoon. Wood was the holder of the US Open title, Lewis was the Philadelphia Open holder, Sigel runner-up in the 1941 US Women’s Amateur and Berg one of the countries’ leading women professionals who was stationed with the Marines in Philadelphia. The host professional was Leo Diegel, a two time PGA champion, but the members might have been more interested in paying to see someone they could not play golf with any day. In the evening Ella Fitzgerald entertained the members and guests. Philmont CC, which was predominantly composed of Jewish members, sold $2,650,000 in War Bonds. To purchase a War Bond one paid 75 cents on the dollar.
Jug McSpaden won the Chicago Victory Open in a playoff with Lieut. Ben Hogan. The tournament was played in the first week of July at the Edgewater Golf Club. This was Hogan’s first tournament since joining the Air Force in late 1942. McSpaden (67-73-68-65) made up six strokes in the final round with a 31 on the last nine to tie Hogan (68-66-68-71) at 273. In the playoff McSpaden shot a one under par 70 to beat Hogan (73) by three strokes. That made Hogan zero-for-four in playoffs on the PGA Tour. McSpaden’s win gave him another $3,000 in war bonds. Picard and Hogan also received 25% of the gate receipts from the playoff. Byron Nelson finished third at 276. Sam Byrd and Johnny Revolta tied for fourth with 280s. Sgt. E.J. “Dutch” Harrison was next at 281.
The next week Jug McSpaden added to his money lead on the PGA Tour as he and his partner Byron Nelson won the Golden Valley Four-Ball in Minnesota. In their matches against the seven other teams in the tournament they averaged 63.8 strokes (61-65-66-63-63-66-63) on the Golden Valley Country Club course. They were 447 strokes under the course’s par of 73 and they finished with a plus 13 count in the scoring. Bob Hamilton and Bill Kaiser finished second at plus 10. First prize was $1,600 in war bonds for the team. Ben Hogan played again that week also.
After having been canceled for the war in 1943 the Philadelphia Open was being held again. Joe Zarhardt won it at the Llanerch Country Club in mid July. Zarhardt carded a 71 in the morning round and 67 in the afternoon for a six-under-par 138 to win by two strokes. Zarhardt was back as the professional at Jeffersonville Golf Club after a year in the US Army. He had been mustered out due to having reached the age of 38. At first he was working in a defense plant before returning to Jeffersonville. Clarence Ehresman (140) finished second two strokes in front of Johnny Moyer (142). Henry Williams, Jr. (143) was next in fourth place. First prize was $250 in war bonds.
The golf course at the Valley Forge General Hospital was dedicated on July 23rd. Section President Marty Lyons and Leo Diegel who devoted much effort to forwarding the work on the course along with J. Wood Platt made the speeches and presented the course to the wounded veterans. In his speech Lyons gave Diegel full credit for the idea of building the golf course. The course would be ready for play in the fall. Seaman Second Class George Fazio, Sergeant Jim Turnesa, Glenna Vare, Helen Wilson and Dot Germain put on an exhibition of golf shots. Many wounded servicemen came through that hospital but one in particular was Charley Boswell. Boswell was blinded from injuries suffered in the Battle of the Bulge. Before the war he had been a tailback on the University of Alabama football team where he established a punting record that stood for thirty years. He graduated in 1940 and joined the army in 1941 forgoing a planned professional baseball career. With the help of the golf instruction at Valley Forge he went on to live a rich life. He went home to Alabama and ran the successful Boswell Insurance Agency for over forty years. Boswell won the national championship for blinded golfers sixteen times, the international championship eleven times and an endless number of honors.
The PGA Championship held at Spokane, Washington in mid August. The pros that qualified in their Sections and the exempt players where all reimbursed for their travel expenses if they didn’t qualify for the match play. All PGA members who were serving in the military were invited to play without going through section qualifying. If they did not qualify in their Sections and were not exempt they did not receive travel expenses but they did not have to pay the $5 entry fee. The Manito Golf & Country Club hosted the tournament. It was Byron Nelson and Jug McSpaden again in the qualifying rounds. Nelson shot 138 and McSpaden was around in 140 strokes. Joe Zarhardt tied with Sam Byrd for third at 141. Ed Dudley (144), Maurie Gravatt (144), Henry Williams, Jr. (145), Gene Kunes (147) and Bruce Coltart (147) were also among the 32 pros that qualified for the match play. Bud Lewis missed qualifying. Sam Snead wasn’t able to defend his title as he was in the naval hospital in San Diego undergoing treatment on an old back injury and Ben Hogan’s obligations to the military kept him from entering. Clarence Ehresman, Terl Johnson, Ralph Hutchison, Henry Picard and Leo Diegel didn’t show up at the site of the championship for the qualifying rounds. Some of the players thought that Spokane was too far to travel for what might be just two rounds. Dudley and McSpaden each won two matches, and the others lost in the first round. All of the matches were 36 holes. Williams lost to Charles Congdon 7&6, Coltart was put out by McSpaden, Kunes was eliminated by the tournament winner Bob Hamilton 6&5, Zarhardt lost to Art Bell on the 37th hole and Gravatt was defeated by Toney Penna 3&2. After McSpaden beat Coltart he put out Fred Annon 8&7 before losing to Hamilton in the quarter-finals 2&1. Dudley defeated Steve Savel 7&6 and Jimmy Hines on the 37th holes. He then lost in the quarter-finals to Congdon by 6&5. Hamilton defeated Byron Nelson in the 36-hole final one-down. In the semi-finals Hamilton defeated George Schneiter one-down and Nelson beat Congdon 8&7. Schneiter, who was playing the PGA Tour, had qualified at Torresdale-Frankford Country Club with the Philadelphia pros in June. After shooting a 141 he was told by PGA president Ed Dudley that he would be in the field if the PGA Sections didn’t fill their quotas. The total purse was $14,000. Most of the Philadelphia Section qualifiers traveled to Spokane by train.
The next week 43-year-old PGA president Ed Dudley finished second in the richest tournament in the history of golf, the All-American Open. The host club for the $42,500 tournament was the Tam O’Shanter Country Club. The tournament ended on Monday as Sunday’s round was rained out. George S. May, the tournament sponsor, collected $10,000 in rain insurance. Dudley ended up five strokes behind Byron Nelson (280) with a three-under-par 285. Dudley had played in four PGA Tour events that summer and cashed checks in all of them. Nelson’s win bagged the largest prize in the history of golf, $13,462.50 in war bonds. At 75% the bonds were worth $10,100 in cash, which topped the $10,000 first prize Gene Sarazen had won at Agua Caliente in the mid 1920s. Dudley won $5,000 in bonds. Nelson had now set a record for money won in a season on the PGA Tour even though there were still four more months of tournaments. Buck White ended up in third place with a 286. Sgt. E.J. “Dutch” Harrison, Corp. Chick Harbert and Bud Williamson tied for fourth with 287s.
Section’s members were playing many exhibitions to benefit war related charities. Ed Dudley, Jug McSpaden, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby played in one of these at the Philadelphia Country Club. Afterward everything possible was auctioned off for war bonds such as Crosby’s phonograph records, Hope’s golf sweater and autographed golf balls. A set of woods made by Joseph Seka, a former Section president and the Cedarbrook Country Club professional brought the purchase of a $5,000 bond.
Leo Diegel decided the navy needed some help also so he directed the construction of a nine-hole deck putting-course with a carpeted surface at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Philadelphia. In late summer he set up a series of weekly putting contests. Each week a different golf club was in charge of the contest and the club’s professional provided instruction for the servicemen.
For the first time since 1935 the Section Championship wasn’t at Llanerch. Bud Lewis and Manufacturers Golf & country club hosted the championship in mid September. The Red Cross sponsored the tournament and all of the proceeds went to the Valley Forge General Hospital golf course in Phoenixville. Joe Zarhardt won the medal with rounds of 74 and 67 for a one-under-par 141. There were 32 qualifiers and the 163s played off. After the first round was rained out twice (Tuesday and Wednesday) the matches got under way but even then Thursday’s rounds were played in driving rains. Two matches were played on Thursday and two more on Friday. Clarence Ehresman became the new Section champion on Sunday as Terl Johnson lost in the finals on the thirty-sixth hole for the second straight year. This time the verdict was one-down. In the semifinals Ehresman defeated Zarhardt on the 20th hole and Johnson eked out a one-up victory over Lewis.
On the third Saturday of September, the day before the Section Championship finals, the first annual Delaware Open was held at the Rock Manor Golf Club. The pros were competing for $1,000 in war bonds and the proceeds from the tournament went to the Valley Forge General Hospital golf course. Bruce Coltart put together two solid rounds of 72 and 71 that included eight birdies. Two of the birdies came on the last two holes and he needed both of them to nip Felix Serafin (144) by one stroke. Serafin began with a 76 but he back in the afternoon with the low round of the tournament, a four under par 68. Next in line was Joe Zarhardt in third place at 147 and Gene Kunes finished fourth with a 149. Bud Lewis, Dave Douglas and Maurie Gravatt tied for fifth with 150s.
The Section’s annual meeting was at Helen Sigel’s restaurant (in Philadelphia on the third Monday of October. Honorary president J. Wood Platt announced that $23,310 had been raised for the Section’s charities. $12,077 went to the Valley Forge General Hospital golf course for wages paid to wounded servicemen who were able to work on the course despite their disabilities. During that year Marty Lyons had organized teams of pros to visit the hospital to give golf instruction to the servicemen. With the help of Jim Conway the golf course superintendents had supervised the construction and maintenance of the course. At the meeting, one of several speakers, along with PGA president Ed Dudley was Marine Lieutenant Patty Berg who was stationed in Philadelphia and had played in some of the Section’s events. Marty Lyons was elected president for the fourth consecutive year. Ted Bickel, Jr. was elected first vice president and Charlie Schneider was elected second vice president. Len Sheppard and Walter Brickley were reelected secretary and treasurer. Woody Platt and Jim Conway were reelected honorary vice-presidents.
In early November PGA tournament manager Fred Corcoran announced a full schedule for the winter tour starting in Portland, Oregon in late November and ending in Durham, North Carolina at the end of March. The professionals would be competing for a record amount of prize money, $150,000. This was double the amount they had to play for the winter before.
Ashbourne Country Club held a testimonial dinner in November for their professional, Clarence Ehresman, who had won the Section Championship in September. A number of the pros attended and Al MacDonald was asked to say a few words about the work the PGA was doing with the veterans’ hospitals. Within fifteen minutes of the finish of his talk the Ashbourne members had collected $1,600 to be used for rehabilitation work at the Naval Hospital and the Valley Forge General Hospital.
Delegates from the 28 PGA Sections met at the Hotel Continental in Chicago in mid November for the PGA’s annual meeting. President Ed Dudley along with the other officers, Secretary Frank T. Sprogell and Treasurer Willie Maguire, were reelected. The topic that drew the most interest was the report on the search for a PGA national golf club that could serve as a winter home for many of the professionals. One possibility was the Dunedin Isles Golf Club in Florida. A film of the course was shown to the delegates and Jimmy D’Angelo made a report as the chairman of the committee. D’Angelo made such a thorough presentation the proposal was approved by the delegates with very little discussion. The annual rent for Dunedin, which was owned by the city of Dunedin, was $1 per year. The expense was going to be getting the golf course in decent condition and refurbishing the clubhouse. The facility had been through the “Great Depression” and World War II. This had greatly reduced the number of winter visitors that came to Florida for golf. A resolution was passed to recognize PGA members who had been members for 25 years with a special membership card that could be displayed in their golf shops. The delegates from the Philadelphia Section were Marty Lyons and Al MacDonald.
In late November Sam Snead returned to the PGA Tour after two and a half years in the navy. Two months after receiving a medical discharge for his bad back he won the first tournament he entered. His win came at the $16,000 Portland Open, which was played through heavy rains at the Portland Golf Club. With rounds of 70, 74, 73 and 72 Snead edged out Mike Turnesa. Snead’s total was 289 and Turnesa finished with a 291. First prize was $2,675 in war bonds. The host professional Ted Longworth, who had been the golf professional at the Glen Garden Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas when Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson were learning the games as caddies, finished third at 295. Bruce Coltart (296) and Nelson (296) tied for fourth and they each won $1,022.50 in war bonds.
In the second week of December Staff Sgt. E.J. “Dutch” Harrison won his second PGA Tour tournament of the year at the $10,000 Miami Open. Harrison won by one stroke as he came from behind with a last nine 32 to nip fellow Section member Henry Picard, who had a last round 67. Harrison’s winning (73-66-66-69) 274 score was six under par for the Miami Springs Golf & Country Club course. Johnny Revolta finished third at 276. Maurice O’Connor was next with a 277. First prize was $2,500. At the same time Jug McSpaden was finishing third in the Oakland Open in California.
In mid December Sam Snead picked up his second win since becoming a civilian again at the $7,500 Richmond Open (California). He put together a six-under-par 278 to nip Charles Congdon (279) by one stroke. Snead put together four rounds of 70, 69, 69 and 70 over the Richmond Country Club. Jug McSpaden and Byron Nelson tied for third at 280. In the third round McSpaden shot a 64, the low round of the tournament, to get back into contention. Snead received $1,600 in war bonds.
With the PGA Tour beginning again there was a caddy shortage so some of the wives used pull carts to caddy for their husbands and a few players even carried their own bags. Military men who were home on leave turned out to caddy and were happy to make some extra money.
The leading money winner for the year was Byron Nelson with $37,967.69 in war bonds. That was worth 75% in dollars if you cashed the bonds in when you won them. That came to $28,475.25, which was a record. The old record was the $19,534 that Sam Snead won in 1938. Jug McSpaden was the second leading money winner with $23,855 in war bonds. The Vardon Trophy was not awarded that year. The PGA Tour was back in business in a big way even though more than 400 PGA members and some of the stars were in the service.
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In January U.S. Marine Pvt. John Lewis was back from two and a half years in the South Pacific where he had participated in three invasions. He had been awarded a presidential citation and five combat stars. Lewis was in the invasions of Guadalcanal, New Guinea and Peleliu. He had enlisted in 1942 and was the first PGA member shipped overseas. Lewis was 31 when he enlisted. The marines thought that anyone over 26 was too old to fight in the war but he proved them wrong. His brother Bud Lewis was also in the army in 1945.
The Section received bad news in late January. On January 3rd 1st Lt. Elwood Brey had died in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. Brey had been the head professional at the Berwick Country Club from 1938 to 1941 and an assistant to Henry Williams Sr. at the Lehigh Country Club before that. Brey had been wounded during the battle by an artillery barrage. While being transported by jeep to the base hospital he was hit by artillery fire again and that caused the mortal wounds. He died the next day. He was awarded the Silver Star for bravery. He is interred in the U.S. Military Cemetery at Henri Chapelle, Belgium. Only a few months before that Brey had been awarded the Purple Heart with Oak Leaves on two occasions. He had been wounded at Normandy in July of 1944 and again in Holland in September of 1944. Brey had entered the service in February 1941 and was stationed at New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Before entering officer candidate school in November 1942 he helped develop a golf course there for the Army. In 1942 he had played in the national PGA Championship at Seaview under a special military exemption where he missed qualifying for the match play by only one stroke with a four over par score of (71-77) 148. In other years that would have easily qualified but due to the war the pros were qualifying for 32 places instead of the usual 64 in order to shorten the championship by one day.
The Section had now lost two members and a former member in the war. It was later learned that Stanley Pokorsky had died in January 1944 and William “Red” Francis, who had been the professional at the Nittany Country Club in 1937 and 1938, had died in June 1944.
After a two-year break for the war the PGA Senior Championship was held in the third week of January at the PGA’s new home, the PGA National Golf Club in Dunedin, Florida. Eddie Williams successfully defended his title from 1942 by two strokes with 75-73 for a 148 total. Jock Hutchison (150), Charlie Mayo (151) and Charlie Lorms (152) finished second, third and fourth. Henry Williams, Sr. (164) won money in his age group, 60 to 64.
Jug McSpaden and Byron Nelson won the $7,500 Miami Four-Ball in the second week of March. The Miami Springs Golf & Country Club hosted the tournament. The “Gold Dust Twins” had never advanced past the second round before. In the finals they were fourteen under par for the thirty holes it took to eliminate two former Section members Sam Byrd and Denny Shute by the count of 8&6. The winners put out the three time winners of the tournament, Henry Picard and Johnny Revolta, in the semifinals 3&2 and Lieut. Ben Hogan and Ed Dudley in the second round by 4&3. Two other Section members Joe Kirkwood, Sr. and Bruce Coltart lost in the first round. The winners each took away $1,100 and other finalists each picked up $750. The field was made up of sixteen two-man teams. Six of the players were Philadelphia Section members and seven more were former members of the Section. All of the matches were 36 holes.
The PGA Tour’s winter swing concluded in early April. The winter tour consisted of the tournaments between the end of October and the first week of April. Some pros only played those events because of their club jobs. At the end of the winter tour Byron Nelson had eight wins and had earned $22,615 in war bonds. Some of the Section members had made creditable showings. Sgt. E.J. “Dutch” Harrison, playing on occasion, was in seventh place with $4,203. Henry Picard was fifteenth with $2,784. Bruce Coltart had entered 13 tournaments and he had picked up $2,556.
During the winter Ed Dudley had visited veteran’s hospitals in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina and Georgia. His goal was to introduce the wounded veterans to golf at every rehab hospital in the United States.
