This wasn't the first 10- or 12- foot putt Bob had had to sink in his brilliant career...I could name any number of 10-footers he had holed to keep from being beaten on some closing green. I might add here that over a long period of years I have seen five great putters—Walter Travis, Jerry Travers, Walter Hagen, Horton Smith and Bobby Jones. I believe Jones was the greatest for the simple reason that he saved himself more times by holing the important ones—the 8- and 10-footers against George Voigt, against Cyril Tolley, against Maurice McCarthy, to beat out Gene Sarazen and Hagen in so many championships here and abroad.
But this occasion at Winged Foot was different. Jones's competitive career, by his own choice, was nearing its end. He had been working seriously at the game since he was 7 years old. He was now 27. The 1929 title meant his third U.S. Open. He had finished 1-2 in this Open since 1922, eight years with only one exception—1927. Later O. B. Keeler, Jones's Boswell and the best golf writer this country ever produced, told me that if Bob had missed this putt he would never have gone abroad the next year to make his Grand Slam.
On the green, Bobby Jones crouched partly on one knee studying the slanting line of the treacherous putt. There was a dip or a break in the green of at least a foot-and-a-half that had to be judged. Bob was usually a fast putter. This time he took a few seconds longer than usual, for in addition to the speed of the fast green he had to decide how big the break was.
I was with Mike Brady, the club pro, when the putt was made. I was on the ground, peering between legs. Mike had a step ladder and was above the mob.
"He's short," Mike shouted. "He's missed it. He's short." I lost the ball en route. I picked it up again near the cup. Suddenly the ball hesitated, stopped—and then turned over once more and disappeared.
That's the way Bob always putted—to get the ball just up to the cup where it has 4� inches to fall.
I have heard in my time a sudden roar—a great crash of noise, many, many times at many different games. I never heard before, or since, the vocal cataclysm that rocked the oaks of Westchester.
Jones beat Espinosa in the play-off by more than 20 strokes. The next year he won the Grand Slam. In the wake of that putt he went on his way to one record that may never be equaled. For, as George Trevor put it, "he stormed the impregnable quadrilateral of golf."