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A Chronicle of the Philadelphia Section PGA and Golf in the Philadelphia Area
by Peter C. Trenham
1950 to 1959
Contents

1950 Ben Hogan won the U.S. Open at Merion and Henry Williams, Jr. was runner-up in the PGA Championship.
1951 Ben Hogan won the Masters and the U.S. Open before ending his eleven-year association with Hershey CC.
1952 Dave Douglas won twice on the PGA Tour while Henry Williams, Jr. and Al Besselink each won also.
1953 Al Besselink, Dave Douglas, Ed Oliver and Art Wall each won tournaments on the PGA Tour.
1954 Art Wall won at the Tournament of Champions and Dave Douglas won the Houston Open.
1955 Atlantic City hosted the PGA national meeting and the British Ryder Cup team practiced at Atlantic City CC.
1956 Mike Souchak won four times on the PGA Tour and Johnny Weitzel won a second straight Pennsylvania Open.
1957 Joe Zarhardt returned to the Section to win a Senior Open put on by Leo Fraser and the Atlantic City CC.
1958 Marty Lyons and Llanerch CC hosted the first PGA Championship contested at stroke play.
1959 Art Wall won the Masters, led the PGA Tour in money winnings and was named PGA Player of the Year.

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1950 - In early January Robert "Skee" Riegel announced that he was turning pro. Riegel who had grown up in eastern Pennsylvania had won the U.S. Amateur in 1947 while living in California. He was now playing out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. At that time the PGA rules prohibited him from accepting any money on the PGA Tour for six months.

After eleven months on the shelf Hershey Country Clubís professional Ben Hogan returned to tournament golf on the first Friday of January. Hogan had entered the $15,000 Los Angeles Open at the Riviera Country Club. It didnít take long for the world of golf to realize that he wasnít entered at Los Angeles just to make an appearance. In a tournament plagued by rain Hogan opened with a 73 and shot three 69s for a four-under-par 280. Sam Snead (71-72-71-66=280), who had been the playing professional from the Shawnee Inn & Country Club in the early 1940s came through with a last round 66 to tie Hogan and force an 18-hole playoff. Jack Burke, Jr. finished third at 281 and Ellsworth Vines was next with a 285. The tournament started on Friday as scheduled and the second round was on Saturday. Sunday was rained out and the third and fourth rounds were played on Monday and Tuesday. The playoff scheduled for Wednesday was rained out and Hogan and Snead left for Pebble Beach and the Crosby Pro-Am. Seventy-five hundred spectators turned out one week later on Wednesday for the playoff. When Hogan was introduced on the first tee the announcer said he was from Ft. Worth, Texas and Hogan corrected him saying "Hershey, Pennsylvania". Snead won by four strokes but Hogan was back. First prize was 2,600 and second was $1,900.

The Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, California consisted of three rounds played on three courses with celebrities. The field started at Cypress Point Golf Club, then played the Monterey Peninsula course and finished up at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. There was also a three-day pro-am with each professional paired with an amateur partner who was an invitee of Bing Crosby. At the conclusion of the three rounds there was a four-way tie for first place at 214. The four professionals were Wilmingtonís Dave Douglas (71-73-70), Sam Snead (69-72-73), Jack Burke, Jr. (75-67-72) and Smiley Quick (72-69-73). There was no playoff and they were declared co-champions. The purse was $10,000 and each of the co-champions won $1,237.

The PGA Seniorsí Championship was held at their PGA National Golf Club in Dunedin, Florida in the second week of January. Al Watrous won by three strokes with a 142. Bill Jelliffe finished second at 145. Jock Hutchison (147) and Bill Goldbeck (148) finished third and fourth. Langhorne Country Club professional Al MacDonald and Trenton Country Club professional George Milne were the low Philadelphia pros tying for 12th with 155 totals.

Dutch Harrison, who was playing the PGA Tour and still a member of the Philadelphia Section, won the Azalea Open in early April. The tournament was played at the Cape Fear Country Club in Wilmington, North Carolina. George Fazio led the first two days and he was tied for the lead with Harrison entering the final round. A one-under-par 71 the last day earned Harrison (68-72-69-71=280) the win and a check for $2,000. Fazio, who was now the professional at a club in Washington D.C., finished two strokes back at 282. Fazio had been second two weeks before that in Jacksonville also. Joe Kirkwood, Jr., a former assistant at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club who was now playing the PGA Tour, and Cary Middlecoff tied for third at 283. The total purse was $10,000.

George Fazio won $1,400 at the Azalea Open in Wilmington and this upped his winnings on the winter tour enough to get an invitation to the Masters Tournament along with the former North Hills Country Club professional Henry Ransom. At the completion of the Azalea Open the two professionals with the most money winnings on the PGA Tour, which had begun in early January, and who were not already invited to the Masters earned invitations.

In early April a group of about 25 touring professionals threatened to leave the PGA Tour and form their own organization. Among the 25 were all of the major tournament winners including Ben Hogan. They were seeking authority to handle the entire mechanics of the tour, controlling the funds and negotiating and signing all of the agreements. They stated that they didnít want to resign from the PGA and hoped to remain members. Two of the playersí concerns were a change in the purse distribution and the wish of the 2,800 home pros to have autographed clubs sold only in pro shops. The tournament manager George Schneider, who had sided with the players, was dismissed by the PGA. There were several evening meetings between the players and the PGA officers at the Masters Tournament, some lasting three hours. The players were given the power to elect a committee of four tournament players to serve with the PGA officers and represent the players in the tournament negotiations. Dave Douglas was one of the PGA Tour members elected to the committee.

The Masters Tournament was held on its usual dates, the first full week of April at the Augusta National Golf Club. The first round leader was Philadelphia product Skee Riegel with a three under par 69. On Sunday Jimmy Demaret (70-72-72-69--283) picked up seven strokes on Jim Ferrier over the last six holes to win the Masters for a third time. Ferrier (285), who was suffering from a thyroid condition, finished second two strokes back and two ahead of Sam Snead (287). Ben Hogan (288), still on the comeback trail, tied for fourth with former Reading Country Club professional Byron Nelson (288). Joe Kirkwood, Jr. posted a 297 and won $261 as he tied for 14th. Riegel finished at 288, tied for 21st and won $$244. Other Section members Dave Douglas (309) and Henry Williams, Jr. (311), the professional at the Tully-Secane Country Club, were in the field but finished out of the money. Dutch Harrison withdrew. First prize was $2,400 from a purse of $10,000.

The Sectionís spring meeting was at the Broadwood Hotel in Philadelphia on the second Monday in April. The guest speaker was Tom Crane, the Executive Secretary of the PGA of America. In attendance were 84 of the 181 Section members and there was a lot of news. The U.S. Open was going to be played at the Merion Golf Clubís East Course in June and the Reading Open was on the PGA Tour schedule again for a fourth year. Former Section president and pro at the Llanerch Country Club Marty Lyons, urged all the members to enter the qualifying rounds for the PGA and the U.S. Open so that the Section could have a large entry in both championships. Joe Kirkwood, Sr., world famous for his trick shot exhibitions, was leaving the Huntingdon Valley Country Club. He had so many shows booked he didnít have time for his duties at the club and decided to go back on the road full time. A new member of the Section, Jerry Barber was now the professional at the Cedarbrook Country Club.

Ben Hogan proved that he was all the way back by winning the $10,000 Greenbrier Open in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia during the first week of May. He tied a PGA Tour record held by Byron Nelson with a twenty-one under par 259. Hoganís rounds over The Greenbrierís Old White Course were 64, 64, 65 and 66. Hogan shrugged off the accomplishment saying that he thought that he had played better at the Masters Tournament in April. The host pro, Sam Snead (269), finished second ten strokes back. Australiaís Norman von Nida (270) finished third and Skip Alexander (271) finished fourth. First prize was $1,250 from a purse of $10,000.

George Fazio, who was now the professional at the Woodmont Country Club in Maryland, won the Middle Atlantic PGA Section Championship on the second Friday of May. Fazio toured the Elkridge Hunt Club course in 66 and 70 for a six under par 136. Fazio finished three strokes in front of Charlie Bassler (139). Johnny Bass, Jimmy Duke and Jack Isaacs tied for third with 140s.

Ed Oliver qualified for the PGA Championship at the Western Open in the third week of May. Any PGA member in good standing who finished in the top 25 at that tournament qualified. Sam Snead won the tournament and $2,600 with a score of 282. Dutch Harrison tied for second with a 283 and Oliver tied for fifth at 286.

Qualifying for the PGA Championship was held at The Springhaven Club on the fourth Monday of May. Rod Munday the professional at the Country Club of York was the medalist at three-under-par (66-71) 137. The 66 was a competitive course record. Mundayís score led the nation as the lowest score in all the PGA Sections. Two pros back from the PGA Tour for the qualifier, Dave Douglas and Ted Kroll the former assistant at the Philmont Country Club, tied for second with 140s. DuPont Country Club professional Terl Johnson (143) and Saucon Valley Country Club professional Ralph Hutchison (144) also qualified safely. Matt Kowal the professional at the Philmont Country Club and Bud Lewis the professional at the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club tied for the sixth and last spot with 145s. In a playoff on Sunday Kowal shot a 69 against a 75 for Lewis to earn a trip to the PGA. Henry Williams, Jr. was exempt for having been a quarter-finalist in the PGA the year before. Dutch Harrison was exempt as a member of the 1949 Ryder Cup Team. Even though he was exempt as a former winner of the tournament Ben Hogan didnít enter due to his damaged legs, which made it difficult for him to walk what could be a possible 216 holes or more in seven days if he made it to the finals.

George Fazio qualified for the PGA Championship in the Middle Atlantic Section on the fourth Monday of May. Fazio tied for the medal in qualifying for two of the three available spots at the Country Club of Virginiaís James River Course. The third spot went to Charlie Bassler with a 143. Fazio and Chandler Harper both posted rounds of 70 and 71 for 141s. It was such a windy day that many of the players declined to post their scores.


Howard Wheeler
Six time Negro national champion

On the fifth Monday of May qualifying was held for the U.S. Open at the North Hills Country Club and the Lu Lu Country Club. Because of the Open being at the Merion Golf Club there was a large entry in Philadelphia so two courses were needed. More than 140 pros and amateurs teed off at 8:45 AM in a pelting rain and finished in a mist twelve hours later. Jerry Barber and Mike Rooney the professional at the Cool Creek Country Club returned the lowest scores, 142s. Barber and Rooney both turned in 72s at North Hills in the morning and 70s at Lu Lu in the afternoon. Terl Johnson posted a 143. Henry Williams, Jr. and Cobbs Creek Golf Clubís Howard Wheeler an unattached African American professional, who played cross-handed, were next with 144s. Clarence Ehresman, the professional at the Ashbourne Country Club, George Fazio and amateur Jock Houdry had 145s. Bud Lewis, Ted Kroll and New Englandís Bob Toski and amateur Don Weiland posted 146s and survived via a five-man sudden death playoff that only took one hole. Dave Douglas and Skee Riegel were exempt because they had finished in the top fifteen at the U.S. Open the year before. Ben Hogan was exempt from qualifying in several categories.

Al Besselink qualified for the U.S. Open in Detroit on fifth Monday of May also. Horton Smith was the low qualifier with a 144. There were nine spots there and Besselink (72-78--150) finished sixth.

Also on the fifth Monday of May Dutch Harrison and Joe Kirkwood, Jr. qualified for the U.S. Open at the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas. The medalist was Australian Norman Von Nida with a 135. Harrison (69-67--136) finished second and Kirkwood (71-71ó142) tied for 12th. There were fifteen spots at Ft. Worth and the 143s played off. Henry Picard won the last spot in a sudden death playoff and Ed Oliver lost out, becoming the first alternate.


