One of the greatest legends of the game,
Gene Sarazen is one of only five golfers who have won all of golf's
modern major championships—The Masters, US Open, British Open, and PGA
Championship. The other four with "career grand slams" are Tiger
Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary
Player, and Ben Hogan.
accomplishments extend beyond his 7 major championship victories and 39
PGA Tour wins. He is credited with inventing the modern sand wedge. His
double eagle at the 15th during the last round of the 1935 Masters
became the "shot heard 'round the world" and put the Masters squarely on
the golf map. He was the host of Shell's Wonderful World of Golf for
seven years. As the oldest competitor at the 1973 British Open
Championship at Royal Troon, he aced the eighth hole—"The Postage
Stamp." He was the
honorary starter at the Masters from 1981 to 1999. He was the Associated Press 1932 Male Athlete of the Year. In 1974
inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame along with Bobby Jones and Sam
Snead. In 1992, he was voted the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor
the United States Golf Association, in recognition of distinguished
sportsmanship in golf. In 1996, the PGA Tour voted unanimously to award
Sarazen with its inaugural PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award.
Gene Sarazen won the Western Open in 1930, that event was considered
one of the premier events on the PGA Tour. To commemorate Gene's
victory, the Western Golf Association presented him with this
gold-plated Accutron quartz pocket watch, which dates around 1980. The
back of the watch case, which measure 1 5/8" in diameter, is engraved
with the Western Golf Association logo. The front of the watch is
engraved "Gene Sarazen Western Open Champion, 1930." Gene kept this
watch for his personal use. After his passing in 1999, it remained with
the Sarazen family. The watch is currently not running. I suspect that a
new battery might be all it needs.
Accompanying this watch
is a signed letter of authenticity from the Gene and Mary Sarazen
Foundation. The letter states that this watch was Gene's personal
property and part of his estate.
Gene Sarazen has been one of my heroes all my life, one of the great people in golf. He is someone I have looked up to for what he told us about the game and all the values we would like to think are still with us in the game, and will continue with us in the future. I have always had great respect for Gene and what he accomplished in his life. Every golf professional should thank Gene for what he has contributed to the game. On behalf of the game, I thank hm for all he has meant to golf. —Arnold Palmer.