Snead had defeated Ed Dudley in a close match, 1-up, in the quarters and then defeated Jimmy Demaret, 3 and 2, in the other semifinal at Atlantic City, N.J. Now he was about to play an all-military final ' Turnesa was a corporal in the Army and Snead was due to join the Navy the day after the match.
As the day began, no one gave Turnesa much of a chance against the legendary Snead, even though Turnesa had already disposed of two famed golfers in Hogan and Nelson. But sure enough, at the noon break, there was Turnesa, 3-up after the morning 18. He had toured the course in 70 strokes and appeared very capable of defeating Snead for the championship.
In the afternoon 18, Turnesa held his lead until a bogey at the sixth cost him a hole. And by the end of the front nine, Snead had battled back to knot the match.
Before the pair teed off on No. 10, Snead saw some changes in Turnesa that gave him a boost in confidence.
I saw that he took more waggles than usual in his drive, and then he hooked it, said Snead. I knew he was getting tight, and then I had more confidence in myself.
Snead was right in his assessment as Turnesa bogeyed the 10th to go 1-down. Snead won another with a Turnesa bogey at the 12th to go 2-up.
The match ended on the 17th, the 35th of the match, when Snead showed a little flair for the spectacular. He sank a 60-foot birdie chip, ending the affair to secure a 2-and-1 victory and gain his first major championship.
More PGA Championships of the Past