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Original Issue


No wonder they are called the Gold Dust Twins. Byron Nelson and
Harold (Jug) McSpaden, who last year finished one-two on the PGA
money list, teamed up in last week's Miami Four-Ball and, not
surprisingly, swept through the field like two pros who had
wandered into a club championship, winning all four matches
easily, especially the final. In that match, against Sam Byrd and
Denny Shute, they were only 2 up through 18 holes at the lunchtime
break, but Byrd and Shute should have finished their sandwiches,
paid the bill and gone to a movie. The Twins won four of the first
six holes in the afternoon, eventually closing out the match 8 and
6. Each winner received $1,100 worth of war bonds, the tour's
customary method of payment these days.

For the 33-year-old Nelson, this was his fourth win of the 1945
season and the 39th of his career, which includes victories in two
Masters, a U.S. Open and a PGA Championship. Curiously, however,
Nelson arrived in Miami in an unhappy frame of mind, or ``steamed
up,'' as he put it. He said he had played ``just horrible'' up in
Jacksonville the week before, finishing sixth, and his irritation
was undoubtedly heightened by the fact that Sam Snead won his
third straight tournament and fifth of the year there. Nelson may
look like a gentle man, and indeed he is, but he is also as
competitive as a bulldog, and Snead's success has rankled him.

Nelson and McSpaden are close friends who have in common that both
were rejected by the military -- Nelson because he is a
``free-bleeder,'' a condition akin to but not quite as serious as
hemophilia, and McSpaden because of severe allergies. Nelson, who
looks as if he could handle a rifle as easily as a brassie, admits
to being uncomfortable about his status, and for the past two
years the two golfers have crisscrossed the country playing Red
Cross and U.S.O. exhibitions. Even so, Byron's wife, Louise, says
that while she and Byron were driving through Arizona recently,
people shook their fists at them when, with gas being rationed as
it is, they saw the car's Texas license plates and an apparently
healthy man, with no uniform, behind the wheel.

In the four-ball format used in Miami, 16 twosomes began a
better-ball competition on Thursday at Miami Springs Country Club,
36 holes at match play. Winners moved on, losers went home. While
Nelson and McSpaden were the favorites, none of the other pros
complained about their being teamed, because in four previous
tries in this event, they had never progressed past the second

Nelson and McSpaden's major competition in Miami was supposed to
come from Snead, paired with Bob Hamilton, the defending PGA
champion, and the team of Lieut. Ben Hogan, on leave from the Army
Air Force, and Ed Dudley, president of the PGA and formerly the
head pro at Augusta National. All three teams won their first
matches easily, but in the next round Nelson-McSpaden beat Hogan-
Dudley 4 and 3. Hogan rarely looked like the player who won the
1942 Hale America Open, his last major victory and one that many
followers of the game feel was truly the U.S. Open with a
different name. ``I just couldn't concentrate,'' Hogan said after
his loss.

The winners moved smoothly into the finals, but the anticipated
showdown with the Snead team never took place. In the best match
of the week, Shute, the last man to win the PGA Championship in
successive years (1936-37), and Byrd, a former major league
outfielder with the New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds, beat
Snead-Hamilton on the 38th hole. The winners had trailed for much
of the match, but Shute dropped a curling 20-footer on the 34th
hole to even things up. On the second extra hole, both Snead and
Hamilton were inside 10 feet, but after Byrd applied the pressure
by dropping his 12-footer, the favorites missed and were out of
the tournament.

It probably wouldn't have mattered. Nelson-McSpaden did not make
any bogeys the entire week. Of the two, Nelson had far the greater
share of birdies going into the final, but on Sunday morning
McSpaden went into the pro shop, changed the grip on his putter
from sponge rubber to leather and proceeded to hole six birdies in
the 30 holes of the match, one more than he had all week.

After exchanging a few words with the press, Nelson headed for
this week's Charlotte Open in his 1939 light-green Studebaker
President, a four-door sedan that he got for winning the 1939 U.S.
Open. Nelson had posed for ads with a Studebaker Champion, but he
needed the larger four-door for his golf luggage. Gas rationing is
no problem because of his allowance for the exhibitions he plays.
Nelson loves to drive. And no wonder. When he has to fly, he must
buy an extra ticket for his clubs if the plane is full, because
the weight limit for luggage is 40 pounds.

Snead is entered at Charlotte, too. He can argue he has still won
three times in a row, not counting Miami, which after all was
``doubles.'' Nelson thinks otherwise, but prefers to let his golf
game do the talking.

B/W PHOTO:INTERNATIONAL NEWS PHOTO Nelson won the 1939 U.S. Open, and his Studebaker, under the watchful eye of Hogan (in tie).[Byron Nelson hitting ball as Ben Hogan and others watch]

B/W PHOTO:RUSTY HILL (INSET) [oval emblem with picture of golf club and golf ball with "1945 BYRON NELSON" written around the picture]

B/W PHOTO:UPI/BETTMANN It took only 30 holes for (from right) Nelson and McSpaden to dispatch Shute and Byrd. [Byron Nelson and Harold (Jug) McSpaden shaking hands with Denny Shute and Sam Byrd]