25th PGA Championship
A 36-hole qualifying round to get into match play was conducted the Tuesday before the Championship. Defending PGA Champion Vic Ghezzi was exempt and 31 players qualified. Harry Cooper was low qualifier with 138. A score of 146 qualified for match play, and eight players at 147 had a playoff forfive spots. Notable players who lost in the playoff were Paul Runyan and Al Watrous. Others missing a berth included Gene Sarazen (149), Horton Smith (150), Johnny Revolta (150), Ralph Guldahl (150), Leo Diegel (155) and Walter Hagen (156). All matches played at 36 holes.
The finals turned into a pride match, with Corporal Jim Turnesa of the Army taking on Sam Snead, who was to report to the Navy the day after his match. As the match was about to start, no one gave him much of a chance to beat Snead, even though Turnesa had beaten the best golfers in the world to get there. Turnesa needed little aid during the morning round, as he toured the course in 70 and went to lunch 3-up. In the afternoon, Turnesa maintained his lead, until a bogey on the 24th cost him a hole. By the end of the front nine, Snead had the match square, and before they teed off the 28th hole, he saw some changes in Turnesa that gave him confidence. “I saw that he took more waggles than usual on his drive, and then, he hooked it. I knew he was getting tight, and then, I had more confidence in myself.” Snead was right in his assessment, as Turnesa bogeyed the hole to go 1-down, then made another bogey at the 30th hole to go 2-down. The match ended on the 35th hole, when Snead holed a spectacular 60-foot chip shot for a birdie to secure the 2-and-1 victory and his first major championship.