U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club
Ben Hogan playing his second shot
on the seventy-second hole

Merion Golf Club and Fred Austin hosted the 50th U.S. Open in the second week of June. It had been eleven years since the tournament had been in the Section. There were twelve Section members in the starting field. Sam Byrd, who had worked at Merion as the playing assistant for four years in the early 40s, was in the field. On the eve of the tournament the USGA decided to increase the purse from $10,000 to $14,900. Lee Mackey, Jr., a protťgťe of Sam Byrd, opened with a six-under-par 64 that was a tournament record for a single round. Former Philadelphia Country Club assistant Jimmy McHale had set the previous record at St. Louis in 1947. Mackey had grown up just ten blocks from Byrd in Birmingham, Alabama. He said that he hadnít gotten anywhere in golf until Byrd started helping him with his game. He had worked for Byrd as an assistant in Detroit three years before. The course measured 6,694 yards. George Fazio, who had grown up caddying at the Plymouth Country Club, was the first player off the tee on Saturday for the last 36 holes. Fazio and Al Besselink were paired together at 8 a.m. At that time the lowest scores didnít always tee off first. Besselink stood at 143 and Fazio was at 145, which was well below the cut score of 149. Fazio shot a 72 in the morning and came back with a 70 in the last round. His 287 total held up for quite awhile but when everyone was in he was in a three-way playoff with Ben Hogan (287) and Lloyd Mangrum (287). After starting with a 72 and a 69, Hogan shot 72-74 on Saturday for his 289. Hoganís legs were still in such bad shape from the automobile accident sixteen months before it seemed like he might not finish. Hogan said that the most tiring part was getting over and under the gallery ropes. The spectators were still allowed in the fairways at that time. Mangrum with a third round 69 was the only player to break par in either round on Saturday. Dutch Harrison just missed the playoff as he ended up alone in fourth place with a 288, winning $800. Joe Kirkwood, Jr. was next at 289, winning $500 for his tie for fifth. Skee Riegel (294) had a chance but a third round 79 put an end to that. Riegel and Al Besselink (294) finished in a tie for 12th, seven strokes off the pace. They each won $133.34. On Sunday Hogan fired a 69 for a comfortable margin of victory. Mangrum (73) was in contention until the 16th hole when he was penalized two strokes for lifting his ball on the green. He had marked and lifted his ball while the others putted and then replaced it to putt. As he prepared to putt he saw a bug on the ball and lifted it again to remove the bug. Because the rules did not permit a player to clean the golf ball he was assessed a two-stroke penalty. He holed the 12-foot putt. On the 17th hole Hogan holed a fifty-foot putt for a birdie to go four strokes ahead and clinch the playoff. First prize was $4,000 and for the first time every professional who returned a score for the 72 holes received a check. Fazio (75) won $1,000 for his third place finish. Many times the two losers in a three-man playoff would split the money but that was not the case at that U.S. Open. After 36 holes the field had been cut to the low 50 and ties. Ted Kroll (297), Henry Williams, Jr. (298), Terl Johnson (300) and Dave Douglas (301) made the cut and received the minimum checks of $100. All those who finished below 17th place won $100 each. Clarence Ehresman, Bud Lewis, Jerry Barber, Mike Rooney and Howard Wheeler missed the cut.


Jerry Barber
Won 1950 PA Open
PGA Champion 1961

Jerry Barber won the Pennsylvania Open at the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club in mid July. A member of Manufacturers and a former assistant pro at the club Howard Everitt was first off the tee in a field of 84 pros and amateurs. He posted a 138 but Barber produced eleven birdies against six bogies to edge him out by one stroke with a five-under-par (68-69) 137. Barber, always a great putter, only needed 55 putts for the 36 holes to pick up the first place check of $500. Clarence Ehresman finished third at 139. Terl Johnson, Ralph Hutchison and Doylestown Country Club professional Charley Lepre tied for fourth with 140s. There were eleven money places and the total purse was $1,150.

The PGA Championship was at the Sciota Country Club in Columbus, Ohio during the third week of July. The Philadelphia Section members had had a lot of success in the tournament since it began in 1916. Eleven Section members had qualified or were exempt. There was on site qualifying of 36 holes for 63 places in the match play ladder. Even though he was exempt from qualifying as the defending champion, Sam Snead won the medal with a 72 and a 68 for 140. Henry Williams, Jr. tied for fifth at 145. George Fazio (147), Ted Kroll (149), Dave Douglas (150) and Rod Munday (150) all made it with ease also. The players with 153 totals played off for the last spots. Dutch Harrison, Ed Oliver, Ralph Hutchison, Terl Johnson and Matt Kowal failed to qualify. The stymie was still a part of the match play rules. The first two rounds of matches were 18-holes each and the rest were 36-hole matches. Fazio put out Frank Staszowski in the first round by the count of 4&3 and then lost in the second round one-down to Bob Toski. Munday defeated Joe Zarhardt in the first round one-down before losing to Jimmy Demaret in the second round 5&3. Kroll won two matches as he defeated Ray Hill 5&4 and Al Watrous 2&1. Kroll lost in the third round to Johnny Palmer one-down. Douglas won three matches before losing to Williams in the quarter-finals one-down. Douglas eliminated Marty Furgol 3&1, Jimmy Hines 5&4 and Elmer Reed 3&2. Williams went all the way to the finals before losing to the winner Chandler Harper 4&3. Before beating Douglas, Williams had beaten William Heinlein 5&3, Emery Thomas 6&5 and Claude Harmon in 38 holes. After getting by Douglas, Williams met former Section member Henry Picard in the semifinals. The 42-year-old Picard was playing in his first PGA since 1941 and had just beaten Johnny Palmer in the previous round 10 & 8. Williams was six down to Picard with eight to play, but Picard tired and they went to last hole even. They halved the 36th hole with birdies. Williams made two more pars and when Picard three putted the 38th green Williams was in the finals. In the other semifinal match Harper defeated Jimmy Demaret 2&1. First prize was $3,500 and Williams won $1,500. The total purse was $17,700.


Bud Lewis
Won Section Championship twice
Won Philadelphia Open twice

Bud Lewis won his second Philadelphia Open on the last Monday in July. The tournament was played at the Cedarbrook Country Club in Mt. Airy. Lewis put together a 73 in the morning and a 68 in the afternoon for a one-under-par 141. That nosed out Terl Johnson, who equaled the par of 142. There was a three-way tie for third at 143 among Charley Lepre, Jack Ryan the teaching professional at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club and Ernie Pagnotta the professional at the Yardley Country Club. The tournament, scheduled for early July, had been postponed three weeks when heavy rains flooded the Cedarbrook course before anyone even teed off.


Clarence Ehresman
Won Philadelphia PGA
1944 & 1950

In late August the Sectionís members were playing their Section Championship at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club for a third year in a row. A former Section champion and professional at the Woodcrest Country Club, Sam Davis, won the medal with a two-under-par 70. Seventy pros, a record entry, were competing for sixty-two places in the match play field. The defending champion, Henry Williams, Jr. and the host professional Harry Obitz, were exempt from qualifying. Another former Section champion and the professional at the Fox Hill Country Club Felix Serafin won two gold watches in the qualifying round. Serafin won one watch for being nearest the pin on the par three 16th hole and he won the other watch for having the longest drive, 307 yards, on the sixth hole. There were several upsets in the match play. Clarence Ehresman and Carmen Steppo the professional at the Brandywine Country Club met in the 36-hole finals with Ehresman winning one-up. Ehresman was never up until the 35th hole. At one point in the morning round he was four down and facing a two-foot putt that was perfectly stymied. He took a 9-iron and chipped over Steppoís ball into the hole for a half. It was the second Section championship title for Ehresman. In the semifinals Steppo edged out Paul Midiri, who operated the Swing Rite Driving Range in Maple Shade, New Jersey by the slim margin one hole. In the other semifinal match Ehresman put out Serafin 4&3. The final was played on Sunday as it had been for many years. Fred Waring, the owner of Shawnee who was known for his music, presented the championship trophies.

The fourth annual Reading Open moved back to the Berkshire Country Club with a new date, the second week of September. The host professional was Harry Markel. The purse was the same as the previous year, $15,000. Ted Kroll led the first day with a course record tying 64. Sam Snead grabbed the title and set a tournament record for the Berkleigh course. He bettered Ben Hoganís 1948 winning score with rounds of 68, 65, 65 and 72 for 268. First prize was $2,600. Jim Ferrier (276) finished second eight strokes back and Glen Teal finished third at 277 one stroke in front of Ralph Bloomquist (278). The low Section members were Kroll and Jerry Barber who tied for tenth with 282s and each won $452.50. Dave Douglas (286) finished 22nd and won $130. Art Wall (287) tied for 23rd and won $110. Even par scores of 288 didnít win any money.

The day after the Reading Open Johnny Weitzel edged out Art Wall and Pete Cooper to win the Anthracite Open.

Joe Kirkwood, Jr. won the $5,000 Ozarks Open at the Hickory Hills Country Club in Springfield, Missouri. The tournament was played in two days and ended on the first Sunday of October. The pros played 18-holes on Saturday and 36-holes on Sunday. Kirkwood opened up with a 69 and finished with a pair of 66s on Sunday for an 18 under par 201. The defending champion Dave Douglas finished second with a score of 205. First prize was $1,000.


Al MacDonald
12th Philadelphia Section president

The Sectionís annual meeting was held at the Riverton Country Club in mid October. The Section was the third largest in the country with 182 members. Al MacDonald was elected president in a four-man race. The past president and professional at The Springhaven Club, Ted Bickel, Jr., was not a candidate. Al Keeping the professional at the Gulph Mills Golf Club and Bud Lewis were elected first and second vice president. John Hayes the professional at the Riverton Country Club was reelected secretary and Walter Brickley the professional at the Burlington Country Club was elected treasurer for a sixteenth consecutive year. Ed Tabor was the sectional vice president. Hayes read a citation from the PGA of America lauding the Section for its work in golf. The Sectionís junior golf program, involving 1,952 boys and girls, was the largest of any PGA Section.

Even though he didnít play in many tournaments Ben Hogan won the U.S. Open and tied a PGA Tour record at the Greenbrier. The sportswriters selected him as the "PGA Player-of-the-Year" in early November. With 173 sportswriters and sportscasters voting, Hogan received 112 of the votes. This was the third annual PGA poll. The leading money winner was Sam Snead with $35,758.83 and he led the scoring with an average of 69.23 strokes per round to win the Vardon Trophy. Dutch Harrison was ninth on the money list with $11,267.92, Ed Oliver finished twelfth with $10,987.59, Ben Hogan was sixteenth winning $8,185, Dave Douglas was seventeenth with $7,355.71 and George Fazio was twentieth with $7,164.67. Skee Riegel, who wasnít eligible for prize money until July, won just over $2,000. Under the PGA rules at that time a pro wasnít able to accept any prize money on the PGA Tour until he had been a professional for six months.

The PGA of Americaís annual meeting was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago in mid November. All the officers were returned to office but not without opposition. Joe Novak was reelected president with 65 votes to 6 for John Inglis. Horton Smith was nominated for president but withdrew and was reelected secretary. Harry Moffitt was reelected treasurer. The delegates voted not to change the method of competition in their championship and they approved a resolution to give the tournament players greater power in directing their tournament affairs. The PGA Tour players had two delegates at the national meeting just like the Sections. One of the delegates was Lawson Little and he was made a vice president of the PGA. The PGA amended its constitution to recognize the USGA as the rules making body in the United States. The delegates voted down a resolution to sell the lease on their course at Dunedin. George S. May offered the PGA $5,000 to bring their meeting to Chicago again the next year and the delegates voted to accept. The delegates from the Philadelphia Section were Marty Lyons and Walter Brickley. The PGA paid the expenses of one delegate and the Sections had to pay the expenses for a second delegate. Ted Bickel, Jr. was a vice president of the PGA representing District II, which was composed of the Philadelphia Section along with the Metropolitan and New Jersey Sections.

