3/20/1941: Sam Snead won the North-South Open held at Pinehurst No. 2

Sam Snead hitting a bunker shot at Pinehurst.

The 1941 North-South was taken by Slammin’ Sammy

On this day, it was Sam Snead who won the highly regarded North-South Open golf championship at Pinehurst Golf Resort.  In what the New York Times calls, “The largest crowd to ever watch a golf event at the Pinehurst resort”–  Snead took home the first prize of  $2,000 in front of 4,000 people spectating.  In 1941, the golfing world was critical of Snead… After scoring an 8 on the 72nd hole of the the 1939 U.S. Open people didn’t think he could finish anymore.

Snead shot a final round of four under far, 69.  His four day total was 277 which tied a record set by Ben Hogan just a year prior.  Hogan was the defending champion of the North-South but unfortunately shot his way out of the tournament with a final round of 75.  Snead was pressed hard by native North Carolinian, Clayton Heafner on the final day.  Snead equaled the course record during the second round with a 66 at the championship layout with Heafner close behind.  The striking blow came on  the Par 3 fifteen hole when Snead got within putting distance & Heafner plugged into a bunker.  Snead took the hole and held on the rest of the way to fight off Heafner.

The North-South Open at Pinehurst

The North-South Open ran from 1902-1951 held at Pinehurst in North Carolina.  Many legends of the sport won here like Jim Barnes, Walter Hagen, and Ben Hogan.  It was cancelled when the pros asked the patrician patriarch of Pinehurst, Richard Tufts, who was a great champion of amateurism, to increase the prize money in line with PGA Tour rates. The final tourney’s purse was $7,500 in 1951, with a winner’s share of $1,500. The Ryder Cup was held at the course the previous week, but only five of the nine on the winning U.S. team stayed to play.

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