29th PGA Championship
A 36-hole qualifying round to get into match play was conducted the Wednesday and Thursday before the Championship. Defending Champion Ben Hogan was exempt and 63 players qualified. Jimmy Demaret was low qualifier with a 137. A score of 148 qualified for match play, with 11 players at 149 having a playoff for one spot. Notable players failing to qualify for match play included Paul Runyan (149, lost in playoff), Denny Shute (151), Lawson Little (152) and Craig Wood (155).
The first and second rounds were 18 holes each, played in one day, with the remaining matches being played at 36 holes.
For the first time since 1937, a final match didn’t include Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson or Sam Snead. But that didn’t discourage nearly 7,000 spectators from attending. That presented a problem for Jim Ferrier, who spent the night before pondering whether the crowd would be a factor in his match with Michigan hero Harbert, by either kicking his ball into the woods or kicking Harbert’s ball out of the woods. Ferrier solved the problem the morning before the contest by hiring two policemen, one on each side of the fairway, to guard against overzealous fans playing a part in the match. Afterwards, Ferrier admitted, “that it was the best $100 that I have ever spent,” as he beat Harbert, 2 and 1. If there was a secret in the match, it was Ferrier’s putting, as he took only 52 putts over the course of the 35-hole match, and finished 6-under par. For the Championship, Ferrier was 27-under-par for the 243 holes he played. The Championship match was square after the morning round, but Ferrier’s game heated up in the afternoon when he was around in 32 and went to the final nine 3-up. Even though Harbert got one back with a birdie at the 30th hole, Ferrier’s birdie at the next hole put him back at 3-up. Ferrier bogeyed the 34th hole to give one back, but when Harbert was unable to make his birdie at the 34th hole, the match came to an end. Chick Harbert and Jim Ferrier were each wild off the tees and in the fairways, with Ferrier’s drives and second shots hitting seven spectators. But despite all of his wild shots, Ferrier’s ball bounced to enough favorable spots.