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1951 - In mid January Al Watrous won the PGA Seniorsí Championship (69-73ó142) at the PGA National Golf Club in Dunedin, Florida. Sixty-eight year old Jock Hutchison almost shot his age in the second round as he put together a 69 to tie Watrous at 142. In an 18-hole playoff the next day Hutchison showed his age when he tired on the last nine and ended up with an 81. Watrous went around in 75 strokes to win by six. Hutchison had won the tournament twice, finished second six times and third three times. Charlie McKenna finished third at 146 and Eddie Williams was fourth with a 147.

In the second week of February Dutch Harrison won the $10,000 Texas Open at the Brackenridge Park course in San Antonio. There were 270 pros and amateurs in the starting field and play was over two courses the first two days. After 36 holes the field was cut to the low sixty pros and ten amateurs. Harrison (265) put together a pair of seven under par 64s on the last two days to catch Doug Ford (265) and force a playoff. Harrisonís first two rounds were 67 and 70. Harrison, who was in his seventeenth year on the PGA Tour, defeated Ford in an 18-hole playoff on Monday with a 67 against a 68 for Ford. Jack Burke, Jr. finished third at 267 and Al Brosch was next with a 268. First prize was $2,000.

At the conclusion of the Texas Open, Jimmy Demaret and eight other pros departed by plane for the Mexican Open. Two of them were Stan Dudas an assistant at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club and Al Besselink who was playing the PGA Tour full time. The PGA tournament supervisor, Howard Capps a former assistant at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club, had told them that they would be fined if they played in the Mexican Open because it was not co-sponsored by the PGA and it conflicted with the Rio Grande Valley Open. Demaret was fined $500, Vic Ghezzi $350 and the others $200. Dudas and Capps had worked at Shawnee and Dudas had helped him get a job on the PGA Tour as an assistant to George Schneider. In the end only Demaret was fined due to his status on the tour as a current tournament winner.


Skee Riegel
Won 1947 U.S. Amateur
2nd in 1950 Masters Tournament
The Masters Tournament was played at its usual time in early April at the Augusta National Golf Club. The Philadelphia Section had eight invitees and they made a good showing. George Fazio who was back in Philadelphia and playing the PGA Tour led the first day with a four-under-par 68 and Skee Riegel was the leader at the halfway point with 141. Ben Hogan was one stroke back. After three rounds it was still Riegel now tied for the lead with Sam Snead at 211. Hogan was still one stroke back at 212. On Sunday Riegel went out two hours ahead of Hogan and put together a solid round of 71. He made a three-foot putt for a birdie on #17 and then on #18 he faced another three-footer for a par. Saucon Valleyís Ralph Hutchison announcing at the last green informed the gallery that Riegelís putt might win the tournament. He holed it for a 282 and an early lead that looked good enough to win. At that time the leaders werenít always paired together and they didnít always tee off last. An eight at

Ben Hogan
Playing from an Augusta National GC bunker
the 11th hole ended Sneadís hopes while Hogan, who teed of later, was playing the front nine in 33. Playing very conservatively Hogan tacked on a back nine 35 for a winning 280 score. Hoganís rounds were 70, 72, 70 and 68. This was Hoganís seventh major title but his first win at Augusta. Lew Worsham and Lloyd Mangrum tied for third with 286s. Dave Douglas (288) finished fifth alone and won $750. Dutch Harrison (294) tied for 15th and won $338. Fazio (296) tied for 18th and won $315. Al Besselink (297) and Joe Kirkwood, Jr (297) tied for 20th and they each won $308. Ted Kroll (298) tied for 25th and picked up $150. Henry Williams, Jr. (308), who was now the professional at the Berkleigh Country Club tied for 47th. He won $100, which was the minimum prize. Hogan won $3,000 and Riegel won $1,875. The course was still a symmetrical 3,450 yards out and 3,450 yards back. On Sunday the tournament officials announced a 50% bonus in the prize money. That made it a $15,000 purse and all the prizewinners received a 50% increase.


Ted Bickel, Jr.
Section President
1948-1950
The Sectionís spring meeting was on the first Monday in April at the Riverton Country Club. Honorary president Ted Bickel, Jr. was presented with a plaque for his years of service to the Section. Wiffy Cox and Al Houghton from the Middle Atlantic Section were the guest speakers. The Reading Open was on the PGA Tour schedule for a fifth straight year.

In May the USGA and the R & A announced that the stymie rule would be eliminated at the end of the year. There had been a great deal of conversation concerning the unfairness of the stymie. Most tournaments in the United States were already being played without the use of it so this didnít mean much to the American golfer. The PGA Championship and the Philadelphia Section Championship were both played at match play. The stymie rule was still enforced in those tournaments because the PGA had agreed to follow the USGAís rules.


Rod Munday
PGA Qualifying Medalist
Led USA two straight years

On the last Monday in May the Section qualifying for the PGA Championship was held at the Bala Golf Club. For the second straight year Rod Munday was the low man and the low scorer in the country as well with his rounds of 65 and 66 for 131. The Section had seven spots to qualify for. The second place went to the head professional from the Colonial Country Club, Johnny Weitzel, who finished the day at even par 136. The next two places went to the professional from the Jeffersonville Country Club Angelo Paul (138) and the professional from the Country Club of Harrisburg Joe Ludes (138). Lu Lu Country Club professional Charles Schneider, Sr., Terl Johnson and Bud Lewis picked up the last three spots with 140s. Eight Section members were exempt from qualifying. Ben Hogan was exempt as a past PGA champion. Dutch Harrison, Ed Oliver, Ted Kroll, George Fazio and Joe Kirkwood, Jr. had exemptions based on their positions on the PGA Tour money list. The top thirty money winners from 1950 were exempt that year. Henry Williams, Jr., runner-up in the PGA the year before and Dave Douglas were exempt for having reached the quarter-finals. Hogan didnít enter the PGA because his damaged legs couldnít make it through 36-holes a day. Harrison and Kirkwood didnít enter the tournament either.

Qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Llanerch Country Club on the first Monday of June. Dave Douglas (69-71) shaved four strokes off par with a 140 to lead a field of 57 pros and amateurs. Atlantic City amateur Bo Wininger, who would go on to win on the PGA Tour, was one stroke back at 141. Ken Gibson the head professional from the Huntingdon Valley Country Club grabbed the third spot with a 145. The fourth spot went to Reading amateur Buddy Lutz with a 146. Henry Williams, Jr., John Serafin, Air Force Sergeant Harold "Reds" Ridgely, and Howard Wheeler finished in a four-way tie for the last spot with 147s. Ridgely won the playoff for the last spot but then withdrew in favor of Williams who had finished second in the playoff. After Ridgelyís withdrawal Wheeler went on defeat Serafin, who was the assistant to his father Felix at the Fox Hill Country Club, for the first alternate spot. Gibson withdrew from the Open and Wheeler got in as an alternate. Ben Hogan, George Fazio, Dutch Harrison, Joe Kirkwood, Jr., Skee Riegel and Al Besselink were exempt due to having finished in the top twenty in the previous U.S. Open.

The U.S. Open was held at the Oakland Hills Country Club near Detroit in the middle of June. At the end of 36 holes Dave Douglas was in second place one stroke out of the lead and after three rounds he was in fifth place, two strokes back. The defending champion Ben Hogan had started slowly with 76-73, but he had moved into contention with a 71. Entering the final round on Saturday afternoon Hogan was two strokes behind the leaders at 220. Hogan blew the field away in the last round with a 67. His 287 total won by two strokes. Hogan and Clayton Heafner (289), who finished second, were the only two players to break 70 in the tournament. Heafner had a last round 69. Robert Trent Jones had remodeled the course and only Hogan and Heafner finished under 291. When Hogan finished he stated that it was the hardest course he had ever played. First prize was $4,000. Bobby Locke finished third at 291 and Lloyd Mangrum was next at 293. Douglas (294) and Al Besselink (294) tied for sixth winning $387.50 apiece. Skee Riegel (295) tied for tenth and won $187.50. Joe Kirkwood, Jr. (299) tied for 21st, Ed Oliver (301) tied for 24th and Dutch Harrison (307) tied for 47th. They each won $100, which everyone who made the cut received. The total purse was $14,800. The tournament took in $110,892 in admissions and the program book which was sold at the course brought in another $75, 000 in advertisements. The USGA and the club shared the income. Howard Wheeler, George Fazio and Henry Williams, Jr. missed the cut.

On the day Ben Hogan won the U.S. Open the Hershey Country Club officials announced that Hoganís contract, as the golf professional, was not being renewed. The club officials said that they no longer wanted to have a playing professional represent the club. For some time Hogan had been aware of this and he had recommended Walter Hall as his replacement. The club hired Hall as their new club professional.

After winning the U.S. Open for a third time Ben Hogan told the press that he had no plans to enter another tournament that year. That included the PGA Championship, which was coming up in two weeks. He said that he was not retiring but he was going to play exhibitions the rest of the year. His plan was to play one or two exhibitions a week at $1,000 a day.

The Pennsylvania Open was held at the Pittsburgh Field Club on the Monday after the U.S. Open. Most of the money stayed in western Pennsylvania. Westmoreland Country Club professional Johnny Bulla won by four strokes over Oakmont Country Club head professional Lew Worsham (145, with a 72 and a 69 for 141. George Griffin, Jr. (147), assistant to his father at the Green Valley Country Club and the Highland Country Club professional Art Tucke (147) tied for third, six strokes off the pace.

In late June seven of the Section members made it through the on-site qualifying for the 64-man match play field in the PGA Championship. The host club, the Oakmont Country Club, became the first club to host the championship a second time. Claude Harmon, Lloyd Mangrum and Pete Cooper tied for medalist honors with 142s. Ed Oliver (144), George Fazio (145), Dave Douglas (147), Rod Munday (148), Henry Williams, Jr. (149), Johnny Weitzel (151) and Ted Kroll (151) all qualified safely. The 154 scores played off. Terl Johnson, Bud Lewis, Joe Ludes and Angelo Paul failed to qualify. Charles Schneider, Sr. withdrew before play began. The first two rounds of match play were 18-holes and the rest were 36-hole matches. Fazio, Douglas, Kroll, Williams and Weitzel all lost in the first round. Fazio lost to Toney Penna 4&2, Douglas lost to Buck White 2&1, Kroll lost to Ray Gafford on the 19th hole, Williams was beaten by former Section member Gene Kunes 4&2 and Johnny Weitzel lost to Lawson Little 3&2. Rod Munday and Ed Oliver were the only pros from the Section to win a match and they lost in the second round. Munday eliminated Bob Toski 5&3 and then lost to Vic Ghezzi 4&3. Oliver defeated Herman Keiser 5&4 before losing to George Bolesta 2&1. Sam Snead won his third PGA Championship defeating Walter Burkemo in the finals by 7&6. In the semifinals Snead beat Charlie Bassler 9&8 and Burkemo got by Ellsworth Vines with a one-hole victory. The PGA of America kept the stymie rule in play for their championship even though the USGA had decided that the rule would be abandoned at the end of the year. The purse totaled $17,700. All of the qualifiers won money. The losers in the first round each won $100, second round $200, third round $350, fourth round $500 and those that lost in the fifth round each received $750. Burkemo took home a check for $1,500 and Snead won $3,500.

In the third week of July Joe Kirkwood, Jr. won the $20,000 Blue Ribbon Open at the North Hills Country Club near Milwaukee. After an opening round of one over par 72 he posted rounds of 66 and 69 to trail by one stroke. On Sunday Kirkwood shot a 64, the low round of the tournament by two strokes, to win the first prize of $2,750. Sam Snead (273) finished second two strokes back and one in front of Lloyd Mangrum (274) and Jim Ferrier (274). Skee Riegel, playing out of Tulsa, ended up in fifth place alone at 275 and won $1,150. George Fazio (280) tied for seventh and won $762. First prize was $2,750.

