1954 Masters Tournament-Winning Putter Used by Sam Snead with Personal Letter of Provenance....
"October 20, 1996
This Wilson 'Sam Snead Pay-Off' putter is the one I used in defeating Ben Hogan in the 1954 Masters play-off at Augusta, Georgia. Bobby Jones told the press the next day that it was the greatest round of golf he had ever seen. This putter is one of three that means the most to me. The other two are the ones I used in my first P.G.A. Championship and the one I won the British Open with at St. Andrews in 1946.
[signed] Sam Snead."
We often find, at the highest levels of athletic achievement, that there is no more effective catalyst for true brilliance than a brilliant opponent. Muhammad Ali had Joe Frazier. Larry Bird had Magic Johnson. And Sam Snead once famously remarked, "The three things I fear most in golf--lightning, Ben Hogan, and a downhill putt." Ranked number one and four respectively in PGA Tour victories, Snead and Hogan were born just eleven weeks apart and thus marched in lockstep through shared prime. Snead, it was said, was born a great golfer, a natural talent, whereas Hogan's mastery was built on a foundation of focus and sheer force of will.
Of the dozens of battles waged between this iconic pairing on the PGA Tour, none is more memorable however than the eighteenth playing of the Masters, which found the two men responsible for the previous Championships at Augusta deadlocked at 289 strokes at the conclusion of four rounds in 1954. On Monday, April 12th, a playoff round to determine the Champion proved to be a nail-biting affair, with neither legend gaining more than a single-stroke lead until Hogan's bogey on the sixteenth gave Snead a two-shot advantage with two holes to play. Each parred the seventeenth, and Snead wisely played the eighteenth safe, posting a bogey to Hogan's par to claim the victory by a single stroke.
Presented is the very club that served Snead faithfully during that historic round, drawing him even with Jimmy Demaret as the only men to conquer the Masters field on three occasions. The putter is unchanged from its appearance at the eighteenth green celebration, with a "Golf Pride Line Rite" rubber grip at the top of the handle and Snead's personal soldering job on the back of the club head, instituted to add several grams of weight as to the legendary linksman's personal preference. Snead's son Jack reports that his father used this club as his primary putter for years, suggesting strongly that it also saw action in most if not all of his Major victories in the 1950's, inclusive of the 1951 PGA Championship, the 1952 Masters, and a number of Ryder Cup Championships. Length thirty-six inches. Letter of provenance from Jack Snead. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (Snead autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (Snead autograph).
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