Sarazens Magnicent Shot Wins in 1923


Gene Sarazen won the PGA for the first time the previous year, 1922, and this year he had gotten to the finals again, this time against Walter Hagen. It would be one of the great matches in golf history.
After the morning 18, the match was even. But Sarazen suddenly got hot in the early afternoon and led at the halfway point by 3-up following nine holes.
Hagen batted back to win the 12th, then in rapid succession won 16 and 17 to tie the match going into 18. Eighteen was halved, sending the match into extra holes.
They halved the first extra hole in the match played at Pelham Golf Club in Pelham Manor, N.Y. Then came the second hole and a wild drive by Sarazen into heavy rough just two feet from the out-of-bounds fence.
Facing a near-impossible shot with Hagen in good shape, Sarazen is said to have told the gallery surrounding his ball, Ill put this one up so close to the hole that it will break Walters heart.
And he did. It was one of the most magnificent golf shots ever, dropping short of the pin and coming to rest two feet away for a certain birdie.
Now Hagen absolutely knew that he had to birdie the hole to prolong the match. But under such fierce pressure, he flubbed the ball into a greenside trap.
However, Hagen was not yet finished. He knew he had to hole out. He blasted the ball towards the cup, and it rolled rolled and rolled, before finally missing the edge by only inches. Sarazen had won for the second straight year.

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