Ben Hogan went back on his vow to only play exhibitions for the remainder of the year. In the second week of August big money brought him back to tournament golf at the Tam OíShanter Country Club in Chicago. The $50,000 World Championship of Golf gave Hogan a $10,000 appearance fee to play in the tournament. After opening with rounds of 68, 69 and 70 Hogan came from five strokes back of Jimmy Demaret (276) with a last round 66 to win by three. The 66, a course record, gave him a 15 under par 273. Pete Cooper (277) and Bobby Locke (277) tied for third one stroke behind Demaret. The first place $12,500 check and the appearance fee gave Hogan a $22,500 payday.


Rod Munday
1951 Section Champion

Terl Johnson won the medal at the Section Championship qualifying in late August. He shot a 68, missing the tournament record by one stroke. The defending champion, Clarence Ehresman, was exempt from the qualifying for 64 places on the match play ladder. Harry Obitz and Shawnee Inn & Country Club hosted the championship again. Two of the Sectionís strongest players met in the finals with Rod Munday taking the measure of Henry Williams, Jr. The match was still even after the morning 18 but Munday, a notoriously poor putter, started making putts in the afternoon round and won the Bulletin Cup with a 2 & 1 victory.  Munday putted right-handed, left-handed and cross-handed. Sometimes he did this all on the same green. In the semifinals Munday defeated Reading Country Club head professional Henry Poe 2&1 and Williams eliminated an old foe, Felix Serafin 6&4. The Philadelphia Section kept the stymie rule in effect for the tournament even though the USGA had decided to discontinue it at the end of that year. In the finals the stymie affected play on four holes with Williams being stymied three times. First prize was $500 and possession of the Evening Bulletin Trophy for one year. Williams won $300.

The Wood Memorial was held on the third Monday of September at the Jeffersonville Golf Club. The Eastern Open had just ended and the touring pros were passing by on their way to the Reading Open so the tournament drew a very strong field. There were nine touring pros entered. Dave Douglas birdied five of the first eight holes and went on to victory even though he hit his drive on #16 out of bounds. He finished with a four under par 66 to edge out Charlie Lepre (67) and California pro Jimmy Clark (67) by one stroke. Johnny Moyer the head professional at the Schuylkill Country Club, Merion Golf Club assistant Bob DeHaven and Massachusettsí Bob Toski tied for fourth with 68s. First prize was $300 from a $1,000 purse.

In the third week of September the fifth annual Reading Open had a new venue. The tournament was held at the Berkleigh Country Club and the host professional was Henry Williams, Jr. Jim Turnesa led all the way with rounds of 69-70-67 and even though he had a last round 74 his 280 total won by three strokes. Jack Burke, Jr. (283), whose father had been a professional in the Philadelphia area, finished second with a last round of 68. Skee Riegel and Jimmy Clark tied for third at 285 and each won $1,300. They finished one-stroke in front of Dave Douglas who tied for fifth with Ted Kroll at 286. They each and won $833.33. Rod Munday (293) tied for 15th and won $235. Williams (294) tied for 18th, winning $215. Buddy Heckman (297), the head professional at the Green Hills Country Club, finished 24th and won $150. Johnny Moyer (299) tied for 29th and won the last money prize of $50. Ed Oliver would have been in the money but he disqualified himself when he discovered that he had played a ball from "Out of Bounds" on the tenth hole. The purse was still $15,000 but first prize was reduced from $2,600 to $2,400. As a result of the changes in the payout thirty players won checks, which was eight more than the year before. Three thousand spectators were on hand for the last round.

Even though he had just finished hosting and playing in the Reading Open at his own club Henry Williams, Jr. won the Philadelphia Open the next day in September at the Llanerch Country Club. Williams had his problems with the front nine each round but he mastered the back nine. On his two back nines, morning and afternoon, he had eight birdies and ten pars. When it was all over Williams had put together a 71 in the morning and a 70 in the afternoon for a three under par 141 and a two-stroke victory. Bud Lewis and Johnny Moyer tied for second with 143s. Amateur Jimmy McHale (144) was fourth, Charley Lepre (145) was fifth and amateur Francis "Bo" Wininger (146) finished sixth. The winner received $350 and the runner-ups each won $182.50. There were ten money places and the total purse was $1,005.

The annual fall meeting of the Section and election of officers was held in Philadelphia at the Broadwood Hotel on the third Monday of October. Al MacDonald was reelected president. Bill Boyle, the head professional at the Iron Rock Golf Club, was elected first vice president and Bud Lewis was reelected second vice president. John Hayes and Walter Brickley were reelected secretary and treasurer. Ed Tabor was the sectional vice president. Hayes reported that the Section had 187 members, third largest in the country. MacDonald appointed Hayes, Harry Obitz, Clarence Ehresman and Marty Lyons to a newly created advisory board. The tournament schedule that year had been the largest ever put together by the Section.

The Ryder Cup matches were played in Pinehurst, North Carolina on the Pinehurst #2 course in early November. Ed Oliver, Ben Hogan and Henry Ransom were on the team along with Sam Snead who was the playing captain. It was the only Ryder Cup not played on consecutive days. The teams attended a college football game in the middle of the matches. A strong American team lived up to expectations and won easily 9-1/2 to 2-1/2.

In mid November Ben Hogan was selected "PGA Player-of-the-Year" for the third time in four years. In 1949 when he didnít win he was recovering from the automobile accident. The selection was made by a poll of sports writers and broadcasters. Hogan received 85 percent of the votes even though he only played in four tournaments. He won the Masters, U.S. Open, World Championship and he was fourth at the Colonial. In one other start he shot a 65 the first round of the Phoenix Open but had to withdraw due to illness. Hogan won $20,400 in official money and averaged 70.00 strokes per round. The leading money winner for the year was Lloyd Mangrum with $26,088. In eighth place on the money list was Skee Riegel with $10,882.17 and Ed Oliver finished tenth with $9,959.17. Dutch Harrison won $7,687.50 and ended up in the nineteenth place. Ted Kroll won $6,723.83 to finish twenty-fourth and Dave Douglas was 28th with $5,900. Mangrum also led the scoring with 70.05 strokes per round because Hogan didnít play enough tournament rounds to be eligible for the award.

The national PGA meeting was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago at the end of November. There were now 30 PGA Sections. Horton Smith, an outstanding tournament player and club professional, was elected president. There was surprise opposition to Smith when the PGA Tour representative Dave Douglas nominated Harry Moffitt. Smith was elected by 57 votes to 19 for Moffitt. Moffitt was elected secretary over Harold Sargent and then Sargent was elected treasurer unopposed. Howard Capps resigned as the PGA Tour tournament supervisor. Capps had been an assistant at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club in the 1947 and 1948. The delegates from the Philadelphia Section were Al MacDonald and John Hayes.

The Philadelphia Section held an unusual mid-winter meeting on the third Monday of December, The Sectionís delegates to the national meeting, Al MacDonald and John Hayes, reported on the meeting. The Section had been complimented at the meeting for its continuation of the veteranís rehabilitation program and the success of the program. The Korean War was being fought and just like World War II there were wounded soldiers in need of rehabilitation. Al MacDonald had followed Leo Diegel as the Sectionís Rehabilitation Program and he jumped back into action. MacDonald, his co-chairman Angelo Paul and their committee of golf professionals instructed 200 wounded veterans from the Naval Hospital at the League Island Golf Course on how to hold and swing a golf club. They also instructed 400 wounded veterans at the Valley Forge Hospital where the golf course that the professionals and green superintendents had built was still in operation. Golf Association of Philadelphia president, J. Wood Platt, was in attendance and promised close cooperation with the PGA.

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1952 - The PGA Seniorsí Championship was played at the PGA National Golf Club in Dunedin, Florida in the second week of January. Portland, Maineís Ernie Newnham won with a 75 and a 71 for 146. Al Watrous, who had won the tournament the last two years, finished second at 147. Louis Chiapetta, Charley McKenna, Harry Schwab and Phil Turnesa tied for fourth with 148s. Ed Dudley tied for 17th with a 153. Harold Calloway (154), the head professional at the Skytop Club and Al MacDonald (153) tied for 23rd. There were 106 entries.

Ted Kroll won the $10,000 San Diego Open in the third week of January. Kroll put together rounds of 65, 69, 72 and 70 for a twelve under par 276. The 65 in the first round was a course record. The 65 was a remarkable score as Kroll played most of the round in a driving rainstorm. The course was waterlogged for all four rounds as the rain persisted. The other professionals in the tournament described the 276 score close to a miracle. Jimmy Demaret finished second at 279, three strokes off the winning pace. Jay Hebert and Jim Ferrier tied for third with 282s. Skee Riegel (283) and Ed Furgol (283) tied for fifth. Riegelís last round of 70 was made up of eight birdies, six bogies and four pars. First prize was $2,000.

At the Phoenix Open in February Dave Douglas was reelected to the PGA Tour seven-man tournament committee. The next election was scheduled to be held just prior to the PGAís annual meeting that fall.


Henry Williams, Jr.
Runner-up 1950 PGA
Won 1952 Tucson Open

Henry Williams, Jr. won the $10,000 Tucson Open at the El Rio Golf and Country Club in the first week of February. With a first round 68 he trailed the leaders by just three strokes and a second round 65 moved him within one stroke of the leaders. Skee Riegel was one of the leaders with 68-64. On Saturday he grabbed a two-stroke lead with a par round of 70 as thirty-five mile-per-hour winds made the scoring very difficult. Riegel posted a 74. Sunday was another windy day and Williams put together a steady 71 for a 274 total and a two-stroke victory. Cary Middlecoff came in with a 67, the low round by two strokes on Sunday, and finished second with 276. Riegel finished third at 278. Lloyd Mangrum, Joe Moore and amateur Frank Stranahan tied for fourth with 279s. First prize was $2,000. It was an accomplishment for a true club professional like Williams to win a PGA Tour event. The PGA Tour was now mostly composed of full time touring pros, some club professionals who joined the tour for the winter events and the local pros that played when the tour was nearby. Williams usually managed to win $800 or $900 in three months on the Winter PGA Tour but 1952 was certainly going to be better. He said that he usually didnít quite break even but the experience was invaluable.

Sam Snead picked up a second green jacket at the Masters Tournament in early April. Even though thirteen players broke par the first day only Snead was under par at the end of 72 holes. The last two days the wind blew and the scores soared. Snead won by four strokes with a 286. Sneadís rounds were 70, 67, 77 and 72. Jack Burke, Jr. finished second at 290. Merchantvilleís Al Besselink tied for third with Tommy Bolt and Jim Ferrier at 291. First prize was $4,000 and Besselink won $1,366.66. George Fazio (297), now the playing pro from the Pine Valley Golf Club, Skee Riegel (297) and Ted Kroll (297) tied for 14th. They each won $442.50. Joe Kirkwood, Jr. (298) tied for 19th and won $420. Ed Oliver (304), who was now back playing the PGA Tour full time, and Dave Douglas (304) tied for 30th. They each won $200.

The Sectionís spring meeting was held on the first Monday of April at the Riverton Country Club. There were now 3,032 PGA members in the country and 194 Section members. A pro-pro tournament with the pros being paired by blind draw preceded the meeting. The guest speaker was the treasurer of the PGA of America, Harold Sargent. Willie Polumbo, the tournament chairman and professional at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club, presented the members with the tournament schedule. There were 35 events and Polumbo stated that there might be a few additions.

The week after the Masters Tournament Dave Douglas won the $10,000 Greensboro Open at the Starmount Forest Country Club. After a disappointing 73 in the opening round Douglas came through with a course record 64 in the second round. That put him in position to win as he trailed the leader Ed Oliver by just one stroke. He shot a steady round of 71 in the third round and a last round 69 produced a seven under par 277. This allowed him to edge out Bobby Locke by one stroke. Oliver, Sam Snead and Jim Ferrier tied for third at 279. Snead was in the lead playing the par-three 17th hole but a four over par seven ended his chance of winning. Snead played the hole in five strokes and he was also assessed a two-stroke penalty for taking a penalty drop from a lateral hazard that was nearer the hole than it should have been. Art Wall (280), who played the PGA Tour from the Pocono Manor Golf Club led after the third round and finished sixth alone, one stroke in front of Skee Riegel (281). First prize was $2,000.

