“Welcome to the second half of my life.”
That’s what the sign said. The year was 1982, and the occasion was the 60th birthday celebration for Frank Stranahan, who was intent on making it to 120. A couple of golf journalists had been invited to attend the ceremony.
Stranahan and his remarkable career came to mind because of Oklahoma State University golfer Viktor Hovland, who was low amateur in the 2019 Masters. It was Hovland’s first appearance in any of the four major championships, and he shot 72-71-71-71 for a 285 total.
In the 1947 Masters, Stranahan was low amateur and tied for second overall with his mentor, Byron Nelson. Stranahan totaled 283 with rounds of 73-72-70-68. He finished two strokes behind champion Jimmy Demaret.
Before his career was over, Stranahan would win six PGA Tour events, four of them as an amateur and two as a professional. He was one of the last great amateurs – probably the greatest since Bobby Jones. He won the British Amateur twice and the Canadian Amateur twice. He lost to Sam Urzetta in th...
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