by Peter C. Trenham
1960 to 1969
1960 Al Besselink won the Section Championship and Skee Riegel won the Philadelphia Open.
1961 Gary Player won the Masters Tournament playing out of the Langhorne Country Club.
1962 Forty-four year old Henry Williams, Jr. won the Jamaica Open and Aronimink GC hosted the PGA Championship.
1963 The PGA Tour returned to the Section and played for the largest purse in the history of the PGA Tour.
1964 Art Wall won at San Diego, Al Besselink won the Azalea Open and Mike Souchak won at Houston and Memphis.
1965 Al Besselink won two Caracas Opens and Art Wall won his fourth Section Championship and the Maracaibo Open.
1966 Bert Yancey won at Wilmington, Memphis and Portland.
1967 Bob Ross won the Section Championship, the Pennsylvania Open and the DeBaufre Trophy.
1968 The Section rented office space. Leo Fraser elected PGA president. Bert Yancey 3rd in the Masters & U.S. Open.
1969 Al Besselink won the Section Championship and the Prior Golf Festival.
In late January a Section member, Tony Longo, finished second in the PGA Seniorsí Championship in Dunedin, Florida at the PGA National Golf Club. There were more than 300 entries and with only one 18-hole course the tournament took six days to complete. For the first four days one-half of the field would play one day and then the other half would play the next day. At he end of the fourth day the field was cut to the low 100 scorers and ties. Longo (289), the professional at the Glen Oak Country Club, tied for second with Paul Runyan (289) three strokes behind Dick Metz (286). Metzí rounds were 71, 70, 73 and 70. A former Section member Charlie Sheppard (290) finished fourth. Longo also tied for first in the 55-and over age group, which was contest over the first 36 holes. Clarence Ehresman (146), the professional at the Ashbourne Country Club, just missed the playoff for the 55 and over title by one stroke. Al Watrous made two pars to defeat Longo and the other three seniors in a sudden-death playoff for the Alfred K. Bourne trophy. Bourne, a member at the Augusta National Golf Club, had donated a trophy in 1937 to help start the PGA Seniorsí Championship. The Bourne Trophy was being awarded to the 55-and over group since Teacherís Scotch Whiskey was now the sponsor of the tournament. There was a Teacherís trophy for the tournament winner and a check for $1,500. Included, was an all expense-paid trip to Great Britain for a match with the British Senior champion. In the final two rounds Longo shot rounds of 71 and 72 for his 289 total and won $875. West Shore Country Club professional Ed Tabor (304) tied for 40th and won $35. Longo also had a very successful trick shot show.
At the same time the PGA Seniorsí Championship was being played in Florida Mike Souchak was winning the $20,000 San Diego Open in California. As Souchak (269) had done several times before, he set a tournament record by putting together rounds of 67, 68, 67 and 67 to finish nineteen under par. Even with those rounds Souchak didnít get the lead by himself until he was on the last nine holes. First prize was $2,800. Johnny Pott (270) finished second by one-stroke after leading most of the way. Three strokes farther back in third place at 273, Art Wall won $1,700. Dave Marr, Billy Casper and Al Geiberger tied for fourth with 274s.
The Sectionís spring meeting was held on the first Monday of April at the Barclay Hotel in Philadelphia. The guest speaker was Horton Smith, a past president of the PGA of America and the winner of the first Masters Tournament. He spoke about the importance of the caddie as not only a service to the golfer but the future of the game. He mentioned that caddies grow up to be golfers and club members and he was concerned that the caddie was vanishing. Leo Fraser, Atlantic City Country Club owner and professional, talked on the Sectionís Caddie Scholarship Fund and stressed the importance of raising more money so the Section could help more caddies. A fund raising ABC pro-am was scheduled for Atlantic City Country Club in October. The club members would qualify at their clubs in mid September for a chance to play in the pro-am with their pro. Fraser and Henry Poe, the professional at the Reading Country Club who had just completed his three-year term as the national vice president from District II, reported on the national meeting held in December. The Section Championship was on the schedule for September at the Bala Golf Club and the Gimbels Department Store was the sponsor. Walter Silkworth, who was handling the professional duties for George Fazio at the Flourtown Country Club, was presented with a plaque for his service to the Section as the treasurer for six years. During that time he had written the article for the Professional Golfer magazine each month and he was still doing it even though he was no longer a Section officer. Anne Scott, who was the secretary for the manager of the Spalding Golf Companyís distribution office in Philadelphia, handled the paperwork for the Section officers. The Section used her office as the Section address, which was 401 N. Broad Street. The telephone number was WAlnut 5-6494.
The Masters Tournament was played in early April without a defending champion. Art Wall wasnít able to enter due to a kidney ailment and knee trouble. The title left Augusta in the hands of Arnold Palmer but not without a struggle. Dow Finsterwald was assessed a two-stroke penalty for taking a practice putt on the fifth green in the first round or he would have had the lead after 36 holes. Palmer (282) won with rounds of 67, 73, 72 and 70 but he needed a birdie on the last hole to win. He got his birdie with a six-foot putt and edged out Ken Venturi who was in the clubhouse with 283. Finsterwald finished third at 284 and Billy Casper was next at 287. Mike Souchak (294) tied for 16th and Ed Oliver (295) tied for 20th. First prize was $17,500.
The Monday after the Masters Tournament the Section held its third annual golf show at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia. Seventy-five Section members instructed novices and demonstrated golf shots. Whitford Country Club professional Al Nelson and Stan Dudas the professional at the North Hills Country Club assisted Harry Obitz in presenting his "Swings the Thing" golf show. Nelson and Dudas had worked for Obitz at the Shawnee Country Club and they had put on this show many times for the hotel guests. Art Wall, who had been the "PGA Player of the Year" on the PGA Tour and leading money winner in 1959, was presented with a player-of-the-year trophy from the Section. More than 30 pro-golf salesmen displayed their goods that ranged from golf shoes to electric riding golf carts. There was a fashion show presenting the latest golf apparel for the new-year. More than 1,500 people paid to attend the show.
St. Davids Golf Club professional Jimmy Johnson led the local qualifying in Philadelphia for the U.S. Open on the fourth Monday in May. Johnson (144) put together two rounds of par 72 at the Llanerch Country Club. Howard Everitt finished second at 145. The assistant pro at the Bala Golf Club, Henry McQuiston (146), and Radnor Valley Country Club professional Skee Riegel (147) picked up the next two spots. Bob Schoener, Jr., assistant to his father at the Green Pond Golf Club, Stan Dudas, Sam Penecale, the professional at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, and Joe Laughlin, an unattached pro all made it safely with 148s. The last two places went to Bernie Haas (149), an assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club and Charles Schneider, Jr. (149), head pro at the Doylestown Country Club 149 without any playoffs. Dudas and Penecale were able to earn spots even though they had spent the previous night on a train returning from West Virginia where they had been playing in the Sam Snead Festival. Mike Souchakís third place showing in the U.S. Open the previous year had earned him one of the 21 full exemptions through both stages of qualifying. Art Wall and Jon Gustin were exempt from local qualifying as exempt players on the PGA Tour.
Also on the fourth Monday in May Henry Williams, Jr., the professional at the Berkleigh Country Club, led the local qualifying for the U.S. Open at the Blue Ridge Country Club in Harrisburg. Williams led by five strokes with a pair of two over par 74s. Several thunderstorms during the day made a long course play longer. Tommy Murphy, the professional at the Lancaster Country Club and Charlie Strack, the professional at the Red Lion Country Club, tied for second with 153s. The last two spots went to Hershey Country Club professional, Jay Weitzel at 154 and Blue Ridge Country Club professional Bob Dunn at 155. There were five places in Harrisburg.
On the first Monday in June Sam Penecale, Stan Dudas and Henry Williams, Jr. qualified for the U.S. Open in sectional qualifying. They were at the Winged Foot Golf Club where both the East and West courses of the club were used. Due to the strength of the field the USGA had allocated twenty-one places there for the Open. Amateur Bob Gardner led with a 137. Penecale finished sixth with a 143, Dudas tied for eleventh with a 145 and Williams got under the wire by one stroke with a 147. A score of 148 earned the last spot. Penecale and Dudas had qualified locally in Philadelphia and Williams had qualified in Central Pennsylvania.
Also on the first Monday of June Art Wall led a large contingent qualifying for the U.S. Open at Oklahoma City. A field of sixty-seven players, mostly PGA Tour members, was competing for thirty-four spots. Wall had been exempt from local qualifying but he had to go through the sectional qualifying even though he had won the Masters Tournament plus three other tournaments and had been the leading money winner on the PGA Tour the year before. Wall (128) shattered par by fourteen strokes at the Twin Hills Golf & Country Club with a 65 and a 63 and led the next nearest player by four strokes. Wall made fifteen birdies and used only forty-six putts for the 36-holes. Jon Gustin, also exempt from local qualifying passed the test at Oklahoma City as he tied for seventh with a 138. It took a score of 143 to qualify there.
One day later on the first Tuesday in June Jay Weitzel was one of seven players who qualified for the U.S. Open in Washington D.C. Weitzel tied for fourth with a 146. He had passed the local test in Harrisburg. Frank Boynton and Thorne Wood tied for the medal with 139s and scores of 148 won the last places.
The U.S. Open was played at the Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver in mid June. The Philadelphia Section had seven starters. Mike Souchak led the first day with a 68 and a second round 67 put him three strokes in front going into Saturdayís double round. After a morning 73 he still held a two-stroke lead. In the afternoon Arnold Palmer drove the par four first green and completed the first nine in 30 strokes. A back nine 35 for a 65 gave him an even par 280 total and the title by two strokes over amateur Jack Nicklaus (282). Palmerís rounds were 72, 71, 72 and 65 for a 280 total. Souchak slipped to a 75 in the final round and he finished in a six-way tie for third. Former Section members Mike Souchak, Dutch Harrison and Ted Kroll tied for third with Julius Boros, Dow Finsterwald and Jack Fleck at 283. Stan Dudas (294) tied for 38th and won $300. Art Wall (296) tied for 43rd and won $270. Sam Penecale also made the 50-man cut. His 298 score tied for 49th and he won the $240 last money. First prize was $14,400 from the purse of $60,720. Souchak won $3,950. Jon Gustin, Henry Williams and Jay Weitzel missed the cut.
Qualifying for the PGA Championship was at the North Hills Country Club on the Monday after the U.S. Open. North Hillsí professional Stan Dudas didnít have to hurry home from Denver to qualify. He was exempt as the Section champion. Tavistock Country Club professional Charley Lepre, George Fazio, Sam Penecale and Willie Polumbo, the professional at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club tied with 145s for the top spot. Penecale had also been at the U.S. Open and had to hurry home as he made the cut, which meant he had played 36 holes on Saturday. Jay Weitzel, who also had been in the Open in Denver, made it with a 146. Jimmy Johnson (147) wrapped up the last place by beating Tony Longo (147) on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Art Wall and Mike Souchak were exempt for being in the top 25 money winners for 1959, as members of the 1959 Ryder Cup Team and for having finished in the top 32 in the 1959 PGA Championship. Ed Oliver was exempt from qualifying for having been in the top 32 in the 1959 PGA Championship but he didnít tee off in the tournament. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer and he died the next year.
