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The PGA Championship

Tournament Info for: 1952 PGA Championship
Date: June 18 - 25, 1952
Site: Big Spring Country Club
Champion: Jim Turnesa
Purse: $17,700.00
Field: 64
Cut at:
Par: 36 - 36 - 72 (00 yards)
Players Advanced: 0

Qualifying for Match Play: A 36-hole qualifying round to get into match play was conducted the Wednesday and Thursday before the Championship. Defending champion Sam Snead was exempt from qualifying, and Dutch Harrison was low qualifier with a 136. A score of 146 qualified for match play, with 12 at 147 having a playoff for nine spots. Some notable players who didn’t make the cut included Jimmy Thomson (150) and Ed Oliver(WD). The first and second rounds were 18 holes each, played in one day, with the remaining matches being played at 36 holes. Early Matches: In the first day of play, most of the favorites were eliminated, with Sam Snead making an early exit by losing 1-up to Lew Worsham. Snead had a 1-up lead after the 16th hole, but Worsham birdied the 17th to square the match, halved the final hole and then beat Snead on the 19th hole with a birdie. Snead had no excuse for his loss, but a muscle strain under his right arm had been causing him a considerable amount of pain just before the Championship, almost causing Snead to withdraw. In the afternoon, Worsham was beaten by Fred Haas, 1-up, in a match that saw Haas, take a 1-up lead after the 13th hole and halve the remaining five holes. First- round matches where favorites got beaten included: Ted Kroll’s 1-up victory over Lawson Little, Marty Furgol’s 2-up victory over Dutch Harrison, Chick Harbert’s 5-and-4 drumming of Denny Shute, Sam Bernardi’s 1-up win over Mike Turnesa, Dave Douglas’ 2-and-1 victory over Johnny Palmer, and Vic Ghezzi’s 1-up victory in 19 holes over Claude Harmon. In the afternoon round the upsets included: Ted Kroll beating Lloyd Mangrum, 2-up, Jim Turnesa’s 3-and-1 victory over Chandler Harrper, Argentinian Roberto De Vicenzo’s 1-up win over Jack Burke Jr. and Jack Issac’s 3–and-2, triumph over Marty Furgol. Only two former champions moved on to the third round, as Bob Hamilton beat Jackson Bradley, 4 and 3, and Sam Bernardi, 3 and 1, and Vic Ghezzi beat Claude Harmon on the 19th hole and Mel Carpenter, 5 and 3. In the third round, Cary Middlecoff was picked as the favorite for the Championship after his 4-and-2 victory over Al Smith. Middlecoff had come from behind to beat Smith, getting two eagles in the afternoon round. Middlecoff was 6-under-par for the 34 holes of the match. The rout of the day belonged to Bob Hamilton, who defeated Vic Ghezzi, 9 and 8. Hamilton compiled a 68 in the morning round, while Ghezzi had a 76, giving Hamilton a 7-up lead going into the afternoon. For the day, Ghezzi only won two holes. Chick Harbert also enjoyed an easy day as he was a 6-and–5 victor over Henry Williams. Mike Turnesa turned back De Vicenzo, 5 and 4, as De Vicenzo was unable to come back from a poor start where he shot 39 and was 4-down after the first nine holes. Turnesa had given De Vicenzo a ride to the course on the morning of the match, but that was the extent of Turnesa’s generosity as he won the contest on the 32nd hole. In the only overtime match, Fred Haas beat Milon Marusic, 1-up, on the 38th hole. Even though Haas (who putted cross-handed , a rare sight in the ‘50s) took a 1-up lead with a birdie at the 35th hole, a bogey at the next hole, a bogey at the next hole squared up the match and sent it into overtime. Haas picked up the victory when Marusic was unable to make par at the 38th hole. In other matches: Ted Kroll nipped Ray Honsberger, 2 and 1, Clarence Doser and Jack Isaacs battled to the final hole where Doser won, 1-up, and Frank Champ upset runner-up Walter Burkemo, 3 and 1. In the quarter-finals, the highlight of the day saw Ted Kroll, who was wounded four times in World War II and awarded the purple heart, upset Cary Middlecoff, 1-up, on the 38th hole. The match was all even after 32 holes until the Memphis dentist drove the par-4 33rd hole and made the birdie to go 1-up. But Middlecoff gave the hole back when he missed a five-foot par putt at the 34th to square the match, letting Kroll off the hook again at the 36th hole by missing another five-footer that would have won the match. At the 37th hole, both players made birdies, but Kroll closed out the match with a tee shot to within two feet of the par-3, 38th hole, to make a birdie. The other three matches were won on the 35th green. Chick Harbert surprised Fred Haas, 2 and 1 in a match where Haas had a 2-up lead after the 27th hole, but, in the final eight holes, Harbert picked up four birdies, with three of them coming in succession on the 33rd, 34th and 35th holes to close out the match. In other matches, Jim Turnesa beat Clarence Doser, 2 and 1, while Bob Hamilton advanced to the semifinals with a 2-and-1 victory over Frank Champ The semifinals were witnessed by 6,000 people who braved 100-degree heat to see Chick Harbert beat Bob Hamilton, 2 and 1, and Jim Turnesa turn back Ted Kroll, 4 and 2.In the contest between Harbert and Hamilton, the former champion took a 2-up lead after the morning round and in the afternoon increased his lead to 3-up with a birdie at the 20th hole. Even though Harbert made three, little did anyone know that it would be the first of six 3s in a row, with birdies coming on four of the holes. By the 27th hole Harbert was 1-up, and for the first time in the Championship, Hamilton was down in a match. Hamilton squared the match with a birdie at the 29th hole and then lost the 31st. He squared the match again with a Harbert bogey at the 32nd. That, however, would be Harbert’s last error in the contest, as he birdied the next hole to go 1-up. Harbert won the 34th hole when Hamilton made bogey and closed out the match by matching Hamilton’s birdie at the 35th hole. In the other match, Turnesa was 10-under-par for the day but won the contest with his domination of the last seven holes, winning the 30th hole with an eagle, the 32nd with a par and closing out with a birdie at the 34th hole. For the 38-year-old, it would be his second trip to the finals. In the finals, Jim Turnesa finally settled a 26-year-old family jinx by beating Chick Harbert on the final green for a 1-up victory. Turnesa is a member of a family with seven golfing brothers. His younger brother, Willie, the only one to remain an amateur, gained attention by winning the U.S. and British Amateurs. But, for the other brothers who turned professional, the only tournament success they gained was that of being bridesmaids but never brides. In 1926, Joe Turnesa was runner-up to Bobby Jones in the U.S. Open and in 1927 lost in the finals of the PGA Championship to Walter Hagen. Jim Turnesa lost the 1942 PGA Championship to Sam Snead in the finals, and brother Mike lost the 1940 PGA Championship to Ben Hogan. In 1948 and 1949, Jim finished third in the U.S. Open. But in 1952, Jim Turnesa finally settled the family score by winning the PGA Championship in dramatic fashion. At the end of the morning round he was 3-down. He shot a 34 on the front side of the afternoon round, then picked up two holes and squared the match for the first time since the 7th hole with a birdie at the 32nd hole. The contest remained square until the final hole, when Harbert hooked his drive under an evergreen tree and made bogey while Turnesa parred the hole for the victory. It was the eighth and final contest in PGA match-play history to end on the final green. Of those eight, it was only the second time that a match was actually won by the results of the final hole.

