Hagen was something of a nemesis to Barnes - winner of the first two PGA Championships played (1916 and 1919) - in this period. Barnes finished second to Hagen at the 1922 British Open, then at the 1924 PGA Championship Hagen once again beat Barnes in the final.
Hagen led the final, 1-up, after the morning 18, but moved to a 4-up lead after 27 and Barnes was unable to find any magic over the final back nine.
To reach the championship match, Hagen defeated Jack Forrester, Tom Boyd, Johnny Golden and Cyril Walker; Barnes beat Clarence Hackney, Bobby Cruickshank, Fred McLeod and Emmett French.
The defending champion was Jock Hutchison, and Hutchison arrived at the 1921 PGA just off his victory in the 1921 British Open.
But Hutchison ran into a teenager named Gene Sarazen in the second round. Sarazen, 19, was playing in his first PGA and just his second major. And he put a whipping on Hutchison, taking an 8-up lead after the morning 18 before eventually winning 8 and 6. Sarazen was knocked out by Walker in the quarterfinals, but won the next two PGA Championships and later added a third.
1921 PGA Championship Scores
Results from the 1921 PGA Championship golf tournament played at Inwood Country Club in Inwood, New York:
Championship Match (36 holes)
Walter Hagen def. Jim Barnes, 3 and 2
Semifinals (36 holes)
Walter Hagen def. Cyril Walker, 5 and 4
Jim Barnes def. Emmett French, 5 and 4
Quarterfinals (36 holes)
Walter Hagen def. Johnny Golden, 8 and 7
Cyril Walker def. Gene Sarazen, 5 and 4
Jim Barnes def. Fred McLeod, 11 and 9
Emmett French def. George McLean, 5 and 3
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