Qualifying for the PGA Championship was at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club on the third Monday in May. Charley Lepre brought in the low score with a 147. Lepre turned in a one under par 70 in the morning and he came back with a 77 in the afternoon. There were forty starters and Lepre had the only sub-par round. Rod Munday, Walter Brickley and Johnny Weitzel who was now the head professional at the Hershey Country Club tied for second with 148s. Henry Williams, Jr. turned in a 150 to win the fifth spot. Atlantic City Country Club head professional Buck Worsham also made the grade with a 151. There were seven openings (one for every 28 Section members) and three players tied for seventh with 152s. On the next Monday Bala Driving Range professional John Lewis (73) grabbed the last spot by defeating Felix Serafin (76) and Tony Midiri (79), who operated the Swing Rite Driving Range with his brother Paul, in an 18-hole playoff. Dave Douglas, Ted Kroll and Ed Oliver were exempt off having been in the top thirty on the 1951 PGA Tour money list.

Art Wall, Johnny Weitzel and Henry Williams, Jr. qualified for the U.S. Open at the Woodcrest Country Club on the first Monday in June. Wall was low with 71-70 for 141. Weitzel turned in a 144 and Williams posted a 145. There was a record 1,688 entries in the country, which meant about one in twelve would qualify to join the exempt players in Dallas. Dave Douglas, Al Besselink and Skee Riegel were exempt by having been in the top twenty in the U.S. Open the previous year.

Ted Kroll, George Fazio and Bo Wininger, who was now a professional playing out of the Atlantic City Country Club, also qualified for the U.S. Open in St. Louis on the first Tuesday of June. Wininger finished second with a 136 and Kroll tied for 6th at 142. Fazio got under the wire with a 145. The medalist was Fred Haas, Jr. with a 133.

Ed Oliver qualified for the U.S. Open on the first Tuesday of June also. Oliver grabbed one of eight spots at the St. Andrews Country Club near Chicago, with a 70 and a 72 for 142. Sam Bernardi led with a 140 and the 143s played off. There were eight spots in Chicago.

The PGA and Life Magazine cosponsored the first National Golf Day. As the defending U.S. Open champion Ben Hogan shot a target round at the Northwood Club in Dallas, site of that yearís championship. Golfers from all parts of the country paid $1 each for the opportunity to compete against Hogan using their handicaps on their own course. The ones who won received a badge saying, "I Beat the Champion". Eighty thousand dollars was raised for charity.

In the first week of June Dave Douglas picked up his second win of year on the PGA Tour. It came at the $15,000 Ardmore Open at the Dornick Hills Country Club in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The touring pros called it the "Poor Boys Open" because it was usually scheduled with poor dates and leading money winners werenít entered. Waco Turner, a wealthy oilman, owned the course and sponsored the tournament. First prize was $2,400 but before the tournament started Turner added another $3,000 to the first prize. He also paid out bonus money in the form of $10 for all birdies, $100 for daily low rounds, $5 for each stroke under par in a round and $250 for eagles. Douglas put together steady rounds of 70, 68, 69 and 72 for a one under par 279. The host pro Dutch Harrison, finished second at 281 just missing out on a large bonus. His employer, Turner, had said that he would pay a $6,000 bonus if his pro won the tournament. Lloyd Mangrum (282) and Julius Boros (283) finished third and fourth. Al Besselink, Ted Kroll and Roberto De Vicenzo tied for fifth with 284s. Harrison had been a member of the Philadelphia Section the year before.

Once again George Fazio and Ed Oliver put together very good U.S. Opens. The Open was played at the Northwood Club in Dallas during the second week of June. Fazio opened with a 71 and added on a second round 69. That put him in second place two strokes behind Ben Hogan going into the last dayís 36-hole finish. A pair of 75s left Fazio (290) in fifth place as Julius Boros handled the Texas heat better than everyone else. Boros won by four strokes with rounds of 71, 71, 68 and 71 for a 281. Ed Oliver shot a 70 and a 72 the last day to place second by himself at 285. Hogan (286) finished third and Johnny Bulla (287) was fourth.  First prize from the $14,900 purse was $4,000. Oliver won $2,500 and Fazio won $600. Ted Kroll tied for seventh at 292 and won $350. Bo Wininger (298), Henry Williams, Jr. (304), Johnny Weitzel (306) and Art Wall (308) made the cut and each won $100. Skee Riegel, Al Besselink and Dave Douglas missed the cut.

The PGA Championship was played in Louisville, Kentucky at the Big Spring Country Club and qualifying began four days after the U.S. Open ended. At that time the PGA always gave the host pro an exemption into the tournament. As the U.S. Open winner Julius Boros was invited to play in the PGA Championship even though he wasnít a PGA member yet. To invite Boros the PGA by-laws were temporarily changed. Boros played a practice round but he then decided to withdraw because of the controversy his invitation had created among the pros. Henry Williams, Jr. shot a 138 to finish third in the qualifying and Dave Douglas was one stroke behind at 139. The medalist with a 136 was Dutch Harrison, who was now the pro at a club in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Ted Kroll (142) and Charley Lepre (145) also made it safely. There were 64 places on the match play ladder to qualify for and the 147 scores played off. It was the lowest qualifying cutoff score in the history of the PGA Championship. There were twelve players at 147 for nine spots and one of those was Johnny Weitzel, who was eliminated on the first hole. Rod Munday, Buck Worsham, John Lewis, Walter Brickley and Ed Oliver also failed to make it through the on-site qualifying test. The first two rounds of matches were 18 holes each and after that the matches were 36 holes. Lepre lost in the first round to Chandler Harper 6&5. Douglas won his first round match against Johnny Palmer 2&1 and lost in the second round to Walter Burkemo one-down. Williams won two matches as he beat Jim Gantz 5&4 and Jack Jones one-down. In the third round Williams was defeated 6&5 by Chick Harbert. Kroll made it all the way to the semifinals before losing to Jim Turnesa 4&2. To get to the semis Kroll defeated Lawson Little one-down, Lloyd Mangrum two-down, Ray Hansberger 2&1 and Cary Middlecoff in 38 holes. After 26 years of second place finishes in major professional tournaments by the Turnesa brothers Jim Turnesa came through with a victory. In the finals Turnesa defeated Harbert one-down. Harbert had beaten Bob Hamilton 2&1 in the semifinals. The purse was $17,700 and first prize was $3,500.

Another Philadelphia product, Al Besselink, won on the PGA Tour at the Sioux City Open in late July. It was the first win on the PGA Tour for Besselink. He opened with a 65 on the 6,506 yard Elmwood Country Club course to lead by two strokes. In the next two rounds Besselink added a 70 and a 67 to trail by three strokes. A last round eight under par 64, which included two eagle 3s and a back nine 31, brought him in with a four stroke victory over Jerry Barber (270). Besselink represented various clubs around the country from time to time but he always had a home in Merchantville, New Jersey. The tournament purse was $15,000 and first prize was $2,400. Jim Turnesa and Jimmy Clark tied for third with 272s.


John Serafin
1952 Section Champion

Pat Tiso was the medalist at the Section Championship. His 67 tied the tournament record for the Shawnee Inn & Country Club as eight players finished under the par of 72. The tournament was played in the third week of August and Harry Obitz was the host pro again. There were 72 entries and the low 64 qualified for the match play rounds. An old name but a new face won the title. John Serafin, the 23-year-old son of Felix Serafin and the head professional at the Elk View Country Club, outlasted a former winner Matt Kowal in the final round that went 38 holes. Kowal made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 36th hole to send the match into overtime. In the sudden death playoff both players parred the first hole and then Serafin holed a four-foot birdie putt on the par five second extra hole to wrap up the win. In the semifinals Serafin eliminated Charley Lepre 3&1 and Kowal sent home the defending champion Rod Munday by the margin of 3&2.

On the first Sunday of September Ted Kroll caught and passed Skee Riegel to win the first Insurance City Open. On day one of the tournament Riegel and Art Wall had each posted five under par 66s over the Wethersfield Country Club to lead by one stroke. Riegel put together a 67 in the second round to lead the field by four strokes and he posted a steady 71 on Saturday, which allowed him to stay in front by two. On Sunday the remains of a hurricane blew in while the players were on the back nine. The winds were strong enough to uproot several small trees around the golf course. Kroll had played the front nine in 31 strokes and he got around the back nine in par 36 for an eleven under par 273. Riegel (276) turned in a 73 and finished tied for second with Lawson Little (276) and Earl Stewart (276). Krollís four rounds were 69, 70, 67 and 67. First prize was $2,400 and the purse totaled $15,000.

The 15th Frank H. Wood Memorial tournament was played at the Jeffersonville Golf Club on the second Monday of September. The tournament was held each year in memory of Jeffersonvilleís pro Frank Wood who had died from pneumonia at the age of 32 in 1934. The one-day tournament attracted a strong field as the touring pros were on their way from Albany where the Empire State Open had just been played to the Eastern Open in Baltimore. The tournament ended in tie as Al Besselink and Tommy Bolt posted five under par 65s, just missing Ed Dudleyís course record of 64. There was no playoff and they were declared co-champions. Rod Munday finished third with a 66 and Terl Johnson was next at 67. Besselink and Bolt each picked up $275. There were 92 pros in the field and some of the other name pros were Ed Oliver, Dave Douglas, George Fazio, Marty Furgol, Bob Duden, Dow Finsterwald and Jimmy Clark. On Tuesday the amateurs competed in the amateur division. Eighteen-year-old Bob Schoener, Jr., who had won the Pennsylvania Public Links Championship that summer, produced a 65 of his own. Jimmy McHale and Leo Heller tied for second with 72s.

George Fazio won a second Philadelphia Open on the fourth Monday of September at the North Hills Country Club. Fazio started off with a four over par nine on the second hole but hung in to finish with a three over par 74 total for his morning round. In the afternoon Fazio put together a 69. Fazioís 143 score gave him the Philly Open title by one stroke. That was Fazioís first appearance in the tournament since he won in 1949. Ken Gibson and reinstated amateur Howard Everitt tied for second with 144s. Charley Lepre was next in fourth place with a 146. Rod Munday, Mike Souchak the playing professional from the Valley Forge Golf Club, and amateur Wes Steinman tied for fifth with 147s. The entry was one of the largest in the history of the tournament. First prize was $350.


George Griffin, Jr.
Won 1952 Pennsylvania Open
Won 1953 Philadelphia Open

The Pennsylvania Open was held at the St. Davids Golf Club and the Gulph Mills Golf Club on the first Monday of October. At the conclusion of the one-day 36-hole championship George Griffin, Jr. and a 23-year old amateur, Arnold Palmer, were tied at 143. Palmer was on a three-day leave from the Coast Guard. Griffin (69 GM-74 SD) and Palmer (71 GM-72 SD) both encountered problems at SDGC on two holes that were thought by the members to be among the easier ones. Griffin came to the short 18th hole at SDGC in position to finish with what looked to be a good chance to win. (It was difficult to tell with half of the field playing the other course in each round.) Griffin put his second shot in the front bunker, played his third shot onto the green and then three-putted for a double-bogey six. In Palmerís round he had made a double-bogey on the short par three 6th-hole. By the time that all of the scores were tabulated from the two courses it was dark. Griffin had the $500 first place money in hand and the next day he picked up the title as well by defeating Palmer in an 18-hole playoff at Gulph Mills with a 73 versus a 76 for Palmer. The 23-year-old Palmer wasnít well known in eastern Pennsylvania but he had already won the West Penn Amateur five times. Ken Gibson was close again with a third place finish. George Fazio tied for fourth with the defending champion Johnny Bulla at 146. Art Wall, Mike Souchak and Leo Anderson tied for sixth with 147s.