The Section’s spring meeting was at Helen Sigel’s restaurant, 1918 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, on the second Monday in April. Section secretary Len Sheppard was named chairman of the tournament committee. He succeeded Leo Diegel who had held that position for five years. Diegel, the national chairman of the PGA of America rehabilitation committee asked to be relieved so he could devote more time to his work at the veterans’ hospitals. Diegel was the originator of golf as a part of the rehabilitation program for wounded veterans. He fostered the construction of the golf course at Valley Forge General Hospital, which was then backed by all the golf organizations in Philadelphia. This idea later caught fire and all of the other PGA Sections in the country took up the cause. The Section was now involved with five medical facilities in the Delaware Valley. Along with Valley Forge General Hospital and the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia they were now working with the Naval Annex Hospital at Swarthmore, the Tilton General at Fort Dix and the England General at Atlantic City. The Section president Marty Lyons appointed Al “Scotty” MacDonald chairman of the Section’s Rehabilitation Program Committee. The committee organized groups of professionals to work at the various bases. Every pro in the Section gave his time, money or equipment to the program.
George Fazio, who had just been discharged from the navy, won the California Open in the first week of May. Play was over the par 72 Ft. Washington Country Club in Fresno. Fazio put together a three round score of 210 to nip Sergeant Jim Ferrier (211) by one stroke.
The second annual Philadelphia Inquirer Invitation was scheduled for mid June at a new home, the Llanerch Country Club. The host professional was Marty Lyons. Len Sheppard was a member of the Inquirer Invitation committee representing the Philadelphia Section. The total purse was again $17,500 but first prize had been lowered from $6,700 to $5,325. Admission to the tournament was $1.50 each day and the profits from the tournament went to the Philadelphia Section PGA Rehabilitation Program Fund. Byron Nelson was coming into the tournament as the leading player on tour. He had set a record with eight victories in the seventeen tournaments on the winter tour. In the Charlotte Open after he and Sam Snead, who was now back at the Greenbrier as the head professional, had tied they played an eighteen-hole playoff and they were still tied. Nelson won in a second eighteen-hole playoff. At Atlanta in early April Nelson had set a PGA Tour record, shooting 263 for the seventy-two holes.
Earlier in the week before the Inquirer Invitation got under way two exhibitions were played at military hospitals. On Tuesday defending champion Sam Byrd, Ed Dudley, Jimmy Thomson, Al MacDonald, Craig Wood, Glenna Vare, Betty Jamison, and Sonny Fraser made up two foursomes at Tilton General Hospital golf course at Fort Dix. After the opening of the new clubhouse the two foursomes played nine holes for the 2,000 wounded veterans who were in the gallery. The Philadelphia Section PGA rehabilitation program provided the clubhouse and nine-hole course. On Wednesday Bing Crosby performed at Valley Forge General Hospital before 3,000 patients, hospital staff and civilians. After that he joined Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Dudley, Marty Lyons and Air Force Lieutenant Ben Hogan for a nine-hole exhibition. Hogan who was stationed in Kentucky had put on a clinic for the veterans earlier in the day before Crosby and the other pros arrived. Hogan was not playing in the Inquirer tournament. On Thursday morning before teeing off in the Inquirer Invitation tournament Crosby entertained the veterans at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital. The next day Crosby participated in the opening round of the Inquirer Invitational in a pairing with Dudley.
On Thursday evening after the first round of the Inquirer Invitation had been played, PGA president Ed Dudley and the PGA tournament committee asked the tournament sponsor to change the purse breakdown to comply with the PGA prize distribution system. The request was granted and with the revised prize distribution first place was reduced from $5,325 to $3,333.33 and the number of money places increased from twenty-one to twenty-five with last money of $125.
The Philadelphia Section held qualifying for the PGA Championship during the Inquirer Invitational at Llanerch. Bruce Coltart led with a 70 and a 68 for 138, six strokes ahead of Felix Serafin (144) and Terl Johnson (144). The Section had nine spots to shoot for. Johnny Moyer (145), Ralph Hutchison (146), Charlie Schneider (147) and Joe Zarhardt (147) also made it safely. The next day a three-man 18-hole playoff was held during the third round of the tournament for the last two places between Steve Grady, Clarence Ehresman and Al MacDonald who had tied at 148. The survivors were Grady (73), the assistant pro at the Old York Road Country Club, and Ehresman (74). The loser in the playoff, MacDonald (74) got into the tournament when Ehresman decided not to play. Sgt. E.J. “Dutch” Harrison and Pvt. Joseph “Bud” Lewis along with other PGA members in the military service were given exemptions from local qualifying. They were allowed to go directly into the onsite qualifying at the championship. Ed Dudley and Jug McSpaden were exempt as quarter-finalists in 1944 and Leo Diegel and Henry Picard were in as past winners of the PGA. Diegel and Picard didn’t make the trip to Dayton.
When Sunday evening arrived the Inquirer Invitation winner, Byron Nelson was the hottest professional in golf. During the week of the tournament Nelson stayed at Jug McSpaden’s house. With one round to play McSpaden and Johnny Bulla were tied for the lead at 205 and Nelson was one stroke back. In those days in order to disperse the gallery the leaders were not paired together. McSpaden was playing several holes ahead of Nelson. Nelson was walking toward the 13th tee when Leo Diegel appeared. He asked Nelson how he was doing, who replied that he was two under par. Diegel told Nelson that he needed to make some birdies because McSpaden had just posted a 66 for 271. Nelson proceeded to birdie five of the last six holes for a course record 63 and a total of 269, that won by two strokes. He broke the course record by three strokes. Nelson’s first three rounds were 68, 68, and 70. His total of 269 was eleven under par for the revised par of 70 at Llanerch. Two par five holes, #9 and # 14 were played as par fours. This was the sixth straight victory and eighty-seventh consecutive finish in the money for Nelson. First prize was $3,333.33, which was awarded in War Bonds. McSpaden had begun the tournament with a 73 and then shot three straight 66s for a 271 total. Nelson and McSpaden had become known as the “Gold Dust Twins”, because it seemed like as often as Nelson won McSpaden would finish second. Bulla finished third at 276. Bruce Coltart finished fourth with a 279 total. McSpaden won $2,133.33 and Coltart won $1,333.33. Terl Johnson (287) and Henry Picard (287) tied for ninth and they each won $688.89. Joe Zarhardt (293) finished 17th and won $346.67. Ralph Hutchison (294) tied for 18th and won $280. Clarence Ehresman (295), Al MacDonald (295) and Charlie Schneider (295) tied for 20th and they each won $196.19. Dick Renaghan (296) tied for 27th and won $150. Steve Grady (297) tied for 29th and won $66.67. Pat Browne, Ed Dudley, Felix Serafin, Johnny Bishop, Maurie Gravatt, Johnny Moyer, Joe Capello, Tony Midiri, George B. Smith and Henry Williams, Jr. played all 72 holes but were out of the money. Browne was now the professional at the Lehigh Country Club. Gravatt was now the professional at the Lewistown Country Club. Capello was the professional at the Aronimink Golf Club. Midiri was in the United States Army. Smith was now the teaching professional at the Atlantic City Country Club. After shooting a 70 in the first round Sam Snead complained of a sore wrist. He had hurt it playing in softball game at home in Hot Springs, Virginia. That night he had x-rays taken and found that a bone was broken. At the advice of the doctors he withdrew. For $5 a spectator could purchase a ticket for the week. The host professional was Marty Lyons.
The one-day 36-hole Delaware Open was played at the Rock Manor Golf Club on the fourth Sunday in June. Corporal Ed Oliver (68-69) took advantage of a day off from Camp Patrick Henry in Virginia to tie Joe Zarhardt (69-68) for the title. There was no playoff as Oliver had to get back to Virginia and didn’t know when he could get another furlough. They divided the first and second prize money which totaled $450, and were declared co-champions. Their winning scores of 137 were seven-under-par. Charlie Schneider finished third at 141. Bruce Coltart and Ocean City Country Club professional Clyde Fox tied for fourth with 145s.
In mid July the PGA Championship was held in Dayton, Ohio at the Moraine Country Club. 130 local qualifiers and exempt pros qualified again on site for 32 places in the match play field. Byron Nelson and Johnny Revolta led with 138s. Sgt. E.J. “Dutch” Harrison was next with a 139. Jug McSpaden tied for fourth at 140. Ralph Hutchison (145) and Terl Johnson (147) also made it safely. Felix Serafin and Ed Dudley posted 148 and then survived a sudden death playoff of ten players for eight spots. Bruce Coltart, Joe Zarhardt, Al MacDonald, Steve Grady, Johnny Moyer, Charlie Schneider and Bud Lewis missed qualifying. All matches were 36 holes. In the first round Dudley lost to Vic Ghezzi 7&6, McSpaden was put out by Clarence Doser 5&4 and Serafin lost to Ky Laffoon 4&3. Johnson and Harrison met in the first round with Johnson eking out a 1-up win. Johnson then lost to Hutchison 6&5. Hutchison defeated Ted Huge in the first round 6&5 and then he beat Johnson before losing to Claude Harmon 4&3. Two former Section members met in the finals with Byron Nelson defeating Sam Byrd for the title 4&3. In the semifinals Nelson beat Harmon 5&4. The other semifinal match pitted two former Merion Golf Club assistants, Byrd and Doser. Byrd eliminated Doser 7&6. It was Nelson’s second PGA Championship victory and his fifth time in the finals. The purse was $14,700.
Sgt. E.J. “Dutch” Harrison won his third PGA Tour event while serving in the Army Air Corps. The scene was the St. Paul Open in the third week of July. Harrison (273) came through with a last round 64 on the Keller Course for a runaway five-stroke win over Johnny Revolta (278). Harrison’s first three rounds were 71, 68 and 70. Jug McSpaden (280) and Johnny Bulla (280) tied for third. First prize was $2,000. Byron Nelson wasn’t entered that week. Because the males were in the service or doing defense work there was a pro-lady amateur tournament the day before the tournament instead of a pro-am.
With World War II at an end in Europe a golf tournament was held for the United States citizens serving in the armed forces in Europe. The 72-hole tournament was played at the St. Cloud Country Club near Paris, France and ended on August 3. Horton Smith, who had won the 1929 French Open on that course, ran the event. There were 90 golf professionals and 90 amateurs in the field. Each contestant was outfitted with an identical set of clubs. Form held as Corporal Lloyd Mangrum, who had been wounded during the Battle of the Bulge and won two Purple Hearts, finished first. Mangrum had been told by the doctors that his great golf was over. When he entered the service he was offered the head professional position at the Fort Meade Golf Course, but decided to serve on the front lines. His total of 291 was five strokes less than Lieutenant Matt Kowal (296), who ended up alone in second place. Staff Sargent Rod Munday, was next at 299. Two years later Munday would be the professional at the Country Club of York. Corporal George Nowak (301) finished fourth. Corporal Jimmy McHale and Lieutenant Bill Campbell posted the second lowest totals as they tied at 294 in the amateur division. Other Section members in the field were Technical Sargent Joe Ludes and Corporal John “Jock” MacKenzie, who had been the professional at the Sandy Run Country Club since 1942. Ludes had been the professional at the Philadelphia Country Club in 1941, before being drafted into the army. Also in the field were former Section members Captain Leo Fraser, Tech/4 Sargent Morris Holland and a future Section member Private First Class Charles Wipperman, who was from Hershey.
Byron Nelson had won eleven straight tournaments on the PGA Tour coming into the $13,333 Memphis Open in mid August. That is a record that will probably never be matched. World War II had ended just two days before the tournament began when the Japanese surrendered to the Allies. The streak was finally broken at Memphis when amateur, Fred Haas, Jr., won the tournament with an 18 under par 270. Haas’ rounds on the Chickasaw Country Club were 69, 69, 64 and 68. The winner of the top money ($2,333 in war bonds) was George Low, Jr. who tied for second place with amateur Bob Cochran at 275. Nelson and Jug McSpaden tied for fourth with 276s. Low was the son of George Low, Sr. who had been the professional at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club in the 1930s. George, Jr. had worked for his father at Huntingdon Valley and had been the head professional at the Plymouth Country Club. He was now playing out of Clearwater, Florida.
Ben Hogan, back on the PGA Tour after being discharged from the Army Air Force, won the $13,333 Nashville Open in early September. This was his third event as a civilian and his first victory since he enlisted in 1942. Hogan led after every round shooting nineteen a under par (64-67-68-66) 265 on the Richland Country Club course. First prize was $2,666 in war bonds. Byron Nelson and Johnny Bulla tied for second four strokes back at 269. Jimmy Hines finished fourth at 270.
The Section Championship was held in the third week of September. The tournament chairman Len Sheppard hosted the event at his club, the North Hills Country Club. It rained so hard during the qualifying round that only one quarter of the pros that had entered even teed off. The qualifying was reduced from 36 holes to 18. Dick Renaghan won the medal with a two-over-par 73 and everyone that finished qualified. Charlie Sheppard, who had just returned from California after serving two years in the Army Air Force, won by defeating Henry Williams, Jr. in the 36-hole final 6&5. Sheppard was not related to the host professional. In the semifinals Williams put out Johnny Moyer by 2&1 and Sheppard defeated Steve Grady 2&1. First prize from a total purse of $1,200 was $250. Sheppard was now the assistant at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club.
At the Portland Open in late September Ben Hogan shattered par again, setting a new standard for the PGA Tour. His rounds were 65, 69, 63 and 64. Three of his rounds were lower than the previous course record at the Portland Golf Club and his-hole total was 27 under par. Hogan’s 261 total was two strokes better than the PGA Tour record, which had been held by Byron Nelson. Nelson finished fourteen strokes back in second place with a 275. Jug McSpaden finished third with 277 and Sam Snead was next at 279.purse totaled $14,500 and first prize was $2,666 in war bonds.
The Section’s annual meeting was held on the fourth Monday in October at Helen Sigel’s restaurant in Philadelphia at 1918 Chestnut Street. Marty Lyons was elected president for a fifth one-year term. Bruce Coltart was elected first vice president and Ted Bickel, Jr. was elected second vice president. That year the Section also had a third vice president. Sam Spencer, the professional at the Irem Temple Country Club was elected to that office. Len Sheppard and Walter Brickley were reelected secretary and treasurer. Brickley was now the professional at the Burlington Country Club. Lyons announced that Al MacDonald would continue the veteran’s rehabilitation program. The delegates to the national meeting were instructed to propose expanding the field for the PGA Championship from 32 starters to 64 with the first two rounds of the match play contested over 18 holes. There was discussion on how to pay for the 99-year lease on the PGA National Golf Club in Dunedin, Florida. One idea had been to sell $2 subscriptions to amateurs and professionals but Captain Leo Fraser proposed selling $100 bonds to each PGA member. National president Ed Dudley, who was also in attendance, spoke in agreement to Fraser’s bond proposal.
High winds and wet ground made for high scoring at the Richmond Open in early November but Ben Hogan had the shots needed to win. Hogan won the $2,000 in war bonds by four strokes with a five-over-par (72-71-74-73) 289. Dick Metz (293) finished second with Johnny Bulla (294) and Vic Ghezzi (294) tying for third. The host club was the Richmond Country Club and the purse was $10,000. World War II was over and the golf professionals were eager to get back to tournament golf. 184 pros and amateurs had entered the tournament.
An amateur Frank Stranahan (277) won the $6,666 Durham Open in the second week of November, while two Philadelphia Section professionals picked up the top checks. Corporal Ed Oliver (278) finished one stroke out of a tie for first and won $1,000 in war bonds. Ben Hogan (279) finished third and won the second money. The host club was the Hope Valley Country Club.
In mid November the national PGA meeting was held in Chicago at the Bismark Hotel. Ed Dudley was elected president for a fifth year. Joe Novak was elected secretary and Willie Maguire was reelected treasurer. Leo Diegel, chairman of the rehabilitation committee, reported that $610,000 had been raised for the returning wounded veterans during the war. During the war 467 of the 1,800 PGA members had served in the armed forces. Portland Golf Club was selected to host the PGA Championship. Robert A. Hudson had put up $25,000 to bring the tournament to Oregon. Dudley announced that 64 professionals would qualify for the match play. The number had been 32 during the war to save one day of competition. Craig Wood the duration captain of the Ryder Cup team for the war years said that no plans would be undertaken to resume the matches until 1947. The PGA executive committee voted to limit the PGA Tour events to 100 players plus exemptions. If there were more than 100 entries a qualifying round would be held before the tournament. Leo Diegel was still the chairman of the rehabilitation committee with Marty Lyons and Jimmy D’Angelo on the committee. The Philadelphia Section led the country in raising money for the PGA’s rehabilitation program. The delegates from the Philadelphia Section were Marty Lyons and Len Sheppard.
Ben Hogan won the $10,000 Montgomery Open (Alabama) in the fourth week of November. Hogan and Jug McSpaden were tied at the end the 72-hole tournament. The next day Hogan birdied the eighteenth hole for a four-under-par 68 to edge out McSpaden (69) by one stroke. Hogan’s rounds over the Beauvoir Golf Course were 73, 69, 72 and 68 for 282. The first prize was $2,000 in war bonds. Henry Ransom and Herman Keiser tied for third with 283s. Joe Zarhardt ended up alone in fifth place at 284.
One week later in early December the PGA Tour was at the Dubsdread Country Club for the $10,000 Orlando Open. Ben Hogan won for the fifth time since receiving his military discharge in late August. He put together rounds of 69, 69, 65 and 67 for a winning 14-under-par score of 270. First prize was $2,000 in war bonds. Hogan had entered 15 tournaments and had now won $29,000 in war bonds. Jug McSpaden (276) and Johnny Revolta (276) tied for second six strokes back. Sam Snead (277) and Henry Ransom (277) tied for fourth.
