Monday, June 14, 2010

Golf Snort Victory a Fiction

Editor's note: Yesterday's sports feature about Vernon Snort's legendary win at the 1939 U.S. Open in Philadelphia should have been labelled "fiction."

Also, anthro-sociologists and golf historians have never said that Snort's performance at the Open that year "defied the odds" and "was by far the most astonishing accomplishment in the hallowed annals of hoary golf narratives."

Snort was also mischaracterized when the author called him "a crapulous lout with a slatternly demeanor who willfully breached the etiquette of America's finest country clubs with his mere presence."

Snort did not in fact design and craft his own golf clubs from salt cedar trees that lined the fairways of his native Broken Femur Golf Links in Gottknows, Alabama.

Similarly, Snort did not whittle a useable putter from his wooden leg with a Buck knife, nor did he ever use his prosthesis to strike a ball on a golf course.

Vernon Snort was not an accomplished banjo player.

While true that Snort was a local legend at Broken Femur, he never won the Golden Splint tournament at his home course. Also, he never shot a 12-under 61 at Broken Femur while carrying only a ginty and a pool cue in his bag.

Snort did not enter the U.S. Open qualifying tournament in 1939 on a bet; rather, he participated on a whim. The qualifying tournament that year was played at Swamp Noggins Country Club, not the Country Noggins Swamp Club. He won the qualifying tournament by 38 strokes, not 42.

Vernon Snort was 42 years old when he travelled 728 miles by donkey to get to the Philadelphia Country Club for the Open, not 38.

The Philadelphia Country Club is in Pennsylvania, and it was simply over-heated hyperbole that led the author to write that the golf course, beautiful though it may be, was located "in the Sublime State of Paradise."

Archival research and anecdotal recollections do not support the assertion that Snort was "throwing-up drunk" when he teed up for his Thursday morning round.

Snort did not bogey each of his first 36 holes during the first two days of the Open tournament. Anybody with a fundamental grasp of the sport would know that no player could possibly "make the cut" with such abysmal opening-round scores in a championship tournament.

A bolt of lightning never struck Snort as he walked off the 18th green on that fateful second day of the tournament, and the lightning storm in Philadelphia that afternoon did not infuse him with "super magical powers" during the balance of the Open.

Byron Nelson was indeed a skilled professional golfer of the era, but it was technically incorrect to refer to him as "the tour's eminent goofball."

In fact, Nelson actually won the 1939 U.S. Open, while Vernon Snort won $24 with his 78th-place finish. It was Snort's only appearance in a major tournament. Inasmuch as he never actually had his "moment in the limelight," it was presumptuous to state that he "faded once more into obscurity" following the Open.

The use of the word "luminous" in the context of Snort's achievements in 1939 is unwarranted.

Byron Nelson was not an accomplished banjo player.

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