‘A Steel-Nerved Master’: How We Introduced Arnold Palmer in 1958…

0
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse


Photo

Arnold Palmer celebrated with his wife, Winnie, after winning the Masters in 1958.

Credit
Horace Cort/Associated Press

Arnold Palmer won the first of his seven major championships at the Masters in 1958. Here is an excerpt from Man in the News column in The New York Times on April 7, 1958.

AUGUSTA, Ga., April 6 — Arnold Palmer, the new Masters golf champion has nerves of steel. Appropriately enough he comes from the steel area of Pennsylvania and Ohio. He was born in Youngstown, Ohio, Sept. 10, 1929, and now resides in Latrobe, Pa., when he’s not on the touring pro circuit.

It was at Latrobe, where his dad, M.J. (Deacon) Palmer, is the professional at the Latrobe Country Club, that Arnold first saw a golf club. He began to swing one at the objects he saw in his dad’s shop when he was about 8 years old.

Arnold always as a sturdy youngster and took to the game readily. He won the Pennsylvania State junior championship before going on to score with this elders in the State’s amateur title competition.

But the atmosphere of steel still marks his demeanor and style of play. He worked during one Christmas vacation from Wake Forest College in the Latrobe steel mill. “But I was a bricklayer when I was there,” Arnold said tonight, looking far from a millman in his natty green jacket, denoting that he was now a Masters champion.

Palmer gained recognition in the college ranks when he won the medal in the National Collegiate championship for two years.

Long Irons His Long Suit

A 5 feet 11 inches the 180-pound Palmer can drive the ball far from the tee. He is especially accurate with long iron shots, his No. 1 iron being one of his pet clubs.

Today one of his decision went against this club, however, as he played his long second shot to the thirteenth green. He took a No. 3 wood and blasted the ball toward the green.

“How cool he is,” remarked several in the crowd. Under the circumstances, they stamped his performance as a steely one as Palmer ran a twenty-footer in for an eagle 3 at this same green a few minutes later.

Palmer has been a determined fellow most of his life. At least regarding golf, he has had a positive attitude. “I always wanted to be a golfer, ever since I was a little fellow,” he says.

When the high school players appeared for team matches on his dad’s course, Arnold joined them. He gained valuable experience about the game that brought him a first prize of $11,250 this afternoon as a prize worthy of a master technician.

He has strict regulations, too, for his training as a player. He reports: “I never stay out late. I always try to get at least ten or eleven hours of sleep.”

A Hard Worker

Palmer works hard at the game. Whenever he feels he is not hitting the ball well, he will often spend four to six hours a day practicing. “That helps to keep me in shape,” he admits.

In the last twenty-eight days, he has played nineteen competitive rounds. His recent victories included one in the St. Petersburg Open. He followed that by tieing for first at Wilmington, N.C., in the Azalea Open, then bowed in the playoff on Monday to Howie Johnson before traveling here.

Palmer, as one of the “young guard” in golf, has been highly successful since he became a professional in November of 1954. At Detroit in September of that same year he won the National Amateur crown by beating Bob Sweeny in the final.

Then as a professional, he carried off the Canadian Open in the summer of 1955. By 1956, he had earned $16,144.66 in tournaments. He increased this to $27,802.80 for 1957 to be ranked as the fifth man in the money winnings in the ranks of the professionals.

He finished eight strokes back of Doug Ford in the Masters a year ago. This afternoon, he became the youngest winner (at 28) since Byron Nelson, then 24, triumphed in 1937.

Palmer received a compliment before he started the last round. Said Doug Ford, “If I don’t win today, Palmer will. He’s strong enough for this big course. He’ll never tire. He’s got a game like steel.”

Continue reading the main story



Source link

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Leave A Reply