The $10,000 Miami Open was held the next week. Henry Picard, who was leaving the Country Club of Harrisburg for Cleveland, shot a last round seven-under-par 63 to win by five strokes. The 63 along with his three earlier rounds of 69, 67 and 68 gave him a 267 total. This was the last of Picard’s 25 victories on the PGA Tour. Jug McSpaden (272) finished second and amateur Frank Stranahan (277), who would become a student of Picard, was third. Denny Shute and Dick Metz tied for fourth with 278s. First prize was $2,000 in war bonds.
It had been a historical year for the PGA Tour. World War II was winding down and the pros were returning to the tournament wars. Byron Nelson won eleven straight tournaments and 18 in all. Sam Snead won six times in spite of a broken hand that sidelined him for a while. Ben Hogan didn’t get out of the Air Force until late summer but he still won five tournaments that fall. The big three of golf had won 29 of the 37 tournaments held on the PGA Tour that year. Nelson also led the money race with earnings of $63,335.66 (which was again in war bonds and worth 75% in cash) and he had the low scoring average with 68.33 strokes per round. The Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average was not awarded that year. Jug McSpaden was second on the money list with $33,664 and Hogan was next with $26,208. Sam Byrd ($15,656) finished fifth and Sam Snead ($15,140) was sixth. The touring pros had played in 42 tournaments that year for over $600,000 that year but they were not happy with the PGA Tour manager Fred Corcoran.
Philadelphia Country Club’s professional, Jug McSpaden, had resigned at the end of the season to accept a position as a representative for the Goodall Palm Beach Company the manufacturers of Palm Beach slacks and sport coats for men. The company president, Elmer Ward, thought that McSpaden could help persuade the pros at the best golf clubs in the country to purchase the Palm Beach clothing line for their golf shops. McSpaden was still a member of the Philadelphia Section.
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The United States government announced in early January that natural rubber thread was still not available for golf balls. International negotiations concerning the allocation of rubber to various countries were still not finalized. The golf ball producers were permitted to use a high-grade synthetic rubber called neoprene.
Eddie Williams won his third consecutive Senior PGA Championship in the second week of January. The tournament was again held at the PGA National Golf Club in Dunedin, Florida. Williams (75-71) and Jock Hutchison (76-70) finished the 36 holes all even at 146. Williams won an 18-hole playoff shooting a 73 against an 81 for Hutchison. Dave Sutherland finished third at 147 and Ben Richter was next at 149. A.B. Thorn (154) tied for 11th and George Morris (155) had another good Senior Championship, tying for 13th. Frank Coltart (159) won the 65 and over old age group. Morris was the first vice president of the senior organization and Henry Williams, Sr. was the second vice president.
In mid January the USGA confronted the PGA over what they considered a laxity in regard to the rules of golf that had developed during the war years. The PGA had allowed the touring pros to add two clubs to their bags by increasing the limit to 16. The pros had been playing “winter rules” on some of the courses because of poor fairway turf and they had waived the stymie rule for the 1945 PGA Championship. The next day PGA president Ed Dudley fired back saying that his organization had no apology to make. He said that the PGA ran over 40 tournaments on the PGA Tour each year in all kinds of weather conditions. The USGA only sponsored one tournament a year in which professionals compete and that was in the summer under favorable conditions. Dudley pointed out that the PGA members had voted to use 16 clubs in order to show the spectators at their tournaments a wider variety of shots. The club professionals were in favor of this since it gave them an opportunity to sell more clubs. Dudley said the PGA had voted to eliminate the stymie because it was mostly luck rather than an act of skill. Dudley added that he had written to the USGA the week before asking for a meeting between the pros and the USGA for the purpose of adjusting the rules.
In late January at the Phoenix Open Ben Hogan picked up the first of what would be many wins on the PGA Tour that year. Hogan and Herman Keiser tied with eleven-under-par 273s. The next day Hogan (69) edged out Keiser (70) by one stroke with a birdie on the last hole. Hogan’s four tournament rounds on the Phoenix Country Club were 66, 69, 67 and 71. The purse was $7,500 and Hogan won $1,500. Vic Ghezzi (274) and Dutch Harrison (278) finished third and fourth.
Ben Hogan won the Texas Open in the second week of February at San Antonio with rounds of 67, 65, 67 and 65. Hogan was 20 under par on the Brackenridge Park course. Hogan had lost two other Texas Opens in playoffs. He won by six strokes over Sam Byrd who posted a 270. Byron Nelson finished third at 273 and Herman Keiser was fourth with a 275. First place paid $1,500.
On the second Tuesday of March the Section professionals met under the leadership of Marty Lyons at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel in Philadelphia to standardize and simplify golf instruction. After that the pros met four more times where they discussed golf instruction in two-hour sessions. When the weather improved they met at the Llanerch Country Club. The topics of discussion were grip, stance, body movement and balance. Along with that the Section initiated a campaign of newspaper ads that were titled “Important Notice to Golf Beginners”. The ads stressed getting started right with the correct fundamentals. They also mentioned the merit of getting advice from a golf professional on the purchase of golf equipment.
In early March Ben Hogan won the St. Petersburg Open by five strokes over Sam Snead (274). Hogan took away $2,000 from the $10,000 purse with rounds of 64, 67, 70 and 68 for 269. That week he was fifteen under par for the Sunset Country Club course. Vic Ghezzi (275) finished third and Joe Kirkwood, Jr., (276), playing the PGA Tour out of Hollywood, California, was fourth.
The next week Ben Hogan and Jimmy Demaret won the $7,500 Miami International Four-Ball tournament. In the 36-hole finals they defeated Sam Snead and Sam Byrd on the last hole at the Miami Springs Golf & Country Club. Hogan and Demaret came to the last green one-up and when Hogan holed a twenty-foot putt for a birdie it was over. Sixteen teams were invited and all the matches were 36 holes. The winners split $2,000. Dutch Harrison and Ed Oliver, who was back on the PGA Tour after five years in the army, were also invited to the sixteen-team event. All of the matches were scheduled for 36 holes.
The Masters Tournament resumed after a three-year hiatus for World War II in the first week of April. When the contestants arrived at the tournament they were informed that they would have to play with fourteen clubs, two less than the PGA Tour permitted. There were only 51 of the 87 invited players entered. Some of the older invitees attended the tournament but didn’t compete. Ben Hogan made up a five-stroke deficit on the first fifteen holes of the final round to catch Herman Keiser and then lost the tournament by three putting the last green from 12-feet. Keiser’s winning score was (69-68-71-74) 282 versus a 283 for Hogan. First prize was $2,500 and Hogan won $1,500. Bob Hamilton finished third at 287. Jimmie Demaret, Ky Laffoon and Jim Ferrier tied for fourth with 289s. Felix Serafin and Lawson Little tied for 21st with 299s. Serafin and Little each won $50. Jug McSpaden (301), Ed Dudley (302), Ed Oliver (303), Dutch Harrison (303) and Ralph Hutchison (306) were also in the field.
In early April Leo Fraser, the new president and owner of the Atlantic City Country Club announced that Ed Dudley would not be returning as the golf professional. In late 1945 the Augusta National Golf Club had reopened so he was once again there in the winter and at The Broadmoor in the summer. Wilfrid Reid, who had been the professional at the Wilmington Country Club in 1921 when the Philadelphia Section was formed, was the new professional at the Atlantic City Country Club.
The Llanerch Country Club hosted the Section’s spring meeting on the third Monday of April. The Section’s most extensive tournament schedule up to that time was presented to the professionals. The Section now had 126 members and a record number of 80 attended the meeting. The Inquirer Invitation was on the schedule again in June with a purse of $15,000. This was actually more than the $17,500 purse from the previous year since that was war bonds and this was cash. The Philadelphia Open and the Section Championship, which had been moved from the fall, were also in June. Along with the usual pro-amateurs there were nine pro-member tournaments. Jimmy D’Angelo, who had returned to the Section from Oklahoma, told the members that the Veterans Administration wanted the professionals to continue their rehabilitation work with the wounded veterans. The Section had a new member, Lawson Little, who before World War II had been one of the world’s greatest golfers. Little was an employee of the A.G. Spalding & Bros. golf equipment company and was working out of Philadelphia. When the meeting was over, the pros met outside for their third of five sessions on the finer points of golf instruction, which had begun on the second Tuesday of March.
Former Section champion Buzz Campbell had returned from four years in the Navy and joined Joseph Seka’s staff at Cedarbrook Country Club as the teaching pro. That summer Seka and Campbell gave the Cedarbrook juniors free golf lessons every Saturday morning at 9:30.
The Valley Forge General Hospital Golf Course was opened on Wednesday May 9. Golf had been played there the year before, but this was the official opening. The foursome that performed the opening was made up of Section president Marty Lyons and veterans rehabilitation chairman Al MacDonald. George Rowbotham represented the Golf Association of Philadelphia and Annette Coar Gessler represented the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia.
Ben Hogan won in his hometown at the Colonial National Invitational in the third week of May. Hogan closed with a Colonial Country Club course record five-under-par 65 to win the $3,000 first prize. His 72-hole (73-72-69-65) 279 score nipped Harry Todd by one. Fred Haas, Jr. (281) finished third and Sam Snead (282) was alone in fourth place. First prize was $3,000.
The next week Ben Hogan won again at the $10,000 Western Open in St. Louis. Sam Snead disqualified himself after a first round 69 when he found that the sixteen clubs in his bag were two more than the tournament’s limit of 14. Hogan won by four strokes with a 17 under-par 271 in spite of a triple bogey in the last round. Hogan’s four rounds over the Sunset Country Club were 68, 66, 67 and 70. The last day of 36 holes was played in 58-degree weather. First money was $2,000. Lloyd Mangrum (275) was second with Jimmy Demaret (278) and Chick Harbert (278) tying for third.
In early June Ben Hogan won the $10,000 Goodall Round Robin at the Winged Foot Golf Club. Fifteen pros were invited and they played seven rounds in four days. Each round the pros were paired in threes and they played match play against each other. The holes won or lost were the pros’ score. Hogan only lost one match out of the fourteen and finished at plus 51. The tournament had been played since 1938 and the plus 51 were the most points in the history of the tournament by 20 points. Twenty-five points back in second place was Lloyd Mangrum (plus 26) four ahead of Byron Nelson (plus 22), who finished third. Hogan and Nelson had the same medal score for the seven rounds. Jug McSpaden who worked for the Goodall Company, manufacturer of the Palm Beach clothing line, finished fourth at plus 21. Hogan won $2,150.
On the first Monday in June the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club hosted qualifying for the U.S. Open. Forty-nine pros and amateurs were entered. Ed Oliver led the eight qualifiers with a six-under-par (69-67) 136. Oliver was getting a chance to make amends for being disqualified in 1940 after tying for first. Former Section professional and now an amateur, Howard Everitt, was next at 139. Other Section members who qualified were Jack Grout (140), Charlie Schneider (140), Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (142) and Matt Kowal (145), who was now the head professional at the Philmont Country Club. Kowal had served more than four years in the army in both Europe and the Pacific. Grout was now the professional at the Country Club of Harrisburg. George Fazio (146), who was in town for the Inquirer Invitational, won a six-man sudden-death playoff for the last spot with a birdie on Manufacturer’s first hole. Bruce Coltart (146) picked up the first alternate spot. Skip Alexander also qualified with a 141. Two players who had won on the PGA Tour that year, Ray Mangrum and Cary Middlecoff, failed to qualify at Manufacturers. Ben Hogan, Ed Dudley, Jug McSpaden, Dutch Harrison, Lawson Little and Joe Zarhardt, who was now playing the PGA Tour, were exempt off having been in the top 30 in the last U.S. Open, which was in 1941. Little, who had won the U.S. Open in 1940, was also exempt for having won one of the last five. Coltart ended up replacing Kowal in the tournament.
Also on the first Monday of June amateur Skee Riegel led the qualifying for the U.S. Open in Cleveland by four strokes with a (78-68) 146. Jimmy Thomson was next with a 150. There were 13 spots in Cleveland. That site was given extra places because they were hosting the tournament.
When the PGA Tour returned to the Llanerch Country Club for the third annual Inquirer Invitation in the second week of June the tournament favorite was Hershey’s Ben Hogan. Since being released from the Army Air Corps in late summer of 1945 he had played in thirty-two PGA Tour tournaments. He had won twelve times and finished first, second or third in twenty-two of the thirty-two events. A record number 149 pros and amateurs entered the $15,000 tournament. A pro-am was held on Wednesday and later in the afternoon Dick Metz, Johnny Bulla, Jim Ferrier and Henry Ransom played an exhibition at Valley Forge General Hospital for the patients. Captain Cary Middlecoff, a dentist in the Army Dental Corps, had been a patient at the hospital. While working on a patient a chip had flown into his eye and the doctors weren’t sure if he would be able to play golf well again or be a dentist either. Middlecoff was entered in the Inquirer Invitation as an amateur. That previous year after being released from the hospital in September he had won the Sonny Fraser Invitational at Atlantic City. Middlecoff was due to report for duty at the Valley Forge General Hospital the next week. He hoped to be discharged after thirty-eight months in the service. The tournament ended in a two-way tie with Lew Worsham (67-66-73-71) and Herman Barron (72-68-68-69) completing the seventy-two holes with three-under-par 277s. In an eighteen-hole playoff on Monday Barron won the $2,500 first prize with a 70 against a 73 for Worsham. Each of the players received 25% of Monday’s gate in addition to their prize money. 1,500 spectators showed up on Monday for the playoff. Philadelphia had been good for Barron, as he had won the first tournament of his career in 1934 when he won the Philadelphia Open at the Philmont Country Club. Jimmy Demaret and Vic Ghezzi tied for third at 279. Ed Oliver tied for eighth with a 282 and won $650. Jug McSpaden tied for tenth at 283 winning $400. Hogan had never had much success in Philadelphia and this was no exception. He took down last money tying for twenty-second with Terl Johnson at eight-over-par 288. They each won $175. Matt Kowal, Johnny Moyer, George Fazio, Henry Williams, Jr., Lawson Little, John Lewis, Clarence Ehresman, Willie Polumbo, Charlie Schneider, Dick Renaghan, Bruce Coltart, Charlie Arena, Harlan Will and Charlie Sheppard played 72 holes but were out of the money. Moyer was now the professional at the Schuylkill Country Club and Lewis was now the teaching pro at the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club. Polumbo was the professional at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club and Arena was now the professional at the Woodcrest Country Club. Will was the professional at the Overlook Golf Club. The par of 72 at Llanerch had been reduced to 70 for the tournament. A spectator ticket for the week, which included all four tournament rounds and the Wednesday pro-am, was $5. Admission to Monday’s playoff round was $2.The host professional was Marty Lyons.
After a four-year absence for World War II the U.S. Open was resumed. It was played in Cleveland at the Canterbury Country Club the week after the Inquirer tournament. Before the tournament began on Thursday a better-ball competition was held for the entrants on Tuesday and there was a driving contest on Wednesday. Bruce Coltart and Howard Everitt won the better-ball tournament. At the end of 72 holes Byron Nelson (71-71-69-73), Lloyd Mangrum (74-70-68-72) and Vic Ghezzi (7169-72-72) were tied for first at four-under-par 284. Nelson had been penalized a stroke in the third round when his caddy had accidentally kicked his ball while ducking under a gallery rope in the fairway. Ben Hogan missed a two-foot putt on the 72nd green and tied for fourth with Herman Barron one stroke back at 285. The fourth place tie was worth $550. Ed Oliver (286) tied for sixth and won $350. Dutch Harrison (288) and Lawson Little (288) tied for tenth and they each won $175. Jug McSpaden (296) tied for 31st and won last money of $100. George Fazio (300), Joe Zarhardt (304) and Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (307) made the cut but they missed the money. Everitt, Charlie Schneider, Skee Riegel, Coltart, Ed Dudley and Jack Grout missed the cut. The next day the three leaders played an 18-hole playoff and ended up all tied again with 72s. That same day they played another 18-hole playoff and after 108 holes in four days Mangrum came out on top with a 72 against 73s for Nelson and Ghezzi. The purse was $8,000 and first prize was $1,500. That year every other tournament offered $10,000 or more for the touring pros except the North and South Open.
The Pennsylvania Open was revived after having been canceled for three years. It was played at the par 72 Aronimink Golf Club on the third Friday in June. The field was restricted to residents of Pennsylvania and there were 82 entrants. Two unattached pros, Jack Reidy (70-75) and Steve Kovach (75-70) tied at 145 for the title. The next day Kovach won an 18-hole playoff by posting a 73 against a 76 for Reidy. Joe Zarhardt finished third with a 147 and Ralph Hutchison ended up tied with amateur Harry Haverstick for fourth at 148. First prize was $250 from a total purse of $750.
Ben Hogan won the Inverness Four-Ball with partner Jimmy Demaret in the third week of June. Hosted by the Inverness Club, the seven-round tournament was made up of eight two-man teams playing a match against each of the other teams. Hogan and Demaret ended up plus 20 and six points in front of Jug McSpaden and Byron Nelson who finished second. The winners each took away $1,625. The total purse was $10,000 plus some bonus money prizes. Dutch Harrison was also in the field.