Al Besselinkwas exempt for the PGA Championship for being in the top 25 in TT Points for 1960 through the U.S. Open. Beginning in January 1957 TT Points were awarded at each tournament on the PGA Tour. The TT Point system was devised to generate a truer ranking of the pros than the money list. In the 1950s the World Championship in Chicago had been skewed the money list with its $50,000 first prize. Whoever won that tournament was the money leader for the year even if they didnít do much else during the year. Under the point system the winner of a tournament was awarded 50 points, the runner-up 44 points and on down to one point for 45th place. Much of the credit for TT System was credited to Howard Capps and Cary Middlecoff. Capps had been an assistant at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club in the 1940s, PGA Tour Tournament Supervisor and now he was managing the Tournament of Champions for the Desert Inn Country Club in Las Vegas. The TT System was used for four years, 1957 through 1960.
Joe Kirkwood, Jr.earned a place in the PGA Championship by qualifying in Southern California at the Wilshire Country Club. Qualifying in Southern California was also held on the third Monday of June. Mac Hunter led at Wilshire with a 141. Kirkwood tied for third with a 146. There were seven spots in Southern California.
The Pennsylvania Open was played at the Hershey Country Club on the last Monday of June. Hershey C.C. was hosting the tournament for an eighth consecutive year. A field of 162 pros and amateurs played the Country Club and Park courses. At the end of the day Bob Schoener, Jr. (71-72) and two amateurs, John Guenther (73-70) and Bob Batdorff (72-71), were tied for the top spot with 143 scores. An 18-hole playoff was held the next day and Guenther turned in a 72 to become the first amateur to win the tournament since 1946 when Steve Kovach won. Batdorff (76) finished second but Schoener (79) who was the only pro in the playoff picked up the $750 top money. Skee Riegel and Chuck Scally from Coraopolis tied for fourth with 144s and each took home $337.50. The total purse was $2,500 it paid fifteen places.
In early July Mike Souchak won the Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Flint, Michigan. At $50,000 the purse was the largest on the PGA Tour that year except for the major championships. Souchak trailed four players who were tied for the lead after 54 holes by one stroke but he won the $9,000 top prize by shooting a three-under-par 69 the last day. Souchakís rounds were 71, 68, 74 and 69, giving him a total of 282. Art Wall and Gay Brewer tied for second one stroke off the winning pace with 283s. Dave Hill, Don January and Gene Littler tied for fourth at 286.
The Buick Open finished up on a Monday, the Fourth of July, and two days later the touring pros teed off in the $25,000 Canadian Open in Toronto. The Philadelphia Section had a long history of its members bringing home Canadian Open titles. Twelve professionals who were Philadelphia Section members at some time won the Canadian Open a total of seventeen times. Art Wall had missed most of the year with a bad back but this was his week and he added his name to the Canadian Open trophy. In the third round Wall (269) finished birdie-eagle-birdie for a three-stroke lead and he went on to win the $3,500 first place prize by six strokes. Wallís rounds were 66, 67, 67 and 69. Jay Hebert and Bob Goalby tied for second with 275s. A future Section member Bob Shave, Jr. finished fourth at 277.
The 42nd PGA Championship was in Akron, Ohio in the third week of July. It was played on the Firestone Country Clubís North Course, which had been the host of several Rubber City Opens. The golf course had been redesigned by Robert Trent Jones. Jones had lengthened the course to 7,165 yards and par had been reduced to 70. There was a starting field of 187 professionals and eleven were from the Philadelphia Section. The tournament had a new leader each day and at the end of Sundayís round it was Jay Hebert with a 281 total. He joined his brother Lionel as a PGA champion to make up the only team of brothers to win the PGA. With rounds of 72, 67, 72 and 70 Hebert finished one stroke ahead of the 1947 winner, Jim Ferrier (282). Sam Snead and Doug Sanders tied for third with 283s. First prize from the $63,130 purse was $11,000. Mike Souchak (290) led the Section pros winning $1,500 with a tie for 12th. Al Besselink and Art Wall tied for 39th with 297 totals. They each won the last money of $200. Jimmy Johnson missed the cut after the third round when the field was reduced to the low 60 and ties. Charley Lepre, Joe Kirkwood, Jr., Sam Penecale, Stan Dudas, George Fazio, Willie Polumbo and Jay Weitzel missed the cut after the second round, which eliminated those who were not tied for 90th or better.
Skee Riegeladded the Philadelphia Open to his long list of victories on the fourth Monday in August. In the morning he fired a course record six-under-par 65 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. In the afternoon he missed a short putt on the last green at the Green Valley Country and struggled in with a six-over-par 77 for a total of 142. Soon after that Sam Penecale came to the last green at Green Valley needing a par to tie. He also missed from short range and finished at 143. Amateur Billy Care (143) made a double bogey on the last hole at the Cricket Club and ended up tied with Penecale. Henry Williams, Jr. put together the second best round of the day, an afternoon 69 at the Cricket Club, and finished fourth at 144. First prize was $500. The defending champion, George Fazio, didnít enter the tournament as he was in Germany conducting a golf clinic.
1960 Section Champion
The Philadelphia Section followed the lead of the PGA of America and changed the format of their Section Championship to stroke play from match play. Bala Golf Club and Bob Marshall hosted the tournament in mid September. Skee Riegel led the first day with a three-under-par 65. The second day Al Besselink, who was taking a break from the PGA Tour, got his wedges working and broke George Fazioís course record. A six-under-par 29 on the back nine gave him a 61. Added to a 69 in the first round his 130 total gave him a four-stroke lead going into the final round. A par round of 68 on Sunday brought Besselink in with a 198 total, which was three strokes in front of Sam Penecale (201), a former assistant at Bala. After a decade on the PGA Tour this was Besselinkís first major victory in his native Philadelphia area. Penecale was runner-up for a second straight year. Skee Riegel and Art Wall tied for third at 205 and Henry Williams, Jr. was alone in fourth place with a 206. First prize was $1,000 and there were twenty money places. The total purse came to $4,000. Besselink picked up another $500 from the U.S. Rubber Company for playing the U.S. Royal golf ball in the tournament.
On the third Friday of October Loma Frakes and Helen Sigel Wilson won the Sectionís Pro-Lady Championship at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. An eagle three on the 17th hole put them in position to eke out a one-stroke victory. In the selective drive-alternate stroke format Wilson came up with one of her usual prodigious drives and Frakes reached the green with a three-wood. Wilson then holed a forty-foot putt for the eagle. They finished with a one over par 73. The tournament had been rained out in August. It was the fifth time that Wilson had won the tournament. She won it twice with Ed Dudley and this was her third victory in partnership with Frakes.
Tony Longowon the Teacherís Trophy, which was the qualifying event for the PGA Seniorsí Championship. That meant that Longo was the Philadelphia PGA senior champion and he earned a check from Teacherís Scotch for his expenses to Dunedin for the championship in February.
1957 to 1962
Leo Fraser was reelected president at the Sectionís annual meeting. The meeting was held at Fraserís Atlantic City Country Club on the second Monday in October. There was a pro-pro tournament in the afternoon that was followed by dinner at the club and the meeting. Manufacturers Golf & Country Club professional Bud Lewis was elected first vice president and Al Keeping, the professional at the Gulph Mills Golf Club was reelected second vice president. Angelo Paul, the professional at the Meadowlands Country Club, and Al Nelson were reelected secretary and treasurer.
The PGAís national meeting was in Scottsdale, Arizona in mid November. Lou Strong, who had been the secretary for three years, was elected president by the delegates from the 34 Sections. Wally Mund, who had been the treasurer in the mid 1950s, was elected secretary and George Hall was elected treasurer. Tom Crane, the executive security since 1943, had been given a new five-year contract. When Crane started working for the PGA the staff consisted of four people and now there were 26. The delegates to the national meeting were Leo Fraser and Harlan Will, the professional at the Fairview Golf & Country Club. Jimmy Demaret, Fred McLeod and Mike Brady were inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame.
Arnold Palmer was elected "PGA Player-of-the-Year" by a landslide vote. He received 1,088 of the 1,217 votes cast by golf professionals and newsmen. Palmer was also the leading money winner on the tour with $75,263, $24,032 ahead of the second place Ken Venturi. Mike Souchak was in sixth place with $28,903 and Art Wall finished eleventh with $26,380. Billy Casper won the Vardon Trophy with a 69.95 stroke average and Wall was third with an average of 70.33.
On the fifth Tuesday of November the Philadelphia Section PGA and the Golf Association of Philadelphia agreed to combine their two caddie scholarship funds. Discussions to this affect had been going on for several weeks. The name, J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust, which the GAP had given to their fund, would continue to be used. The PGA would have three of its members on the eleven man board of the trust and caddies from non-member GAP clubs would receive equal consideration for scholarship aid.
For the second straight year Art Wall was a member of the four-man PGA Tour tournament committee.
1961 - The Section had a new touring professional and another touring pro had returned home to take a job as a club professional. To thank George Fazio for his financial assistance when he was a struggling new pro on the PGA Tour South Africaís Gary Player was playing out of the Langhorne Country Club, which Fazio was leasing. Al Besselink was back in Philadelphia as the new head professional at the Philmont Country Club.
In late January Gary Player won the largest first prize on the winter tour, $9,000. His victory came in the $50,000 Lucky International tournament at San Francisco. Player (272) started the last round on the Harding Park Course by making birdies on three of the first four holes and he finished with birdies on three of the last four holes for a six-under-par 65. The round was played in a drenching rain and some players threatened to quit but play continued. Added to his first three rounds of 70, 69 and 68 he finished two strokes in front of Don Whitt (274) and George Bayer (274). Al Geiberger and Don January tied for fourth with 275s.
Paul Runyan won the PGA Seniorsí Championship at the PGA National Golf Club in Dunedin, Florida. Six days of perfect weather in mid February brought out 20,000 spectators and led to low scores. Paul Runyan picked up a $1,500 check for his 278 that won by three over Jimmy Demaret (281). Runyanís rounds were 67, 70, 72 and 69. Clarence Doser finished third at 282. Joe Brown was next at 283. Tony Longo (289) played well there again tying for 16th and winning $175. Cool Creek Country Club professional Mike Rooney (297) tied for 44th and won $50. Ted Bickel, Jr., the professional at The Springhaven Club and DuPont Country Club professional Terl Johnson posted 298s and they each won $10 as they tied for 49th.
In late March Gary Player won the $25,000 Sunshine Open in Miami Beach. Player (273) shot four steady rounds of 69, 68, 67 and 69 on the Bayshore Golf Course for a one stroke win over Arnold Palmer (274). Palmer put on one of his last round charges with a 64 but it wasnít quite enough. Needing a birdie on the par five last hole Player put his second shot in a greenside bunker but he got it down in two to edge out Palmer. First prize was $3,500. Mike Souchak finished third alone at 275. Julius Boros, Dave Ragan and Gay Brewer tied for fourth with 276s.
Section Officer 9 years
Tournament Chairman 9 years
The Sectionís spring meeting was held on the last Monday in March at the Barclay Hotel. The tournament chairman Harlan Will and his assistant chairman Bernie Haas gave out the tournament schedule. The Section Championship was slated for the Buena Vista Country Club in August. Buena Vista professional Ed Carmen and the club president were at the meeting to promote the tournament.
