As cows grazed their way down the 18th fairway and wild turkeys pecked away at the azaleas, an unknown Herman Keiser was out in the Atlantic Ocean looking for land.
That’s, in a nutshell, how the 1946 Masters began. First, the turkeys and cows. Augusta National had hosted nine Masters previously, but World War II forced the course to be shut down through the remainder of the latest war to end all wars. Augusta, Georgia, was directly in the center of five major military establishments and transportation issues caused the temporary end to the tournament after only nine years.
Meanwhile, Keiser kept looking for land. He was aboard the USS Cincinnati, traveled with his golf clubs and played anywhere his ship docked. He had been a mildly successful player and ended up with five wins on the PGA Tour, but was relatively unknown while Hogan, Nelson, Sarazen and Snead dominated the Tour. (more…)