Craig Ralph Wood was a professional golfer who won twenty-one (21) PGA Tour titles and was a three-time member of the Ryder Cup U.S. Team.

He was however, noted for the ‘jinx’ that he suffered from 1935 to 1941, when he kept missing major wins at the Masters Tournament, at the PGA Championship, and at the British Open. Four major championships, including the Masters, eluded Wood. His ‘jinx’ reputedly began in 1933, when he lost the British Open title to Denny Shute in a 36-hole-playoff. In 1934 he missed the win to Horton Smith at the very first Masters Tournament; the very same year Paul Runyan snatched the title from him in a defeat on the 38th hole. The play that cinched his jinxed reputation firmly in place was the popular match with Gene Sarazen. Wood fell victim to Sarazen’s ‘double eagle’ play. When the players tied to play a 36-hole-match at the end, Sarazen emerged the winner.

Born Nov 18, 1901
Nationality United States United States

Thankfully, in 1941, Wood was able to pull off a notable win at the Masters Tournament that earned him the distinction of being the first wire-to-wire champion, celebrating a three-shot victory over Byron Nelson, whom he had a losing encounter in the 1939 U.S. Open. An encounter with another rival, Denny Shute, earned him the second major championship that year in the U.S. Open. Wood thus redeemed himself, in a very notable fashion.

Wood was born on November 18, 1901, at the time when the United States was just a young nation beginning to empower itself. Wood was a New Yorker, born in Lake Placid. He died in May 7, 1968, at the age of 66 in Palm Beach, Florida. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame this year, 2008.

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