After having been held after Labor Day for ten consecutive years the Section Championship was played at the end of June. It was held at the Cedarbrook Country Club in Mt. Airy. Bruce Coltart led the qualifying with (73-70) 143, one over par. The players with 157 totals played off for the last spots as 31 players plus the defending champion qualified for the match play. Sam Davis, Philmont Country Club assistant, won the title and $300 from the $1,200 purse. It was Davis’ first shot at winning the Section Championship as he had just become a PGA member in June. The first prize and the total purse were the largest in the history of the Section Championship. Davis defeated the defending champion, Charlie Sheppard, in the thirty-six-hole final by the count of 4&2. When the tournament began Sheppard, who was unattached, said he didn’t think much of his chances. His woods and two of the irons that he usually used had been sent to the factory for new grips. In the semifinals Davis came back from three down with four holes to play. Davis won the 17th and 18th holes to send the match into extra holes. Davis birdied the second extra hole to defeat Jack Reidy. In the other semifinal match Sheppard eliminated Marty Lyons 3&2. The host professional was Joe Seka who had been the second president of the Section in 1923.
At the end of June George Fazio won the $10,000 Canadian Open in Montreal. Fazio had grown up caddying at the Plymouth Country Club and was a member of the Philadelphia Section for many years before and after that. After serving in the navy he had left the Section to take a club pro job in Los Angeles. He had lost the job when the previous pro returned from the service. Fazio had won the California Open early that year and he was now representing that club on the PGA Tour. After tying for the championship on the Beaconsfield Golf Club course Fazio (70-68-70-70—278) beat Dick Metz (73-70-69-66—278) in an 18-hole playoff the next day. Fazio trailed in the playoff by two strokes with three holes to go but a triple-bogey by Metz on the 16th hole and a Fazio birdie changed the outcome. Even though Fazio finished with a bogey six on the last hole his 70 was one shot better than Metz’ 71. Fazio won $2,000. Lloyd Mangrum and Stan Leonard tied for third with 279s.
The British Open was revived after being interrupted for six years by World War II. It was played at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, St. Andrews, Scotland in early July. Sam Snead won with rounds of 71, 70, 74 and 75 for a total of 290. First prize was 150 pounds, which was equal to only $600 but it was worth much more in endorsements and exhibitions. Snead had played in the tournament once before when he was in Scotland for the Ryder Cup Matches. Johnny Bulla and Bobby Locke tied for second four strokes back at 294. Henry Cotton, Dai Rees, Charley Ward and Norman Von Nida tied for fourth with 295s. Forty-nine year old Joe Kirkwood, Sr. was next, tying for eighth with a 298 and Lawson Little finished tenth at 299.
Matt Kowal won the Philadelphia Open on his home course, Philmont Country Club, on the second Monday of July. He won by two strokes as he made two trips around the North Course in 70 and 71 for a one-over-par 141. Terl Johnson finished second at 144 and amateur Howard Everitt was next in third place with a 146. Three New Jersey pros Dick Renaghan, Bruce Coltart and Charlie Arena tied for fourth with 148s. Arena was now the professional at the Woodcrest Country after two years in the army. First prize from the purse of $1,000 was $350 and there were ten money places.
The Section pros qualified at the Irem Temple Country Club for the PGA Championship in mid July. Matt Kowal led with 69-68 for a seven under par 137. Joe Zarhardt was next, three strokes back at 140. Zarhardt set a new course record with a 66 in the afternoon. Terl Johnson and Charlie Sheppard tied for third with 144s. Felix Serafin was next at 145. Brothers Bud and John Lewis rounded out the seven qualifiers as they posted 146s. The Lewis’ were civilians again. Bud was back at the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club as the professional and John was his assistant. Ben Hogan, Ed Oliver, Dutch Harrison, Jug McSpaden, Lawson Little, George Fazio and Ralph Hutchison were exempt. Hogan, Harrison, Fazio and Oliver were exempt in several categories while Hutchison earned his exemption for making the quarterfinals the previous year. McSpaden was exempt as a member of the Ryder Cup team and Little was exempt as one of the five previous winners of the U.S. Open. A Ryder Cup team had been selected even though the matches weren’t being played. Kowal, Johnson, Serafin and Bud Lewis didn’t go to Portland for the championship.
Ben Hogan won the $10,000 Canadian Professional Golfers Association Open tournament at Winnipeg in early August. A last round four-under-par 68 over the Niakwa Golf & Country Club gave him a one-stroke win over Dick Metz (282). Hogan’s four rounds were 73, 71, 69 and 68 for a 281 total. Sam Snead and Ellsworth Vines tied for third with 283s. First prize was $2,000.
In the third week of August only three of the seven Section qualifiers showed up at the Portland Golf Club in Oregon for the PGA Championship. The seven exempt professionals were there. Jim Ferrier led the 64 qualifiers with 71-63 for a ten under par 134. Dutch Harrison was next with a 136, Ben Hogan finished third at 137 and George Fazio was fourth with a 140. Jug McSpaden (143), Lawson Little (144), Ralph Hutchison (146), Joe Zarhardt (146) and Ed Oliver (147) also qualified for the match play without any problems. Charlie Sheppard and John Lewis failed to qualify. The first two rounds of match play were 18 holes and the rest of the rounds were 36 holes. In the first round Zarhardt lost to Jimmy Demaret 3&2 and Hutchison lost to Art Bell 4&3. Fazio beat Armand Farina in the first round 4&3 before losing to Frank Moore in the next round 2&1. Little also won his first round match. He defeated John Hoetmer by 2&1 and then lost to the medalist Ferrier by 3&2. Harrison defeated Joe Mozel 6&4 and Toney Penna one-down before losing to McSpaden 4&3. McSpaden won four matches before losing to Oliver in the semifinals 6&5. McSpaden had eliminated Claude Harmon 4&3, Bob Hamilton 4&3 and Chuck Congdon 5&3. Hogan and Oliver each won five matches to reach the finals. In the finals Oliver held a 3-up lead on Hogan at the lunch break. Oliver went to lunch and Hogan went to practice. In the afternoon Hogan played the front nine in 30 and never let up defeating Oliver by a comfortable margin. On the way to the finals Hogan had put out Charles Weisner 2&1, Bill Heinlein 4&3, Bell 5&4, Moore 5&4 and Jimmy Demaret in 27 holes with 11 under par golf by 10&9. Oliver had beaten Clay Gaddie two-down, Dick Metz 3&1, Chandler Harper 5&4, Byron Nelson one-down and McSpaden. First prize was $3,500. That year Oliver played from several cities but he remained a Philadelphia Section member.
In the first week of September Howard Wheeler won the UGA Championship (Negro National Championship), which was the national championship for black golfers. Due to World War II it was the first time the UGA National Open had been held since 1941. The tournament was hosted by the par 72 Yorkshire Golf Club in Pittsburgh. Wheeler posted a final round of 73 to finish at 293, two strokes in front of the runner-up Teddy Rhodes.
In early September Ben Hogan won again at the $15,000 Golden State Open in Los Angeles. He birdied the 70th and 71st holes at the California Country Club to pad his PGA Tour money lead with another $2,500. Hogan’s nine-under-par score of 275 (66-69-70-70) won by one over Chick Harbert (276). Lloyd Mangrum and Herman Keiser tied for third with 277s.
On a Sunday in mid September Lew Worsham won the Delaware Open at the Rock Manor Golf Club. He posted a pair of two-under-par 70s for a one-stroke victory. First prize was $1,000. Terl Johnson and Matt Kowal tied for second with 141s. Ed Oliver and Gene Sarazen tied for fourth at 142 one stroke ahead of Tony Manero (143).
After a three year break for World War II the Wood Memorial was revived and once again held at the Jeffersonville Golf Club. Held on the fourth Monday of September Clarence Ehresman was the winner with a three under par 67. Former Jeffersonville Golf Club head professional, Gene Kunes, won the second money with a 68. Wally Paul, the head professional at the Old York Road Country Club, finished third at 69. He had recently changed his last name from DiPalantino to Paul. Marty Lyons, Dave Douglas, Loma Frakes, Joe Laughlin and Angelo Paul, who was unattached, tied for fourth with 70s. Frakes was an assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club and Laughlin was a caddy at the Philadelphia Country Club. Since Douglas had been released from the army late that year, he had been working for his father Alex as an assistant at the Rock Manor Golf Club and playing tournaments whenever he could.
In late September Ben Hogan shot a last round three-over-par 73 but he won the $10,000 Dallas Open by two strokes. Hogan’s four rounds over the Brook Hollow Golf Club were 70, 69, 72 and 73 for 284. Paul Runyan and Herman Keiser tied for second at 286. Seven players tied for fourth at 287. First prize was $2,000. This was Hogan’s twelfth win on the PGA Tour that year.
The Section needed to raise money for the payment of their quota to support the PGA Golf Club at Dunedin, Florida. The pros had found during the war years that the pro-A-B-C amateur tournaments had worked well for raising money. Preceding the event the pros were asked to hold a qualifying tournament with a $1 entry fee. Each pro had to raise $30 to qualify a team. In late September the event was held producing a net income of $1,200.
In mid October the Section held its annual fall meeting with the election of officers and a dinner at the Ben Franklin Hotel in Philadelphia. Marty Lyons was elected president for the sixth consecutive year. Jimmy D’Angelo, who was back in the Section working with Al MacDonald at the Langhorne Country Club, was returned to the office of secretary. D’Angelo had been the secretary for four years before he moved to Oklahoma. Ted Bickel, Jr. was elected first vice president and Charlie Schneider was elected second vice president. Walter Brickley was reelected treasurer. The first Section tournament chairman, Jack Campbell, who had retired after thirty-four years as the professional at the Old York Road Country Club, was made an honorary life member. J. Wood Platt and Jimmy Conway were reelected honorary vice-presidents.
At the forty-fifth annual North and South Open Ben Hogan won for the thirteenth time that year. The three-day tournament was played on the Pinehurst Country Club’s 6,879-yard #2 Course in the first week of November. This was where Hogan had finally broken through in 1940 for his first win on the PGA Tour. He put together rounds of 71, 71, 70 and 70 to finish at six-under-par 282. This was Hogan’s third North and South victory. Sam Snead and Mike Turnesa tied for second with 284 totals. Dutch Harrison led after the second round and finished fourth at 289. Even though the purse was the smallest on the PGA Tour, $7,500, there were 171 starters the first day. First prize was $1,500. The PGA executive committee’s ruling from the previous year must have been forgotten. The rule was that if there were more than 100 entries a pre tournament qualifying round would be held. The tournament was played in the middle of the week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
In mid November the national PGA meeting was held at the Bismark Hotel in Chicago again. There were now 30 PGA Sections. Ed Dudley was elected president for a sixth consecutive year and he had plenty of concerns. During the previous year there had been forty-five tournaments on the PGA Tour and the PGA had received over one hundred requests for tour events. At the same time the sponsors wanted a guarantee from the PGA that ten to fifteen of the top players would be entered in their tournaments and the top players were talking about playing fewer tournaments because there were too many. The PGA had decided it was time to open a separate tournament bureau office. The British PGA had sent word that they wanted to start playing the Ryder Cup matches again in 1947. Dudley had appointed a committee of Walter Hagen, Craig Wood and Fred Corcoran, the tournament bureau manager, to devise a player selection plan for the American team. Joe Novak and Willie Maguire were reelected secretary and treasurer. Marty Lyons and Jimmy D’Angelo were the delegates from the Philadelphia Section.
Ben Hogan made an unannounced appearance before the PGA executive committee the day after the national PGA meeting ended. He presented a proposal for establishment of a seven man player-constituted board. The board would arrange schedules, control the PGA tournament bureau and punish absenteeism. Ed Dudley stated that the PGA and Hogan’s committee were both working toward the same objectives. A date was set to meet with Hogan’s committee at the Orlando Open to present the PGA’s plan for the year.
When the Orlando Open was held more than 210 contestants teed off in the first round even thought the PGA had decreed that PGA Tour events with more than 100 entries would have a pre qualifying round.
The year ended with Ben Hogan dominating the PGA Tour in all categories. He led in money winnings and he won the Vardon Trophy. Hogan had thirteen wins, was second seven times and finished in the top ten 27 times. He won $42,556, which was almost twice what the second place professional won. Dutch Harrison finished 10th with $12,420.56 and Jug McSpaden finished 12th with $11,444.32. Lawson Little was 24th as he won $4,972.16. The PGA Tour consisted of 45 events that year and the prize money was a record $484,000.
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Ben Hogan started the new-year right where he left off by winning the $10,000 Los Angeles Open in the first week of January. His rounds over the Riviera Country Club were 70-66-72-72 for a four-under-par 280. He finished three strokes in front of Toney Penna’s 283. Tying for third at 287 were George Fazio, Dai Rees, Herman Barron and amateur Bud Ward. One stroke back of them in sixth place at 288 was Ed Oliver. First prize was $2,000.
In the second week of January, Fred Byrod reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the newly opened Brandywine Country Club had hired William E. “Wild Bill” Mehlhorn as its golf professional. Mehlhorn, known as a great sticker of the golf ball, had 20 wins on the PGA Tour between 1923 and 1930.
In early 1947 Marty Lyons began teaching golf on Philadelphia’s TV Channel WPTZ. At times Lyons’ star pupil Dorothy Germain Porter would be on the show with Marty. Through this new medium he introduced golf to hundreds of viewers.
Ten years after winning the first PGA Senior Championship Jock Hutchison won it again in the second week of January. Hutchison toured the PGA National Golf Club at Dunedin in 74-71 for 145 to win by three strokes. Ben Richter finished second at 148 and Bill Jelliffe was next at 151. Five pros finished tied for fourth with 153. Al MacDonald (156) finished tied for 13th.
George Fazio (68-70-75) and Ed Furgol (72-69-72) tied for first in the Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach in the second week of January. With the weather so bad and the golf course practically unplayable due to rain Fazio and Furgol, with 213 totals, were declared co-champions. They each received $1,600 from the $10,000 purse. The tournament was played over three courses, Cypress Point, Monterey Peninsula and Pebble Beach. Sam Snead, Lloyd Mangrum and Newt Bassler tied for third with 216s. Ed Oliver and Ellsworth Vines tied for sixth at 217.
At the Crosby Pro-Am PGA president Ed Dudley was faced with problems on the PGA Tour. There was friction between the touring pros and Fred Corcoran, tournament manager of the PGA Tour. It progressed to a point where Dick Metz punched out Corcoran sending him to the hospital for treatment of cuts and loosened teeth. Some of the top players were threatening to quit the tour. There was a players committee made up of touring pros and they planned to meet at the Richmond Open the following week. Dudley and Corcoran indicated that they had no plans to meet with the committee. Ben Hogan had been the chairman on the committee but he had recently resigned. Dudley had appointed George Schneiter tournament chairman. Schneiter stated that harmony among the players had never been greater. He pointed out that all of the leading money winners except Sam Snead were entered at Richmond. Snead had to leave the tour to take his young son to Philadelphia for a major operation.
The $10,000 Phoenix Open was held in late January with Ben Hogan winning for the second year in a row. He put together rounds of 67-64-70-69 to win by seven strokes. His 64 tied the Phoenix Country Club course record. Hogan’s favorite driver that he had been using for 12 years broke in a practice round before the tournament. It didn’t seem to affect his scores much. During the tournament he hit most of his tee shots with his brassie (#2-wood) and the rest with his spoon (#3 wood). Ed Oliver and Lloyd Mangrum tied for second at seven-under-par 277. Jimmy Demaret finished fourth with a 278. First prize was $2,000.
In early February Ed Oliver won for the first time since he had been drafted into the army in 1941. His win came at the $10,000 Texas Open. Oliver began with rounds of 67, 64 and 70 over the Brackenridge Park Golf Course. In the last round he came through with a seven-under-par 64 for a total of 265. Oliver won by one stroke over Jimmy Demaret who finished second at 266, two strokes ahead of Harry Todd (268). Vic Ghezzi and Fred Hass, Jr. tied for fourth with 269s. First prize was $2,000.
At the Miami International Four-Ball in the first week of March Ben Hogan and Jimmy Demaret defended their title. They defeated Lloyd Mangrum and Lawson Little in the finals 3&2. Sixteen two-man teams were invited to compete for a $10,000 purse. One of the teams was Ed Oliver and George Fazio. Dutch Harrison was also in the tournament. The format was match play and all the matches were 36 holes. Hogan and Demaret were 55 under par for the tournament. The Miami Country Club hosted the event. The winners split up the $2,500 first prize.
The $15,000 Seminole Pro-Am was held at the Seminole Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday after the Miami Four-Ball. The tournament ended in a tie between George Fazio (71-67) and Chick Harbert (70-68) at 138. Fazio and Harbert each picked up $1,250. Ben Hogan won the pro-am.
That spring Bailey and Izett Inc. moved from Philadelphia to a new location in Ardmore. George Izett and Bill Bailey announced that they were going to manufacture golf clubs on a large scale and needed more room. The move also put them closer to their customers, the golf professionals.
Seven Section members and seven former Section members were in the 58-man starting field at the Masters Tournament in the first week of April. Ben Hogan was the favorite but he opened with a 75 and it took a last round 70 to get him a tie for fourth with Jug McSpaden at 284. McSpaden was now a member of the New England Section. Jimmy Demaret won with rounds of 69, 71, 70 and 71 for 281. The first prize was still $2,500. Byron Nelson and amateur Frank Stranahan tied for second with 283s. Ed Oliver (287) made the money with a tie for eighth, which earned him a check for $335. Lawson Little (289) tied for 14th and won $188. Dutch Harrison (296), Ed Dudley (298), George Fazio (300) and Felix Serafin (304) finished out of the money. Harrison was now the professional at the Country Club of York.