In the second week of October the Valley Forge Cup was played at the Plymouth Country Club. The tournament format was selective drive from the first tee and alternate stroke from there on. The two-man teams were made up of pros and amateurs who had been paired by a blind draw. In one semifinal match the team of Tony Midiri and Aroniminkís George Rowbotham defeated Bill Boyle and Green Valleyís Sam Robinson 3&2. In the other match Mike Souchak and Newarkís Ellis Taylor eliminated Henry Poe and Plymouthís Doug Bradley. In the 36-hole finals Midiri and Rowbotham soundly defeated Souchak and Taylor by the count of 6&4.

The annual meeting of the Philadelphia Section was held at the Atlantic City Country Club on the third Monday of October. There was a pro-pro event in the afternoon and dinner was served at 6:00. The meeting was held after the dinner. Henry Poe was elected president. The election of Poe was a little unusual since he had never been an officer or served on a committee in the Section but he had been hand picked by his predecessor Al MacDonald. Bill Boyle was reelected first vice president and Willie Polumbo was elected second vice president. John Hayes and Walter Brickley were reelected secretary and treasurer. Ed Tabor was the vice president at-large.

Bill Moran won the Section Stroke Play Championship in late October. The first round was played at the Tavistock Country Club and the second round was at the Brandywine Country Club. Moran (143) put together a 74 at Tavistock and a 69 at Brandywine to win by two strokes. Terl Johnson and George Griffin, Jr. tied for second with 145s.

The national meeting of the PGA was in Chicago at the Sheraton Hotel during mid November. A proposal to change the PGA Championship was presented to the delegates. The change called for 72 holes of stroke play in two days with the low 15 going into match play with the defending champion. The club pros were opposed to this, as it would be more difficult for one of them to win. Dave Douglas, the national vice-president representing the PGA Tour thought it would be too much golf. The proposal was defeated 46 to 7. A vote, that did pass but by the slim margin of 33 to 32, was for authorization to move the national office from Chicago to Dunedin. A committee was appointed to revive the PGA Hall of Fame. Another committee was formed to work with the National Golf Foundation to encourage the construction of more golf courses. President Horton Smith, Secretary Harry Moffitt and Treasurer Harold Sargent were all reelected. Henry Poe and John Hayes were the Sectionís delegates to the PGA meeting. They had been elected as the delegates to represent the Section at the fall meeting in October.

Julius Boros was voted the "PGA Player-of-the-Year" and he was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour with $37,032. He led Cary Middlecoff by more than $6,000. Ted Kroll led the Philadelphia Section pros with $17,500.00 as he placed fifth on the money list. Dave Douglas was seventh on the list with $15,173.33. Ed Oliver was in tenth place on the money list, Al Besselink finished fourteenth and Skee Riegel ended up in sixteenth place. Oliver won $13,359.17, Besselink took home $10,004.16 and Riegel earned $9,820.84. Jack Burke, Jr. won the Vardon Trophy with an average of 70.54 strokes for 78 official rounds. The total prize money on the PGA Tour that year added up to more than $600,000.

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1953 - The PGA Seniorís Championship was won by Harry Schwab in mid January at Dunedin. A first round 66, which was a tournament record, gave him a commanding lead and a second round 76 gave him a total of 142 and the title. Schwab finished three strokes in front of Gene Sarazen (145), who was eligible for the tournament for the first time, and Charles McKenna (145). Harry Schwab was the father of Pat Schwab who would later win a number of tournaments in the Philadelphia Section in the early 1960s. Bill Goldbeck, Ralph Beech and John Watson tied for fourth with 146s. Al MacDonald tied for 16th with a 152.


Ed Oliver
RU in all 3 U.S. Major Championships
Member of 3 Ryder Cup Teams
As usual the Masters Tournament was played in the first full week of April at the Augusta National Golf Club. Ben Hogan won a second Masters in record fashion with a 274. He led by one at the halfway point with rounds of 70 and 69, and he never looked back. In the third round Hogan and Ed Oliver were paired together. Hogan shot a 66 and Oliver put together a 67. Their better-ball score for the round was 59. It was described by some as the greatest two-man competitive round in golf history. The 66 gave Hogan a four-stroke lead over Oliver. In the final round Oliver picked up one stroke with a front nine 35 but Hogan birdied the 13th after reaching the green in two and he led by four again. Hogan then birdied fifteen and eighteen for a 69 and a total of 274. Oliver finished with a 70, which put him in second place five shots back at 279. Lloyd Mangrum (282) and Bob Hamilton (284) finished third and fourth. Al Besselink finished in ninth place with a 288. Skee Riegel tied for 29th (297) and George Fazio tied for 51st (305) ended up below the top money places and received the guaranteed money of $200. At the presentation ceremony Bobby Jones announced that the prize money was being doubled which brought the total purse to $26,000. First prize was $4,000 and second was $2,500. Besselink won $600 and everyone who finished worse than 23rd received $200 each. Joe Kirkwood, Jr. withdrew after nine holes and he also received $200.

The Sectionís spring meeting was held at the Broadwood Hotel in Philadelphia on the second Monday of April. The Section now had 217 members and 90 attended the meeting. The tournament chairman Willie Polumbo presented the tournament schedule to the members. They all signed a "get well" card for Babe Zaharias who was recovering from cancer surgery in a hospital in Beaumont, Texas. A representative from "Life" magazine attended the meeting to present the plans for National Golf Day that was on May 23.


Al Besselink
Winner of 1st Tournament of Champions
Paid 10,000 in silver dollars from a wheelbarrow
In the fourth week of April Al Besselink won the $35,000 Tournament of Champions at the Desert Inn Country Club in Las Vegas. It was the first year that the tournament was held. The field was made up of 20 professionals, all tournament winners in the last twelve months. The only tournament winner who wasnít there was Ben Hogan. Besselinkís rounds of 72, 68, 68 and 72 for an eight under par 280 won by one stroke. He holed a six-foot par putt on the last green to edge out Chandler Harper (281). Besselink was paid off with a wheelbarrow filled with silver dollars. He also had bet $500 on himself at 25 to 1, which put another $12,500 in his pocket. Because he had just heard that Babe Zaharias had been diagnosed with cancer he donated half of his $10,000 first prize to the Damon Runyan Cancer Fund. Besselink and Zaharias had won the International Two-Ball Championship at Orlando in February 1952. Cary Middlecoff, Johnny Palmer, Lloyd Mangrum and Lew Worsham tied for third at 285.

On the last Monday in May George Fazio toured the Reading Country Club twice in 69-66 for a seven under par 135 to qualify for the PGA Championship. Henry Williams, Jr. finished one stroke higher at 136 and Johnny Weitzel shot 139. Next in line was Charley Lepre, the new head professional at the Tavistock Country Club, with a 142. Stan Dudas ended up in fifth place with a 144. The last two places went to Rod Munday and Angelo Paul who both turned in 145s. Ed Oliver and Dave Douglas were exempt off having been among the top 30 money winners on the PGA Tour in 1952.

Qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the North Hills Country Club and the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club on the first Monday in June. The USGA had come up with a new qualifying method. Twice as many qualifying places were up for grabs at the local level. A total of 299 exempt players and local qualifiers would advance to Pittsburgh for a second qualifier at the site of the Open. There were 1,649 entries. The Philadelphia region had fifteen spots. Dave Douglas (136) set a hot pace with a 69 at North Hills and a 67 at Manufacturers to lead a large field by five strokes. Amateur Harry Haverstick and amateur Lynn Creason grabbed the second and third spots with a 141 and a 143. Three other Section members who made the grade were Johnny Weitzel at 144, Charley Lepre at 146 and Henry Williams, Jr. at 147. Paul Midiri and Bud Lewis posted 148s to tie for eighth. Bob Schoener, Jr., assistant to his father at the Green Pond Golf Club, Walter Brickley and a future Section member, amateur Joe Hoch, were at 149. John Serafin along with amateurs Don Weiland and Alex Sott tied for the last three spots with 150s. They survived a sudden-death playoff with three other players. The first alternate was amateur Dick Chapman, who later got in as an alternate. Ed Oliver and George Fazio were exempt off their 2nd and 5th place showings in the 1952 Open as the top twenty and ties were exempt. The entry fee was $10. John Lewis, who had shot a 151 in the qualifying round, got in as the fourth alternate when the USGA allotted another spot to Philadelphia. Lewis received a wire from the USGA the afternoon before the U.S. Open was getting under way. He was able to make it to Pittsburgh in time for the on-site prequalifying event that was beginning the next day.

On that same first Monday of June Art Wall and Al Besselink qualified in St. Louis for the U.S. Open. With the help of an afternoon 65 Wall qualified with a 142, which was just one stroke off the leader. Gardner Dickinson led the qualifiers with a 141. Besselink also made the grade with strokes to spare with a 143. A score of 148 qualified there. The PGA Tour had been in St. Louis so the players were competing for 25 places in the Open.

Mike Souchak also qualified for the U.S. Open on the first Monday of June at the Winged Foot Golf Club in New York. He posted scores of 72 and 78 for a 150 that tied for 11th on Winged Foot Golf Clubís East and West courses. There were 22 spots in New York. Mickey Homa led with a 140 and the 152 scores played off.

The U.S. Open was held near Pittsburgh at the Oakmont Country Club in the second week of June. The 299 professionals and amateurs who had either qualified locally or had exemption status were all now required to play a second 36-hole on-site qualifier. The qualifier was held on Tuesday and Wednesday and play in the championship began on Thursday. They played one round at Oakmont and one round at The Pittsburgh Field Club. The 150 lowest scores and ties qualified and all scores of 156 or better made the grade. The ties were not played off and 157 players advanced to the championship. California pro Jimmy Clark led with a 136. Eight professionals from the Philadelphia region qualified. Al Besselink and Ed Oliver led the Philadelphia contingent with 146s, one stroke ahead of Johnny Weitzel (147). George Fazio posted a 150 and Mike Souchak was next at 151. Dave Douglas and Henry Williams, Jr. turned in 155s and Art Wall made it on the cut number at 156. Walter Brickley, Charlie Lepre, Bud Lewis, John Lewis, Paul Midiri, Bob Schoener, Jr. and John Serafin didnít make it through the on-site second qualifying rounds.

When the U.S. Open got under way Ben Hogan went right to the front with a five-under-par 67. George Fazio was in second place with a 70. After two rounds Fazio was still in second place two strokes behind Hogan who around in 72 strokes. With the usual double round on Saturday Hogan stayed close to par with a 73 and a 71 to win a fourth U.S. Open by six strokes with a score of 283. Sam Snead (289) ended up in second place and Lloyd Mangrum (292) finished third. Fazio had another solid Open with a tie for fourth at 294 with Jimmy Demaret and Pete Cooper. The prize money was increased by $5,000 to $20,400. First prize was $5,000 and Fazio won $816.67. Art Wall (301) tied for 26th, winning $150 and Ed Oliver (316), who was near the end of the money list won $150 also. Johnny Weitzel, Mike Souchak, Henry Williams, Jr., Dave Douglas and Al Besselink missed the cut.


Bo Wininger
Six wins on PGA Tour

The Pennsylvania Open was held at the Hershey Country Club on the Monday after the U.S. Open ended. The town of Hershey was celebrating its 50th anniversary. For the first time since 1938 there were entries from outside Pennsylvania. There were seven full or part time touring pros entered among the 80 entries. The first prize left the state as Bo Wininger, now playing out of Oklahoma City, grabbed the title with a 71-72 for a three-under-par 143. It was his first victory as a professional. The defending champion, George Griffin, Jr., and Jim Coleman, an assistant at Oakmont Country Club, tied for second at 144. Lew Worsham finished fourth one stroke farther back at 145. Smiley Quick, playing out of Los Angeles and the host professional Johnny Weitzel tied for fifth with 146s. The purse was $2,300 and first prize was $1,000.