The next Monday the Section held its fourth annual golf show for the public. The public paid $1 to attend the show. The featured guest was Patty Berg who had been one of the dominating powers in womenís golf for over twenty years. Many old friends greeted her. She had been stationed in Philadelphia with the Marines during World War II and had won the Western Open here in 1951. She demonstrated golf shots before serving on two panels of golf professionals discussing the golf swing. Sportscaster Jack Whitaker headed up one panel and Marty Lyons, the professional at the Llanerch Country Club, led the other one. Eight sportswriters and sportscasters were presented with silver trays for their outstanding contributions to the game of golf. Throughout the day the golf pros gave free instruction and demonstrated golf shots while Harlan Will kept the audience informed by describing the shots and making announcements. Forty pro golf salesmen exhibited their golf equipment and clothing.
In April the Section conducted its third annual training school for assistants at the Warrington Golf and Country Club. Plymouth Country Club professional Pete DeAngelis and Toby Costanza, the professional at the Sunnybrook Country Club, were the chairmen. The host pro Wally Paul gave the opening address. Golf instruction, tournament golf, accounting, club repair and public relations were among the topics covered. Jimmy Thomson, a former Section member representing the Dunlop Sporting Goods Company was a guest speaker.
Langhorne CC 1961
Won all 4 majors
In early April Gary Player became the first non-American to win the Masters Tournament. Playerís first three rounds were 69, 68 and 69, which gave him a four-stroke lead over second place Arnold Palmer. Sundayís round was washed out with Player and Palmer about halfway through their rounds. On Monday Player (280) took 40 strokes on the back nine for a 74 and it was then Palmerís tournament to win. Palmer (281) came to the last hole needing a par to win but he pushed his iron shot into a bunker. His bunker shot didnít hold the green and when he finished with a double bogie Player was the Masters champion. Amateur Charlie Coe (281) tied Palmer for second. Tommy Bolt and Don January tied for fourth with 285s. Mike Souchak (295) the only representative from the Philadelphia Section tied for 28th and won $500. The first prize of $20,000 and the total purse of $99,500 were by far the largest of the year on the PGA Tour. The price of a four-day pass to the tournament was $15 and a daily ticket on the weekend was $7.50. Saucon Valley Country Club professional Ralph Hutchison handled the announcing on the 18th green. He had been doing it since 1949.
The week after the Masters Mike Souchak won the Greensboro Open. A former Philadelphia golf professional, Charlie Sifford led the first day with a 68 and Souchak posted a 70. In the second round Souchak shot 68 and moved into a tie for first at 138 and a third round 69 gave him a two-stroke lead going into the final round. On Sunday Souchak shot another 69 and finished at eight under par 276 to win by seven strokes. Seven-time Greensboro Open winner, Sam Snead (283) finished second and Billy Maxwell (284) was third. Sifford and Stan Leonard tied for fourth with 285s. First prize was $3,200 from a total purse of $22,500.
Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Philadelphia was held on the fourth Monday of May at the Rolling Green Golf Club and Llanerch Country Club. Sam Penecale led ten other qualifiers into sectional qualifying by six strokes. He played Llanerch in par 72 in the morning and came back with a two-under-par 69 at Rolling Green in the afternoon for a 141. This gave Penecale the opportunity to keep his streak alive. Beginning with 1954 he had qualified for seven straight U.S. Opens. Henry McQuiston was next with a 147. Locust Valley Country Club professional Jerry Pisano and Al Besselink tied for third with 149s. Skee Riegel and Stan Dudas tied for fifth at 150. Amateur Jay Sigel was alone in seventh place with a 151 and Billy Booe, the professional at the Northampton Country Club, posted a 153. West Chester Golf & Country Club professional Jerry Port and amateur Ed Richitelli got in safely with 154s. There was a seven-man playoff for the eleventh and last spot, which Ike Turner the new professional at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club managed to win with a 15-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole. Mike Souchak and Gary Player were exempt from local and sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open. Souchak was exempt for having finished third in the Open the year before and Player was exempt as the 1959 British Open winner.
Also on the fourth Monday in May local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held in Harrisburg for six spots. Henry Williams, Jr. and John Chimienti, an assistant at the Shawnee Country Club, tied for the medal with 147s at the Colonial Country Club. Jay Weitzel finished third with a 148. John Markel, who was now the assistant to his father Harry at the Berkshire Country Club and amateur Bob Batdorff tied for third with 149s. The last spot went to the Fox Hill Country Club professional John Serafin who posted a 150.
Merion Golf Clubís playing pro Paul Kelly made it through the local U.S. Open qualifying in New York on the fourth Tuesday of May. Qualifying was at the Metropolis Country Club and the Knollwood Country Club. The medalist was the veteran Herman Barron with a 146. Kelly tied for second with a 73 and a 74 for 147. There were 18 spots and a score of 153 qualified.
On the first Tuesday in June Sam Penecale kept his streak going by qualifying for the U.S. Open in Long Island. He had now qualified for the Open eight straight years. There were 20 spots at Long Island as qualifying was held at The Sewane Club and the Woodmere Club. Al Feminelli led with a 137 and Penecale just made it with a 75 and a 69 for 144.
Also on the same first Tuesday in June Jay Weitzel (69-70ó139) and Ike Turner (71-74ó145) passed the qualifying test for the U.S Open at the Columbia Country Club in Washington D.C. Turner won a three-way playoff, which included Al Besselink, with a birdie on the first extra hole. Besselink and Turner had qualified locally in Philadelphia. Turner had to win a playoff to get to Washington by making a birdie on the first hole that beat out seven players for the eleventh and last spot in Philadelphia. Weitzel had passed his local test in Harrisburg. There were ten spots in Washington and Ernie Boros led with a 138.
The U.S. Open was at Oakland Hills Country Club near Detroit in mid June. The winner was Gene Littler and it was to be his only win in a major even though he had a long and successful career. A last round 68 got him into the clubhouse at 281, six strokes less than the score Ben Hogan had won with in 1951. Littlerís earlier rounds were 73, 68 and 72. Doug Sanders and Bob Goalby tied for second with 282s. For the first time since 1940 Hogan finished out of the top ten in the U.S. Open. Mike Souchak tied for fourth at 284 with amateur Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player tied for ninth at 287. Littlerís first prize check was $14,000. Souchak won $4,000 and Player won $1,750 from the $60,500 purse. Sam Penecale, Ike Turner and Jay Weitzel missed the cut.
On Friday Sam Penecale had missed the cut at the U.S. Open but on Monday he bounced back to lead the qualifying for the PGA Championship. He put together rounds of 70 and 73 to win medalist honors by one stroke with his 143. North Hills Country Club hosted the qualifying for six places in the championship at Chicago. Gettysburg Country Club professional Dick Sleichter finished second with a 144 and Bob Hendricks, the professional at the Indian Valley Country Club, grabbed the next spot with a 146. There was a five-way sudden-death playoff at 147 for the last three places. The three survivors were Jerry Pisano, Al Nelson and Billy Booe. Exempt from qualifying were Al Besselink as the Section champion along with Art Wall and Mike Souchak who were exempt as members of the 1959 Ryder Cup. Gary Player had an exemption for being in the top 20 on the 1961 money list from January 1 through the Masters Tournament. Jon Gustin was also exempt. For the first time the entries for the national office instead of the Sections handled the PGA Championship. Also for the first time the number of qualifying places that each Section was allotted was based on its number of entries instead of the number of members in a Section.
Al Besselinkwon the Pennsylvania Open at the Hershey Country Club on the last Monday in June. Again a large field of 158 entries necessitated the use of both the Country Club and the Park Course. For the second straight year it took an extra day to determine the winner. At the end of 36-holes on Monday there was a three-way tie at the top among army private Don Stough, Henry Williams, Jr. and Besselink at one-under-par 143. The next day Besselink birdied two of the first three holes on the Country Club course and was never challenged. He cruised to victory and a check for $750 with a one-under-par 72. The day before Besselink had shot a 69 on the Park course and 74 at the Country Club. In the playoff Williams took 75 strokes and Stough finished with a 79.
Former Section member and professional at the Cedarbrook Country Club in 1950, Jerry Barber, won the PGA Championship in late July. The championship was played at the Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago. Art Wall led the first round with a 67. On Friday he added a 70 but all the rounds were washed out. Barber who was 45 years old shot 67 on Saturday to go with his first round 69, which gave him a two-stroke lead at the halfway point with 136. The field was cut to the low 60 scores and 36 holes were played on Sunday. With three holes to play Barber trailed by four strokes but on the last three holes he holed putts of 20, 40 and 60 feet. Barberís finish of birdie-par-birdie for a 277 total allowed him to overtake Don January (277). Barberís Sunday rounds were 70 and 71. The next day in an 18-hole playoff Barber trailed by two strokes but he came back to finish with a 67 and edge out January (68) by one stroke. Doug Sanders (280) finished third and Ted Kroll (281) was fourth. Wall (282) ended up in a six-way tie for fifth and won $2,208.33. First prize was $11,000 from a $64,800 purse. Gary Player (290) tied for 29th, winning $425 and Jon Gustin (291) won $262.50 for a tie for 33rd. Mike Souchak (295) tied for 45th and won $225. Sam Penecale (300) tied for 57th and Al Besselink (305) was alone in 63rd place. They also each picked up checks for $225, which was the last money. Jerry Pisano, Dick Sleichter, Al Nelson, Billy Booe and Bob Hendricks missed the cut.
Merion Golf Club hosted the Philadelphia Open on a Monday in mid August. With a starting field of 150 pros and amateurs both the East and West courses were put into use. In the morning Dick Sleichter played the shorter West course that he hadnít seen before in three-under-par 67 and went around the East Course in par 70 in the afternoon for a three under par 137. Both the 67 and the 70 were low for the day at each course. He won by four strokes over Paul Kelly (141) and amateur Bob Batdorff (141). Sam Penecale, Ike Turner, Jay Weitzel and Bob Hendricks tied for fourth with 143s. Sleichter won $500 and Kelly won $325 from a purse of $1,570.
1961 Section Champion
The Section Championship kicked off on the Friday after the Philadelphia Open and finished up on Sunday. The hosts were professional Ed Carman and the Buena Vista Country Club. The title went to Bernie Haas. Haas started with a one-under-par 71 and added a 75 on the second day, which left him in fourth place three strokes back. On Sunday it rained and the scores were high but Haas brought in one of the two low rounds of the day, a 71 for a 217 total. The only other sup-par round of the day was a 71 by Dick Sleichter. Sleichter and Dick Hendrickson, the assistant at the Country Club of Scranton, tied for second place one stroke back at 218. Sleichter and Hendrickson each won $550. Skee Riegel (219) ended up fourth alone and won $400. First prize the year before had been $1,000 but the tournament committee had reduced it to $750. As the assistant tournament chairman Haas had campaigned for this so more players would win a check. Haas picked up an additional $500 from his equipment and golf ball sponsors. The low senior was Terl Johnson who posted a 226 score. The total purse was $5,000.
In late September six big names played in a 10,000 pro-am in Cincinnati at the same time the $20,000 Portland Open was being played in Oregon. The six were Sam Snead, Tommy Bolt, Dick Mayer, Lew Worsham, Chick Harbert and Walter Burkemo. Snead, Bolt and Mayer withdrew after one round but all six were fined $500 by the PGA and suspended for six months. In the end only Snead and Bolt were fined and suspended. That was because the PGA rules stated that anyone who had won a PGA Tour event in the previous twelve months must get permission from a tournament sponsor in order to play in another tournament being held at the same time. The fines were reduced to $100 and the time to 45 days.
