A Chronicle of the
Philadelphia Section PGA and its Members
by Peter C. Trenham
1970 to 1979
1970 Bert Yancey won the Crosby, finished 3rd at the Masters and 13th on the money list with $110,405.
1971 Art Wall won the Section Championship for the fifth time.
1972 Dick Hendrickson won the Section Championship, Philadelphia Open and Schmidt’s Golf Festival.
1973 Dick Hendrickson won a 2nd straight Philadelphia Open and the Schmidt’s Festival for a 3rd time.
1974 Art Wall finished 2nd in the Senior PGA Championship and Bert Yancey was third in the U.S. Open.
1975 At the age of 51 Art Wall won on the PGA Tour at the Milwaukee Open.
1976 Andy Thompson won the Section Championship and finished second at the Pennsylvania Open
1977 Two former Section pros, Hubert Green (U.S. Open) and Jerry McGee (IVB) won on the PGA Tour.
1978 Dick Smith, Sr. put together a 278 and a tie for 17th at the IVB Golf Classic at Whitemarsh Valley C.C.
1979 The Philadelphia PGA defeated the Middle Atlantic PGA to take a 7 to 4 lead in the Challenge Cup.
As a new decade began there were 6,641 PGA members. The touring pros were playing for $6,854,597 but the business of being a club professional was becoming more difficult. Apprentice golf professionals had to attend two business schools and pass a test. The first PGA business schools for assistants were held in the late 50s but there wasn’t a test. There were many different contract arrangements between the clubs and the pros. The head pro’s income generally came from merchandise sales, club storage, lessons, renting practice balls, golf carts and a retainer. The use of riding golf carts had increased and the clubs were taking over that concession. The assistants were making about $125 per week plus some lesson income. Most pros had a full time assistant and a full time bag-room man. The Philadelphia Section was recommending $6 per half hour for golf lessons and $25 per bag for club storage. Club cleaners were making $1.50 per hour. Many of the clubs considered the professional to be an independent contractor and didn’t offer hospitalization or retirement programs. The PGA Tour had 43 events on its schedule that offered $100,000 or more in prize money. The largest purse was $300,000 at the Dow Jones Open in Clifton, New Jersey.
The Shakespeare Golf Company introduced the graphite shaft at the PGA Merchandise Show in January. It took a few more years of minor changes to produce a shaft that the strong hitters could use but the game of golf would never be the same again. Frank W. Thomas the sales manager for the Plymouth Golf Ball Company, a division of Shakespeare located in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, had been devoting all of his time to the development of a graphite shaft since 1966. A number of the Philadelphia professionals were the first ones to test these new shafts. The graphite shaft weighed 2.9 ounces compared to 4.5 ounces for the steel shaft. That made it possible to reduce the weight of a driver from 13.5 ounces to 12 ounces. At that time a pound of graphite cost $500 so a steel shaft driver that retailed for about $40 now was well over $100 with a graphite shaft.
Two groups of Philadelphia Section professionals announced that they were building golf courses that they would also operate. Newly retired LuLu Country Club professional Charles Schneider, Sr., his three golf professional sons Charles Jr., George and Herman and other businessmen were constructing the Neshaminy Valley Golf Club. Bob Hendricks, who had resigned after 17 years as the professional at the Indian Valley Country Club, was designing and constructing the Avalon Golf Club. Hendricks and a group of pros from the Section who were silent partners at that time owned the club. Hendricks would be the professional, green superintendent and general manager.
Bert Yancey won the $125,000 Bing Crosby Pro-Am in the fourth week of January. There were 168 pros playing with a like number of amateur partners. Yancey was wearing a copper bracelet for a sore elbow. A 67 at the Cypress Point Club in the first round put him in a four-way tie for first and he held the lead all four days. In gale force winds on Friday he tacked on a 70 at the sheltered Spyglass Hill Golf Club to take a two-stroke lead. On Saturday he posted a par round of 72 at the Pebble Beach Golf Links and stayed in front by one stroke. Yancey put together a solid 69 on Sunday for a ten under par 278. That should have given him the title with strokes to spare except Jack Nicklaus had other ideas. Nicklaus played the front nine in 30 strokes and finished with a 65 but Yancey hung on to his lead by making pars on the last seven holes to win by one stroke. First prize was $25,000. Bobby Nichols and Howie Johnson tied for third at 283.