At the Section’s spring meeting on the third Monday in April a record 81 pros met to review the upcoming tournament schedule. The meeting was held at the Llanerch Country Club. The Section had 151 members now. The Philadelphia Inquirer Invitation was on the schedule again but at a new site, the Cedarbrook Country Club, and new dates. A new PGA Tour event, the Reading Open, was scheduled for the Berkshire Country Club. For the first time the Section had a paid tournament manager, Jack Reidy. He was a PGA member who had come to Philadelphia as a paper salesman two years before. He had lost his job when his company couldn’t get paper for him to sell. He worked out of his home in Drexel Hill.
Ben Hogan won at his hometown, Ft. Worth, Texas, in mid May at the Colonial Country Club. His victory came at the $15,000 Colonial Invitational where he had won the year before and he equaled his score of (68-72-70-69) 279 from the previous year. He edged out Toney Penna (280) by one stroke for the $3,000 first prize. Bobby Locke, Fred Haas, Jr. and Johnny Palmer tied for third with 283s
The Delaware Open was held at the Rock Manor Golf Club on the third Sunday in May. It offered a purse of $2,500 and gave some of the pros a warm-up for the upcoming Inquirer Invitation tournament. Local boy, Ed Oliver, set a course record of 66 in the first round but a few minutes later Dutch Harrison lowered it by two more strokes with a 64. Harrison (133) added on a 69 in the afternoon for a three-stroke win over Oliver (136). First prize was $750. Third place went to Dave Douglas (137). The money left the Section in the hands of Clayton Heafner (140). Dick Renaghan, Eddie Nowak, the assistant at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club in the Poconos, and Otto Greiner tied for fifth with 143s.
The next day the local pros stayed on at the Rock Manor Golf Club to qualify for the PGA Championship. Dick Renaghan played the first nine in 30 and went on to capture the medal by one stroke with rounds of 67 and 74 for a 141. Eddie Nowak also put together a 141. He had transferred from southern California in April but the paperwork with the PGA had not been completed on time. He was told that he wasn’t eligible before he started but he decided to play and protest the ruling later. There were seven places open. Terl Johnson (142) and Ed Dudley (143) finished second and third. The other four spots went to Bruce Coltart (146), Charlie Schneider (146), Al Keeping (146), now the professional at the Gulph Mills Golf Club and Leo Fraser (148). Matt Kowal also was in with a 148 but he withdrew so Fraser was in without a playoff. Ben Hogan was exempt as the defending champion and Ed Oliver was exempt as the runner-up. Lawson Little was also exempt as one of the last five winners of the U.S. Open. Nowak didn’t get into the tournament. Schneider didn’t go to Detroit for the PGA. Joe Zarhardt (149), who was still a Section member, replaced Schneider. Zarhardt was playing the PGA Tour from a North Carolina address.
The Fourth Annual $15,000 Inquirer Invitation was played in the fourth week of May. There was a new host club, the Cedarbrook Country Club in Mt. Airy. The host professional was Joseph Seka. In 1923 Seka had been the second president of the Philadelphia Section. On Wednesday of the tournament week ninety-two pros and amateurs competed for thirty-five places in the Inquirer starting field of one hundred. At the finish of the qualifying round thirteen players were tied for the last six spots. They were spared further strain as all were allowed to advance to Thursday’s first round. While the qualifying was taking place at Cedarbrook, Bobby Locke, Ed Oliver, Johnny Palmer and Bud Lewis put on an exhibition at the Valley Forge General Hospital for the wounded veterans. South Africa’s Bobby Locke won the tournament and $2,600 with a seven-under-par 277. Ben Hogan opened with a 65 on Friday after play on Thursday had been rained out. On Saturday Hogan added a 67 to his first round 65 for a total of 132 and a five-stroke lead. On Sunday nine thousand spectators turned out in rain, mist and wind to see the thirty-six-hole final day. Hogan faded shooting 77-73 for 282 and fell to fourth place while Bobby Locke was posting two steady one under par rounds of 70. Hogan had to settle for the fourth place $1,100 check. Locke (277) had opened with 68-69 and this gave him a four-stroke victory. Matt Kowal made a strong statement for the Section’s home pros by finishing in a tie for second at 281 with Lloyd Mangrum. Kowal and Mangrum each won $1,600. Kowal’s rounds were 67, 74, 67 and 73. His third round 67 was low by two strokes and there was only one other round in the 60s. Dutch Harrison tied for fifth at 283 and won $950. Henry Williams, Jr. who was now the professional at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club won $600 as he tied for ninth at 285. The other Section members who finished twenty-fourth or better and in the money were Joe Kirkwood, Sr. 22nd (292), Ed Oliver 22nd (292) and Jack Grout 24th (293). Kirkwood and Oliver each won $175 while Grout won $162.50. Terl Johnson, Ralph Hutchison, Johnny Moyer, Sam Davis, Clarence Ehresman, John Lewis, Bud Lewis, Angelo Paul, Johnny Weitzel, Howard Wheeler, Joe Capello, Fred Johnson and Lorman Kelley played 72 holes but missed the money. Davis was now the professional at the Crest Hollow Country Club. Paul was the professional at the Jeffersonville Golf Club. Weitzel was the professional at the Manor Country Club. Johnson was now the professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Kelley was now the teaching professional at the Paxon Hollow Country Club. Much of the credit for Locke’s appearance in Philadelphia had to go to Ed Dudley. At the Masters Tournament Dudley, with the help of a big spaghetti dinner and red wine, sold Locke on entering the Inquirer tournament. There were 42 Section members in the starting field of 102 players on Thursday.
Qualifying for the U.S. Open was held on the first Monday in June at the Rolling Green Golf Club. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. put together a 73 and a 70 for 143, which was one stroke better than Dave Douglas (144). Next in line were George Fazio (145), amateur Jimmy McHale (146) and Jack Grout (147). Grout won his spot on the third hole of a sudden death playoff with Ralph Hutchison (147). Ben Hogan, Ed Oliver and Dutch Harrison were exempt, as they had finished in the top 30 at the 1946 U.S. Open. Lawson Little was exempt for having won the 1940 U.S. Open, which was one of the last five that had been held due to WWII.
The U.S. Open was held at the St. Louis Country Club in St. Louis during the second week of June. Sam Snead (70) missed another chance to win the title when he three-putted the 18th green of a playoff against Lew Worsham (69). The day before Snead (282) had made a 15-foot putt for a birdie on the same green to get into the playoff. Worsham’s tournament rounds were 70, 70, 71 and 71 for 282. Worsham carried two putters in his bag for all four rounds. One was a Ted Smith mallet head putter. Ted Smith was a PGA member who had a putter company in Upper Darby. Ed Oliver turned in another solid U.S. Open showing tying for third with Bobby Locke at 285. Ben Hogan tied for sixth with a (289). The purse had been raised from $8,000 to $10,000, which was the minimum purse on the PGA Tour that year. First prize was $2,000. Oliver won $900 and Hogan won $400. Dutch Harrison (291) tied for 13th, winning $140 and Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (293) tied for 23rd and won $100. Everyone who finished in the top 30 qualified for the 1948 U.S. Open. Lawson Little (296) also finished in the money as he tied for 31st and won $75. Dave Douglas (300), Jack Grout (303) and George Fazio (305) made the cut but missed the money. Television was introduced at the Open that year. One camera was set up on a pickup truck behind the 18th green and play was televised locally. Since only about 600 families in the St. Louis area owned television sets not many people witnessed the finish on TV.
Three days after the U.S. Open ended in St. Louis the PGA Championship got underway with 36 holes of qualifying at the Plum Hollow Country Club in Detroit. The host professional was Sam Byrd, the former Philadelphia Section member. The PGA was scheduled right after the U.S. Open so that the professionals from the West Coast only had to make one long trip to play in the two championships. 130 professionals were qualifying for 63 places in the match play. Jimmy Demaret led with a 137. Ed Oliver (146), Bruce Coltart (147), Leo Fraser (148) and Ed Dudley (148) made it along with Ben Hogan who was exempt as the defending champion. The 149s played off for one spot. Terl Johnson, Lawson Little, Joe Zarhardt, Dick Renaghan and Al Keeping missed qualifying. In the first round Hogan lost to Toney Penna 3&1, Coltart lost to Ky Laffoon 3&1 and Fraser lost to Herman Barron one-down. Dudley put out Walter Romans in the first round 2&1 and then lost to Lloyd Mangrum 4&3. Oliver won two matches beating Al Huske 2&1 and Harry Bassler 4&3. Oliver then lost to Chick Harbert in the third round. Jim Ferrier won the title and a check for $3,500 by defeating Chick Harbert in the finals 2&1. In the semifinals Ferrier buried Art Bell 10&9 and Harbert beat Vic Ghezzi 6&5. The first two rounds were 18-hole matches and the rest were 36 holes. It was the only PGA final between 1938 and 1949 that didn’t include Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson or Sam Snead.
Ben Hogan broke his own tournament record at the Chicago Victory Open at the end of June. He put together rounds of 66, 68, 66 and 71 on the Westward Ho Golf Club for a fourteen-under-par 270. Hogan finished four strokes in front of Sam Snead (274). Ellsworth Vines (275) and Jim Ferrier (276) finished third and fourth. The purse was $15,900 and Hogan won $2,000.
Steve Kovach won the Pennsylvania Open for the second straight year. The tournament was played at the par 72 Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh on the last day in June. Kovach edged out the new U.S. Open champion, Lew Worsham (144) by two strokes with a 73-69 for a score of 142. Mike Pavella (146) finished third just in front of Felix Serafin and amateur Frank Souchak who tied for fourth with 147s. Because of the large field of 96 starters, any contestant who shot over 80 in the morning round was eliminated from playing the afternoon round.
When the British Open was played in the first week of July the defending champion Sam Snead was not entered. The tournament was held at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England. Irishman Fred Daley (293) won with rounds of 73, 70, 78 and 72. Amateur Frank Stranahan and Reg Horne tied for second with 294 totals. Bill Shankland finished fourth at 295.
In the second week of July Ben Hogan and Jimmy Demaret won the 126-hole Inverness Four-Ball at the Inverness Club in Toledo. It was the third time they had won the tournament and they were the defending champions. They each won $1,500 from the $10,000 purse for outscoring seven other teams and another $125 apiece for making the most birdies. They were 49 under par for the 126 holes. Hogan and Demaret finished at plus 12, two points in front of Ellsworth Vines and Clayton Heafner who won the second money of $1,700. Ed Oliver was also in the field.
Gene Kunes returned to the Philadelphia area as the professional at the Englewood Golf Club in northern New Jersey on the second Monday in July to win the Philadelphia Open. He played two brilliant sub par rounds at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club to finish seven strokes in front of Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (143) the host professional. Kunes’ rounds were 69 and 67 for a four-under-par 136. Bruce Coltart and amateurs Jim McHale and Harold Cross tied for third with 144s. Harold “Bub” Cross was the national sales manager for the Spalding Sporting Goods Company and a member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The defending champion Matt Kowal and Eddie Novak tied for sixth at 145. First prize was $350 and the total prize money was $1,000. Kunes was still maintaining a home in Philadelphia. That year he also won the New Jersey PGA, New Jersey Open and Massachusetts Open..
Dutch Harrison won the $15,000 Reno Open in the fourth week of August. Harrison opened the tournament at the Washoe County course with a 66, tacked a pair of 70s and closed with a 66 for a 16-under-par 272. Jim Ferrier and Ellsworth Vines tied for second three strokes back at 275. Ben Hogan and Ky Laffoon tied for fourth with 276s. First prize was $2,500.
The Ryder Cup matches that had not been played since 1937 appeared to be on again. In late July the PGA announced a point system for selecting the team members. This was the first time a point system had been used to select the Ryder Cup team. The points were based on PGA sponsored tournaments and other events such as the U.S. Open, Western Open and the Masters from January 1, 1946 through September 1, 1947. The majors were assigned more points than the regular tour events.
The Wildwood Country Club hosted the Section Championship in late August. Henry Williams, Jr., won the medal qualifying with a 65-69 for a 134 total. The 65 was a course record for the Wildwood course and the 134 was a record for the Section Championship. Charlie Schneider won the championship for a fourth time. He won $420 by defeating Paul Midiri in the 36-hole final 2&1. Midiri, a United States Marine, was back from the war and unattached. He had been struck by a mortar shell while fighting on Guam and had lost part of his right foot. The finals went thirty-five holes and took only four hours to play. They walked all the way as there were no golf carts at that time. In the semifinals Schneider defeated Dick Renaghan 6&5 and Midiri won out over Matt Kowal on the 19th hole. The host professional was Harry Avery. The purse for the tournament was $1,570. In October LuLu Temple Country Club honored Schneider with a dinner for winning the championship for the fourth time and presented him with a check for $500.
Howard Wheeler won the UGA Championship (Negro National Open) at the Cobbs Creek Golf Club in late August. Wheeler, the defending champion, played most of his golf at Cobbs Creek. He played out of the Fairview Golf Club, which was an association of golfers without a course, who played most of their rounds at Cobbs Creek. Wheeler’s winning total was 286, four stokes in front of Charlie Sifford (290), who finished second. Zeke Hartsfield finished third. Teddy Rhodes and Bill Spiller tied for fourth.
PGA President Ed Dudley announced the ten-man Ryder Cup Team in early September. Section members Ben Hogan, Ed Oliver and Dutch Harrison were on the team. The selections were based on a point system and the players began earning points on January 1, 1946. Byron Nelson compiled enough points to make the team even though he had retired from the regular tour in September of 1946.
On the second Monday in September 51 year-old Charlie Hoffner came out of competitive retirement to win the Wood Memorial tournament. He arrived at the Jeffersonville Golf Club before 8 o’clock without any irons. He borrowed a set and soon after he teed off his driver broke. From there on in he drove with a brassie. In spite of a two over par double bogey on the par 3 seventh hole, he finished with a two-under-par 68 before most of the 244-man field had even teed off. His score held up by two strokes as 72 pros took their best shots at the $200 first prize. Dave Douglas and Bill Boyle, the professional at the Beverly Hills Golf Club, tied for second with 70s. Hoffner was the winner of the first Section Championship in 1922 and a ranking national player in the early 1920s. He was now the professional at the Melrose Country Club. Dick Renaghan (71) and Sam Davis (71) tied for fourth. The total purse was $550.
At the end of September Ben Hogan won George S. May’s eight-man World Championship of Golf winner-take-all tournament. Each of the professionals received $2,000 appearance money and played for the first prize of $5,000. Hogan took home the $2,000 appearance fee plus the $5,000 first prize. Earlier in the year Hogan had refused to play in May’s All-American Open because the players had to wear numbers on their back. Hogan (135) led the 36-hole tournament from the start with a course record tying 65 and a 70 the second day. Bobby Locke was second with 138. The $7,000 was all official and put Hogan back on top of the money list for the year.
The first Reading Open was held in early October at the Berkshire Country Club. The club was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. There were 176 entries in the $10,000 event, of which 149 were professionals. Two of the entries were the host pro Harry Markel and his son, amateur Johnny Markel. Later on Johnny succeeded his father as the professional at Berkshire. The committee lowered the course par from 72 to 71 for the tournament. In the first round Jimmy Demaret broke Felix Serafin’s seven-year-old course record by one stroke with a 65. Terl Johnson was in second place by himself with a 68. The field was cut to the low 100 players after the first round and the low 60 after the second round. When the fourth and final round commenced on Sunday three of the four leaders were from the Philadelphia Section. Dutch Harrison held the lead with a 209. Johnson and Ed Oliver were tied with South Africa’s Bobby Locke for second at 211. A jeep equipped with a walkie-talkie followed the final two pairings and broadcast a hole-by-hole account back to the clubhouse. Harrison, sometimes called “The Arkansas Traveler”, shot a 68 in the last round to go with his earlier rounds of 69, 72 and 68. Harrison (277) came home the winner over Locke (280) with a comfortable three-stroke margin and picked up the first place check of $2,000. Oliver tied for third with Demaret and amateur Frank Stranahan at 282. Oliver and Demaret each won $900. Johnson (285) finished seventh alone winning $600 and Dave Douglas (286) won $450 as he tied for eighth. Henry Williams, Jr. (290) finished tied for 15th and won $173.33. There were twenty money places.
Marty Lyons stepped down as the president at the Section’s annual meeting. The meeting was at the Llanerch Country Club on the second Monday of October. He had been the president for six consecutive years and he had been a vice-president for the four years before that. The new president Ted Bickel, Jr. had been a vice-president for the previous four years. Charlie Schneider was elected first vice president and Bud Lewis was elected second vice president. Jimmy D’Angelo and Walter Brickley were reelected secretary and treasurer. The Section now had a record total of 164 members. “Sonny” Fraser was made an honorary vice-president along with Woody Platt and Jimmy Conway. The tournament manager, Jack Reidy reported that the prize money in the Section for the year, including the Inquirer Invitational that was co-sponsored by the Section, totaled $46,041. The net profits to the Section were $1,732.86.