Bud Lewisedged out three players by one-stroke to win the Philadelphia PGA Seniors Championship at the Lu Lu Country Club. Lewis put together a one under par 70 while John Long, John Vasco and Terl Johnson were posting 71s.
"Golf Professional of the Year"
More than 150 Section members turned out for the annual meeting. The meeting was held at the Atlantic City Country Club on the second Monday in October. The meeting was in the morning and there was a pro-pro tournament in the afternoon. Leo Fraser was reelected president. Harlan Will and Joe Hunsberger were elected first and second vice president. Angelo Paul was reelected secretary and Joe Aneda, the professional at the Newark Country Club, was the new treasurer. The Sectionís "Golf Professional of the Year" Joe Hunsberger was honored at the meeting. The professional at the Juniata Golf Course for more than 25 years, he was recognized for his development of a junior golf program and promoting golf through group lessons. The Section presented a silver tray to Al Keeping for his work in promoting their caddy scholarship fund.Sam Sneadís suspension kept him from playing in the Ryder Cup matches in mid October. The matches were held in England at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. Doug Ford, eleventh on the point list, was selected to replace Snead who had also been named the playing captain. Jerry Barber replaced Snead as the playing captain. Ed "Porky" had been named "Honorary Captain" but he died before the matches were played. Mike Souchak and Art Wall were making their second straight appearance on the team. At the request of the British team the number of matches was doubled and shortened from 36 holes to 18 holes. It was thought that the underdog British team would have a better chance with the shortened matches. The American team was loaded with major tournament winners and they won easily, fourteen and one half points to nine and one half.
Leo Fraserand Harlan Will represented the Philadelphia Section as delegates at the national meeting. The meeting was held at Hollywood-by-the-Sea, Florida in the second week of November. Henry Poe was the chairman of the meeting. The officers where all reelected. The officers announced that the 1962 PGA Championship was being shifted from California to the Aronimink Golf Club in Philadelphia. Early that summer the sponsors in Los Angeles had decided that they werenít prepared to host it. Plans had been finalized to move the PGA headquarters to John D. MacArthurís new city, Palm Beach Gardens. Two golf courses would be ready for play by the end of 1962. The PGA "H" apprentice classification had been eliminated. Until that time the aspiring PGA members were called apprentice members until they attained PGA membership. Henry Picard, Johnny Farrell and Lawson Little were inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame. Jerry Barber was the "PGA Player-of-the-Year".
Gary Playerfinished the year as the leading money winner on the PGA Tour. His winnings totaled $64,540.45 beating out Arnold Palmer by $3,349. For someone who played all over the world and had to adjust to multiple time zone changes and miles of travel this was an achievement. Player entered 28 events, three more than Palmer entered, but 12 less than Doug Sanders who finished third. Palmer won the Vardon Trophy with a 69.85 average. Art Wall finished 25th on the money list with $19,657.54.
1962 - Paul Runyan won the Senionsí Championship at Dunedin, Florida for the second straight year and with the same 278 score. He won with rounds of 71-69-68-70 and again he won by three strokes. This time it was over Errie Ball, Joe Brown and a former Section member Dutch Harrison who all ended up at 281. Again the tournament covered six days in mid February and was played at the PGA National Golf Club. For the ninth straight year the tournament was co-sponsored by the PGA and William Teacher and Sons LTD of Scotland. The purse had been increased by $10,000 to $25,000 and first prize was now $2,000. $16,000 was paid out to the top finishers in the 72-hole championship and the other $9,000 went to the five age-group 36-hole competitions. Some of the $10,000 purse increase came about because the Section Senior champions were no longer being furnished with all-expense paid trips to Dunedin. From 1954 to 1960 the section winners were given all-expense trips to the tournament and in 1961 they received round-trip airfare only. The Teacher Company had done that for the first eight years of its sponsorship. Jimmy Johnson (290) tied for 19th and won $300. Tony Longo (296) tied for 40th, Ralph Hutchison (297) finished alone in 42nd place and Mike Rooney (298) tied for 43rd. Those three each won $100.
In the second week of March forty-four year old Henry Williams, Jr. teed off in the $10,000 Jamaica Open feeling confident about his golf game, having just finished second in the Puerto Rico Open the week before. Williams proceeded to go out and shoot a course record tying 66 at the Caymanas Golf Club. The 66 gave him a tie for the lead with Al Geiberger. In the second round he put together a 69, which left him still tied with Geiberger at 135. A third round 70 put him one stroke in front of the field and a 69 the last day gave him a fourteen under par 274 total, which earned him the $1,500 first prize by four strokes. Geiberger, Tom Strafaci and Spainís Angel Miguel tied for second at 278. Pete Cooper and Jackie Cupit tied for fifth with 280.
In early April Arnold Palmer made up for his poor finish the previous year by winning his third Masters Tournament in five years. Palmer started 70-66-69 but only led by two strokes going into the last round. On Sunday Palmer (280) faltered but he recovered with birdies on #16 and #17 for a 75 that got him into a three-way tie at the top with Gary Player (280) and Dow Finsterwald (280). On Monday Palmer birdied four of the first five holes on the back nine and coasted in with a 68 to win the $20,000 first prize by a comfortable margin. In the playoff Player had a 71 and Finsterwald shot 77. Gene Littler finished fourth at 282. Mike Souchak (287) tied for fifth and won $3,600. Art Wall missed the cut by one stroke.
The spring meeting of the Section was held on the second Wednesday in April at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia. Section President Leo Fraser welcomed the three national officers, headed by President Lou Strong. Along with attending the meeting they were in town to inspect the golf course at the Aronimink Golf Club where the PGA Championship was being held in July. At the meeting Strong reported on the new PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and the PGA Championship. Another item of interest was the large number of head professional changes that had occurred over the winter. Some of the clubs that had new head professionals in their employment were; Overbrook, Radnor Valley, Huntingdon Valley, Rock Manor, North Hills, Bala, Valley, Green Valley, Melrose, Carlisle, York, Locust Valley, Gettysburg, Malvern, Outdoor and Tamiment.
In the afternoon after the meeting the Section put on its fifth annual golf show at the Sheraton from noon to 10:00 PM. The show chairman was Joe Aneda. Forty professionals worked the nets giving free instruction. Tony Longo put on his trick shot show. At 4:00 and 7:00 there were panel discussions on the golf swing featuring some of the Sectionís top players. Guest LPGA professional Marilyn Smith led two discussion groups. Sam Penecale, Bud Lewis and Stan Dudas, now the professional at the Ramblewood Country Club, were on with her at 4:00. Al Besselink, Henry Williams, Jr. and Skee Riegel, now the part owner of the Bucks County Country Club, joined her for the 7:00 panel. More than 4,000 Delaware Valley golfers attended.
The next day the national officers took a tour of the Aronimink Golf Club. The Aronimink green chairman Jumbo Elliott, who was the renowned Villanova University track coach, accompanied them. After going over an eighteen page single spaced checklist they reported excellent progress on the tournament preparations. Elliott was told to let the rough start growing in two weeks. Dick Wilson, the PGAís consulting architect, was to be there in two weeks to stake out the areas where the rough was to be grown.
Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was at the Merion Golf Club on the third Monday in May. The East and West courses were used to qualify 13 players. Amateur Bill Robinsonís 140 led with Skee Riegel right behind at 141. Sam Penecale who had played in the last eight U.S. Opens was next at 142. Penecale turned down his pass to the next qualifying stage. He had recently qualified for the Thunderbird tournament in New Jersey, which was the week before the Open. He said that he could not take the time to play in both tournaments. The third spot then went to Jimmy Johnson at 143. Jerry Pisano, who was now the head pro at the Radnor Valley Country Club and Bob Ross, who was now the pro at the North Hills Country Club, tied for fourth and fifth with 145s. Al Besselink was alone in sixth place with a 146 and amateur Al McQuiston, a brother of Henry, was next at 147. Bob Schoener, Jr., Paul Kern and amateur John Guenther tied for eighth with 148s. Paul Kelly and Ralph Hutchison picked up the next two spots with 149s. The last place went to amateur Larry Feldman who had finished at 150. He won the 13th spot with a bogey on the first extra hole. Art Wall and Jon Gustin were two of 64 players who were exempt from local qualifying. Mike Souchakís fourth place finish at the U.S. Open the year before earned him one of the 19 full exemptions into the tournament.
On that same third Monday of May local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held in Central Pennsylvania at the West Shore Country Club in Harrisburg. Five players tied for the top spot and six qualified. Henry Williams, Jr., Bob Batdorff, teaching pro at the Manor Country Club, the Outdoor Club professional Charlie Strack, Bobby Ford and Tom Murphy all shot 147s. Ford was an assistant to Murphy at the Lancaster Country Club. The last spot went to Jim Sharpe, the professional at the Country Club of Harrisburg.
On the first Monday in June Art Wall qualified for the U.S. Open in Memphis, Tennessee. There was a strong field there as the Memphis Open had just finished up there the day before. Due the strength of the field there were 27 spots up for grabs. Butch Baird was the medalist with a 137. Wall tied for fifteenth with a 71 and a 70 for 141. The 143 scorers played off for the last spot.
The next day in June four professionals from the Philadelphia Section qualified for the U.S. Open at the Montclair Golf Club in Montclair, New Jersey. There were 104 players for 32 spots at Montclair. Claude Harmon led with a 137. The low Philadelphia pro was Paul Kelly with a 141. Bob Ross, Jerry Pisano and Bob Schoener, Jr. posted 143s to just avoid the playoff at 144 for the last spots. All four had qualified locally at Merion.
Also qualifying for the U.S. Open on the first Tuesday of June was Jon Gustin who led the qualifying in Atlanta with a pair of 70s for 140. There were eight spots in Atlanta and it took a score of 145 to qualify.
The next day Jerry Barber and Gene Littler met in a match at the Aronimink Golf Club for National Golf Day. The public was admitted at $2 per person. The national PGA officers were all on hand for this event that raised money for various golf related projects and charities. The day before Littler had put on a clinic at the John Wanamaker Department Store in Philadelphia. It was the Wanamaker family who had helped in the organization of the PGA in 1916 and donated the trophy for its first championship. The trophy was still in use and it was engraved with the winners of all the PGA Championships.
The U.S. Open was played at the Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh in mid June. The winner was Jack Nicklaus who had won everything as an amateur and was playing in the Open for the first time as a professional. Starting with the Los Angeles Open in January he had been in the money in all seventeen events that he had entered but he hadnít won yet. Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer were paired together the first two days, which resulted in Palmer (71-68) being tied for the lead, three strokes in front of Nicklaus (72-70). In the third round on Saturday Nicklaus posted a 72 against a 73 for Palmer so he now trailed Palmer by two strokes. A two-under-par 69 in the afternoon put Nicklaus in the clubhouse at 283 and Palmer followed right behind him with a 71 for another 283. Phil Rodgers and Bobby Nichols tied for third with 285s. On Sunday Nicklaus won the 18-hole playoff by three strokes with a 71 versus a 74 for Palmer. First prize was $17,500. The only two Philadelphia Section pros that made the cut were Art Wall (291) and Mike Souchak (293) who tied for 11th and 14th. Wall won $1,325 and Souchak won $975. Jon Gustin, Bob Schoener, Jr., Paul Kelly, Bob Ross and Jerry Pisano missed the cut.
