Champion: Jim Turnesa, Blair Cliff, N.Y.
Site: Big Spring Country Club, Louisville, Ky.
Date: June 18-25
Par: 36-36 - 72
By winning the 34th PGA Championship, Jim Turnesa settled a 26-year family jinx, defeating Chick Harbert -up with a par on the 36th hole. Turnesa, a resident of Blair Cliff, New York at the time of the Championship, was a member of a family of seven golfing brothers. Turnesa's younger brother, Willie, the only brother to remain an amateur, won the U.S. Amateur (1938, '48) and British Amateur (1947). Four brothers in the talented clan had played bridesmaid in major professional championships. Joe finished runner-up to Bobby Jones in the 1926 U.S. Open and was second behind Walter Hagen in the 1927 PGA Championship. Brother Jim - then an army corporal - was ousted by Sam Snead 2 and 1 in the 1942 PGA Championship finale. Brother Mike was humbled by Ben Hogan 7 and 6 in the 1948 PGA Championship.
Four years later, Jim bounced back to erase the family ledger of disappointment with a dramatic duel with Harbert. Turnesa trailed by three holes in the morning 18-hole round before squaring the match for the first time with a birdie at the 32nd hole. The match remained deadlocked until Harbert hooked his drive on the 36th hole underneath an evergreen tree. He settled for a bogey, while Turnesa made a routine par. It was the eighth and final contest in PGA match-play history to be decided on the 36th green.
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