Horton Smith

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Horton Smith
— Golfer —
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-07807, Berlin, Golfmeisterschaften.jpg
Smith (right) with Walter Hagen
Personal information
Nickname The Joplin Ghost
Born (1908-05-22)May 22, 1908
Springfield, Missouri
Died October 15, 1963(1963-10-15) (aged 55)
Detroit, Michigan
Nationality  United States
Career
College State Teacher's College (Springfield, Missouri)
Turned professional 1926
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 35
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 32
Other 3
Best results in Major Championships
(Wins: 2)
Masters Tournament Won: 1934, 1936
U.S. Open 3rd: 1930, 1940
The Open Championship T4: 1930
PGA Championship T3: 1928
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 1990 (member page)
PGA Tour
leading money winner
1936
Bob Jones Award 1962

Horton Smith (May 22, 1908 – October 15, 1963) was an American professional golfer, who is best known as the first man to win the Masters Tournament.

Tournament career[edit]

Smith was born in Springfield, Missouri. He turned professional in 1926 and won his first tournament, the Oklahoma City Open in 1928. In 1929 he won eight titles. This was an era of expansion and reorganization for professional golf. The PGA Tour was founded in 1934, and Smith was one of the leading players of the early years of the tour, topping the money list in 1936. He accumulated 32 PGA Tour titles in total, the last of them in 1941. Smith's two major championships both came at the Masters Tournament, the first at the inaugural tournament in 1934 and the second in 1936. He played in every Masters until his death in 1963. He played for the United States in the Ryder Cup five times: 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935, and 1937. His career Ryder Cup record was 3-0-1, his only blemish a halved singles match against Bill Cox in 1935 at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. He was the only golfer to defeat Bobby Jones in 1930 (Savannah Open), the year of Jones' Grand Slam.

Post-playing career[edit]

Smith served as the club pro at Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan for several years following his professional career. He was president of the Professional Golfers' Association of America from 1952 to 1954. When he resigned as head professional of Oak Park Country Club in River Grove, Illinois, in 1936, his brother Ren replaced him at the club.

Smith died in Detroit, Michigan of Hodgkin's Disease.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Smith was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.
  • In 1962, he was voted the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.
  • The PGA of America annually grants the Horton Smith Award to a PGA professional who has made "outstanding and continuing contributions to PGA education."
  • Smith has a golf course named after him in Springfield, Missouri.
  • He is attributed with being the first professional golfer to study putting as a means to beat his opponents
  • In September 2013 Horton's green jacket, from his 1934 Masters win, sold at auction for over $682,000; the highest price ever paid for a piece of golf memorabilia.[1]

Professional wins[edit]

PGA Tour wins (32)[edit]

(missing two wins)

Major championships are shown in bold.

Source:[2]

Other wins[edit]

this list is probably incomplete

Major championships[edit]

Wins (2)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1934 Masters Tournament 1 shot lead −4 (70-72-70-72=284) 1 stroke United States Craig Wood
1936 Masters Tournament (2) 3 shot deficit −3 (74-71-68-72=285) 1 stroke United States Harry Cooper

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1927 1928 1929
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF
U.S. Open T44 T28 10
The Open Championship DNP DNP T24
PGA Championship DNP SF R32
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF NYF 1 T19 1 T19 T22 T26
U.S. Open 3 T27 T55 T24 T17 T6 T22 T36 T19 15
The Open Championship T4 T12 DNP T12 DNP DNP DNP 10 DNP DNP
PGA Championship QF QF R32 R32 DNP QF QF R16 QF QF
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament T47 T19 5 NT NT NT T21 T22 34 T23
U.S. Open 3 T13 NT NT NT NT CUT WD CUT T23
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship R64 R16 DNP NT DNP DNP DNP DNP R64 R32
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament T12 T32 T30 T46 T38 T59 76 CUT CUT CUT
U.S. Open CUT CUT T15 CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP R64 DNP R16 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963
Masters Tournament CUT CUT CUT CUT
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP

NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 2 0 0 3 3 11 27 20
U.S. Open 0 0 2 2 4 12 23 17
The Open Championship 0 0 0 1 2 5 5 5
PGA Championship 0 0 1 7 10 14 17 17
Totals 2 0 3 13 19 42 72 59
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 43 (1927 U.S. Open – 1946 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (twice)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harig, Bob (September 9, 2013). "Green jacket nets $682K at auction". ESPN. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ Barkow, Al (1989). The History of the PGA TOUR. Copyright PGA Tour. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-26145-4. 

External links[edit]