On March 22, 1934, the first Masters golf championships tees off in Augusta, Georgia. The Augusta National Golf Club course presents difficulties for many of the golfers, but Emmet French, Jimmy Hines and Horton Smith finish under par and share the lead after shooting 70, two under par, in the first of four rounds.
Smith would go on to win the tournament, finishing four under par with scores of 70-72-70-72. Craig Wood (-3), Paul Runyan (-2) and Billy Burke (-2) were the only other golfers to finish under par.
Smith was a big fan of the course, telling the press: “There is nothing monotonous about that course, and it is one of the most beautiful I ever played. Each one of the holes presents something new.” Smith would go onto win the 1936 Masters as well, cementing his Hall of Fame golf career.
While Smith’s performance at the Masters was impressive, much of the coverage was focused on Bobby Jones, the man who founded and helped design golf’s most famous course. Four years earlier, Jones had reached golf’s apex when he became the first to achieve a Grand Slam by winning all four major tournaments in the same year: the British Open, U.S. Open and the British and U.S. amateur championships. He won 13 major championships from 1923-30.
Despite his historic accomplishments, Jones struggled in his inaugural round at the Masters, especially on the greens. He putted 36 times, including three three-putts, on his way to a 76 (+4). Although he improved upon that first round with subsequent rounds of 74-72-72, Jones finished tied for 13th, 10 shots behind Smith.