Biography of Golfer and Athlete Gene Sarazen

About the biography of the famous golfer and athlete Gene Sarazen, history and information.

Gene Sarazen

Born in New York in 1902, Gene Sarazen began playing golf while a caddie at the age of 9 and went on to win the U.S. Open at the age of 20 and the national PGA title at 21. One of a handful of men to win the 4 major titles open to professionals, he captured 2 U.S. Opens, 3 PGA Championships, a Masters, and a British Open.

The son of Italian parents of average means, Sarazen (born Saraceni) dropped out of grade school to help support the family and soon turned to professional golf. Because his fingers were too short for him to grip the club in an overlapping grip with comfort, the stocky Sarazen used an interlocking grip with the left thumb around the shaft. His strong arms and wrists made up for his short physical stature.

Sarazen is credited with launching the use of the sand wedge in the early 1930s after experimenting with the club in his garage, and he became a master at employing it. He was particularly noted for his prowess in short play. While he was not long off the tee, he was usually quite accurate. He was known as one of the fastest players on the tour, hitting quickly and walking briskly.

Sarazen provided what few fans followed the pro tour in the '20s and '30s with some dramatic come-from-behind charges. One came when he fired a 68 in the final round of the 1922 U.S. Open to win the title. He took only 100 strokes in the final 28 holes to repeat as U.S. Open champion in 1932. In the 1935 Masters, after trailing Craig Wood by 3 shots, he made a double eagle by holing a 220-yard shot, forced a play-off, and defeated Wood the next day.

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