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Henry Picard


Henry Picard was one of the best players in the game during the 1930s, but Picard is also remembered for his generosity.

In 1937, Picard gave a driver to a young Sam Snead, telling him the one he was using wasn't suited to his game. Snead credited it with turning his game around and used the club for more than 20 years.

Picard also offered financial assistance to Ben Hogan when Hogan was down to nearly his last dollar. Hogan later dedicated a book to Picard.

Picard was born in Massachusetts in 1907 and moved to South Carolina when he was 17. He scored his first Tour victory in 1932 and another two years later. Then his game blossomed. Picard won five tournaments in 1935 and led the Masters by four strokes after two rounds before fading to fourth place.

Three more victories followed in 1936 and four in 1937. His two wins in 1938 included one at the Masters, where Picard beat Harry Cooper and Ralph Guldahl by two strokes. Picard's best year came in 1939, when he won eight tournaments and was the Tour's leading money winner.

Picard won the 1939 PGA Championship in dramatic fashion over Byron Nelson. Henry was 1 down going to the 36th hole, where both players nearly drove the green on a short par-4. Nelson chipped to 12 feet and then missed, and Picard made his birdie from four feet to square the match.

On the first extra hole, Picard hit his drive under a truck. After getting relief, Picard hit his approach shot to seven feet. He made the birdie putt and won the championship when Nelson missed a birdie try from five feet.

Picard had one of the best swings of his day and was a fine long-iron player. He finished his career with 26 Tour victories, 20 of them coming from 1935-39.

Picard tired of competition after that, cutting back his schedule starting in 1940 even though he was still playing well. He settled into the life of a club professional and respected instructor, scoring his last Tour win in 1945.

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