On Monday after the U.S. Open the touring pros were at the Aronimink Golf Club for a pro-am to promote the PGA Championship. There were 52 professionals competing for $7,500. 156 amateurs were paired with the pros in four-man teams. Marty Furgol and Bobby Nichols were low with 68s and broke the course record of 69 that had been set by Ted Turner in the 1935 Philadelphia Open. Par had been 72, 35-37, at Aronimink in 1935.
On the third Wednesday in June 75 Section members were at the Aronimink Golf Club to qualify for the PGA Championship. Al Besselink led the qualifying for eleven openings with a 69-71 for 140. As the host of the championship the Section received extra spots. Skee Riegel was second at 144 one stroke ahead of Henry McQuiston (145), now the head professional at the Bala Golf Club, and Al Nelson (145). Next in line separated by one stroke each, were Sam Penecale (147), Willie Polumbo (148), now the professional at the Green Hill Golf Club, and Pat Schwab (149), the new professional at the Rock Manor Golf Club. Charley Lepre and Ralph Hutchison tied at 150. The last two places went to Bob Ross (151) and Jerry Pisano (151) in a sudden death playoff with Bob Schoener, Jr. (151) that lasted one hole. Exemptions went to Art Wall and Mike Souchak as members of the 1961 Ryder Cup team and Joe Capello as the host professional. Bernie Haas, now the professional at the Pittsburgh Field Club, was exempt as the Philadelphia Section champion. Jon Gustin was also exempt.
The PGA Tour qualified for the PGA Championship at the Eastern Open during the fourth week of June. The top 24 at the 1961 PGA Championship were exempt. On the Monday after the Eastern Open some of the participants were at the Aronimink Golf Club for a pro-am to help promote the upcoming PGA Championship.
1962 PGA Championship
In the third week of July the Philadelphia Section hosted the PGA Championship for the fifth time. The Aronimink Golf Club and their professional Joe Capello were the hosts. Fifteen Section members and nine professionals who were formerly in the Section were entered. One of the former Section members was Dave Douglas who was now a club pro in St. Louis. His father Alex had been the professional at the old Aronimink course in the early 1920s when Dave was three years old. The major golf tournaments were becoming big productions. The last four holes were televised nationally from two ten-foot high platforms and two forklifts. There were 700 volunteers, most of them Aronimink members. A ticket for the week cost $18 and with clubhouse privileges it was $28. Paul Hahn put on his trick shot show on Tuesday at 6 PM. The usual shot-making clinic and driving contest on Wednesday was rained out. The course measured 7,040 yards and par was 70. A number of the players were just back from the British Open including the winner Arnold Palmer. The course didnít look difficult and some of the players thought that it would take a low score to win but when it was over on Sunday the winning score was 278, two-under-par. Gary Player had put together rounds of 72, 67, 69 and 70 to wrap up his second major title. After being six strokes behind with 12 holes to go Bob Goalby made a run, shooting a 67, and ended up one stroke short at 279. Player played a conservative back nine and didnít use his driver one time. He did the last nine holes in one-under-par 34 even though he used his #4 wood off all the tees, except the two par three holes. Player was having so much difficulty with his driver he had taken a lesson from Capello before the tournament began. As a result Player rarely used his driver during all four of the rounds. Jack Nicklaus and George Bayer tied for third at 281. First prize was $13,000 from a record purse of $69,400. Art Wall (289) led the Philadelphia pros tying for 23rd and winning $665. Al Nelson (293) and Mike (293) tied for 39th and they each won $400. Pat Schwab (295) tied for 47th winning $325 and Bob Ross (298) tied for 57th and won $222.50. The ninth hole measured 610 yards and was only reached in two by two players during the tournament but Schwab did a little better. In the third round he reached the back collar with a driver and a #3 wood. At the end of 36 holes there was a cut to the low 90 plus ties and the field was cut again after 54 holes to the low 60 and ties. Everyone who made the final cut won at least $222.50. Jon Gustin, Skee Riegel, Bernie Haas, Al Besselink, Ralph Hutchison, Charley Lepre, Henry McQuiston, Sam Penecale, Willie Polumbo, Jerry Pisano and Capello missed the cut.
On the second Monday in August the Philadelphia Open was played at the North Hills Country Club and the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Jerry Pisano picked up his second win in the tournament, having won it in 1957. Pisano made ten birdies while posting an even par 71 at the Cricket Club and a two-under-par 69 at North Hills for 140. He edged out Bob Ross (142) and amateur Billy Hyndman (142) by two strokes. Ross started the day with a five-under-par 31 on the front nine at the Cricket Club but he finished up with a 74 on his home course in the afternoon. Jay Weitzel and amateur Steve Probst tied for fourth with 146s. Pisano won $500 and Ross earned $325. The total purse was $1,500.
Won 3 Philadelphia Opens
and 1 Pennsylvania Open
Four days after the Philadelphia Open Sam Penecale and Whitemarsh Valley Country Club hosted the Section Championship. Don Stough, the assistant pro at the Country Club of York, led after 36 holes but at the end of the three days of stroke play two big names were at the top. Art Wall (213) put together steady rounds of 70, 72 and 71 to win by two strokes. It was Wallís first win of any kind since the 1960 Canadian Open. Since that victory he hadnít won at any level, not even a pro-am. Two weeks before, Wall had missed an 18-inch putt for a win at the Insurance City Open and then lost the playoff. Al Besselink (215) made a run at Wall in the last round catching him with a birdie two on #16. Wall, who was playing right behind Besselink, countered with his own birdie two and he also birdied the par five #17 for a two-stroke lead with one hole to play. On the last hole Besselink holed a 30-foot putt for a birdie to finish with a five-under-par 67 but Wall put a 9-iron shot four feet from the cup and holed the putt for victory. Besselink might have caught someone else but against a player like Wall he had too much ground to make up. Stough finished third at 217 and Henry McQuiston was two shots farther back in the fourth spot at 219. The total purse came to $5,185 and Wall won $1,000. The last three holes of the final round were televised locally on Channel 3, the NBC affiliate. An admission fee of $1 for spectators was charged and a gallery estimated at 1,000 gathered at the last green to see the finish.
1962 Section Champion
The day after the Section Championship ended the Pennsylvania pros were playing in their state open at the Hershey Country Club. In a change from recent years the tournament was being played over two days at the Country Club course instead of playing 36 holes in one day over the Hershey Park and the Country Club courses. There were 154 entries and the field was cut to the low 50 and ties after the first day. It took a score of 76 to continue play the second day. Henry Williams, Jr. (143) posted a three-under-par 70 on Monday and added a 73 the second day to win the tournament for a second time. Buddy Heckman, the professional at the Manor Country Club, almost caught Williams with a last round 69 but he ended up one stroke back at 144. Paul Kelly and Tommy Murphy tied for third at 145. Art Wall, Skee Riegel, Bobby Ford and Lew Worsham tied for fifth with 147s. It was the first time that Wall had entered the state open. The purse was $2,750 and Williams won $750.
The fall meeting of the Section and election of officers was at the Atlantic City Country Club on the second Monday of October. The meeting was in the morning and there was a pro-pro tournament in the afternoon followed by a dinner in the evening. Leo Fraser stepped down after six years as president. The new president was Angelo Paul. Charley Lepre was elected first vice president and Joe Hunsberger was reelected second vice president. Joe Aneda was elected secretary and Bill Boyle, the professional at the Iron Rock Golf Club, was the new treasurer. Paul was also honored as the Sectionís "Golf Professional of the Year". Paul had been the secretary of the Philadelphia Section for seven years.
Section President 1963 to 1965
Golf Professional of the Year
In late November the Section delegates met in Palm Beach, Florida at the Palm Beach Towers Hotel for the national meeting. Henry Poe was the chairman of the meeting again and master of ceremonies at the Presidentís Dinner. President Lou Strong, Secretary Wally Mund and Treasurer George Hall were reelected for a third straight year. There were now 5,041 members. A report was presented on the progress at the new PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens. Class D membership was eliminated and the assistant professionals who were members were now class "Junior A". For the first time in was mandatory that the vice presidents be rotated among the Sections within a District. Francis W. Sullivan, Philadelphia attorney, was elected to the PGA Advisory Committee. Dutch Harrison and Olin Dutra were inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame. The Sectionís delegates to the national meeting were Angelo Paul and Joe Aneda. There were 34 PGA Sections.
Arnold Palmer was back on top of the money list with a record $81,448. Gene Littler finished $15,248 back in second place. Palmer was also the "PGA Player-of-the-Year" and he won the Vardon Trophy with a 70.27 average.
1963 - After eighteen years at Dunedin the PGA was moving across Florida
to Palm Beach Gardens. The PGA had planned to play its Seniorsí Championship at
their new home. The new courses werenít ready so the tournament was moved north
to the Port St. Lucie Country Club, which had opened in 1961. The event was
played in early February on Port St. Lucieís Saints and Sinners courses. With
the two courses the large entry could be accommodated and the championship was
completed in four days. The tournament was open to all PGA members who had
reached their 50th birthday. For the first time in the history of the
tournament the winner registered all four rounds in the 60s. Herman Barron (272)
put together rounds of 67, 67, 69 and 69 to finish two strokes ahead of John
Barnum (274). Barron won $2,500. Former North Hills Country Club professional
Henry Ransom was third at 279. Errie Ball and Jack Isaacs tied for fourth
with 282s. John Long, the professional at
the Louviers Country Club, tied for eighth with a 288 and won $462.50.
Ralph Hutchison (290) tied for 16th
and won $341.66. Rod Munday (291), now the
professional at the Gettysburg Country Club, tied for 22nd and
won $260. Jimmy Johnson (292) turned in a
292 and won $200. Angelo Paul (294) won $125
for a tie for 34th. The purse was now $30,000. The entry fee was $10.
Art Wallwon the Caracas Open on the Caribbean Tour in the fourth week of February. He was never over par shooting rounds of 67, 70, 68 and 69 for a six under par 274 at the Valle Arriba Club. He finished two strokes in front of George Knudson (276) and five ahead of John Barnum (279). Don Whitt finished fourth at 280. Knudson began the tournament with a course record 64 in the first round. First prize was $1,300. The tournament sponsors also paid appearance money to the name players like Wall to entice them to leave the PGA Tour for their tournaments. The tournaments were co-sponsored by the PGA of America.
On the first Sunday of March Charlie Sifford captured his first win in a PGA-sanctioned 72-hole tournament when he won the Puerto Rico Open. Sifford led by one stroke entering the final round, posted a three under par 68 and won by six strokes. He put together rounds of 69, 67, 73 and 68 on the Berwind Country Club course for a 277. George Knudson (283) finished second and Manuel de la Torre (285) was next in third place. There was a four-way tie for fourth among John Barnum, Pete Cooper, Alvie Thompson and Chi Chi Rodriguez at 287. First prize was $1,200.
On the last Monday of March the Section held its spring meeting at the Sheraton Hotel. Philadelphia mayor James J. Tate was the guest speaker. Leo Fraser presented the officers of Aronimink Golf Club with gold money clips for their help in organizing and conducting the PGA Championship the previous year. Section President Angelo Paul outlined plans for the Sectionís sixth annual golf show. The Section members learned that Charley Lepre, the Sectionís first vice president and tournament chairman, had resigned.
