Gene Sarazen: The Mis-Hit Heard Round the World

PalmerBCDN2

In 1954, The Wilson Sporting Goods Company sent Masters champ Gene Sarazen to the U.S. Amateur at the Country Club in Detroit to check out a young golfer.

Now don’t let the headline fool you, Gene Sarazen knew a thing or two about the game of golf.  Owner of the golf “shot heard ‘round the world,” Sarazen is tied 11th all-time in PGA TOUR wins (39).  He captured the career major grand slam and even invented the modern-day sand wedge.

But even “the squire” got a couple things wrong in his day.  Perhaps most notably was is inaccurate assertion of that young golfer at the 1954 U.S. Amateur.

Sarazen reported back to Wilson: “He lunged at the ball and duck-hooked everything.  He had to hole long putts and get up-and-down out of the sand to win the title.  I told [Wilson] the kid would never amount to much.”

So, just who was the kid? 

He was Arnold Palmer.

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