Byron Nelson overcoming a Sam Snead stymie at the PGA might be the most underappreciated shot in golf history
You're going to hear the name Byron Nelson a lot if you're a golf fan this week as the PGA Tour event bearing his name starts Thursday. That has also given content curators everywhere the green light to dust off old facts and even highlights from his legendary career. But one particular clip has caught Golf Twitter's attention on Wednesday—and for good reason.
As many people know, the stymie used to be part of golf until the USGA abolished it in 1952. And if you don't know, a golfer could use his own ball to actually block his opponent on the green. Absolutely wild stuff.
Even wilder is that Nelson found himself stymied against fellow all-time great Sam Snead in the final round of a major championship, the 1940 PGA at Hershey Country Club. And Golf Twitter would have lost its mind if what happened next ever happened today.
Not only did Nelson somehow manage to chip over Snead's ball and into the hole, but he then swatted away Snead's ball (this was when the PGA still used match play) as he went to retrieve his own. Check it out:
Amazing. Just the ultimate boss move. And this has to be the most underappreciated shot in golf history.
Many years decades later, Nelson talked to Golf Channel's Peter Kessler about the situation.
"You had to practice it because you had some, and that, that was on the third hole, playing against Sam Snead in Hershey, Pennsylvania in the PGA Championship finals," Nelson said. "And the ball I knocked away, it was not very far away, I tell you (laughs). I tell you."
Nelson would defeat Snead that day 1 up for his first of two PGA Championship victories. And he won an incredible five majors and 52 PGA Tour titles despite retiring from playing golf full time at 34. But on this day, we'd like to remember Lord Byron as the Stymie King.