In early November the Ryder Cup matches were back due to the efforts of Robert A. Hudson of Portland, Oregon. Hudson, a member of the PGA Advisory Committee, funded the total expenses of the British team and hosted the matches at his club, the Portland Golf Club. Hudson spent $70,000 out of his own pocket as the host. The PGA of America’s Tournament Bureau made every effort to schedule exhibition matches throughout the country for the British team members. The PGA named Ben Hogan the playing captain. Other Section members Dutch Harrison and Ed Oliver along with former Section members Sam Snead and Byron Nelson were on the team. Hudson had been advised by his friends that hosting a golf tournament in Oregon in November was a terrible idea. It rained and rained. On some of the greens the players used nine-irons instead of putters. The United States won handily over a team of British professionals who hadn’t had much tournament competition in recent years. Oliver won both his foursome (10&9) and singles (4&3) matches. Harrison only played in the singles and he won 5&4. Hogan won his foursomes match two-up and since the United States was leading 4 to 0 he took himself out of the singles matches on the second day. The final score was 11 points for the USA and 1 for the visiting team.
Dutch Harrison won the $10,000 Hawaiian Open in the second week of November. The Hawaiian Open committee paid the expenses for any Ryder Cup Team members who came to the tournament. Three of the British and three of the American team members entered. After posting rounds of 69, 66 and 71 on the Waialae Country Club course Harrison (275) started the last round with a three-stroke lead. He finished with a 69 to win by four over Johnny Bulla (279). England’s Dai Rees finished third (281) and Lloyd Mangrum (282) was fourth. First prize was $2,000.
The PGA’s national meeting was held at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago during the third week of November. Willie Maguire, who had been elected treasurer for eight straight years, was in poor health and unable to attend the meeting. Despite a behind the scenes move to elect Horton Smith president, the delegates unanimously reelected Ed Dudley for a seventh year. Most of the PGA members had received anonymous postcards criticizing Dudley, but Smith was not nominated. Horton Smith and Ben Hogan, along with Dick Metz, denied starting a behind the scenes attack on Dudley. Metz had punched former tournament manager Fred Corcoran at a tournament the past winter. Hogan attributed the attack on Dudley to Corcoran and threatened to have a personal showdown with him if he showed up at the meeting. Nothing came of all this and the only nominations for president, were for Dudley. Corcoran had been replaced and given a job as promotion director for the tour. The new tournament manager was George Schneiter. Schneiter was allowed to have that job and play the tour at the same time. Schneiter reported that the PGA Tour schedule would have two less events but the prize money was being increased by $42,000 to $550,000. Vic Ghezzi, unhappy with being left off the Ryder Cup team, appeared at the meeting to file a protest with the executive committee. Ghezzi said that he had been deprived of 65 points because the tournament committee had dropped the Goodall and Inverness tournaments from the point computations. Thus, he skipped some events in the fall that might have qualified him for the team. It was explained to him that those two events had been dropped since they were made up of only 16 players each and they wanted to give as many players as possible an opportunity to compete for the points. He left the meeting saying that all his differences had been patched up. After the meeting Horton Smith did say that he didn’t think anyone should be president for more than three years. Joe Novak was reelected secretary and Bill Wotherspoon was elected treasurer, replacing Maguire. Marty Lyons began a three-year term as the vice-president for District II. District II was comprised of the Philadelphia Section, New Jersey Section and the Metropolitan Section. Ted Bickel, Jr. and Walter Brickley were the Section’s delegates to the meeting.
Marty Lyons was honored with a dinner at Llanerch Country Club. 300 Llanerch members and 60 PGA members turned out to honor and thank Lyons for six years as president, four more years in other offices and his new assignment as a national vice-president. Lyons was presented with $1,000 in cash from his members and a $500 government bond from the Philadelphia Section.
Another golf professional from Wilmington won on the PGA Tour in early December. Dave Douglas won the $10,000 Orlando Open in a playoff against two Ryder Cup team members. Douglas started the tournament with a five-under-par 66, tacked on a 72-70 and came through with another 66 in the last round to tie Jimmy Demaret and Herman Keiser at 274. The next day they played an 18-hole playoff that ended with Douglas and Demaret still tied with 71s. Kaiser lost out with a 73. Douglas and Demaret then went into a sudden-death playoff. In the 18-hole playoff Douglas had had eight one-putt greens and on the nineteenth hole he one-putted again. He holed a four-footer for a birdie to get his first PGA Tour win and a check for $2,000. Douglas’ friend and fellow Wilmington native Ed Oliver, tied for fourth with Johnny Palmer and Claude Harmon at 276.
The year ended with Ben Hogan in third place on the money list with $23,310. Jimmy Demaret led with $27,936.83 and Bobby Locke won $24,327. Demaret also won the Vardon Trophy with a scoring average of 69.80 strokes per round and Hogan was next with a 69.84 average. Ed Oliver finished third with 70.34 strokes per rounds and fourth on the money list as he won $17,941.15. Bobby Locke had the lowest average (69.52 for 48 rounds) but he couldn’t win the Vardon Trophy. He was not a PGA member as he lived in South Africa. Dutch Harrison was 13th on the money list with $9,229.03. Hogan stated that he was going to cut down on the number of tournaments he entered the next year. He said that it was not physically possible to play in all of them and he would concentrate on breaking records.
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Ben Hogan didn’t rest long. He won the first tournament of the new-year at the $10,000 Los Angeles Open on the first Sunday in January. The last day Hogan went out in 31 and then played the second nine in par 36. The 67 added to his earlier rounds of 68-70-70 over the Riviera Country Club gave him a four-stroke win over Lloyd Mangrum (279). The last nine was played in a dense fog with almost zero visibility. Hogan’s 275 score was five strokes lower than the tournament record he had set the previous year. Ellsworth Vines finished third at 283. Sam Snead and Ed Furgol tied for fourth with 284s. The purse was $10,000 and Hogan picked up $2,000. That was the third time Hogan had won that event. Qualifying rounds were held before the tournament. 300 players played 36 holes for the 73 open places in the starting field.
Charles McKenna won the Senior PGA Championship in mid January. McKenna’s rounds over the PGA National Golf Club in Dunedin were 69 and 72 for 141. Ben Richter finished second at 142 one stroke in front of Jock Hutchison and George R. Smith who tied for third with 145s. No one from the Philadelphia Section made the money.
Dutch Harrison won the $10,000 Richmond Open (California) in third week of January at the Richmond Country Club. First prize was $2,000. Harrison led by three strokes after 36 holes with a twelve under par 65-67 for 132. Harrison shot a 70 in the third round and after 54 holes he still led by the same margin. Harrison put together a final round 71 with a birdie on the last hole to finish at 273, two strokes in front of Jimmy Demaret (275). Ed Furgol (277) and Chandler Harper (278) finished third and fourth.
On the first Monday in April eighty-eight professionals attended the Section’s spring meeting at the Llanerch Country Club. They welcomed home George Fazio from California. Fazio had gone to Los Angeles to take a club pro job but when the pro returned from the service he was out of a job. After that he was playing the PGA Tour as a representative of that club. His wife missed the Philadelphia area and they decided to return. He had a contract with a sporting goods company and was going to play the tour part time. Some of the speakers at the meeting were PGA of America vice-president Marty Lyons. J. Wood Platt, representing the USGA and George McKenzie, green superintendent at the St. Davids Golf Club and president of the Philadelphia Green Superintendents Association.
At the beginning of the Masters Tournament week Ed Dudley, the president of the PGA and professional at Augusta National, announced that all future PGA Tour events would be played according to the USGA rules. That meant that the pros would have to limit themselves to 14 clubs. Except for the Masters Tournament, U.S. Open and Western Open the pros had been using 16 clubs since the beginning of World War II.
The Masters Tournament was played in the second week of April. There were 57 entries and three were from the Philadelphia Section. Claude Harmon won by five strokes, shooting rounds of 70, 70, 69 and 70 for a 279. First prize from the $10,000 purse was $2,500. Cary Middlecoff (284) and Chick Harbert (287) finished second and third. Jim Ferrier and Lloyd Mangrum tied for fourth with 288s. Ben Hogan (289) tied for sixth, Dutch Harrison (293) tied for 13th and Ed Dudley (295) tied for 18th. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. withdrew after the third round.
The Riverton Country Club hosted the qualifying for the PGA Championship on the last Monday of April. Bruce Coltart was the low man with a score of (70-72) 142 in spite of a sore knuckle. Coltart had shot a 59 on the Bay Course at Seaview two weeks before that. There were seven places open. Henry Williams, Jr., now the professional at the Tully-Secane Country Club, was next at 143. Howard Capps, an assistant at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club on the Delaware River and Ralph Hutchison tied with 144s. Matt Kowal made it safely with a 146, one stroke in front of Sam Davis (147), who was now the professional at the Woodcrest Country Club. Charlie Schneider earned the last spot with a 148. Ben Hogan, Ed Oliver and Dutch Harrison were exempt as members of the 1947 Ryder Cup team. Dave Douglas would have been exempt as a tournament winner on the PGA Tour but he wasn’t a PGA member yet. Harrison was still a Section member even though he didn’t live in the Section. Coltart didn’t make the trip to St. Louis for the PGA and no one replaced him in the starting field.
Six days later on the first Sunday of May George Fazio earned an exemption into the PGA Championship by finishing in the top 25 at the National Capital Open, which was played near Washington DC. There were 31 players on the PGA Tour exempt for the PGA and the Capital Open was an avenue for the nonexempt players on the PGA Tour to qualify. Out of the top 25 at the Capital Open 19 were already exempt so just six more pros could qualify there. Fazio earned his spot by posting a 284 that tied for seventh. He won $550. Skip Alexander won the tournament by six strokes with a score of 271. Ben Hogan finished third at 280, Dutch Harrison finished tenth with a 286, Skee Riegel was the low amateur with a 287 and Manor Country Club professional Johnny Weitzel tied for thirteenth at 288. Weitzel’s showing didn’t get him in the PGA because he wasn’t a PGA member yet.
On the second Sunday of May some of the professionals who hadn’t been invited to the Goodall Round-Robin tournament were entered in the fifth annual Delaware Open. The one-day tournament was held at the Rock Manor Golf Club. Amateur Frank Stranahan won with 70-68 for 138 and all the top checks left the Section. First money of $750 went to Skip Alexander who was next at 139. Eric Monti and George Bolesta tied for third with 140s. The best showing made by a Section member was a tie for seventh by Terl Johnson who posted a score of 145.
The fifth annual Inquirer Invitation tournament had a new home, the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. The course measured 6,670 yards and had 128 sand bunkers. The tournament got under way with a qualifying round on the second Wednesday of May. The host professional was Morrie Talman. There were 191 entries, a record number. 71 were exempt while the other 120 competed for fifty places in the starting field on Thursday. Ralph Hutchison led the qualifying with a 73. On Thursday it rained and with the golf course flooded play was canceled. 36 holes were scheduled for Sunday in order for the leading pros to get to the PGA Championship in St. Louis on time. Johnny Palmer held the lead after 36 holes with a 71-69. On Sunday morning Palmer slipped a little with a 73 and Ben Hogan brought in a four-under-par 68 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round. In the afternoon Hogan fell back with a 74 while Johnny Palmer was posting a 68 for a four-round total of 281. His 281 bettered Hogan (285) by four strokes. It was the only round under 70 in the afternoon. Palmer’s first place check was for $2,250 and Hogan won $1,620 for second place. Lloyd Mangrum (287) finished third and Eric Monti (288) ended up alone in fourth place. Dutch Harrison tied for ninth at 291 and won $675. Rod Munday tied for 17th at 296 and won $202.50. Dave Douglas tied for 21st at 299, winning $180. George Fazio (22nd, 300) and Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (tie 24th, 304) each won $157.50. Ralph Hutchison, Johnny Moyer, Henry Williams, Jr., Terl Johnson, Jack Grout, Howard Wheeler, Charley Lepre and Joe Brennan played 72 holes but were not in the money. Douglas was on the PGA Tour full time and Munday was now the head professional at the Country Club of York. Lepre was the professional at the Doylestown Country Club. The purse was $15,000 and paid 25 places. Ten percent of the purse, $1,500, went to the PGA tournament bureau to offset their expenses. A season ticket for admission to all four days of the tournament was $5.
The next week the pros were in St. Louis at the Norwood Country Club for the PGA Championship. Since the pros were playing USGA rules all the way again the stymie was back in this tournament for the first time since 1942. The tournament purse $17,950, which was the third largest on the PGA Tour that year. The day before the tournament began Sam Snead won a driving contest with a tee shot of 320 yards. Skip Alexander led the qualifying with a 70 and a 64 for 134. Ben Hogan (136), Ed Oliver (140), George Fazio (141), Dutch Harrison (145) and Henry Williams, Jr. (145) made it through the 128-man field to qualify for the 64-man match play. Matt Kowal, Howard Capps, Charlie Schneider, Ralph Hutchison and Sam Davis missed qualifying. The first two rounds of matches were 18 holes and the rest were 36 holes. Harrison lost in the first round to Jim Ferrier on the second extra hole. Fazio and Williams won their first round matches as Fazio put out Monty Onoretto 6&5 and Williams eliminated Ferdy Catropa 2&1. That afternoon Fazio and Williams met in the second round with Fazio winning 7&6. Oliver beat Walter Ambo in the first round 7&6 and Sherman Elworthy 3&2 in the second round. The next day Fazio and Oliver met in the third round. Fazio, who had qualified during the PGA Tour’s National Capital Open, played the first nine in 31 and was only one up and when they left the 18th green to go to lunch Fazio was two down to Oliver. In the afternoon Fazio came back to edge out Oliver 1-up. In the quarterfinals Fazio met Jimmy Demaret. Fazio was four under par at the end of the first 18 holes but he was seven down to Demaret’s 61. In the afternoon Fazio played the first nine three under and didn’t gain any ground. Fazio played the next five holes four under but only picked up two holes and was closed out by a 5&4 count. Hogan started slowly with one-up wins in the first three matches over Jock Hutchison, Jr., Johnny Palmer and Gene Sarazen. In the second round he was 2 down to Palmer with four to play. Hogan played the last four holes in four under par to win. He kept mowing them down though as he put out Chick Harbert 2&1 and Jimmy Demaret 2&1. That put him in the finals where he won by the wide margin of 7&6 over Mike Turnesa. In the semifinals Turnesa had eked out a win over Claude Harmon on the 37th hole. Hogan’s check was for $3,500. This was Hogan’s second PGA title and it was the third time a Turnesa, each one different, had lost in the finals.
Joe Kirkwood, Sr. qualified for the U.S. Open in Los Angeles. Because of the Open being in Los Angeles there were almost 300 pros and amateurs entered there. Two days and two golf courses, Lakeside Country Club and Los Angeles Country Club, were needed to handle the qualifying. Qualifying was held on Thursday and Friday of the last week of May. George Von Elm led the scoring with a 139. Kirkwood won one of the 25 spots with a pair of 72s for a score of 144. Joe Kirkwood, Jr. also qualified there with a 147. He was living in Los Angeles and starring in movies as Joe Palooka while playing the PGA Tour part time. The 150 scores played off.
Qualifying for the U.S. Open in Philadelphia was held at the North Hills Country Club on the first Tuesday in June. The entry fee was $5. There were only sixteen entries in Philadelphia due to the tournament being held in Los Angeles. Walter Hagen, Jr. was entered and like his father he was an hour late for his starting time. He was disqualified and commented that they usually let his father play. There were only two places to play for and Dave Douglas landed one of them tying Baltimore’s Johnny Bass for the top spot. They turned in identical rounds of 71 and 74 for 145. Every entrant in the qualifying rounds had to say whether he intended to play in the Open if successful. Also every player eligible for the Open had to register at Riviera Country Club by noon on the Tuesday of the tournament or send an excuse in advance. Ben Hogan, Ed Oliver and Dutch Harrison were exempt off their finish in the 1947 U.S. Open.
George Fazio qualified for the U.S. Open in Ft. Worth, Texas on the second Tuesday of June. Skip Alexander and Clayton Heafner led with 140s. Fazio made it by one stroke with a 73 and a 74 for 147. There were 14 spots in Ft. Worth.
In the first week of June Ben Hogan made it two major victories in three weeks with his first win in the U.S. Open. Hogan began with 67-72 at the Riviera Country Club and played Saturday’s last two rounds in 68-69 to set a tournament record of 276. He won by two strokes over Jimmy Demaret (278). Jim Turnesa was next at 280 and Bobby Locke finished fourth with a 282. Hogan won $2,000 from the $10,000 purse. Hogan had now won two Los Angeles Opens and the U.S. Open at Riviera and people were referring to the course as “Hogan’s Alley”. All six Philadelphia Section professionals in the field made the cut. Joe Kirkwood, Jr. (291) tied for 21st and George Fazio (292) tied for 25th. They each won $100. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. (293) tied for 28th, winning $75. Dutch Harrison (296) and Dave Douglas (299) made the cut but missed the money. Ed Oliver missed the cut. Whitewash lines were painted on the grass around the greens to indicate where the spectators were to stand.U
St. Davids Golf Club hosted the Pennsylvania Open on the third Monday of June. Terl Johnson put together rounds of 68 and 72 to finish two under par at 140. He finished early and had to wait two and a half hours for the last players to finish. The last players finished at dusk with Johnson still one stroke in front of Ted Kroll (141). Johnny Weitzel and Rod Munday tied for third with 143s, one stroke ahead of Matt Kowal (144). Kroll was Kowal’s assistant at the Philmont Country Club. First prize was $350 from the $1,025 purse. The course had been lengthened to 6,800 yards.
In late June Ben Hogan and his partner Jimmy Demaret won the Inverness Four-Ball for the third year in a row. On Saturday Hogan and Demaret turned in a pair of eleven under par 60s at the Inverness Club and coasted home the next day with a ten-point cushion. There were eight teams invited and each team played a match against the other seven teams. Hogan and Demaret finished at plus 16 points and 51 under par. Chick Harbert and Vic Ghezzi finished second at plus six. Dutch Harrison was also in the field. The winning team received $3,500 and they picked up another $250 for having the most birdies in the four days. The total purse was $10,000 plus the bonus monies.
