"I don't know - it was a different era. Back then, he was playing in this and winning the Masters in the same year. I mean, it's really hard to say [but] I'd love to watch him play.''
Tackett acknowledged Snead's aggressive temperament, and floated a theory about how Snead would see Bradshaw.
"He was very confident in himself,'' Tackett said of Snead, "and in how he stood. You might get an off-color joke and, 'Well, he's pretty good, but he's still got 10 to go' - something like that.''
Bill Campbell, 90, the longtime amateur golfer from Huntington and a friend of Snead, first met the Slammer at age 14. Campbell said the two were "very close'' and even eulogized Snead at his 2002 funeral.
Campbell admitted that most of the time he saw Snead compete, it came in events where Snead walked away with the big trophy.
"I had the pure pleasure to watch him,'' Campbell said Friday from his home in Lewisburg, "and he was always the same - and I only saw him in winning situations. He was so long and so straight - the most phenomenal player of anybody pro or amateur in this state.''
Snead would sometimes get the reputation of being a sore loser, something that Campbell contests to this day. And Campbell had a pretty good look at one of those supposed occasions 60 years ago.
In the 1953 State Open, oddly enough also at Parkersburg Country Club, Campbell earned a four-stroke victory over Snead - one of just three Opens Snead entered in which he didn't win.
"I did beat him in the 1953 State Open,'' Campbell said, "which was a novelty because he, of course, was a far better player. I played awful well, and even won the driving contest. I was plain fortunate to have four good rounds.
"He got blasted by the press. Sam played right in front of me and when I won, he was in a [golf] cart. They thought that was bad sportsmanship. He wrote me a note later in the week and said he was running off to an exhibition in Canada and had to get to Charleston to catch an airplane. People misunderstood, and I didn't hear about the controversy until 15, 20 years ago. . . . He's been badly treated by people misunderstanding, and that still sticks out in my memory.
"Sam was super coming back to these [State Open] championships, and he won most everything he played in West Virginia.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.