The PGA Championship was played near Detroit at the Birmingham Country Club in the first week of July. Seven of the nine Philadelphia Section pros qualified for the match play as Johnny Palmer led with 134. George Fazio and Rod Munday qualified with 143s. Ed Oliver posted a solid 145. Dave Douglas, Stan Dudas and Johnny Weitzel all posted 148s. Henry Williams, Jr. (149) squeezed in through a seven-man for four places playoff. Angelo Paul and Charley Lepre missed qualifying. The first two rounds of matches were 18 holes and matches after that were each 36 holes. Oliver, Dudas, Munday, Fazio and Weitzel were put out in the first round and three of them lost in extra holes. Dudas went out at the hand of Iverson Martin by 6&5. Munday lost to Leonard Dodson 3&1. Fazio went extra holes with Broyles Plemmons and lost on the 22nd hole. Weitzel also went extra holes and lost to Ed Furgol on the 20th hole. Williams put out Oliver in the first round on the 20th hole and he defeated Charlie Bassler 3&1 in the second round before losing by 4&3 to Jimmy Clark in the third round. Douglas won three matches to advance to the quarterfinals and all three went extra holes, which tied a tournament record. In the first round Douglas took out Lew Worsham in 20 holes, in the second round he defeated Sam Snead on the 19th hole and in the third round he eliminated Jackson Bradley in 37 holes. Douglas lost two-down in the quarter-finals to Walter Burkemo. The new PGA champion was Burkemo who had lost in the finals in 1951. This time he stepped up and grabbed the major title by defeating Felice Torza 2 & 1. In the semifinals Torza beat Jack Isaacs in 39 holes and Burkemo defeated Claude Harmon one-down. The purse was $20,700 and first prize was $5,000.

One day after the PGA Championship came to a conclusion the British Open got under way at the Carnoustie Golf Club in Angus, Scotland. The people that Ben Hogan trusted had been telling him that his career would be more complete if he could win the British Open so he decided to enter for the first time. Since the PGA Championship was more golf than his damaged legs could manage it made his decision to enter much easier. Hogan arrived ten days early in order to get to know the course, which was considered to be the most difficult of the British Open venues. Also he needed to adapt his game to the smaller 1.62 British golf ball versus 1.68 inch American ball. Hogan began with a one over par 73 in the first round and he turned in a lower score in each round. The second day he shot a 71 and the third day, which called for 36-holes, he was around in 70-68. His 282 total brought him home four strokes in front of four players. Peter Thomson, Antonio Cerda, Dai Rees and amateur Frank Stranahan tied for second at 286. First prize was 500 British Pounds. The victory made Hogan the first player to win three modern major titles in one season.


Dave Douglas
Won the 1953 Canadian Open
Member 1953 Ryder Cup Team
Won eight times on the PGA Tour
The week after the U.S. Open Dave Douglas won the Canadian Open at the Scarboro Golf Club in Toronto. He started with a 68, 70 and 69 to trail the leader by four strokes entering the last round. With three holes to go he was still trailing but a birdie, birdie, birdie finish for a 66 gave him a 273 and put him one stroke up on Wally Ulrich (274). First prize from the $15,000 purse was $3,000. Dutch Harrison finished third at 276. Gardner Dickinson and Canadian Pat Fletcher tied for fourth with 277s. This was the forty-fourth Canadian Open and it was the fifteenth time that a professional who either was or would be a Philadelphia Section member won the tournament.

Ed Oliver won the $17,500 Kansas City Open near Kansas City, Missouri in the fourth week of July. The tournament was played near Kansas City at the Milburn Golf & Country Club. Oliver led the first day with a seven under par 65. The next two days he tacked on a 69 and a 70. On Sunday Oliver turned in another 65 for 269 and a two-stroke win over Marty Furgol (271). Oliver had shot a 62 in the tournament on the same course in 1950. First prize was $3,000. Earl Stewart finished third at 273. Bo Wininger, Lloyd Mangrum and Jim Turnesa tied for fourth with 274s. Art Wall (276) made seven birdies on the front nine to help himself move up to seventh place with a 67.

In the second week of August a golf tournament was televised to a national audience for the first time. George S. Mayís World Championship, which was held at his Tam OíShanter Country Club in Chicago, was televised by ABC. The TV viewers were treated to an unbelievable conclusion when Lew Worsham holed out a pitching-wedge shot from 140-yards on the 72nd hole to edge out Chandler Harper by one stroke. Harper had just holed a two-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to finish with a total of 279, which looked like the winning score. Worsham, playing right behind Harper, then holed his wedge shot for an eagle two, to finish at 278. First prize was $25,000, which was more than the total purse at any PGA Tour event that year. Second place paid $15,000. Al Besselink, who was paired with Harper, ended up in third place at 281 and won $5,000. Cary Middlecoff, Jim Ferrier and Fred Haas, Jr. tied for fourth with 282 totals. Coincidentally Lew Worsham also won the first televised golf tournament when he won the 1947 U.S. Open, which was aired locally in St. Louis. The tournament carried a total purse of $75,000 of which $12,000 went to the womenís division that was being held at the same time.

The Ryder Cup team was named in early August. The Philadelphia Sectionís Ed Oliver and Dave Douglas were selected along with former Section members Sam Snead and Ted Kroll. There was concern that the U.S.A. wasnít sending its strongest team. Dutch Harrison and Ben Hogan earned places on the team but declined the invitations. Harrison didnít want to travel that far and Hogan didnít feel that he could play 36 holes in a day. The executive committee of the PGA replaced them with Jim Turnesa and Walter Burkemo, the 1952 and 1953 PGA champions.

Art Wall picked up his first win on the PGA Tour at the $15,000 Ft. Wayne Open in mid August. He played his first nine on the Elks Country Club in 30 and put together rounds of 66, 66, 68 and 65 to tie Cary Middlecoff for the top spot at the end of 72 holes. In the last round Wall had two eagle twos when he holed out his second shots on short par fours and he made a ten-foot birdie putt on the last hole to get the tie. Their 265 totals were twenty-three under par. The next day Wall shot a 70 in the playoff against a 72 for Middlecoff to win by two strokes and earn the $2,400 first prize. Dave Douglas was alone in third place with a 267 one stroke ahead of Jimmy Clark (268). Ed Oliver finished fifth at 269.


Henry Williams, Jr.
1953 Section Champion
The Section Championship was at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club again, in the third week of August. George Griffin, Jr., the son of the 1931 Section champion George Griffin, Sr., was the medalist with a five-under-par 67. This was the first year that he was eligible for the Section Championship. There were 78 entries and the low 64 qualified for the match play. The host was Harry Obitz who won two matches. The finalists were Pete DíAngelis, the head professional at the Plymouth Country Club, and Henry Williams, Jr. In the semifinals DíAngelis made a hole-in-one with a #5 iron on the "punch bowl" twelfth hole and a birdie 2 with a four-foot putt on the long eighteenth to defeat Jack Robinson one-down. Robinson and Griffin were assistants at the Green Valley Country Club. In the other semifinal match Williams played sub-par golf to defeat a former Section champion Terl Johnson 4&3. In the 36-hole finals DíAngelis won the first four holes but Williams came back to defeat DíAngelis by 3&2. Williams was six-under-par for the day. It was the second Section Championship title for Williams.

In late August the PGA Hall of Fame was revived and three of the greatest golf professionals of all time were selected. The nationís sportswriters and sportscasters picked Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson from a list of eleven nominees.

On the second Monday of September George Griffin, Jr. added the Philadelphia Open crown to his victory at the Pennsylvania Open the previous year. The tournament was played at his home course where his father, George Griffin, Sr. was the head professional. Griffin, Sr. had won the Philadelphia Open in 1932. High winds and firm greens made the scoring difficult for the101 entries. There were only two rounds of par 71 shot all day. Griffinís 75-71 for 146 nipped George Fazio (147) by one stroke. Bud Lewis and Ralph Hutchison tied for third with 152s. The purse was $1,000 and first prize was $350. Eight pros received checks.

On the third weekend in September the ten-man Ryder Cup team played a challenge match at the Reading Country Club. The event was put together to raise money for the trip to Great Britain and to reimburse the pros for lost paydays. Dave Douglas and Ed Oliver were on the Ryder Cup team. There was a strong team of challengers captained by Jimmy Demaret and made up of pros that almost made the team. George Fazio, Henry Williams, Jr. and Al Besselink played for the challengers. The 20 pros participated in a pro-am at the Berkshire Country Club the day before the challenge match. On Saturday they played five better-ball matches. The next morning they played five scotch foursomes matches and in the afternoon there were ten singles matches. The Ryder Cup Team defeated the challengers 12 1/2 to 7 1/2 but the fundraiser was the focus. The Ryder Cup Team members each received $850 and the challengers were paid $400 apiece. Another $2,500 was raised to help defray the teamís expenses. The team members were then off to the Concord Hotel in the Catskill Mountains for practice and a farewell dinner before taking a flight to London.

The Ryder Cup matches were held at the Wentworth Golf Club in early October. The American team was thought to be a little weak since Ben Hogan and Dutch Harrison who had made the team were not there. Harrison declined to travel overseas and Hogan declined, saying that the 36-hole matches were too much for his legs. The British team had a great opportunity to win but two four-foot putts that were missed on the final green gave the Americans a 6-1/2 to 5-1/2 win. Ed Oliver and Dave Douglas were paired together in the foursomes the first day and they won an important point. On the second day in the last match on the course Douglas picked up a tie in his singles match as a result of one of the missed putts on the home green. Sam Snead and Ted Kroll were also on the team.

The annual meeting of the Philadelphia Section was at the Atlantic City Country Club on the first Monday of October. A pro-pro tournament was held in the afternoon and the meeting was in the evening. There was a scratch pro-am the next day. Henry Poe was reelected president. Bill Boyle was reelected first vice president and Leo Fraser, owner and president of the Atlantic City Country Club, was elected second vice president. John Hayes was reelected secretary and Walt Silkworth, the head professional at the Rydal Country Club, was elected treasurer.


Walter Brickley
Section Treasurer 19 years
Section Sectary 5 of those years
Walter Brickley, who had been first elected in 1935, stepped down after nineteen years as the treasurer. Brickley was also the secretary for the first five of those years. Ed Tabor and Harry Obitz were vice presidents at-large. 

Dave Douglas was reelected to the PGA Tournament Committee in the second week of October. He had been on the committee for three years. For three years he had been the chairman of the committee which made him a vice-president of the PGA of America. As the vice-president he represented the PGA Tour at the PGA of Americaís national meeting.

The PGA of Americaís annual meeting was held in Detroit at the Sheraton-Cadillac Hotel during the second week of November. President Horton Smith, Secretary Harry Moffitt and Treasurer Harold Sargent were reelected without opposition. The delegates voted down a proposal to change their championship from match play to stroke play. Ben Hogan received the "PGA Player-of-the-Year" award. It was the fourth time he had won the award in the six years of its existence. Harry Radix, who the scoring average trophy had been named for at one time, accepted the award for Hogan. The PGA announced that $68,000 had been raised and given out to various charities and golf projects. Henry Poe and John Hayes were the delegates to the national meeting.

The leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Lew Worsham with $34,002.00. Ed Oliver was seventh on the list with $18,125.14 and Dave Douglas was 17th with winnings of $13,363.25. Art Wall finished 20th winning $10,839.05 and Al Besselink was 21st with winnings of $10,386.33. The scoring leader for the Vardon Trophy was Lloyd Mangrum with 70.22 strokes per round.

The year ended with 5,026 golf courses in the country. Of those courses 2,970 were private. There were 665 less courses than there were in 1931 and there were also 1,458 less private courses. The Great Depression and World War II had taken a toll on golf.

