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Read Snead's account of his '39 U.S. Open collapse

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Before Phil Mickelson's name became synonymous with U.S. Open heartbreak, that distinction belonged to Sam Snead, who finished runner-up four times at our national championship.

Golf writer Eamon Lynch on Monday tweeted a picture of a handwritten note he received from Snead in 2000, in which Snead details his final-hole collapse at the 1939 U.S. Open at Philadelphia Country Club. Not knowing he needed only par to win, Snead got overly aggressive from a fairway bunker and went on to make an eight and finish fifth.

His 250-yard "2 1/2-wood" is almost as impressive as his handwriting.

Slammin' Sammy won seven major titles, including three Masters and three PGA Championships, but he never did capture the U.S. Open.