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Does Sarazen Caddy Own ‘The’ Club?

May 20, 1999

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (AP) _ The late Gene Sarazen, whose famous double-eagle in 1935 helped make the Masters a major tournament, later gave a 3-wood to a teen-age caddy in St. Paul and said it was the club he used for that shot.

But was it?

``Gene said this is the club he used for the double-eagle when he gave it to me,″ said Thor Nordwall, 78. ``Late in his life, he said he didn’t remember what he had done with it. Is the club as he presented it or was it a lie? Was he the good guy he was supposed to be to all kids or wasn’t he?″

Sarazen’s autobiography, ``Thirty Years of Championship Golf,″ says the club used to hit the famous double-eagle was a 4-wood. That 4-wood and the ball Sarazen hit at the ’35 Masters are in a trophy case in the Augusta National clubhouse.

Sarazen died May 13 at age 97.

Nordwall, then 17, carried Sarazen’s bag for five days in the St. Paul Open in 1939. He says he received the 3-wood as part of his pay.

A newspaper story from July 31, 1939, seems to validate the tale. In part, it says, ``... one kid just as happy must have been the boy who looped for Gene Sarazen. Sarazen said this boy, Thor Nordwall, was the best caddy he’d ever had. To show his appreciation of the lad’s services, Gene gave the kid the famous No. 3 wood with which he holed his great double-eagle in the Masters.

``Gene stated that he missed three shots on his final round. ’Each time I did I had used clubs against Thor’s advice. He’s the best caddy I’ve ever had.‴

Sarazen’s famous double-eagle was a spoon shot that sailed 230 yards and settled in the cup for a 2 in the final round of the second Masters.

Nordwall said he didn’t realize what he might have until about 1970.

``I wasn’t dazzled when he gave me the club in ’39. All the dazzling came later,″ Nordwall said.

The club hangs on the wall in Nordwall’s home.

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