Classic Masters, No 4: 1935

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THE Masters was in its second year in 1935, and Craig Wood, runner-up the previous year, looked all set to claim the title. He had posted a 73 for a 6-under 282, and only a few players remained on the course.

One of them was Gene Sarazen. Writers were filing their stories when Alan Gould of The Associated Press yelled into his mouthpiece, “Say that again!”

According to a remembrance by Charles Bartlett of the Chicago Tribune, Gould had been experimenting with short-wave radio to receive dispatches from the golf course. One of his assistants reported that Sarazen had made a 2 on the par-5 15th. Sure enough, Sarazen holed out from 235 yards for an albatross – it was called a double eagle that day – the rarest shot in golf. He closed with three pars to force a play-off. Sarazen beat Wood by five shots in the 36-hole play-off. The newspaper coverage brought so much attention to this quaint gathering in the South, and the Masters was never the same again.