Snead bests Hogan in the tournament's final round1952 Masters Championship Gold Medal Won by Sam Snead. It was professional golf fan's dream come true this year at Augusta, as the two great titans of the sport Sam Snead and Ben Hogan found themselves deadlocked at the top of the leader board going into Sunday's final round. But while Hogan struggled against the gusting Georgia wind to an uncharacteristic seven over par, Snead shot an even-par seventy-two to break the longstanding "jinx" Hogan had held over him in major tournament clashes, and to outpace runner-up Jackie Burke by four strokes. It would prove to be the second of three career Masters Championships for the iconic linksman.
Along with a check for $4,000, Snead was awarded this impressive gold medal for his victory in the sixteenth playing of The Masters, presented to him personally by the legendary founder of the course and tournament Bobby Jones. This was just the second year that medals were awarded to the first and second-place finishers, though players were able to order medals to commemorate past achievements, as was the case with the Snead's 1949 Masters Gold Medal that commanded over $50,000 in our August 2013 Platinum Night auction. Over the years, the design of the Masters Gold Medal has changed only once. The later version has a sharper strike and edge than the original version and the driveway in front of the clubhouse appears prominently in the later version but not in the earlier version.
Snead's example is the earlier model, and those who refer to the later version represented by Ralph Guldahl's 1939 medal that sold in our February 2013 Platinum Night auction will note the distinction. Since the Masters is the youngest (but perhaps the most coveted) of the four Major Championships, and because the awarding of gold championship medals for the years prior to 1951 cannot be fully ascertained, and because most of the winners are major (rich) stars who have either retained their medals or donated them to museums (Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Nelson, Woods, etc.), there is really almost no opportunity for a collector to acquire a Masters Championship Gold Medal.
This medal measures 1.75" in diameter and weighs 1.7 ounces. Gold content is stamped at bottom of obverse at "10K." As the photos clearly show, the detail is outstanding and the condition is Near Mint. The front of the medal depicts the famous clubhouse along with the driveway surrounding the Founders Circle. The perimeter reads, "Augusta National Golf Club." Verso features the familiar Augusta National logo (map of the USA with the flag coming out of the State of Georgia), and it reads, "Masters Tournament" and "Sam Snead, Winner, 1952." Letter of provenance from Jack Snead.
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