Art Wall Jr. drove down Magnolia Lane, turned onto Washington Road and headed north to Wilmington, N.C., after stunning Augusta National at the 1959 Masters.
Wall was alone in the car (his family took the train home the week before when son Greg contracted measles) and got hungry somewhere in South Carolina, so he pulled into a White Castle.
There, the Masters champ ordered a few hamburgers and noticed a few whispers. ''Didn't you just win the Masters, Art?'' asked several diners, who had been tournament patrons a few hours prior. ''What are you doing here?''
Replied Wall, ''A man's got to eat, doesn't he?''
Fifty years ago, an unassuming golfer from Honesdale made history at the Masters at a time when the game was changing. Between 1958 and 1966, only four players won the golf season's first major. Three of them ( Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player) ultimately were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The fourth was a 35-year-old Honesdale native named Art Wall Jr. In the final round of the 1959 Masters, Wall birdied five of the last six holes to shoot a 6-under 66 and win the tournament by one shot over Cary Middlecoff.
Wall remains the only Masters champ who was not in the top 10 entering the final day; he began Sunday's fourth round tied for 13th. His back-nine comeback (Wall trailed by five shots with seven holes to play) was heralded as one of the finest stretches of golf Augusta National had seen.
''Art Wall's finish of birdie, birdie, birdie, par, birdie, birdie has no parallel in a major American tournament,'' Herbert Warren Wind wrote in Sports Illustrated, ''and probably in any major tournament.''
Fifty years later, about 10 members of the Wall family are reuniting this week in Augusta to commemorate the anniversary. Greg Wall, Art's oldest son, will be there, taking a week off from his job as the head golf pro at Pocono Manor Golf Club, which his father represented as the touring pro.
''Winning the Masters elevated Dad's career to another level,'' said Greg, who has been at Pocono Manor for 25 years. ''It was by far the most special day of his life, golf-wise.''
Wall learned the game at the nine-hole Honesdale Golf Club, which claims him as its most cherished alum. He was a gifted iron player who wrapped his small hands around the club with a baseball-style grip.
Wall turned pro in 1949, after playing golf at Duke University on the GI Bill, and embarked on a professional career that spanned five decades. By far, the 1959 season was his finest. Wall won four tournaments, a PGA Tour-best $53,167 (including $15,000 at the Masters) and the player-of-the-year award.
He arrived at Augusta National with two victories, including one a week earlier at the Azalea Open in Wilmington, N.C. A young Greg got sick there, forcing Wall's family to skip the Masters.
After three unremarkable rounds (73-74-71), Wall began the final day tied for 13th, trailing co-leaders Palmer and Stan Leonard by six shots.
On the back nine, however, the Masters went haywire. Palmer made triple-bogey at the par-3 12th, hitting his tee shot into Rae's Creek and his third over the green. Palmer, despite four Masters titles, laments that 6-iron to this day.
Wall, meanwhile, went on the run of his life. Playing a half-hour behind Palmer and a half-hour ahead of Leonard (tee times were not assigned by finish then), he birdied holes 13, 14 and 15 to streak into contention.
After a par at 16, Wall birdied the last two holes, making putts of 15 and 12 feet, to take the lead in the clubhouse. He was escorted to meet club co-founder Clifford Roberts, with whom he watched the last two holes on television.
''I was more nervous looking at the television set than I was trying to sink those putts on 17 and 18,'' Wall told reporters.
Middlecoff, who eagled the par-5 15th before Wall finished, trailed by one shot with three holes to play. He missed a 20-foot birdie putt at 16, lipped a 25-footer at 17 and missed the green at 18, thus securing Wall's win.
''Art told me this morning when I was leading, 'Keep this Masters championship in Pennsylvania, Arnie,''' Palmer told reporters. ''And you know, by gosh, he did.''
Wall is the only Masters champ since World War II not to play the following year; kidney problems and a knee infection prevented him from defending his title in 1960.
His absence was lamented, since Wall's contemporaries all praised him as a gentleman. Wall was famous for his no-drinking, no-smoking lifestyle. If bets on the course strayed higher than $10, Wall wouldn't participate.
''Dad always downplayed his accomplishments,'' Greg Wall said.
Wall seldom talked about his collection of PGA Tour victories (14) or holes in one (46, according to his son). But he did enjoy talking about the Masters.
Greg accompanied his father to Augusta on many occasions, and eating peach cobbler or strawberry shortcake in the Champions Locker Room remains a fond memory.
As does 1988. Despite a lifetime exemption as a past champion, Wall, then 64, insisted that would be his last tournament, even though the following year was the 30th anniversary of his victory.
Greg Wall caddied for his father, who closed his competitive days at Augusta National memorably. Art Wall hit a 5-wood onto the 18th green and two-putted for par to shoot 79, achieving his goal of breaking 80.
''We were hugging and high-fiving out there, and the crowd had no idea why,'' Greg Wall said. ''But that was a cool thing.''
Art Wall died in 2001 at age 77. This week, his family will reminisce about the week Wall shocked Augusta.
ART WALL JR.
Turned pro: 1949
Career PGA Tour wins: 14
Career earnings: $637,250
Highlights: Named PGA Tour player of the year in 1959, when he won four tournaments, including the Masters Â Played on three Ryder Cup teams (1957, '59, '61), finishing with a 4-2 record (2-0 in singles) Â Remains the second-oldest player behind Sam Snead to win a PGA Tour event (1975 Greater Milwaukee Open at age 51). Â Had 46 career holes in one. Â Set Masters record in 1974 for most consecutive 2s (three in a row on holes 4-6). Â Won five club titles at Honesdale Golf Club, the first at age 15.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times