Trisha Shetty (Editor)

1952 PGA Championship

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Dates  June 18–25, 1952
Tour(s)  PGA Tour
Organized by  PGA of America
Format  Match play – 6 rounds
1952 PGA Championship
Location  Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Course(s)  Big Spring Country Club

The 1952 PGA Championship was the 34th PGA Championship, held June 18–25 at Big Spring Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Jim Turnesa won the match play championship, 1 up over Chick Harbert in the Wednesday final; the winner's share was $3,500 and the runner-up's was $1,500.


It was Turnesa's only major title; he had lost the final in 1942 to Sam Snead. It was the second loss for Harbert in the final, he lost to Jim Ferrier in 1947, but won the title in his third finals appearance in 1954. Turnesa did not lead through the first 35 holes, but won on the final green when Harbert bogeyed. Turnesa displaced Snead as the oldest PGA champion to date, at 39 years and six months. He was later passed by Jerry Barber at 45 in 1961 and Julius Boros in 1968 at age 48.

Battling an ailing back, defending champion Snead lost in the first round to Lew Worsham, who had defeated him in a playoff five years earlier at the 1947 U.S. Open. Heavy rains washed out play on Saturday and the completion of the third round was delayed until Sunday, and very hot temperatures endured through the final rounds.

The U.S. Open was played the preceding week, in Dallas, Texas, won by Boros. He was not technically eligible to play in the PGA Championship, because the rules at the time stated that eligibility was after five years of PGA membership and Boros only had three. Following his win at the U.S. Open, Boros was invited to play by the PGA executive committee, but sensing resentment and dissension among some of the other participants, he withdrew prior to his start time of the two-day qualifier on Wednesday.

E.J. "Dutch" Harrison was the medalist in the stroke-play qualifying with a 136 (−8) to win $250, but lost in the first round to Marty Furgol.

This was the first major championship played in Kentucky. The PGA Championship returned to the state 44 years later in 1996, at Valhalla Golf Club east of Louisville. Valhalla also hosted just four years later in 2000 and in 2014.


The match play format at the PGA Championship in 1952 called for 12 rounds (216 holes) in seven days:

  • Wednesday and Thursday – 36-hole stroke play qualifier, 18 holes per day;
  • defending champion Sam Snead and top 63 professionals advanced to match play
  • Friday – first two rounds, 18 holes each
  • Saturday – third round – 36 holes (delayed to Sunday)
  • Sunday – quarterfinals – 36 holes (delayed to Monday)
  • Monday – semifinals – 36 holes (delayed to Tuesday)
  • Tuesday – final – 36 holes (delayed to Wednesday)
  • Heavy rains on Saturday postponed the third round until Sunday; the final was played on Wednesday, June 25.

    Final results

    Wednesday, June 25, 1952

    Final eight bracket



    1952 PGA Championship Wikipedia

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