One week later on the first Monday of April, the Section kicked off the golf season at twelve-noon with their golf show. The show was at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia again and the show chairman was Joe Aneda. Nearly 3,500 attended. As usual the golf professionals manned the driving nets giving out free instruction and 40 pro-golf salesmen displayed the latest golf equipment and clothes for the golfer. LPGA star Marlene Bauer Hagge and trick shot artist Paul Hahn were the featured guests. Hagge participated in two two-hour long panel discussions on the golf swing. The panel fielded questions from the audience. In the afternoon session she was teamed up with Sam Penecale, Stan Dudas, Charley Lepre and Bob Ross. In the evening Al Besselink, Skee Riegel, Henry Williams, Jr. and Billy Booe joined Bauer on the panel. The day came to a completion with Hahnís world-renowned trick shot show.
In early April Jack Nicklaus won his first Masters Tournament and became the youngest winner of the tournament at age 23. The scores were high, the highest winning score since 1956, but a second round 66 made the difference. Nicklaus (286) finished one stroke in front of Tony Lema at 287. Nicklausí four rounds were 74, 66, 74 and 72. First prize was $20,000. Sam Snead and Julius Boros tied for third at 288. The Sectionís only two entrants Mike Souchak and Art Wall played well but werenít in contention on Sunday. Souchak (292) led at the halfway point and finished tied for 11th. Wall (294) tied for 21st. Souchak won $1,350 and Wall won $1,000.
In late May local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at 56 locations in the country. On the fourth Monday Skee Riegel and twelve other professionals passed the test in Philadelphia. Riegel played the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in one-over par 73 in the morning and came back in the afternoon at the Green Valley Country Club with a one-under par 70 to take the medalist honors with a 143. Jerry Pisano, Al Nelson and Stan Dudas tied for second with 145s. John Kennedy, who was working at the Presidential Driving Range, and Henry McQuiston were next with 146s. John Berry, an assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club, finished alone in seventh place at 147. The next four spots went to Tim DeBaufre, who was playing the PGA Tour out of the Philadelphia Country Club, Bob Gleeson, an assistant at the Edgmont Country Club, Dick Hendrickson, who was now the pro at the Laurel Oak Country Club, and Bob Schoener, Jr. at 148. Another assistant from the Philadelphia Country Club, Pete Trenham, finished at 149 and won the last spot in a sudden death playoff with a par on the first hole at Whitemarsh. Art Wall and Mike Souchak were exempt from both local and sectional qualifying for having finished 11th and 14th in the 1962 U.S. Open.
Also on the fourth Monday Henry Williams, Jr. and five others made it through local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Central Pennsylvania. Williams shot a pair of one-over-par 74s for a two over par 148 at the Hershey Country Club to top a field of 36 pros and amateurs. Buddy Heckman and amateur John Guenther tied for second with 149s. Jay Weitzel was next with a 151. Amateurs Frank Arasin and Bill Davidson won the last two spots with 152s
Bob Schoener, Jr.outscored a large field of top names from the PGA Tour to qualify for the U.S. Open in early June. Play was on the Old Oaks and Century Country Clubs at Purchase, New York. Schoener posted a one under par 69 at Old Oaks in the morning and a one under par 70 at Century in the afternoon. His 139, the only score under 140, won the medalist prize of $300. The field was so strong at Purchase the USGA granted 45 spots there. There were a total of 129 spots up for grabs at 13 locations in the country and 21 players were totally exempt. Some of the names that Schoener outplayed in New York were Sam Snead, Julius Boros, Cary Middlecoff, Lionel Hebert and Don January. Skee Riegel (142), who tied for eighth, and Al Nelson (144) who tied for 19th made it with ease. Henry McQuiston and Jerry Pisano posted 147s and survived a 15-man sudden death playoff for the last nine spots. The playoff began with the players paired in three groups of five each and took seven holes to complete Schoener, Riegel, Nelson, McQuiston and Pisano had all qualified locally in Philadelphia.
As a result of poor scheduling the qualifying rounds for the PGA Championship were played at the St. Davids Golf Club on the Monday of U.S. Open week. The pros that had qualified for the Open had to play 36-holes at St. Davids and then fly to Boston to try to get in some practice before teeing off in the tournament on Thursday. In the afternoon round Skee Riegel mastered the back nine at St. Davids with six birdies and three pars for a 30. He led the field by four strokes with a 71 and a 67 for a four-under-par 138. The second spot went to Charley Lepre (142) who was one stroke in front of Sam Penecale (143). One stroke farther back, Jerry Pisano won the fourth and last qualifying place with a 144. Art Wall and Mike Souchak were exempt as members of the 1961 Ryder Cup team.
Ron Bakichthe new professional at the new Lords Valley Country Club qualified for the PGA Championship in New Jersey because his PGA paperwork hadnít transferred him to the Philadelphia Section yet.
The U.S. Open was at The Country Club near Boston in the third week of June. The winning score was the highest since 1935 at Oakmont. It had been a very difficult winter in New England and sheets of ice had covered the greens for a long period of time. Also there had been a late spring and the greens had not fully recovered but the main reason for the high scores was the wind. In the last round only three players were able to shoot 72s and Julius Boros was one of them. At the end of regulation play it was Boros, Arnold Palmer and Jackie Cupit all tied at nine over par 293. Palmer missed a two-foot putt on the 71st hole and Cupit dropped two strokes on the same hole to fall into the tie at the top. Paul Harney (294) made a bogey on the last hole and finished fourth one stroke back and Tony Lema (295) made bogeys on the last two to end up two strokes out of first. Just like fifty years earlier in 1913 on the same course a three-way playoff was needed to determine the winner. In the playoff Boros started fast, one under-par after five holes he turned in 33 finishing with a 70 and no one was close as Cupit had a 73 and Palmer a 76. First prize was $17,500. Mike Souchak (307) tied for 32nd and won $366.67. Art Wall (310) tied for 40th and won $337.50. Bob Schoener, Jr., Al Nelson, Skee Riegel, Henry McQuiston and Jerry Pisano missed the cut.
The PGA Championship was in Dallas in mid July and it was hot. At age 23 Jack Nicklaus joined three other golf professionals as the only ones to win all three United States major championships in their careers. He came from behind with a 68 in the last round and won by two strokes over Dave Ragan (281). He finished with rounds of 69, 73, 69 and 68 for 279 and won $13,000. The third round leader Bruce Crampton tied for third with Dow Finsterwald at 282. Art Wall (286) tied for eighth and won $2,090. Mike Souchak (289) tied for 23rd and won $775. Jerry Pisano tied for 40th at 293 and won $410. Skee Riegel shot a 299 and finished tied for 63rd winning $230. Ron Bakich won $158.33 for a tie for 75th at 305. Charley Lepre and Sam Penecale missed the cut. The total purse was $80,900.
Won four times on the PGA Tour,
Won two Section Championships
Won two Philadelphia Opens
Won the Pennsylvania Open
The Philadelphia Open was held at the St. Davids Golf Club and the Aronimink Golf Club on the second Monday of August. With half of the field playing each course and then switching courses at mid-day there was always a great deal of doubt as to what score would win. This year was no exception. Bert Yancey, the assistant at the Green Valley Country Club, came to the last hole at Aronimink in the late afternoon needing a par for 142. He had heard that a 144 was in but he felt like someone would shoot a lower score than that. When his tee shot ended up behind the trees on the right he decided to gamble with his second shot. He finished with a seven on the hole and a 145 total. Three players, Al Besselink, Sam Penecale and amateur Harvey Smith, finished tied for first at 144. Besselink had the low round of the day, a 69 at St. Davids to go with his 75 at Aronimink. There was a four-way tie for fourth with Yancey. Also finishing with 145s were Pat Schwab, Willie Polumbo and Mike Franko. Franko was the professional at the Greenacres Country Club near Trenton, New Jersey. He was entered because his club was a member of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. Polumbo had two eagles on par five holes that day, one at St. Davids and one at Aronimink. Due to scheduling conflicts and the Pennsylvania Open a playoff wasnít held until ten days later. In the playoff Besselink took the lead on the fourth hole and never gave it up. He came to the last hole with a two-stroke lead and when he holed out from a greenside bunker for an even par 70 he had wrapped his third major title in the Philadelphia area. Penecale finished with a 74 and Smith was one higher at 75. First prize was $500 from the $1,535 purse.
One week after missing a chance to win the Philadelphia Open Bert Yancey won the Pennsylvania Open at the Hershey Country Club. At the end of the first day he was tied for the lead with a one-under-par 72 and a second day 71 put him in the clubhouse with a 143 and a three-stroke victory. Sam Penecale and Al Nelson tied for second at 146. That would be two second-place finishes in local majors in two weeks for Penecale but he didnít know it yet. The playoff for the Philadelphia Open wasnít held until three days later. Al Besselink and amateur John Guenther tied for fourth with 147s. First prize was $750 and the second place finishers each won $337.50.
1963 Section Champion
Art Walldefended his Section Championship title at Leo Fraserís Atlantic City Country Club in the second week of September and wound up winning by a seven-stroke margin. He began with a 67, which left him in a tie for fourth place but a second round 66 put him in front by three strokes. In the last round Wall turned in another score under 70 with a 68, which gave him a nine-under-par 201 total. Just like the Pennsylvania Open Al Nelson finished second again. His 208 score edged out Pat Schwab (209) by one stroke. Henry McQuiston and Tommy Murphy tied for fourth with 210s. It was the third Section Championship title for Wall. First prize was $600. For the first time the final rounds were recorded on tape for television. In 1960 and 1962 the final rounds had been televised live but this time it was taped and taken back to the TV station in Philadelphia and shown later that day.
The largest purse in the history of the PGA Tour, $125,000, brought the touring pros to Philadelphia in the first week of October. It was late in the year and most of the big names were ready for a vacation but the purse brought most of them to Whitemarsh. The tournament was put together late and wasnít even on the PGA schedule early in the year. The tour had played in Portland, Oregon the week before. It was called the Whitemarsh Open, which was hosted by the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club and their professional Sam Penecale. Qualifying for 38 places was held on Monday to fill out the starting field. Jim Ferree and Jay Dolan led the qualifying with 70s. Eleven Section members passed the qualifying test. Dick Hendrickson led the Section pros with a 73 and John Long was next with a 74. John Berry, Harlan Will, the professional at the Overbrook Golf Club, and Bob Schoener, Jr. made it with 75s. Jerry Pisano, Bob Batdorff, Al Besselink and Buster Reed, the professional at the Valley Country Club, were in with 76s. Sixteen players ended up tied at 77 for the last 13 places. Three of them were John Serafin, now the professional at the Colonial Country Club, Ron Bakich and Jimmy Johnson, but Serafin didnít stay for the playoff. The tournament officials decided to let the 13 who were there for the playoff into the 152-man field and Serafin became the first alternate. Seventeen players from the Philadelphia Section teed off in the first round on Thursday. Art Wall was not one of those, as he had to withdraw for health reasons. It was fall with cool windy weather and there were many high scores but as quite often happened Arnold Palmer had one of the low ones. On Saturday he shot a six-under-par 66 to go with his 70 and 71 from the first two rounds. The 66 enabled him to take a three-stroke lead into the last round. On Sunday he shot his highest score, a 74 for 281, but he made it to the clubhouse one stroke in front of Lionel Hebert. That gave him the largest prize he had ever won in golf, $26,000. He paid his Whitemarsh Valley caddie $1,500. In the last round fifty-one year old Sam Snead shot a 66 and finished tied for third at 283 with Al Balding. The low professional from the Section was Bob Batdorff who tied for 21st at 290. That was worth $1,250. Mike Souchak (296) tied for 45th and won $466. Jerry Pisano (299) tied for 54th and won $370. Henry McQuiston (300) won $330 for a tie for 57th and Jimmy Johnson (301) won $280 as he tied for 62nd. Berry, Bakich, Besselink, Hendrickson, Reed, Skee Riegel, Penecale, Pat Schwab, Schoener, Al Nelson, Will and Long missed the cut. The 36-hole scores of 151 and better made the cut. The tournament was not a financial success for the sponsors. It was the same week as the baseball World Series. The Series was still being played in the afternoons so the PGA wasnít able to sell the tournament to TV.
