ROUND RUNYAN’S OPPONENT SCORE
FIRST LEVI LYNCH 5 AND 4
SECOND TONY MANERO 3 AND 2
THIRD RAY MANGRUM 37 HOLES
QUARTERFINALS HORTON SMITH 4 AND 3
SEMIFINALS HENRY PICARD 4 AND 3
FINAL SAM SNEAD 8 AND 7
16 when he ran into Snead, who was 7-under
for the day and won the match 4 and 3. Nelson
won his third-round match 11 and 10 over
Harry Bassler by shooting 64 in the morning
round and won eight of the first nine holes.
Sarazen made it past the third round by beat-
ing Demaret in 38 holes and would face Henry
Picard in the quarterfinals. Picard beat Dick
Metz 4 and 3.
As for Runyan, he got a gift in the round of
16 when Ray Mangrum missed an 18-inch putt
on the 37th green to give Runyan a 1-up win.
Sarazen faced Picard in the quarterfinals
and fell 3 and 2, while Runyan was beating
Horton Smith 4 and 3 to reach the semifinals.
Snead made his way to the semis by routing
Jim Foulis 8 and 7.
Snead nearly fell from the championship in
the semifinals when Jimmy Hines was 8 under
for the day. But Snead made four consecu-
tive threes and narrowly won the match 1-up.
Runyan, for his part, was 6 under in 33 holes
against Smith and won 4 and 3.
The final was a study in contrasts through-
out. Snead was the stylish swinger, silky in his
action and staggeringly long for the equip-
ment of the day. Snead’s swing was consid-
ered the best in the game at the time and it
still holds up today as one the all-time best.
However, Snead’s nemesis was his putting.
He struggled on the greens and in due time,
he would try putting croquet style, until that
method was outlawed by the USGA. He fin-
ished his career putting side-saddle.
Snead’s complete opposite, Runyan was
a short hitter and his swing was more of a
sway and a swat. In fact, during the final,
Runyan often found himself behind Snead by
50 or more yards off each tee. But Runyan’s
nickname was “Little Poison,” in a backhand-
ed tribute to his slight frame and skill around
That prowess with his short game served
Runyan well throughout the tournament and
particularly against Snead. He turned in a
5-under 67 in the morning round and was
5-up at the lunch break. In the afternoon,
he made the turn in 35, good for a 7-up lead
and he closed out the match over a dispirited
Snead at the 28th hole.
Runyan died in 2002 at the age of 93. He
played in the first Masters in 1934 and finished
two shots behind Smith in a tie for third. And
he returned to The Masters every year and
played in the par- 3 contest three years before
“I remember that being a very important
event for us,” Runyan said at the time. “Any-
thing that Bobby Jones had to do with was
important the first time. Of course, nobody at
that time would understand how important it
has become now.”
A small man can beat a
bigger man on any given
day and, in the bargain,
make larger his own
stature. On a summer day
in Pennsylvania, Runyan
did just that.
Neither would people understand how
important Runyan was to the game and how
much the game was a great equalizer. A small
man can beat a bigger man on any given day
and, in the bargain, make larger his own
stature. On a summer day in Pennsylvania,
Runyan did just that. l
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