Throwback: Horton Smith and The 1934 Masters

Horton Smith (right) shakes the hand of Bobby Jones, co-founder of The Masters

While we all eagerly anticipate the playing of the 2017 Masters in a couple of weeks, when the first time it was played (as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament) it took place in the third week of March. Specifically, March 22-25.

The winner that year was Horton Smith, who would eventually win 32 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, including a second Masters title on 1936.

Horton, who would go on to serve as the President of the PGA of America from 1952-1954, won the 1934 Masters by a single stroke over Craig Wood.  The winning score was 284 (-4). For the victory Smith claimed $1,500 of the $5,000 purse.

Not only was Smith the first Masters winner, he was also the first winner to pass away. He did so in 1963, succumbing to lung cancer.

Smith was named as a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.

Of note, the tradition of the Green Jacket being presented to winners of the The Masters did not start until 1949 when Sam Snead won the first of his three titles. That same year Smith was given a jacket. In 2013 it was auctioned off (it had been in the possession of his brother) for an incredible (USD) $682,000.