The first round leaders in the golf tournament that March were Emmett French, Jimmy Hines, and a guy from Joplin, Missouri. They shot 70s in the first round. But in the second round the Missourian went ahead by one stroke with a 72. He shot an even par 70 on the third round to hold the lead. On the fourth round, Craig Wood took the early clubhouse lead with a 285 total. But he had to wait to see if the pressure would get to the twenty-five-year-old Missourian who had already become a startling figure on the pro golf tour.
He started shakily that day, but got a birdie on the tenth hole and knocked in another one on the seventeenth. All he needed on the last hole was a par. He had a good drive, pitched to within twenty-five feet of the pin. The first putt rolled short. But the next one went in for a 284 total. Horton Smith of Joplin had just won the first Masters Golf Tournament ever held. It was March, 1934.

AOWM – May 22