(FoxNews.com) His name is synonymous with the greatest moments of golf, perhaps better than Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus. That would be none other than Gene Sarazen. The man was a genius.
Sarazen — born on this day in 1894 in Pasadena, Calif. — would go on to become a near-infinite technical genius on the greens.
In time, Sarazen would win a trio of Masters (1921, 1922 and 1928), two U.S. Opens (1930 and 1931) and an International (1936). The latter was in the first of five Green Jackets he would win, but he was also an in-your-face type who liked to have people over for dinner and the beach. It was those familiar weekend activities which made golf greats Jim Thorpe and Gary Player swear by Sarazen. They too were enamored by how he gained the upper hand at the greens.
In a Chicago Tribune article from 1938:
“I remember how he compared 18 holes of practice with a single putt from a height of 30 feet on a fine green; how he understood the purpose and feel of a backswing with such extreme precision; how he used a versatile, maneuverable club, often striking the ball through three opposite blades. After taking such a dramatic measure and having done so miraculously, then it is just possible to see how he did it and how he was so unable to be beaten in any exercise. He is surely the artesian key to golf.”
It was his gregarious nature and blend of golf skills that would make him such a compelling figure to thousands of younger players throughout the world.
Genius or eccentricity? That is all up to you to decide. It’s all good though. He sure had a great name, as fans will always remember.
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