Sam Snead won the Senior PGA Championship on the 1st of February. It was held at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for the sixth time. Snead’s four rounds of 71, 71, 72 and 76 gave him a two over par 290, which was the first over par winning score since 1952. First prize was $4,000. The weather was bad and when there was a rain delay in the second round Tommy Bolt, the defending champion, withdrew with the flu. Fred Haas, a former winner, finished second at 292. Henry Ransom, Bob Hamilton and Chandler Harper tied for third with 294s. Marty Furgol (300), the teaching pro at the Ramblewood Country Club, tied for 13th and won $587.50. The new professional at the Brookside Country Club near Allentown, Billy Gilbert, (303), finished 24th and won $350. Clint Kennedy (306), the professional at the Spring Lake Driving Range, tied for 30th, winning $197.50. Bob Hendricks (311) won $100 for his 47th place showing. John Vasco, Section President and professional at the Lehigh Country Club, was the president of the national PGA Senior organization and he also directed the PGA Merchandise Show.
At the Section’s spring meeting President, John Vasco, announced that the Section’s executive director, Bob Jones, was resigning. Jones was leaving the Philadelphia Section office to go to work for the George Washington Motor Lodge, a chain of motels in the Philadelphia suburbs. The motel chain was going to sponsor an LPGA Tour tournament called the George Washington Classic at the motel’s golf course, Hidden Springs Country Club. Jones was going to be the tournament director of the event, which was scheduled for June. Jones’ secretary, Alleyn Parker, was promoted to executive secretary and managed the Section’s office. Dick Hendrickson, the Section’s tournament chairman and professional at the Little Mill Country Club, announced that there were now three more Schmidt’s Open tournaments on the schedule and C. Schmidt and Sons was also adding $5,000 to the Section Championship purse. Instead of paying out $3,500 to the Schmidt’s year-end point leaders the money had been reduced to $500 but Schmidt’s total involvement now came to $21,800 for the year. The meeting was held at the George Washington Motor Lodge in King of Prussia on the fourth Monday of March. The details for the upcoming golf show on the first Monday of April were presented to the Section members and the press. A school for assistant pros was on the schedule for the next Monday and an education seminar was being held one week later.
The new slate of Section officers had eliminated the Board of Control, which had always been appointed by the Section president and the other officers. In order to give all of the professionals in the Section a voice in its affairs the officers divided the Section into six districts. Each district had one vote except the Philadelphia metropolitan area, which had two votes as it had twice as many members as any other district. South Jersey was District I and District II was the state of Delaware. District III included the southern Pennsylvania region from Lancaster County to the western boundary. The northern Pennsylvania counties from State College to the Scranton area made up District IV. District V consisted of the greater Allentown region. District VI included the counties Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Bucks-south of Route 202. A chapter was created for the professionals in the central counties of Pennsylvania. That gave those professionals an opportunity to schedule competitions and education seminars that were more convenient to them.
In early April Hubert Green joined Bill Kittleman’s staff at the Merion Golf Club. Fred Austin had retired after 24 years as the head professional and Kittleman had moved up to the top position. Green, a former two-time Southern Amateur champion from Birmingham, Alabama, had been selected for the Walker Cup team the previous year but he had withdrawn from the team in order to turn pro. When he failed to qualify for the PGA Tour he needed a place to earn some money and work on his game and Merion was the right place for him. Thirty years before that another Birmingham native, Sam Byrd, had honed his game as the assistant at Merion.
The Section’s 13th annual golf show was held at the George Washington Motor Lodge in King of Prussia on the first Monday of April. The featured guests were LPGA star Marilyn Smith and trick shot artist Tony Longo, who was a former Section member. More than 100 pros from the Section were there for the morning trade show and then they participated in the afternoon-evening free instruction for the public. For the public a highlight of the show was the video taping of their swings and being able to see it later on the TV monitors. Sixty-five pro-golf salesmen showed off their wares. The professionals had a private show in the morning and then it opened to the public from noon to 9:00 PM. A large astro-turf putting green and the fashion shows were the main attractions.