The Ryder Cup matches were played in mid October and for the first time no one with a past or future connection to the Philadelphia Section was on the team. The matches were played at the East Lake Country Club in Atlanta. The American team won with ease 23 to 9.
ďGolf Professional of the YearĒ
Caddie Scholarship Fund Chairman
The fall meeting of the Section was at the Atlantic City Country Club on the last Monday in October. Angelo Paul was reelected president. There were two new vice presidents who hadnít been officers before. Neal McGeehan, pro and owner of the Yorktowne Country Club, was elected first vice president and John Long was elected second vice president. Joe Aneda was reelected secretary and John Hayes, the professional at the Riverton Country Club, was elected treasurer. Al Keeping was honored at the Sectionís "Golf Professional of the Year" for his work with the caddie scholarship fund. He was the chairman of the caddie scholarship committee for seven years during which time the Section helped twelve caddies attend college. Keeping was an assistant to George Duncan in England before coming to Philadelphia in 1928 to be the assistant at the Philadelphia Cricket Club to Georgeís brother Alex. He was a vice president of the Section for eight years, tournament chairman for five years and chairman of the Benevolent Committee for three years. The Sectionís pro-pro championship was played in the afternoon and there was a dinner in the evening.
On the second Sunday of November the Washington Post reported that Lou Strong, the president of the PGA of America, had been selected to replace Al Besselink as the professional at the Philmont Country Club. Evidently Strong must have changed his mind as he ended up being the professional at the new PGA Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida with a lucrative contract that included the golf carts and the driving range. PGA politics may have played a part in the deal.
The national meeting of the PGA was held in Palm Beach, Florida in early December. Lou Strong stepped down as president and Texan Warren Cantrell ran for president from the floor defeating Wally Mund who had been the secretary for three years. The vote was 52 to 34. Mund had been expected to move up without opposition but he represented the old regime and many of the delegates were disgruntled over the contractual agreement for their new national golf club. The association was about to move into their new national golf club in Palm Beach Gardens and the clubhouse, which included their offices, was almost complete. The agreement was that the PGA would build a one million-dollar clubhouse on John D. MacArthurís property. When it was completed MacArthur would turn over the two new golf courses to the PGA. Dick Wilson, a former PGA member and renowned golf course architect, designed the golf courses. Two new resolutions passed. One was that a person had to be a United States citizen to become a PGA member and the other was that the age one could become a PGA member was raised from 18 to 21. The Philadelphia Sectionís delegates to the national meeting were Angelo Paul and Henry Williams, Jr. Ralph Guldahl and Johnny Revolta were voted into the PGA Hall of Fame.
The PGA didnít become the owner of the new PGA Golf Club and its two golf courses. There were too many legal concerns with John D. MacArthur, the developer. As a resolution to the problems the PGA officers agreed to lease office space in the clubhouse building and an agreement was signed giving the PGA members reduced prices for carts and other fees.
The money race on the PGA Tour went to Arnold Palmer again. He set another new standard by being the first professional golfer to win more than $100,000 in a single year. He finished with $128,230 and Jack Nicklaus squeezed into six digits as well with $100.040. The "PGA Player-of-the-Year" was Julius Boros. The Vardon Trophy was won by Billy Casper with an average of 70.58 strokes per round.
1964 - Art Wall started the year with a victory at the $30,000 San Diego Open in the second week in January. Wall began the tournament with a 71 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn golf course and took the lead in the second round with a course record 65. On a day that began with a two-hour frost delay he birdied the last four holes. A 68 in the third round put him two strokes in front and an even par 70 in the last round gave him a 274 total and a two-stroke win. Tony Lema and Bob Rosburg tied for second with 276s. Harold Kneece, Rex Baxter, Bob Charles and George Archer tied for fourth at 277. First prize was $4,000.
Former Section member Sam Snead won the PGA Seniorsí Championship in the third week of February. The tournament was played on the PGAís new North and South Courses at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Snead was 51 and he hadnít played the year before when he was eligible for the first time. Snead won by three strokes over John Barnum (282) with rounds of 67, 68, 73 and 71 for a nine under par 279. Dutch Harrison, another former Section member, finished third at 285 and Duke Gibson finished fourth at 287. John Long was the low Section member shooting a 293, tying for seventh and wining $550. Jimmy Johnson (299) tied for 22nd winning $300 and Terl Johnson (302) won $200 for a tie for a tie for 30th. Rod Munday (308) also finished in the money tying for 48th and he won $108.33. Snead took home $2,500 from the $30,000 purse.
The Philadelphia Section got the golf season started with their spring meeting and golf show on the fourth Monday in March. The meeting and show were at Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia again. Herb Jewson who served six years as the Section president in the 20s and 30s attended the meeting. The tournament chairman, Neal McGeehan, presented the tournament schedule to the members.
The Sectionís golf show opened at noon on the fourth Monday of March, right after the spring meeting ended. As usual the manufacturerís reps were there promoting the latest golf equipment. The MacGregor Golf Companyís $175 kangaroo golf bag was still selling and that year they had also come up with a kangaroo and alligator golf bag for $500. The guest celebrity was Melvin "Chick" Harbert, winner of the PGA Championship in 1954. The Sectionís members provided free instruction in the driving nets.
Al Besselinkreturned to the PGA Tour after three years at Philmont Country Club. After seven years without a victory on the tour he won at the Azalea Open in late March. Besselink started out the tournament with a 70 at the Cape Fear Country Club and in the second round he shot a seven-under-par 65 to take the lead. A third round 72 left him holding a three-stroke lead with one round to play. Thursday had been rained out so the tournament required an extra day. On Monday the temperature was in the 30s with wind and no one broke par. Besselink triple bogied the next to last hole when his tee shot was out of bounds by two inches, but he managed to finish one stroke in front of the rest of the field. He posted a 75 for 282 and a one-stroke win over Lionel Hebert (283). Tommy Jacobs was one stroke farther back with a 284. Billy Casper and Larry Mowry tied for fourth with 285s. Besselink picked up $2,700 for the win plus $1,400 in bonus money for leading after the second and third rounds.
The Masters Tournament was in the second week of April. It was an even numbered year so Arnold Palmer was due to win again. He started with a 69 and a 68 for a four-stroke lead. In the third round he shot a 69 and increased his lead to five strokes. In the last round he shot a steady 70 for 276 and a six-stroke win. It was his fourth win at Augusta. Palmer had already won the Masters in 1958, 1960 and 1962. Jack Nicklaus (282) and Dave Marr (282) tied for second two strokes ahead of Bruce Devlin (284). Mike Souchak shot 287, tied for ninth and won $1,700. Art Wall missed the cut. Palmer won $20,000 from the $129,800 purse. The purse topped the payout at Whitemarsh by $4,800 and set a new high for the tour.
Mike Souchakpicked up his first win in three years at the $50,000 Houston Open in mid April. It was his second Houston Open title, the first one coming in 1955. Souchak (278) birdied two holes on the last nine for a par 70 round at the Sharpstown Park Golf Course to nip Jack Nicklaus (279) by one stroke. Souchakís four rounds were 71, 69, 68 and 70. Chi Chi Rodriguez (280) finished third two strokes out of first place. Rex Baxter, Al Geiberger and Butch Baird tied for fourth at 281. First prize was $7,500.
In late May Mike Souchak won his second tournament of the year at the Memphis Open. Playing the 72nd hole of the tournament Souchak was tied with three other players. He made a birdie four from a greenside bunker and sewed up the $7,500 first place check. Souchakís (270) rounds, 69, 65, 67 and 69, were all below the par of 70 at the Colonial Country Club course. Total prize money was $50,000. Billy Casper and Tommy Jacobs tied for second at 271. Art Wall finished one stroke farther back at 273 in a six-way tie for fourth with Bob Rosburg, Mason Rudolph, Gene Littler, Doug Sanders and Gay Brewer.
Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Philadelphia was held at the North Hills Country Club and the new Cedarbrook Country Club on the fourth Monday in May. Seventy-six players were competing for fourteen spots in the sectional qualifying. The medalist was Sam Penecale who had played in nine U.S. Opens. He went around North Hills in the morning in a two-under-par 69 and came back in the afternoon with a three-over-par 75 at Cedarbrook for 144. His 75 was one of the lower rounds at Cedarbrook as no one was able to equal par. Bobby Ford, now the assistant at the Wilmington Country Club, Bob Schoener, Jr., Jimmy Johnson and Buzz Garvin, an assistant at the Philmont Country Club, were four shots off the medalist pace with 148s. Clint Kennedy, a teaching pro from the Green Valley Country Club, was alone in sixth place with a 149. George Griffin, Jr., who had now taken over for his father as the head professional at the Green Valley Country Club, and John Berry tied for seventh with 150s. Next in line were Skee Riegel and Tim DeBaufre, who was now back as a full time assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club, were at 151. Bob Hendricks and Bob Ross picked up the eleventh and twelfth places with 152s. Dick Mullen, another teaching pro from Green Valley Country Club and Chuck Keating, the assistant at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, won the last two places with 153s. All three pros from Green Valley qualified. Art Wall was exempt from local qualifying off his position on the 1963 PGA Tour money list. Only twenty-one players were exempt from both local and sectional qualifying.
Andy Stofko, a non-PGA professional, was the low at the local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Central Pennsylvania. He led with a 76-71ó147 at the Country Club of Harrisburg. There were 18 starters and four qualifying places in Harrisburg. The next spot went to Rod Munday (149). Reading amateur Don Sowers (150) picked up the third spot. The last place went to Mundayís assistant at the Gettysburg Country Club, Don Stough (151). Charlie Strack (152), who was now the professional at the Outdoor Country Club, won an eleven hole sudden-death playoff over Jim Sharpe (152) for first alternate.
Al Besselinkmade it through the local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Memphis and Mike Souchak, who had just won the Memphis Open the day before missed by two strokes with a 147. There were 39 spots in Memphis were many of the nonexempt touring pros were competing. Besselink qualified with a 139, which was four strokes off the leading pace of 135 set by Gay Brewer. Qualifying was on the fourth Monday of May.
On the first Monday in June qualifying for the PGA Championship was held at the Woodcrest Country Club. John Berry posted a 73 in the morning and came back with a 67 in the afternoon to win the medal with a 140. Berry was the only player to break par 71 for the day. Jimmy Johnson and Tommy Murphy were next with 143s and Charley Lepre earned the last spot with a 144. Mike Souchak was exempt off his position on the 1963 and 1964 PGA Tour money list and Al Besselink was exempt off his position on the 1964 PGA Tour money list.