The British Open was played the Honorable Company golf club, Muirfield, Scotland on the last day of June and the first two days of July. Henry Cotton (284), one of England’s greatest golfers, won his third Open, this time by four strokes with rounds of 71, 66, 75 and 72. The defending champion, Fred Daley, finished second at 289. Roberto de Vicenzo, Norman von Nida, Charlie Ward and Jack Hargreaves tied for third with 290s.
In the first week of July Ben Hogan won again at the Motor City Open in Detroit. 51-year-old Joe Kirkwood, Sr. led the first round with a 68. At the end of 72 holes Hogan and Dutch Harrison were tied at 275. In the first two rounds Hogan had holed out his second shot of 110 yards on the 18th hole. After opening with 70-73 at the Meadowbrook Country Club Hogan played the last two rounds in 66-66 to catch Harrison. The next day Hogan won the playoff and the $2,600 first prize with a 73 versus a 74 for Harrison. Marty Furgol and Johnny Palmer tied for third with 278s. The purse was $15,000.
Jimmy McHale, a reinstated amateur and former assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club, won the Philadelphia Open. The tournament had been held 42 times and McHale was the first amateur to win it. It was played at the Atlantic City Country Club on the third Monday in July. McHale’s total was four-under-par, 70-70 for 140. McHale had lost to Skee Riegel in the finals of the Western Amateur just two weeks before. Bruce Coltart and Ted Kroll tied for second with 141s. They divided the first and second monies winning $275 apiece. Amateur, James “Sonny” Fraser finished fourth at 142. Matt Kowal, amateur Billy Hyndman and the host professional Leo Fraser tied for fifth with 143s. The entry fee was $5.
Berkshire Country Club hosted the Reading Open again in the fourth week of July. The host professional was Harry Markel. The tournament dates had been moved from October to July and the purse had been increased by $5,000 to $15,000. The purse actually totaled $16,000 as an extra $1,000 had been put up for the members of the Philadelphia Section to compete for. That year par was 72 and the course played easier in the warm summer weather than it had the year before in October. Rod Munday was tied for the lead with three other pros after the first round with a 65. After thirty-six holes Munday still was in a tie for the lead with Fred Haas, Jr. at 132, as Munday didn’t make a single bogey in the first two rounds. Munday (276) couldn’t keep up that pace but he shot a steady 72-72 the last two rounds to finish in a six-way tie for seventh. After shooting a 67 and a 72 Hogan put together a 66 in the third round to get to within five strokes of the leader, Fred Haas, Jr. In the final round Hogan was five under par after four holes. He went on to shoot a course record 64 and win the tournament. His 269 total was eight strokes better than the winning score at Berkshire in 1947 but he only beat out the runner-up, Haas (270), by one stroke. Clayton Heafner finished third at 271 one stroke in front of Bobby Locke and Jimmy Demaret who tied for fourth with 272s. The top prize was $2,600. Thirty-five players broke par for the 72 holes and five equaled par. The defending champion, Dutch Harrison, shot 277 the same score he won with the year before but it only gained him a tie for 13th. Section members Jack Grout (280, tie 17th), George Fazio (281, tie 19th) and Johnny Moyer (285, tie 25th) also finished in the money.
The next week Ben Hogan won the Western Open at the Brookfield Country Club in Buffalo, New York. Hogan’s first three rounds were 67, 70 and 70, which gave him a three-stroke lead. In the last round he shot a 74 and lost the lead to Ed Oliver as they each completed the 72 holes in 281 strokes. The next day Hogan defeated Oliver in an eighteen-hole playoff with a course record, eight-under-par 64. The playoff got so one-sided that Oliver, who shot a 73, was rooting for Hogan to break the course record. With that victory Hogan became the first man to win the U.S. Open, PGA Championship and Western Open in the same year. First prize from the $15,000 purse was $2,500. Bobby Locke finished third at 283. Jimmy Demaret and Toney Penna tied for fourth with 285s.
In the third week of August Ben Hogan won the $12,500 Denver Open by one stroke over Fred Haas, Jr. He had taken two weeks off to go to Hollywood to make some golf instructional films. To do that he had skipped the rich World Championship in Chicago because he didn’t agree with the way George S. May ran the event. May wanted the players to wear numbers on their backs and Hogan refused. Hogan began with rounds of 66, 67 and 70 on the Wellshire Golf Course. He then shot a last round 67 to finish at 270 and overtake Haas (271). Jimmy Demaret and Cary Middlecoff tied for third with 274s. First prize was $2,150.
The Section Championship had a new home, the Shawnee Inn & Country Club at Shawnee-On-Delaware. It was played in late August. Shawnee had hosted the national PGA Championship and twenty Shawnee Opens. Fred Waring, who had become famous as the leader of a band called The Pennsylvanians, now owned the course. He also invented the Waring Blender. Matt Kowal turned in a 72-71 for a one under par 143 to win the qualifying medal. The Section members competed for the thirty-two places in the match play field. The 157 scores and better scores qualified. The defending champion Charlie Schneider and the host pro Harry Obitz were exempt from qualifying. The pros played 36 holes in the qualifying on Monday, two 18-hole matches on Tuesday, two 18-hole matches on Wednesday and the 36-hole final on Sunday. Bud Lewis became the new Section champion defeating a former touring pro, Rod Munday, one-down in the 36-hole final. Munday was a very good player but well known for his putting problems. He might putt right handed, left-handed, cross-handed right handed and cross-handed left handed all in one eighteen-hole round. In the semifinals Lewis eliminated Kowal 4&3 and Munday defeated Henry Williams, Jr. 2&1. Lewis won $300 and possession of the Philadelphia Bulletin Trophy for a year. Munday picked up a check for $200.
At the end of August George Fazio and Lloyd Mangrum tied for first in the $12,500 Utah Open. They tied with fourteen under par 274s. The next day in a playoff Mangrum prevailed with a 69 against a 72 for Fazio. Jimmy Demaret and Cary Middlecoff tied for third at 277. First prize was $2,150 and Fazio won $1,550.
Howard Wheeler won the United Golfers’ Association Championship (Negro National Championship) for the third straight year. It was the fifth time he had won it. The tournament was played at the Coffin Golf Club in Indianapolis and ended on the fourth Friday of August. Wheeler finished with a 287 total to edge out Ted Rhodes (288) who failed to hole a ten-foot putt on the last hole which would have sent the tournament into a playoff.
Ben Hogan won again at the $25,000 Reno Open in early September. He posted a 72 hole total of 269, 19 under par, for the four rounds. Hogan’s four rounds over the Washoe Country Club were 67, 69, 65 and 68. Tied for second two strokes back were Lloyd Mangrum and Dick Metz with 271s. Vic Ghezzi finished fourth at 273. The first prize of $3,500 was one of the largest of the year, the same as the PGA Championship.
Ed Oliver prevailed in a five-way 18-hole playoff to win the $12,500 Tacoma Open in mid September. At the end of 72 holes he was tied with Cary Middlecoff, Fred Haas, Jr. Chuck Congdon and Vic Ghezzi at 274. Oliver shot a last round 67 on the Fircrest Golf Club to get into the playoff. His earlier rounds were 71, 66 and 70. A 69 in the playoff left him tied with Middlecoff (69) and they went back out for a sudden death playoff. On the first hole of sudden death Oliver knocked in a four-foot putt for an eagle to win the first place check of $2,150 and 50% of the day’s gate receipts. The four other pros each won $1,070. In the playoff Haas shot a 72, Congdon a 73 and Ghezzi a 75. It was the first time that there had been a five-way tie for first in a PGA Tour event.
Henry Williams, Jr. won the Wood Memorial tournament on the third Monday of September at the Jeffersonville Golf Club. The defending champion, Charlie Hoffner, was first off the tee and posted a one under par 69. As the day wore on several professionals equaled that score, but it continued to hold up until Williams turned in his scorecard. In spite of a double-bogey 6 on the first hole Williams completed his round in 68 strokes. Rod Munday, Dick Renaghan, Horace Smith and Jack Robinson, the assistant at the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club, all finished with 69s to tie for second with Hoffner. Smith was the head professional at the Moorestown Field Club and the brother of George B. Smith, who won the Section Championship three times.
In mid October Ben Hogan won on the PGA Tour for the tenth time that year. A last round course record 64 won the $15,000 Glendale Open. Hogan picked up six strokes on Lloyd Mangrum in the last round to finish two strokes ahead of him at 275. Hogan’s first three rounds at the Oakmont Country Club were 69, 68 and 74. The pros complained about the pin locations for the third round, but amateur Skee Riegel turned in a five under par 67. Mangrum finished second with a total of 277. Skip Alexander (279) and Cary Middlecoff (283) ended up third and fourth. Riegel tied for fifth at 286. In order to enter certain tournaments Riegel had been a member at Oakmont, but he hadn’t played the course before the Glendale Open. First prize was $2,450.
At the Section’s fall meeting the members reelected Ted Bickel, Jr. president for a second year. The meeting was at the Bungalow Inn in Jeffersonville on the third Monday of October. Bud Lewis was elected 1st vice president and Al Keeping was elected 2nd vice president. Bill Boyle was elected secretary because Jimmy D’Angelo had moved to Myrtle Beach. D’Angelo had been the secretary of the Section for two periods of time covering seven years in all. He did an outstanding job of promoting the programs of the Philadelphia PGA and reporting the Section news to the press. Walter Brickley was reelected treasurer. A new office named Sectional Vice President was created. Ed Tabor, the professional at the West Shore Country Club, was elected to the office. Al MacDonald was appointed tournament chairman. National president Ed Dudley, still a member of the Section even though he was the pro at Augusta National and The Broadmoor, attended the meeting. He reported that there were now 2,866 PGA members and 171 were members of the Philadelphia Section.
In early December Ed Dudley announced at the PGA’s national meeting in Dunedin, Florida that he would not run for an eighth term as national president. The meeting was held at the Fenway Hotel. Joe Novak was elected president over Horton Smith, 47 votes to 26. Even though Dudley had stepped down as president, the Philadelphia Section still had a national officer, as Marty Lyons was elected secretary. In the election Lyons received 37 votes, Horton Smith 26 votes and John Budd 9 votes. Bill Wotherspoon was reelected treasurer. Section president Ted Bickel, Jr. was selected to take Lyons’ place as the national vice-president representing District II, for the second and third year of the term. Dudley, who had been the chairman of the tournament committee before he was president, was appointed to the committee once again. There were nine vice- presidents representing the Sections. Dudley was named honorary captain of the 1949 Ryder Cup team. The tournament committee reported that the PGA Tour had conducted 42 events with purses totaling more than $555,000. A new resolution at this meeting stated that tour professionals could earn credits toward membership from playing in PGA Tour tournaments. A professional with five years experience on the PGA Tour would be eligible for membership. Before that a pro had to have five years experience as a head professional or as an assistant to a PGA member at a club. One of the touring professionals who could now be a PGA member was Cary Middlecoff. Another change for 1949 made it mandatory that a member in good standing moving from one Section to another would have to transfer their membership to that new Section. Due to this Dudley who was the head professional at Augusta National and The Broadmoor could no longer be a member of the Philadelphia Section. The Philadelphia Section’s delegates to the meeting were Bickel and Bill Boyle.
At the end of the year the PGA of America named Ben Hogan ”PGA Player-of-the-Year”. This was a new PGA award and was given out that year for the first time. Hogan won or led everything on the PGA Tour except the money list. Lloyd Mangrum topped the money list with $45,898. Hogan was second with $36,812. He had taken the last two months of the year off and only played 76 tournament rounds as compared to Mangrum’s 120. Hogan topped the official money list with $32,112. He won the Vardon Trophy with a 69.30 stroke average for his 76 competitive rounds. Hogan led in Ryder Cup team points with 916, which were 224 points more than the second place Mangrum. Hogan won six straight tournaments and a total of ten for the year. That year Hogan won the PGA, the U.S. Open and the Western Open. He was the first golfer to win those three in the same year. At one time the Western Open was only second in importance to the U.S. Open in the United States. Dutch Harrison was eighth on the money list as he won $14,312.50. Even though he only played 34 rounds on the PGA Tour Ed Oliver won $7,166.43, which was good for 17th place. George Fazio was 21st with $6,272.41.
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The Senior PGA Championship was won by Marshall Crichton in mid January. The tournament was held at the 6,320-yard PGA National Golf Club in Dunedin, Florida. Crichton’s rounds were 73 and 72 for 145. Jock Hutchison, Louis Chiapetta and George R. Smith tied for second with 146s. Al MacDonald finished tied for 23rd with a 155.
In mid January Ben Hogan picked up his first win of the new-year at the $10,000 Bing Crosby Pro-Am. The three rounds were played at the Cypress Point Club, Monterey Peninsula Country Club and Pebble Beach Golf Club. Hogan began with 70-68 and finished with a windswept 70 on the Pebble Beach Golf Links for a total of 208. Jim Ferrier finished two strokes back in second place at 210. Jimmy Demaret finished third with a 211. Hogan’s winning score was eight under par. First prize was $2,000.
The next week Ben Hogan won again at the $10,000 Long Beach Open. Due to the large number of entries the first round was played over two days. Half of the field played each day and the 141 players who had shot 76 or better made the cut to play the second round. Hogan’s rounds over the Lakewood Country Club were 68, 66, 70 and 68. Hogan made a fifteen-foot birdie putt on the last hole to tie Jimmy Demaret at 272, twelve under par. Lloyd Mangrum and Jack Burke, Jr. tied for third. The next day Hogan shot a 67 against Demaret’s 69 to win by two. First prize was $2,000. Hogan and Demaret each picked up another $464 as their share of the extra day purse. Hogan had now won 11 of the last 15 tournaments that he had played in.
One week later in late January Jimmy Demaret turned the tables and won an 18-hole playoff over Ben Hogan at the $10,000 Phoenix Open. They had tied with 272s at the Phoenix Country Club. In the playoff Demaret won with a 67 versus a 70 for Hogan. After the tournament Hogan and his wife headed for their winter home in Ft. Worth to take a break from the tour. Early in the morning on February 2nd they were hit head on by a Greyhound bus in west Texas. The bus was passing another vehicle in the fog. Hogan dove in front of his wife to protect her. (Cars had bench seats and no safety belts at that time.) That saved his life as well as hers but he had so many injuries no one knew if he would survive. The doctors weren’t sure if they could save his life but they were certain that he wouldn’t play tournament golf again. Heading east that morning on the same highway Herman Kaiser and Bob Hamilton, who always traveled together, passed the scene of the accident. Kaiser recognized Hogan’s Cadillac and pulled over to the side of the road. On learning that Hogan had been taken to a hospital in El Paso, Kaiser and Hamilton turned around and headed back to El Paso. They went to Hogan’s hospital room and when he saw them he said “make sure my clubs are alright. Kaiser said that right then he knew Hogan was going to play golf again.
Dave Douglas picked up his second PGA Tour win at the $10,000 Texas Open in the second week of February. He led the first day with a six-under-par 65, tacked on 72-66 and finished with another 65 in the last round for a total of 268. Sam Snead was second at 269 one stroke ahead of Johnny Palmer (270) and Dick Metz (270). Douglas’s $2,000 for winning was big for him as he had only won $55 in the two other tournaments he had entered since the beginning of the year. The tournament was played on two courses the first two days to accommodate the starting field of 253 players. The two courses were the Fort Sam Houston course and the Brackenridge Park Golf Course.
At the Masters Tournament Sam Snead went around Augusta National on the weekend in 67-67 to win by three strokes. His first two rounds at the Augusta National Golf Club were 73 and 75. Tied for second, were Lloyd Mangrum and Johnny Bulla with 285s. Jim Turnesa and Johnny Palmer tied for fourth at 286. Joe Kirkwood, Jr. finished seventh with a 290 and won $330. Dutch Harrison picked up last money as he tied for 23rd at 298. The Section had only one other entry, George Fazio and he finished out of the money with a score of 300. Amateur Skee Riegel also finished with 300 strokes. On Sunday an announcement was made that because of the attendance the purse was being increased by $1,000 to $11,000. First prize was $2,750. As usual the tournament was held in the first full week of April.
The Section’s spring meeting was held at the Broadwood Hotel in Philadelphia on the second Monday in April. Due to the new PGA rule Ed Dudley had been transferred to the Southeastern Section. The PGA now required a professional to be a member of the Section where he was employed. He had been a Section member since 1929 and president of the Section for seven years. Section president Ted Bickel, Jr. announced that John Hayes, the professional at the Riverton Country Club had been appointed secretary to replace Bill Boyle. Boyle had left the Beverly Hills Country Club to take a job as a pro golf salesman. National PGA secretary, Marty Lyons, reported on the association’s tournament bureau and the magazine, ”The Professional Golfer”. The Section members were asked to offer a silent prayer for Ben Hogan who was finally home after two months in an El Paso, Texas hospital.
The Springhaven Club hosted the qualifying rounds for the PGA Championship on the last Monday of April. The scores were pretty low considering the course played long and most of the pros weren’t in tournament condition. The low man was Terl Johnson, now the professional at the DuPont Country Club, with 68-72 for an even par 140. Henry Williams, Jr. trailed Johnson by two strokes with a 142. The other four who locked up places were Matt Kowal (145), Charlie Schneider (146), Felix Serafin (146) and Pat Browne (146), the professional at the Lehigh Country Club. Ben Hogan was exempt as the defending champion but he was back in Ft. Worth trying to learn how to walk again. Dave Douglas, Ed Oliver and Dutch Harrison were exempt as tournament winners on the PGA Tour. George Fazio had an exemption for having made the quarterfinals at the PGA Championship the year before. Harrison chose not to play in the tournament, as it was too many holes of golf for him to walk.
