1937 Masters Tournament Winner and Scores

In 1937, The Masters Tournament was played for the fourth time. One of golf's legends earned his (future) Augusta National bridge this year by making up six strokes on the leader on the 12th and 13th holes in the final round.

Winner: Byron Nelson, 283

Where it was played: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia

Tournament dates: April 1-4, 1937

Leader after first round: Byron Nelson, 66

Leader after second round: Byron Nelson, 138

Leader after third round: Ralph Guldahl, 209

What Happened at the 1937 Masters Tournament

Augusta National Golf Club is today dotted with reminders of events past, including a series of bridges dedicated to winners of The Masters. One of those bridges is known as the Nelson Bridge. It was dedicated to Byron Nelson in 1958, commemorating what Nelson did to win the 1937 tournament.

What did Nelson do to win this tournament? Nelson caught and passed Ralph Guldahl for the victory, making his move on the 12th and 13th holes in the final round — beating Guldahl by six strokes over those two holes.

Nelson was the first-round leader with a 66, which was The Masters' 18-hole scoring record at the time. With a 72 in Round 2, Nelson still held the lead after 36 holes, by three strokes over Guldahl.

But in the third round, Guldahl surged to the front with a 68. Nelson's third-round 75 dropped him into a tie for third place, four strokes behind Guldahl.

And when Nelson made the turn in the final round, he still trailed Guldahl by four strokes. But all that changed over the 12th and 13th holes, two of the holes that later (along with the 11th) were dubbed "Amen Corner" because of the miracles that sometimes seemed to happen there. Nelson scored a 2 on the par-3 12th hole, then an eagle 3 on the par-5 13th hole. Guldahl, meanwhile, had a double-bogey 5 on No. 12 and bogey 6 on No. 13. Nelson played the two holes in 5 strokes, Guldahl in 11 strokes.

Nelson went into those holes trailing by four and came out of them leading by two. He parred out from there to score 70, compared to Guldahl's 76. Nelson's winning total was 283.

At age 25, it was Nelson's first major championship victory and just his third PGA Tour win. Guldahl went on to win the 1937 U.S. Open a couple months later. He was runner-up again at Augusta National in 1938 before winning the 1939 Masters. Nelson finished with five wins in majors over his career, Guldahl with three. But Nelson's 12th- and 13th-hole heroics here, in 1937, were what is commemorated on the bridge that crosses Rae's Creek as golfers exit the 13th tee.

Sam Snead, a future 3-time Masters champion, played this tournament for the first time in 1937, finishing 18th. This was just the fourth time The Masters was played, and the first two champions, Horton Smith (who won two of the first three Masters played) and Gene Sarazen, finished 19th and 24th, respectively.

This was the year that Augusta National members first began wearing green jackets during tournament week. It was done to make the members more visible to fans in attendance, in case fans had questions or needed assistance.

1937 Masters Final Scores

Byron Nelson 66-72-75-70—283
Ralph Guldahl 69-72-68-76—285
Ed Dudley 70-71-71-74—286
Herman Cooper 73-69-71-74—287
Ky Laffoon 73-70-74-73—290
Jimmy Thomson 71-73-74-73—291
Al Watrous 74-72-71-75—292
Tommy Armour 73-75-73-72—293
Vic Ghezzi 72-72-72-77—293
Leonard Dodson 71-75-71-77—294
Jimmy Hines 77-72-68-77—294
Wiffy Cox 70-72-77-76—295
Clarence Clark 77-75-70-74—296
Tony Manero 71-72-78-75—296
Johnny Revolta 71-72-72-81—296
Denny Shute 74-75-71-76—296
Bobby Cruickshank 79-69-71-78—297
Sam Snead 76-72-71-79—298
Lawson Little 70-79-74-76—299
Willie Macfarlane 73-76-73-77—299
Paul Runyan 74-77-72-76—299
Felix Serafin 75-76-71-77—299
Horton Smith 75-72-77-75—299
Ray Mangrum 71-80-72-77—300
Gene Sarazen 74-80-73-73—300
Craig Wood 79-77-74-71—301
a-Charlie Yates 76-73-74-78—301
a-Francis Francis 77-74-75-76—302
Billy Burke 77-71-75-80—303
Al Espinosa 72-76-79-76—303
Bobby Jones 79-74-73-77—303
Harold "Jug" McSpaden 77-79-72-76—304
Bill Mehlhorn 73-76-77-79—305
Henry Picard 75-77-75-78—305
a-Chuck Kocsis 76-72-77-82—307
Al Brosch 78-79-74-77—308
Tom Kerrigan 75-77-77-79—308
Sam Parks Jr. 76-75-80-77—308
Frank Moore 73-79-76-82—310
a-Jess Sweetser 75-80-85-79—319
a-John Riddell79-81-82-79—321

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