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1954 - In late January a familiar name, Gene Sarazen, won the PGA Seniorsí Championship at Dunedin, Florida. The tournament had been expanded to three rounds and Sarazen won with a two-under-par 214. Sarazen won with rounds of 67, 72 and 75 at the PGA National Golf Club. Perry Del Vecchio and Al Watrous tied for second with 216s. John Watson finished fourth at 219. The purse was $5,000 and Sarazen won $1,000. The pros didnít realize it but that week the PGA Merchandise show was born. That year the PGA Winter Tournament Program was in its first year so many of the younger PGA members were at Dunedin along with the seniors. During the Seniorsí Championship the pro-golf salesmen set up card-tables and displayed their goods between the clubhouse and the first tee.

Skee Riegel was back home in the Philadelphia area as the professional at the Radnor Valley Country Club. Riegel was 39 years old and after a number of years on the tournament trail as an amateur and professional it was time to settle down.

Dave Douglas won the $30,000 Houston Open in early March at the Memorial Park Golf Course. Douglas began with a 70 and a 71 to trail by three strokes. A third round 69 and a last round 67 gave him a 277 total and the $6,000 first place check. The purse was one of the largest of the year. Cary Middlecoff finished second at 279. Ed Oliver, Ted Kroll, Fred Haas, Jr. and Shelly Mayfield tied for third with eight under par 280s.

Johnny Weitzel was back at the Hershey Country Club after a successful winter on the PGA Tour. Weitzel had third place finishes in both the Phoenix Open and the Mexican Open.

In the second week of April Dave Douglas, Al Besselink, Ed Oliver, Skee Riegel and George Fazio represented the Philadelphia Section in the Masters Tournament. An amateur, Billy Joe Patton, had a great chance to win but in the end it was Ben Hogan and Sam Snead tied at the top with 289s. Patton finished third one stroke back with the help of a last round 71 that included a hole-in-one. Dutch Harrison and Lloyd Mangrum tied for fourth with 291s. The next day Snead got by Hogan to win the title with a 70 against a 71. Besselink (24) led the Philadelphia pros with a tie for ninth and won $781. Oliver (299) finished tied for 22nd and won $443. Fazio (302) tied for 33rd, Riegel (303) tied for 38th and Douglas (307) tied for 53rd. They all won the minimum prize, which was $250. The purse was $33,500 and first prize was $5,000.

The Sectionís members met for their spring meeting on the second Monday of April at the Broadwood Hotel in Philadelphia. The officers announced that a Philadelphia PGA Caddie Scholarship Fund had been instituted. Holding tournaments at the professionalsí clubs and other means would raise money for the fund. Each year the Sectionís professionals could nominate boys from their clubs for consideration. Leo Fraser had pushed the idea and Henry Poe appointed him chairman of the committee. There were fourteen other caddie scholarship funds in place in the United States but this was the first one sponsored by a PGA Section. The Section presented Walter Brickley with a wristwatch in appreciation of his nineteen years of service as the treasurer of the Section.

Art Wall won the Tournament of Champions at Las Vegas in late April. The $35,000 purse and the $10,000 first prize were the second largest of the year. Wall started fast at the Desert Inn Country Club with a 69 and a 66 and coasted home with a 70 and a 73. His 278 total won by six strokes. Al Besselink and Lloyd Mangrum tied for second with 284s. The tie for second was worth $3,750 and Besselink picked up a bonus check of $1,000 for the low round the last day, a four under par 68. Besselink was the defending champion. Cary Middlecoff finished fourth at 285.

In May Ben Hogan announced that his line of golf clubs would soon be on the market and that they would be sold only through PGA pro shops. He said that he had enough faith in his fellow golf professionals to believe that it would work. Hogan had tried to hire George Izett as his club designer but when Izett decided to continue with his custom golf club company in Ardmore Hogan hired Izettís top club maker.

Section qualifying for the PGA Championship was held on the first Monday of June at the Llanerch Country Club. The scores were low and Stan Dudas set a hot pace with a 65 in the morning round and a 73 in the afternoon for 138. Henry Williams, Jr. grabbed the next spot with a 140. George Fazio, Angelo Paul and George Griffin, Jr. now the head professional at the Green Valley Country Club, tied for third at 141. The last two places went to Johnny Weitzel and Rod Munday with one-under-par 143s. Dave Douglas and Ed Oliver were exempt as Ryder Cup team members and for have finished in the top 30 money winners on the PGA Tour in 1953. Art Wall and Al Besselink were in the top 30 on the money list also but they not PGA members as they had not yet completed their five-year apprenticeship. Fazio didnít go to the PGA Championship. The first alternate Ralph Hutchison, who had finished with a 144 at Llanerch, replaced Fazio.

One week later on Monday qualifying was held for eight places in the U.S. Open. Two courses, North Hills Country Club and Sandy Run Country Club, were needed, as there were 130 entries. Sam Penecale, who was new to the professional ranks and unattached, posted the only sub-par score. He was two under par at each course with a morning 69 at North Hills followed by a 70 at Sandy Run for 139. Next was Al Besselink at 143. Skee Riegel, Bud Lewis and Al Nelson, an assistant at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club, all had 147s. The last three places went to Henry Williams, Jr., Johnny Weitzel and John Vasco the professional at the Lehigh Country Club with 148s. John Serafin who was working for his father at the Fox Hill Country Club had tied with them at 148 and had been eliminated in a playoff that lasted only one hole. George Fazio, who had tied for fourth the previous year didnít have to qualify, as the top twenty were exempt.

Also on the first Monday of June Art Wall qualified in Cincinnati for the U.S. Open with a 136. There were fifteen spots in Cincinnati and the medalist was Bob Duden with a 131. The 138 scores played off for the last two spots.

Mike Souchak led the qualifying for the U.S. Open in Pittsburgh on the first Monday of June with a 136. Qualifying in Pittsburgh was on the first Monday also. There were seven spots in Pittsburgh and the 142 scores played off for the last spot.

In the second week of June the U.S. Open was held at the Baltusrol Golf Clubís Lower Course. The winner was the pro with the withered left arm, Ed Furgol. After a bad tee shot on the seventy-second hole, Furgol played his second to the 18th fairway of Baltusrolís Upper Course. From there he was able to make a par five and finish one stroke ahead of Gene Littler (285). Furgol put together four steady rounds of 71, 70, 71and for a score of 284. Lloyd Mangrum and Dick Mayer tied for third with 286s. First prize was $6,000 out of a total purse of $23,280. There were eleven pros from the Philadelphia Section in the starting field but only three of them survived the cut of the low 50 and ties. Johnny Weitzel shot a 296 with the help of a first round hole-in-one and a third round 69 which got him a tie for 21st. George Fazio tied for 27th and Skee Riegel tied for 42nd. Weitzel won $240 and Fazio and Riegel each won $180, which each player who made the cut received. Mike Souchak, Henry Williams, Jr., Sam Penecale, Al Nelson, Art Wall, Bud Lewis, Johnny Vasco and Al Besselink missed the cut. The tournament was televised to a national audience for the first time by NBC.

Henry Williams, Jr. missed the cut on Friday at the U.S. Open but on Monday he outlasted more than 100 pros and amateurs to win the Pennsylvania Open. The tournament was played at the Hershey Country Club for the second straight year. There were a few entries from outside the state. Williams put together a three under par 70 in the morning and a 71 in the afternoon for a total of 141. With a second place finish, first year pro Sam Penecale (143) picked up his first tournament check, $350. Stan Dudas and the host professional Johnny Weitzel tied for third with 144s. Alabamaís Harold Williams (146) won fifth money. Rod Munday, Utahís Dick Lundahl, and amateur Arnold Palmer, a former Pennsylvania High School champion, tied for sixth with 148s. First prize was $750 from a purse of $1,600. The course measured 6,990 yards.

In the third week of August Ed Oliver was the medalist at the on-site qualifying for the PGA Championship. The championship was held at the Keller Golf Club in St. Paul, Minnesota. The St. Paul Open had been held there for several years so many of the players were familiar with the course. Oliver led the first day with a 66 and came back with a 70 the second day. His 136 total was low by just one stroke. Dave Douglas (144) and Johnny Weitzel (145) also qualified safely. Henry Williams, Jr. made it right on the number with a 147. No playoffs were needed as all of the players at 147 were in the match play. Ralph Hutchison, Angelo Paul, George Griffin, Jr., Stan Dudas and Rod Munday failed to qualify. The first two rounds of the match play were 18-hole matches and the next four rounds were 36-hole matches. In the first round Douglas lost to Walter Burkemo 4&2 and Weitzel lost 3&2 to Ed Furgol, who had just won the U.S. Open. Williams won his first round match over Frank Commisso 3&2 and lost his second round match to Elroy Marti two-down. Oliver won two matches. In the first two rounds he eliminated Jackson Bradley 4&3 and Bill Nary one-down. Oliver lost in the third round to Chick Harbert 3&1. Harbert went on to win the PGA Championship as he defeated the defending champion, Walter Burkemo, in the finals 4&3. In the semifinals Burkemo got by Cary Middlecoff by winning the 37th hole and Harbert edged out Tommy Bolt by a one-up margin. The purse was $20,700 and first prize was $5,000.


John Serafin & Johnny Weitzel
Section Championship final at Shawnee
Evening Bulletin Trophy

At the end of August the Section Championship was back at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club for a seventh consecutive year. There was a three-way tie for the medal with Pete DíAngelis, John Serafin and Ken Gibson posting one-under-par 71s. Sixty -four players qualified for the match play ladder. The semifinals came down to Serafin versus Country Club of Harrisburg professional Jim Gantz and Johnny Weitzel versus Rod Munday. Serafin eliminated Gantz 3&2 and Weitzel defeated Munday 3&2. The tournament took a two-day break and the 36-hole final was played on Sunday as usual. Serafin won the Section Championship for the second time in three years. Weitzel was four up after 21 holes but from that point on Serafin played five-under-par golf. The two pros came to the 36th hole with Serafin holding a one-hole lead. Serafin closed out the match with a birdie two on Shawneeís long par three 18th hole for a two-up win. This also gave him possession of the Evening Bulletin Trophy for a year.

Ralph Hutchison won the Philadelphia Open at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club on the second Monday of September. Hutchison had finished second in the tournament 23 years before in 1931. His winning score of 72-70 for 142 matched par and won by three strokes. Fast greens and deep rough made the scoring difficult. Johnny Weitzel and amateur John Dyniewski tied for second with 145s. George Fazio was fourth alone with 146. First prize was $350. There were 88 entries.

On the second Monday of October the Philadelphia Section members met at the Atlantic City Country Club for their annual meeting. There was a pro-pro tournament in the afternoon and the meeting was held after dinner. Henry Poe was elected president of the Section for a third year. Leo Fraser and Walter Brickley were elected first and second vice president. Ken Gibson was elected secretary and Walt Silkworth was reelected treasurer. The Philadelphia Section now had a legal advisor in Francis Sullivan who represented Ben Hogan as his attorney and was a member at Merion Golf Club. The Section had also hired a publicist to appear on radio and television for promotion of the PGA professionals.

The national PGA meeting was held in St. Paul, Minnesota at the Lowry Hotel in early December. Harry Moffitt was unanimously elected president after Harold Sargent withdrew his name from the ballot. Sargent was elected secretary. There were five candidates for treasurer and after five ballots Wally Mund was elected with 43 of the 74 votes cast. A plan was proposed to arrange exhibition matches for the British Ryder Cup team on its way to Palm Springs next year. The possibility of setting up a second, or Class "B" PGA Tour, was discussed. Ed Furgol was honored as the PGA Player of the Year and the late Macdonald Smith was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Leo Fraser and Ken Gibson were the Sectionís delegates to the meeting.

The leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Bob Toski with $65,891.24. Most of that came at the World Championship in Chicago where he won $50,000. Dutch Harrison led the scoring for the Vardon Trophy with 70.41 strokes per round and Ed Furgol was voted the "PGA Player-of-the-Year". Dave Douglas won $12,120.00, which put him in 19th place on the money list. George Fazio finished 23rd with winnings of $$9,777.82 and Ed Oliver was next in 24th place with $9,365.95.

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