The Masters Tournament was played in the second week of April. The last six holes were televised on CBS with one hour of coverage on Saturday and one and one-half hours on Sunday. Bert Yancey was obsessed with winning the Masters Tournament and he showed everyone how important it was to him by withdrawing from the Greensboro Open after the first round so he could get to Augusta earlier. After shooting a 78 he told the Greensboro sponsor that he wasn’t injured but he wanted to leave. He and the sponsor had a misunderstanding over his release and Joe Dye, the commissioner of the PGA Tour, fined him $150. Yancey made the best of it by posting a first round 69 to trail by one stroke and added on a second round 70, which gave him a share of the lead at the halfway point. Yancey shot a par round of 72 in the third round and trailed by three. On Sunday he was tied for the lead when he teed off on #10 and he reached the 18th tee needing a birdie to tie for first but he made a bogie and finished fourth at 281. Billy Casper and Gene Littler were tied at the top with 279s and Casper won the tournament with a 69 against a 74 for Littler in Monday’s playoff. Casper’s tournament rounds were 72, 68, 68 and 71. First prize was $25,000 and the total payout exceeded $200,000. Yancey won $$10,000. Gary Player finished third with a 280. Art Wall, who represented the Pocono Manor Country Club on the PGA Tour, missed the cut by two strokes.
On the fourth Monday in May Dick Hendrickson led sixteen pros and amateurs through the local qualifying for the U.S. Open. Hendrickson (140) put together two one-under-par rounds of 70 at the LuLu Country Club and the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club. Bob Ross, the professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, finished second with a 142. Next with 143s were Tony Perla, an assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club and Willie Scholl the professional at the Gulph Mills Golf Club. Henry McQuiston, the professional at the Bala Golf Club, and Pete Trenham, the professional at the St. Davids Golf Club, tied for fifth with 145s. Skee Riegel, professional and part owner of the Bucks County Country Club, Radnor Valley Country Club’s professional Jerry Pisano, Ted McKenzie, the professional at the Waynesborough Country Club, Bill Decker, an assistant at the Merion Golf Club and reinstated amateur Bucky Erhardt tied for seventh with 146s. Tim DeBaufre, the teaching professional at the Waynesborough Country Club, finished alone in eleventh place with a 147. Dick Smith, Sr., the Director of Golf at the Hi-Point Golf Club, Bill Hackett, the assistant at the Green Hill Golf Club, Bob Thatcher, the professional at the Aronimink Golf Club, and Dennis Milne, the assistant to his father George at the Trenton Country Club, turned in 148s and survived a six-man playoff to wrap up the last four places. There were 62 professionals and 27 amateurs in the field. Bert Yancey was fully exempt off his standing on the PGA Tour and his finish at the Open the year before.
Jeff Steinberg, the assistant at the Berkshire Country Club and the professional at the Silver Spring Golf Club Charlie Gilbert, also made it through local qualifying for the U.S. Open on the fourth Monday of May. They posted three over par 147s at the rain soaked Blue Ridge Country Club as they shared co-medalist honors at the Central Pennsylvania site. Amateur Wayne Jacobs picked up the third spot with a 148 and Howard Kramer, the professional at the Host Farm Resort & Golf Club, was next at 151. Another amateur Mike Kanoff was fifth at 152, Mike Swisher, the professional at the Lebanon Country Club, finished sixth with a 154 and an amateur and future Section member, Jerry Janeski, took the seventh and last place with a 155.
On the second Tuesday in June Dick Smith, Sr. qualified for the U.S. Open on Long Island at The Seawane Club and the Woodmere Club. Smith (139) put together rounds of 69 and 70 to finish three strokes behind the medalist, Paul Harney (136). The 144 scorers had to play off for the last of the thirteen places that were up for grabs on Long Island.
Howard Kramer also passed the qualifying test for the U.S. Open on Tuesday. Kramer shot rounds of 78 and 70 to pick up one of the six spots allotted to the field at the Greencastle Country Club in Maryland. The medalist at Greencastle was Rickey Meissner with a 71 and a 70 for a three under par 141. It took a score of 148 to qualify there.
The U.S. Open was played at the highly criticized Hazeltine National Golf Club near Minneapolis in the third week of June. Tony Jacklin opened up with a windswept 71 that gave him a two-stroke lead and then he tacked on three rounds of 70. He led all the way and finished seven strokes in from of Dave Hill. Jacklin was also the reigning British Open champion and the first British golfer to win our Open since 1920 when Ted Ray won at Inverness. Bert Yancey led the Philadelphia contingent with a 297. He won $1,452 with a tie for 22nd. Dick Smith, Sr. turned in a very creditable 76 in the first round and followed it up with three more steady rounds for a total of 301, which gave him a tie for 44th and a check for $975. Howard Kramer missed the cut. First prize was $30,000. All of the professionals who started in the Open and missed the cut received $500.