The sixth annual Inquirer Invitation, played in the third week of May, had a record entry of 196 players. The Whitemarsh Valley Country Club and their professional, Morrie Talman, hosted the tournament for a second straight year. Eighty players were exempt and the other 116 entries had to qualify on Wednesday for fifty open places. Originally the number was only 20 and ties, but due to the strength of the non-exempt entries the number was increased to 50. The Sunday before the tournament week began, Dick Renaghan died at the age of 39. He had been one of the eighty exempt from qualifying for the tournament. Buck White, Bob Toski and Ray Hill, a former teaching pro at the Hershey Country Club, led the qualifying with 70s. Charlie Sifford (71) and Howard Wheeler (74), two local African American professionals who played out of the Cobbs Creek Golf Club, made the grade easily. The tournament began on Thursday. There was rain on Friday and when the Wissahickon Creek flooded the low lying holes, the round was washed out. The second round was played on Saturday with a thirty-six-hole wind up on Sunday. After Saturday’s round the field was cut to the low sixty players and fifteen local pros made the cut. At the end of the day on Sunday Joe Kirkwood, Jr., an assistant to his father Joe, Sr. at Huntingdon Valley Country Club in 1940 and 1941, was the new champion. Kirkwood was playing out of Hollywood, California and a part time participant on the tour. His regular work was playing Joe Palooka in the movies. His twelve-under-par (68, 66, 68, 74) 276 earned him his first tour win and $2,600 from the $15,000 purse. Johnny Palmer (280), Bobby Locke (281) and Fred Haas, Jr. (282) finished second, third and fourth. The Philadelphia Section member having the best finish was Dutch Harrison with a score of 287 that put him in eighth place. George Fazio tied for 12th at 290. Harrison won $700 and Fazio won $345. Rod Munday (295), Jack Grout (295) and Ed Oliver (295) tied for 18th and they each won $172. Henry Williams, Jr. (297) tied for 24th and won $82.50. Felix Serafin, Ralph Hutchison, Wheeler, Terl Johnson, Willie Polumbo, Ted Kroll, Walter Brickley, Charlie Arena, Al Keeping, Johnny Moyer and Steve Grady played 72 holes but missed the money. Johnson was now the professional at the DuPont Country Club. Arena was now the professional at the Melrose Country Club and Grady was now the professional at the Rydal Country Club. Spectator tickets for the last day were $2.
The PGA Championship was played in late May at the Hermitage Country Club in Richmond. Six of the ten Section pros that were there qualified for the 64-man match play. Ray Hill, who was a former assistant to Ben Hogan at the Hershey Country Club, led the qualifying with a 69 and a 67 for 136. George Fazio (139), Henry Williams, Jr. (140), Ed Oliver (140), Dave Douglas (145), and Matt Kowal (148) all passed the qualifying test. Charlie Schneider posted a 149 and lost out in a six-man playoff for the last three spots. Also failing to qualify were Felix Serafin, Pat Browne and Terl Johnson. The first two rounds of matches were 18 holes each and the rest were 36-hole matches. In the first round Kowal lost to Mike DeMassey 2&1 and Oliver lost to Frank Moore on the 19th hole. Fazio won his first round match over Errie Ball one-up and then he lost to Jimmy Demaret 3&1. Douglas defeated Pete Cooper one-down and DeMassey 3&1 before losing on the 36th hole one-down to Sam Snead. Williams put out Gene Sarazen 2&1, Jack Harden one-down and Al Brosch 7&6 before losing in the quarterfinals to Johnny Palmer 7&6. Snead went on to win the championship and a check for $3,500 by beating Palmer in the finals 3&2. In the semifinals Snead put out Jim Ferrier 3&2 and Palmer eliminated Lloyd Mangrum by 6&5.
On the last Tuesday in May Dave Douglas shot a 31 on the final nine to nose out Henry Williams, Jr. (141) and amateur Jimmy McHale (141) for the top spot qualifying for the U.S. Open. Douglas’s rounds were 72 and 68 for 140. The venue was The Springhaven Club. Springhaven had hosted the PGA qualifying rounds earlier that year. There were 23 players and four places open. The fourth spot went to 52-year-old Joe Kirkwood, Sr. who came in with a second round 69 for 143. Ben Hogan was exempt but not playing golf. The exemptions from the previous Open had been reduced from the top thirty to the top twenty.
Art Wall also qualified for the U.S. Open on the last Tuesday of May. He picked up one of the four available spots in Durham, North Carolina with a (72-71) 143. Clayton Heafner was low at 137. Even though he qualified Wall did not play in the tournament.
On that same Tuesday Philadelphia amateur Skee Riegel qualified for the U.S. Open in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Riegel posted a pair of 71s to grab the second of four spots. Charlie Coe led the field with a 140.
Dutch Harrison led the qualifying for the U.S. Open on the first Wednesday of June in the Washington D.C. area and George Fazio also made it with ease. They were at the Chevy Chase Club. Harrison set a course record in the morning with a 64 and came back in the afternoon with a 68 for 132. Fazio finished third with a 139. There were nine spots there because the PGA Tour was holding a tournament nearby that week. The 144 scores played off for the last three spots.
The U.S. Open was played in the second week of June without the defending champion Ben Hogan. It was held in Chicago at the Medinah Country Club. The field had been reduced from 171 players to 162 in an attempt to speed up the pace of play. The purse was still $10,000 and the entry fee was $7. Cary Middlecoff won with rounds of 75, 67, 69 and 75 for a 286. Sam Snead and Clayton Heafner just missed tying for first and they finished at 287. Bobby Locke and Jim Turnesa tied for fourth with 289s. Dave Douglas (290) won $450 by tying for sixth. Amateur Skee Riegel tied for 14th at 294. George Fazio (299) made the cut but missed the money by one stroke. Joe Kirkwood, Sr. made the cut at 150 but he didn’t finish the third round. Dutch Harrison and Henry Williams, Jr. missed the cut. First prize was 2,000.
In mid June the Allegheny Country Club, near Pittsburgh, hosted the Pennsylvania Open. Andy Gaspar nipped Johnny Bulla (139) by one stroke with a two-under-par 138. Gaspar picked up a check for $500 with rounds of 70 and 68. Ted Luther finished third at 142 and amateur Knox Young was fourth with a 144. Rod Munday, Lew Worsham and Mike Pavella tied for fifth with 145s. Terl Johnson could not defend his title, as he was now the professional at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware.
Dutch Harrison won the $10,000 Canadian Open in the fourth week of June in Toronto. Harrison was under par in each round and held the lead by himself at the end of every round. His rounds at the St. George Golf Club were 66, 67, 71 and 67 for a seventeen under par 271. First prize was $2,000. Jim Ferrier finished second four strokes back at 275. Fred Hawkins, Jim Turnesa and Bill Kerr tied for third with 277s.
The British Open was held Royal George’s golf club, Sandwich, England in early July. The tournament came down to a duel between Bobby Locke (69-76-68-70) and Harry Bradshaw (68-77-68-70) as they ended up tied at 283. This Open was the famous Open where Bradshaw’s golf ball came to rest against a broken beer bottle on the fairway of fifth hole during the second round. He played the ball rather than ask for a ruling, which would have provided relief for him. The next day Locke (67-68) 135 demolished Bradshaw (74-73) 147 by twelve strokes as he played every hole in 4 or better until he made a par 5 on the 33rd hole. Roberto de Vicenzo finished third at 285. Sam King and Charlie Ward tied for fourth at 286.
The third annual Reading Open, which was hosted by the Reading Country Club for the first time, was played in the second week of July. At that time the leading professionals who were entered would put on a golf clinic one evening before the tournament began. The professionals were doing everything they could to make the tournaments a success for the sponsors. A star studded lineup headed by Sam Snead, was assembled for that week’s show. The professionals would demonstrate golf shots from the driver to sand wedges. Each week one of the professionals would of the professionals would be the emcee and that week it was Lawson Little, pictured holding his notes.
When the Reading Open got underway on Thursday Sam Snead with a 63 and Lawson Little with a 64 broke Byron Nelson’s course record, of 65, in the first round. George Low, Jr. tied the course record with a 65. Henry Williams, Jr., led the Philadelphia Section pros with a 67. Snead and Vic Ghezzi were tied for the lead after round two with 134 totals. Willie Polumbo, in twelfth place with 139, led the local pros. After three rounds it was Snead and Cary Middlecoff tied at ten-under-par 200, leading the field by four strokes. Polumbo had moved into a tie for fifth at 208. Middlecoff holed a side-hill six-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to edge out Snead (267) by one stroke. Snead, playing in the last pairing right behind Middlecoff, reached the 72nd green with a chance to force a play-off. With a gallery of 3,500 watching, Snead failed to make his four-foot side-hill birdie putt for the tie. Middlecoff, under par 70 in every round, returned scores of 67-68-65-66 for a 266 total. Johnny Palmer finished third at 274 one stroke ahead of Herman Keiser (275). Middlecoff received a $2,600 check for his victory. The purse was $15,000. Scores of 282 and better finished in the money, as 25 pros made money. The low Section member, George Fazio moved up the last day with a 66 for a 279 total to tie for eleventh and win $348.33. Other Section members in the money were Williams (280, tie 17th, $190), Polumbo (281, tie 20th, $140) and Dave Douglas (281, tie 20th, $140).A driving contest was held on Saturday. Polumbo won it with a drive of 303 yards, 28 inches which was less than one yard ahead of Skip Alexander’s drive. For that winning drive Polumbo won $100. Philadelphia’s two-time U.S. Open winner Johnny McDermott was in attendance on the weekend. The host professional was Henry Poe who would go on to be the president of the PGA of America in 1975 and 1976
George Fazio put the Philadelphia Open title back in the hands of the professionals with a three-stroke victory at the Philmont Country Club on the third Monday of July. He putted out on the last green at 8:40 PM for a second round 67, which added to his morning 71 gave him a two under par 138. Three of the first six were amateurs. The defending champion Jimmy McHale finished second with a one-over-par 141. Amateur George Rowbotham finished third at 145. Tied for fourth with 146s were Henry Williams, Jr., Charley Lepre and amateur Jack Houdry. Fazio won $350 from the $1,000 purse. Nine pros finished in the money.
Shawnee Inn & Country Club and Harry Obitz hosted the Section Championship again in the third week of August. Henry Williams, Jr. won everything. He led the qualifying, which had been reduced to eighteen holes, with a five-under-par 67. Due to nine withdrawals there were just 62 players for the 64 spots in the match play. The tournament chairman, Al MacDonald, was the low senior with a 77. He was awarded a watch by the Shawnee Inn. The matches were 18 holes except the final, which was 36-holes. For several years Williams had been close but this year he came through to win. He defeated Felix Serafin in the 36-hole final 4&3. Williams picked up $400 for winning the tournament and $50 as the medalist from the $1,420 purse. In the semifinals Williams beat Lorman Kelley who was now a pro golf salesman 5&4 and Serafin beat Bud Lewis 4&3. There were several hundred in the gallery and forty of those were from Williams’ club, the Tully-Secane Country Club.
Dave Douglas won the $5,000 Ozark Open in the first week of September at Springfield, Missouri. He put together a 16-under-par score with rounds of 68-69-66 for 203 over the Hickory Hills Country Club. Par was 73. Douglas won $1,000 as he finished three strokes in front of Jim Ferrier (206). Amateur Bo Wininger was next at 207. Ted Dorius (208) finished fourth and Paul O’Leary (209) tied Gene Webb (209) for fifth.
The Wood Memorial was played at the Jeffersonville Golf Club on the second Monday of September. There were 88 professionals in the starting field. Former U.S. Open champion, Johnny McDermott, was in the gallery. In winning the tournament for a second time, George Fazio, who was on a break from the PGA Tour, won with a five under par 65. His first victory came in 1940 when he shared first money with Charlie Sheppard. Bruce Coltart finished second with a 68. Walter Brickley, Charlie Lepre, Ted Kroll and Dom Mancini who was unattached all tied for third with 69s. First prize from the $750 purse was $200.
The Ryder Cup matches were in England in mid September. In spite of not playing in a tournament since the beginning of February Ben Hogan had compiled the second most qualifying points. The other nine members of the team unanimously elected him captain. Hogan couldn’t play but he was there and selected the lineup each day. Due to the war meat was still rationed in the British Isles. The American team took 600 steaks, six dozen hams, twelve sides of beef and four boxes of bacon with them. The Americans got a lot of bad press since the British people couldn’t buy meat. Hogan said that they brought the meat along for themselves and to entertain the British players and their wives. On the eve of the matches Hogan told the British captain that the grooves on some of their clubs were too deep and the faces had rough spots. Hogan and honorary captain Ed Dudley inspected the clubs. They agreed to have the British golf writer Bernard Darwin, who was also an accomplished player, examine the clubs and abide by his decision. At Portland in 1947 British captain Henry Cotton had complained about the American’s clubs. Six hours later Darwin who was the honorary secretary of the British rules committee announced that the clubs were being filed down. When the matches were played the United States team won 7 to 5. Dutch Harrison, who was still a Philadelphia Section dues payer, won his foursomes match and his singles match.
In the middle of September Marty Lyons’ star pupil, Mrs. Dorothy Germain Porter, won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Merion Golf Club. Porter, a member of Llanerch Country Club, had been taking lessons from Lyons since she began playing golf at age 11 as Dot Germain. For the first time sectional qualifying was held and the 128 survivors then began match play at Merion. After having defeated six opponents, two by 8 & 7, Porter met a Californian, Dorothy Kielty in the 36-hole final, which she won by a 3 & 2 count.
The Section’s annual meeting was at the Bungalow Inn in Jeffersonville on the fourth Monday in October. Ted Bickel, Jr. announced that he was not a candidate for president. Bickel wanted to step aside as he was now serving the last two years of Marty Lyons term as a vice president of the PGA of America. The seventy-five members who attended the meeting elected him again despite his protests. Al MacDonald and Bud Lewis were candidates but they withdrew. Lewis and Al Keeping were reelected first and second vice presidents. John Hayes was elected secretary and Walter Brickley was elected treasurer of the Section for the fifteenth consecutive year. Ed Tabor was the sectional vice president. The Philadelphia Section now had 168 members and was the second largest in the country. The Section reported that 1,521 juniors had received instruction during the past year.
In the fourth week of November Ed Oliver won the Philippine Open at the Wack Wack Golf & Country Club. Oliver finished with a three under par 285 total to win the $5,000 first prize. In the third round Oliver shot a 68, which was the lowest round ever shot in a tournament on that course. Oliver’s rounds were 145, 68 and 72. Norman Von Nida (289), Dick Metz (291) and Dutch Harrison (292) finished second, third and fourth.
At the PGA of America’s national meeting in late November Marty Lyons announced that he was not running for the office of secretary again. The delegates elected Horton Smith to succeed Lyons as secretary. Harry Moffitt was elected treasurer. The meeting was held in Southern Pines, North Carolina at the Mid Pines Resort. An honored guest at the meeting was Robert White, the first president of the PGA of America in 1916. Just two years before being elected, he had been the pro and head greenkeeper at the Shawnee Country Club. A resolution was passed limiting the officers from serving more than three one-year terms in an office. Officers could no longer be nominated from the floor. Nominations now had to be made in writing 60 days before the meeting. The tournament committee reported that the expense of taking the Ryder Cup team to England had cost $25,000. Some money had been raised through a challenge match before they left but the trip had cost the association’s general fund about $12,000. They recommended that the PGA find a way to provide $25,000 every fourth year or discontinue the matches. The national dues were increased by $10 to $45. Payments could be made in three installments, April 1, July 1 and September 1. The Section’s delegates to the meeting were Al MacDonald and Al Keeping. Ted Bickel, Jr. was there as a national vice president representing District II.
During the 1940s Jim Barnes, Tommy Armour and amateur Walter Travis were added to the PGA Hall of Fame bringing the number in the Hall to 12.
With Ben Hogan on the shelf and Byron Nelson in retirement Sam Snead was first in all the season ending categories. He led the PGA Tour money list with $31,593.83 won the Vardon Trophy with a 69.37 stroke average, had the most tournament wins with 6, and was named “PGA Player-of-the-Year”. Dutch Harrison (6th, $11,725.57), Dave Douglas (19th, $5,150), George Fazio (23rd, $3,882.07) and Hogan (24th, $3,823.33) were in the top 25 money winners. Hogan made the top 25 even though he only played in three tournaments before the automobile accident. Joe Kirkwood, Jr. won $3,398 in just five tournaments.
The members of the Philadelphia Section probably accomplished more in the 1940s than any other decade. They had a member as the national president for seven years and another member as the national secretary for one year. The Section hosted two National PGA championships. A number of the members served in the armed forces and many of the others worked in defense plants. They raised money for World War II charities, built golf facilities at veterans’ hospitals and taught the wounded vets how to play golf. Along with all that some of the greatest players in the world were Section members. Section members won 80 times on the PGA Tour in the 40s. Four of those wins were in the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. For the third time in the 31-year history of the PGA Championship two Philadelphia Section Members met in the finals. Four of the Section members became members of the PGA Hall of Fame.