Three Philadelphia professionals made it through sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open on the second Monday in June. They were among 106 players competing for 36 places at the Woodmere Club and The Seawane Club on Long Island. The medalist was Welshman Dave Thomas with a 135. Skee Riegel posted a four under par 68 at Seawane and a two under par 69 at Woodmere to tie for second. Bob Hendricks began with a 76 a Woodmere and came back with a 69 at Seawane in the afternoon to get under the wire by one stroke. Bob Schoener, Jr. had rounds of 75 and 71, which left him tied with seven players for the last two places. Schoener posted rounds of 75 and 71 and then prevailed via a sudden death playoff. A loser in the playoff was Bob Ross who was still walking with a limp due to a late April golf cart accident. Ross had suffered a four-inch cut of a muscle in his left leg when he was pinned by a golf cart against a wall in the carthouse at North Hills Country Club. There were 36 spots to qualify for as many of the touring pros were in New York for that weekís PGA Tour event. Riegel, Hendricks, Schoener and Ross had passed the local test in Philadelphia.
On day later on the second Tuesday of June Art Wall qualified for the U.S. Open in Detroit. He turned in the second lowest score, a 140, but he didnít play in the Open that year. Bert Yancey, who was now on the PGA Tour, also made the grade in Detroit with a 147 that put him in a tie for 23rd. George Bayer was low in Detroit with a score of 138. There were 37 spots as the PGA Tour had been in Detroit that week. The 149 scorers played off for the last spots.
The U.S. Open was at the Congressional Country Club near Washington D.C. The tournament was played in the third week of June and it will be always remembered for the humidity and heat that came close to 100 degrees the last day. The heat had been around for a while and burned out the rough. Everyone thought that the scores would be low but in the end only Ken Venturi broke 280. After 36 holes he was at 142 (72-70) but he trailed Tommy Jacobs by six strokes. On Saturday morning Venturi played the front nine in 30 and posted a 66 to move within two strokes of Jacobs. He had almost passed out from the heat and if he werenít playing so well he would have withdrawn. Somehow in the afternoon with a doctor in tow Venturi toured the course in par 70 for a 72-hole score of 278. He passed Jacobs (282) and won by four strokes for his first win in four years. Bob Charles (283) finished third one stroke behind Jacobs and Billy Casper ended up alone in fourth place at 285. Skee Riegel (306), who was playing in the Open for the fourteenth time, was the only Philadelphia player to make the cut. He finished well down the list in 48th place and received the standard check of $300 for those who made the cut. On the second day Bert Yancey was playing in the next to last pairing and thought that he had a chance to make the cut. On the last hole he hit his second shot into a pond by the green. He took off his right shoe and sock and played his ball onto the edge of the green. He then realized that he had sliced open his foot on a broken bottle. He missed the putt and knowing that he had missed the cut he didnít complete the hole. He was taken to a hospital for stitches. Also missing the cut were Bob Schoener, Jr. and Bob Hendricks. First prize was $17,500 from the $95,400 purse. The entry fee was $20. That was the last year for the double rounds on Saturday but qualifying continued to be played with 36 holes in one day.
The second Whitemarsh Open was moved to the July 4th weekend. It drew a strong field even though the British Open started on the next Wednesday, just three days after Whitemarsh ended. Qualifying was held at Whitemarsh on Monday for 153 pros and amateurs hoping to play on Thursday. It took a 75 to win one of the 57 openings and only one player broke 70. Pete Fleming led with a 68 and Henry McQuiston was tied for second with a 71. Buzz Garvin and Dick Hendrickson also made it with ease with 72s. Jack Walsh, the professional at the Valley Forge Golf Club, Willie Scholl, the assistant at the Saucon Valley Country Club, Ron Bakich and Bob Kinard, the professional at the Locust Valley Country Club, turned in 74s. Pete Trenham and Henry Williams, Jr. got under the wire with 75s. The Whitemarsh Open began on Thursday with 150 starters and 23 were professionals from the Philadelphia Section. Sam Penecale the host pro was exempt, nine had qualified on Monday and the rest of the Sectionís entries had exemptions of one kind or another. For the second year in a row Art Wall had to withdraw because of a bad back. The late spring had taken its toll in the Philadelphia as well so there wasnít much rough at Whitemarsh either. There were 26 scores under 70 in the first round. At the halfway point there were 20 players at less than 140 and it took a score of 147 to make the cut as the field was reduced to the low 90 and ties. There was another cut to the low 60 and ties at the end of the third round, which required an even par 216. Jack Nicklaus shot a 67 in the last round to come from six strokes and nine places back to win by one over Gary Player. Nicklausí rounds were 69, 70, 70 and 67 for 276. Arnold Palmer finished third, one stroke farther back at 278. Dave Marr and Chi Chi Rodriguez tied for fourth with 279s. In the end only five players finished under 280 and two of the par five holes were playing like par 4s. Bert Yancey led the Philadelphia contingent with 285, which gave him a tie for 29th and $842. McQuiston (288) also made the cut and $350. Al Besselink, Trenham, Pat Schwab, Garvin, Mike Souchak, Bob Batdorff, who was now playing the PGA Tour, Skee Riegel, Scholl and Williams, missed the third round cut. Jerry Port, the professional at the Glen Oak Country Club, Bakich, Hendrickson, Kinard, John Berry, Walsh, Bob Ross, Merion Golf Club assistant Bill Kittleman, Bob Hendricks, Penecale, Angelo Paul and Penecaleís assistant Chuck Keating missed the second round cut. The $122,653 in prize money included $42 that each player received from a television contract. The entry fee was $100. At that time the entry fee was $1 for each $1,000 in the purse with a cap of $100. The daily spectator fee on tournament days was $6 but a season ticket for the seven days was $18.
The PGA Championship was at the Columbus Country Club in Ohio in mid July. Bobby Nichols shot a 64 in the first round to lead by three and led all the way to the finish. He added a 71, 69 and 67 for a 271 total that won by three strokes over Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer who tied for second at 274. Mason Rudolph finished fourth with a 276. The purse had reached $100,000 for the first time and Nichols took home $18,000. The entry fee was $10. The low Philadelphia Section pro was Mike Souchak who tied for 13th at 283 and won $1,650. Al Besselink tied for 33rd with a 289 total and won $662.50. Jimmy Johnson (295) also made the cut winning $220. John Berry missed the third round cut by one stroke. Charley Lepre and Tommy Murphy missed the second round cut.
Won 1963 Philadelphia Open
Won New Jersey Open
Pat Schwab won the Philadelphia Open at the Philmont Country Club on the second Monday in August. Play was on both the North and South courses. Schwab played the shorter South Course in the morning and using his driver only two times he shot a two-under-par 68. In the afternoon Schwab (140) played the North Course in a two-over-par 72 for a three-stroke victory. Jerry Port, Sam Penecale and amateur John Guenther tied for second with 143s. Charley Lepre, Henry McQuiston, Buzz Garvin, Tom Murphy, Pete Trenham and Alan Niederlitz tied for fifth with 144s. Niederlitz was a pro at the Springdale Golf Club in Princeton, New Jersey and the club was a member of the Golf Association of Philadelphia, which sponsored the tournament each year. The entry fee was $10 and first prize was $500 from a purse of $1,530.One week later Jerry Pisano shattered the tournament record at the Pennsylvania Open for the Hershey Country Club. Pisano put together nearly identical back-to-back five under par 68s. He only made one bogie each day and they were on the par three 18th hole, when he three putted each time. His 136 score broke Henry Williams, Jr.ís record set in 1954 by five strokes. Al Besselink finished second seven strokes back at 143. Williams and Bill Kittleman tied for third ten strokes behind the winner with 146s. The purse was $2,500 and first prize was $750. The entry fee was $15.
1964 Section Champion
In late September the Section championship was played at the North Hills Country Club. The entry fee was $15 and the host professional was Bob Ross. A golf clinic was presented by the local pros the evening before the tournament. The clinic was conducted and emceed by Les Keiter and Leo Fraser. The first round was played in a high wind. Pete Trenham turned the front nine in 30 and was seven under par through the thirteenth hole. He lost his momentum but he still led by two strokes as he finished with a two under par 69. The next day Bob Schoener, Jr. shot a 67 to go with his first round 73. His 140 total gave him a three-stroke lead entering the final round. In the last round Schoener slipped a little and Art Wall made a run at him with a 70 but Schoener was able to post a 75 for a three round score of 215, which earned him a one stroke victory. The win gave Schoener possession of the Bulletin Cup for one year. The Bulletin Cup was now in its 25th year. The Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper had given the cup to Section for its championship in 1940. Wall and Dick Hendrickson tied for second with 216s. John Berry shot a last round 69 and finished fourth at 217 one stroke ahead of Skee Riegel (218) and two ahead of Trenham (219), who finished sixth. Play on the 18th hole of the last round was televised and Section President Angelo Paul assisted in the commentary.
"Golf Professional of the Year"
On the third Monday of October Angelo Paul and all of the other officers were reelected at the Sectionís fall meeting, which was held at the Atlantic City CC. The first vice president was Neal McGeehan and John Long was the second vice president. The secretary was Joe Aneda and the treasurer was John Hayes. A new Section award had been created. In late March the Wildwood Country Club professional and a longtime Section member Ed DeBaufre died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. His golf professional sons Tim and Tom created the award. The sons said that their father always believed that the true test of a golfer was consistency and how one performed over a period of time. The family donated a large 100-year-old sterling silver trophy, which would be engraved each year with the name of the Section member who had the low scoring average for the year in certain designated rounds. The designated rounds were in nine selected tournaments and were restricted to non-team events. The award was similar to the Vardon Trophy awarded on the PGA Tour each year, in that the golfer had to play in a certain percentage of the tournaments and complete every tournament round entered. The winner was Pat Schwab with a 70.7 average. Aneda was the Sectionís "Golf Professional of the Year". He had been the chairman of the Sectionís golf show for four years. He was the treasurer of the Section one year and he had been the secretary for two years before now being elected secretary for a third time.
Leo Fraserwas elected treasurer of the PGA of America in the second week of December at the national meeting in Las Vegas. Warren Cantrell was reelected president and Max Elbin moved up to secretary when George Hall decided not to run for reelection. Ed Dudley was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame along with Lloyd Mangrum. The delegates voted to put the selection of the national vice presidents in the hands of the Sections. For the first time the vice president would be decided by a vote of the members of the Section when it was their turn to have a representative. Up to that time the executive committee of the PGA had chosen the vice presidents. The term was still three years. Another amendment to the constitution was that all new PGA members would pay into the building fund for five years. The assessment had been in effect since 1960. The PGA announced that in the future sudden death playoffs on the PGA Tour would be allowed to start on the first televised hole rather than hole #1. The delegates to the national meeting were Angelo Paul and Joe Aneda.
Ken Venturi was voted the "PGA Player-of-the-Year". The money race on the PGA Tour was almost a dead heat with Jack Nicklaus nosing out Arnold Palmer by $81. Nicklaus earned $113,284 to Palmerís $113,203. Mike Souchak won $39,559 and finished in tenth place. Palmer won the Vardon Trophy for a third time with an average of 70.01 strokes per round.