Jack Nicklaus won the British Open at the St. Andrews Golf Club in the second week of July. When Doug Sanders teed off on his 72nd hole all he needed was a par to edge out Nicklaus by one stroke. He played a solid tee shot to within wedge distance of the hole. His second shot was past the pin to the back part of the green. From there he putted to within three feet of the cup but then failed to hole what would have been the winning putt. Sanders (68-71-71-73) and Nicklaus (68-69-73-73) were tied at 283. In the 18-hole playoff the next day Sanders birdied the last hole but Nicklaus followed with a birdie of his own for a 72 versus a 73 for Sanders. Lee Trevino and Harold Henning tied for third at 285. First prize was $12,600 in US dollars. Bert Yancey posted a 292 and tied for 13th, winning $1,500. Total prize money was $96,000.
The Philadelphia Golf Classic, now in its eighth year, was again played at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club the week after the British Open. The host professional, Sam Penecale, had an exemption but he decided that being a host, a merchandiser and a contestant was too much and he opted out of the tournament. The prize money was $150,000 and it was the start of a run of seven weeks on the PGA Tour offering purses of that much or more. Qualifying was held on Monday with 132 players competing for 15 places in the tournament field. Henry McQuiston and Willie Scholl made it through the qualifying with 71s. John Schroeder led with a 69. Al Besselink, Bob Ross, Dick Hendrickson, Don Stough and Bob Schoener, Jr. were exempt off their position on the Section point list. Bert Yancey was an exempt member of the PGA Tour. Art Wall got in as former winner of a major championship and a past Ryder Cup team member. On the way to winning his third tournament of the year Billy Casper (274) broke the tournament record of 276. Casper started with a 68 and a 67 to take the lead and he added on a 71 and a 68 to finish three strokes in front of Terry Wilcox (277). Frank Beard, Richard Crawford and Bunky Henry tied for third at 279. Yancey led the local professionals with a 285, which gave him a tie for 25th and a check for $1,133. Wall (286) finished one stroke farther back in a tie for 31st and won $935. Schoener (298), the assistant at the Green Pond Golf Club to his father Bob, Sr., finished 71st and won the last money of $286. First prize was $30,000. Ross, Besselink, who was playing the PGA Tour part time, McQuiston, Hendrickson, Scholl and Stough, the professional at the Gettysburg Country Club, missed the cut. The tournament set a record as 22,000 attended on Sunday, which brought the total for the four days to 63,000, both were records. Another record might have been set as eight professionals withdrew after teeing off in the tournament, including Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino.
The Section held a summer meeting in mid July at the George Washington Motor Lodge in King-of-Prussia. PGA President, Leo Fraser, and the national vice president from District II, Jim Warga, were in attendance to report on the affairs of the national association. Henry McQuiston reviewed job contract guidelines. At the meeting District Directors for the Section were elected.
The 15,000 Prior Golf Festival was played in the last week on July but it didn’t end until six days later due to a playoff for the top prize. The four-day tournament kicked off at the Woodcrest Country Club on a Thursday and then moved to the Radley Run Country Club for Friday’s round. There was a day off on Saturday so the professionals could attend to their club jobs. On Sunday the tournament was at the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club. The pros played with amateurs the first three days as each pairing was made up of two pros and two amateurs. There was prize money for the pro-am event each day. On Monday the pros were paired together at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club to battle it out for the prize money and the title. In Monday’s round Jack Kiefer, who was playing the PGA Tour, moved up from third place to finish in a tie with Dick Hendrickson at 288. Kiefer’s rounds were 72, 76, 69, 71 and Hendrickson’s had rounds of 75, 73, 68 and 72. An 18-hole playoff was held on Sunday at Torresdale-Frankford and Kiefer put together a solid par 70 round to win the $3,000 first place check by four strokes. Jerry Pisano, who led the tournament for three rounds, slipped to a 76 and finished in a tie for third with Bob Schoener, Jr. at 290.