Road to the Finals
Jim Turnesa beatRoundChick Harbert beat
Jack Jones,  Ray Wallin,  4 and 2 First Round
(18 Holes)
Denny Shute,  5 and 4
Jack Jones,  Henry Williams Jr.,  3 and 1 Second Round
(18 Holes)
Leonard Schmutte,  3 and 2
Jim Turnesa,  Henry Williams Jr.,  6 and 5 Chick Harbert,  Henry Williams Jr.,  5 and 4 Third Round
(18 Holes)
Freddie Haas,  Jim Turnesa,  2 and 1 Freddie Haas,  Chick Harbert,  2 and 1 Quarter Final
(36 Holes)
Bob Hamilton,  Jim Turnesa,  2 and 1 Bob Hamilton,  Chick Harbert,  4 and 2 Semi Final
(36 Holes)
Leonord Dodson     Ferrier
1-up(19)
Jim Ferrier    
Tom Blaskovich     Hansberger
1-up
Ray Hansberger    
Ted Kroll     Kroll
1-up
Lawson Little    
Lloyd Mangrum     Mangrum
4 and 3
Frank Newell    
Charles Harter     Harter
2 and 1
William Heinlein    
Cary Middlecoff     Middlecoff
5 and 4
Joe Taylor    
Frank Commisso     Smith
4 and 2
Al Smith    
Fred Gramauer     Harris
3 and 1
Labron Harris    
Bob Toski     Chandler
6 and 5
Harper (J.H.) Chandler    
Charles Lepre     Burke
1-up
Jack Burke    
Jimmy Walkup     De Vicenzo
1-up
Roberto De Vicenzo    
Eric Monti     Alcroft
James Alcroft    
Clarence Doser     Doser
4 and 3
Ed Furgol    
Bob Gajda     Gajda
2 and 1
Patrick Abbott    
Jack Isaacs     Isaacs
3 and 2
Marty Furgol    
Dutch Harrison     Snead
Sam Snead    
Lew Worsham     Worsham
1-up
Freddie Haas    
Henry Ransom     Joseph
Eddie Joseph    
Milan Marusic     Marusic
5 and 4
Zell Eaton    
Mike Pavella     Gantz
Jim Gantz    
Henry Williams Jr.     Williams Jr.
5 and 4
Jack Jones    
Jim Turnesa     Turnesa
4 and 2
Ray Wallin    
Chick Harbert     Harbert
5 and 4
Denny Shute    
Bob Carmen     Schmutte
2-up
Leonard Schmutte    
Frank Champ     Champ
3 and 1
Harry Todd    
Otto Greiner     Trish
3 and 2
John Trish    
Dave Douglas     Douglas
2 and 1
Johnny Palmer    
Walter Burkemo     Burkemo
1-up
Iverson Martin    
Vic Ghezi     Ghezi
1-up(19)
Claude Harman    
Mel Carpenter     Carpenter
2 and 1
Horton Smith    
Jackson Bradley     Hamilton
4 and 3
Bob Hamilton    
Sam Bernardi     Bernardi
1-up
Mike Turnesa    
 
Hansberger
1-up
 
 
Kroll
2-up
 
 
Middlecoff
3 and 2
 
 
Smith
1-up (19)
 
 
Burke
 
 
De Vicenzo
1-up
 
 
Furgol
 
 
Isaacs
3 and 2
 
 
Eaton
 
 
Marusic
by default
 
 
Turnesa
3 and 1
 
 
Harbert
3 and 2
 
 
Champ
2 and 1
 
 
Burkemo
1-up
 
 
Ghezi
5 and 3
 
 
Hamilton
3 and 1
 
Kroll
2 and 1
Middlecoff
4 and 2
Doser
1-up
Haas
1-up (38)
Harbert
6 and 5
Turnesa
5 and 4
Champ
3 and 1
Hamilton
9 and 8
Kroll
1-up (38)
Haas
Harbert
2 and 1
Hamilton
2 and 1
 
Hamilton
 
 
Harbert
2 and 1
 
Turnesa
1-up