1941 Masters: Craig Wood wins wire-to-wire to best Byron Nelson by three strokes


After two runner up finishes, Craig Wood finally breaks through at The Masters

By: Claudia Mazzucco

On this day, April 6 1941 Craig Wood, twice beaten out of first prize at Augusta, finally came through to victory in the eighth Masters Tournament with a 280 total (-8) and only one over the record for 72 holes. Byron Nelson, who had made up a five-stroke deficit to tie with Wood, with only nine holes to go, returned in 37 for second place with 283.

Fact: He was born Charles Ralph Wood. He changed his name when he turned pro. When he was a child he frequently accompanied his father to chop trees and split firewood. His father, Charles, trained him to maintain his balance and fix his eyes on the target while swinging an axe – a simple lesson that Craig later applied in golf.

Known for his good looks and style, Wood became the first wire-to-wire winner of the Masters, opening with a brilliant 66 (32-34), which included eight greens of one putt. His only three-putter was the 5th hole where he rolled the ball past the cup and missed coming back. In the last round, updates of Nelson round were transmitted via the underground telephone system just installed for this eight Masters. Wood looked like a sure winner but refused to be congratulated. Finally when Byron came to the 18th tee, needing to hole his drive for a tie, Wood relented. He had been second too many times.

Claudia Mazzucco

Claudia M. Mazzucco is a researcher at Golf Channel and teacher of History of Golf at the PGA of Argentina, in Buenos Aires. She is the author of Legendary Lessons (2016), El Golf de los Tiempos, A Novel (2002) and The Guide of Golf Courses in Argentina (2003). She received the PGA Award from the PGA of Argentina in 2005

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