Patty Berg’s game was rounding into form when she made the trek to the Bay Area in 1952 for the LPGA’s Richmond Open.
Berg, who was known for her putting stroke, already had 39 victories to her credit when she arrived at the 6,300-yard layout. But she credited work that spring with Sam Snead for helping to add some distance, giving her a lethal combination with an already impressive short game.
There was one thing that wasn’t right, though — Berg needed a new flat stick.
She purchased a new hammerhead putter from Richmond CC pro Pat Markovich before the event started.
On this day in 1952 — April 26 — Berg needed only 11 putts on the front as she made the turn at 30, then fired a 34 on the back for a 64 that was, to that point, the lowest round ever recorded in an LPGA event.
That was two strokes better than the previous mark of 66, shared by Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Opa’ Hill.
In a New York Times article, Berg admitted it was her finest hour.
“It was the greatest round of golf I have ever played,” she said. “I wouldn’t sell this putter for $100.”
Berg finished with 60 professional victories, including the first U.S. Women’s Open in 1946. The Minneapolis native was named to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. She died in 2006.
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