Gene Sarazen – Eugenio Saraceni – One of the Greatest Golfers of All Time
Gene Sarazen –
One of the Greatest Golfers of all Time
Sarazen was born in Harrison, New York as Eugenio Saraceni. Sarazen began caddying at age ten at local golf clubs, took up golf himself, and gradually developed his skills; he was essentially self-taught. He used the somewhat unusual, at the time, interlocking grip to hold the club.
Sarazen took a series of club professional jobs in the New York area from his mid-teens, and worked hard on his game. Sarazen won his first major championships – the 1922 U.S. Open and PGA Championship – at age 20. He was a contemporary and great rival of Bobby Jones, who was born in the same year; Sarazen also had many great battles with Walter Hagen, who was about ten years older. Sarazen, Jones, and Hagen were the world’s dominant players during the 1920s. Rivalries among the three great champions significantly expanded interest in golf around the world during this period, and made the United States the world’s dominant golf power for the first time, taking over this position from Great Britain.
The winner of 39 PGA tournaments, Sarazen was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. He was the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 1932, and won the PGA Tour’s first Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. He played on six U.S. Ryder Cup teams: 1927, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935, and 1937.
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