Ninth PGA Championship
A 36-hole qualifying round was conducted the Monday before the Championship. Walter Hagen was the low qualifier of 32 players with 140. A score of 154 qualified for match play, with Abe Espinosa tying five other players at 155 and beating them in a playoff.
Notable players who didn’t make it to match play were Emmet French (155 lost in playoff), Cyril Walker (157) and Bill Mehlhorn (157). All matches played at 36 holes.
In the final between Hagen and Diegel, it was obvious that Diegel was suffering from an attack of nerves, when he became 2-down after 6 holes. He was able to reduce it by one at the turn, with a par 36 against Hagen’s 35. Diegel squared the match on the 11th, but Hagen won the next hole with a birdie. The next four holes were halved, but Hagen got a birdie on the 17th. The final hole of the morning round was halved, and although Diegel regained his composure and shot a 1-under-par 71, he was 2-down, as Hagen shot 69 for the round.
Starting out in the afternoon, Diegel had problems on the first hole, as he overshot the green and his ball stopped on a road, under a car. When the owner moved the car, Diegel’s ball was in a deep rut. It took him three swipes to get it on the green, and he lost the hole to go 3-down. Even with the bad start, Diegel won the next hole, and after 27 holes was still 2-down. But Hagen won the 28th and 31st and was 4-up. It was only a matter of time, as Diegel produced a 6 on the 33rd hole to give Hagen a 5-and-3 victory and his fourth PGA Championship in six years.