On the first Monday in August Dick Smith, Sr. won the Philadelphia Open at the Philmont Country Club. Philmont’s North and South courses were both used. In the morning round Smith posted a three-over-par 73 on the North Course and he came back with a two-under-par 68 on the shorter South course in the afternoon. His 141 nipped Northampton Country Club’s professional Bob Hutnik (142) by one stroke. There was a four-way tie for third at 143 between the host professional Buzz Garvin, Jerry Pisano, Bob Schoener, Jr. and Philmont amateur Art Blank. Smith’s winning check was for $580 and Hutnik won $470.
The Pennsylvania Open was played at the Sewickley Heights Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday, the same week the PGA Championship was being played in mid August. The tournament ended in a tie as amateur Jim Masserio (74-73) from the Duquesne Country Club and the Duquesne professional Eli Marovich (71-76) shot three over par 147s. A sudden death playoff was held and Masserio won it with a par on the first extra hole when Marovich missed a five-foot par putt. Masserio turned pro later and became a long time member of the Philadelphia Section. Hubert Green and Willie Beljan tied for third at 148. Dick Smith, Sr. and Charlie Gilbert tied for fifth with 149s. The field was cut to the low 60 and ties after the first round and all of the scores under 80 made it.
The PGA Championship was played in mid August at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. The purse had been increased by $25,000 to $200,000. It was Dave Stockton’s week. Stockton began with a pair of 70s and a third round 66 put him in front by three strokes. With a third round 73 he hung on to pick up his only major title with a one under par 279. Stockton finished two strokes in front of Arnold Palmer (281) and Bob Murphy (281). Gene Littler and Larry Hinson tied for fourth with 282s. First prize was $40,000. Bert Yancey tied for 22nd at 290 and won $1,825. Dick Hendrickson and Al Besselink missed the cut. Yancey was exempt off his position on the previous year’s money list. Hendrickson had qualified through the PGA Club Professional Championship and Besselink, was in the field as 1969 Philadelphia Section champion.
On the third Monday of August the Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship was played at the Atlantis Country Club. Dennis Milne was the winner, carding four birdies against two bogies for a two under par 70. Bob Schoener, Jr. finished second with a 72. Two Merion Golf Club assistants, Bill Decker (73) and Hubert Green (74) were third and fourth. The total purse was $2,200. There were 74 entries.
Qualifying for the PGA Club Professional Championship was at the Merion Golf Club’s West Course on the third Monday in September. The Section had been allotted five spots plus the new Section champion would be exempt. The medalist was the Cedarbrook Hill Country Club professional John Carson (141) who turned in a 74 in the morning and came back with a three under par 67 in the afternoon. The second spot went to Dick Smith, Sr., who finished one shot behind the medalist with a 142. Lancaster Country Club assistant Dave Collingwood qualified with a 144 and Pete Trenham avoided a playoff with a 146. There was a tie for the last spot at 147 between Lancaster Country Club professional John Abernethy and Mays Landing Golf Club’s Stan Dudas. When Dudas failed to appear for a playoff the spot was awarded to Abernethy. Trenham chose not to play in the tournament and Dudas replaced him in the field. The second alternate Howard Kramer who had shot a 149 during the qualifying was added to the starting field when the Section champion, Marty Furgol, didn’t enter the championship. Kramer withdrew before the tournament started so Brookside Country Club professional Pete Dever, who had been the third alternate with a 150 score made the trip to California for the tournament.
John Long, professional at the Louviers Country Club, won the Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship on the third Friday of September. At the end of the 18-hole round he and Jack Robinson, the operator of the Route 100 Driving Range, were tied for the title with one over par 72s at the Kimberton Golf Club. Long won in a sudden death playoff that only lasted one hole. Range End Country Club professional Jimmy Johnson, Fairways Golf Club professional Wally Paul and Clint Kennedy all posted 73s to tie for third.
The Section Championship was held at the Radley Run Country Club on the last three days of September. There were 89 entries. The defending champion, Al Besselink, could not defend his title as he was now working in New York and not a Section member. The host pro was Chet Munson. With the help of $5,000 from C. Schmidt and Sons brewery and a program book the pros were playing for $7,700. Par was 72 and no one broke 70 during the tournament. Marty Furgol, a PGA Tour veteran, played steady golf and emerged with the victory. Furgol posted a 72 on Monday, which gave him a tie for the lead and he tacked on a 73 on Tuesday. That left him in second place two strokes behind Philadelphia Country Club assistant Willie Maples. That year Maples was putting one-handed with his right hand and having great success. On Wednesday Furgol and Maples came to the last green all even. Furgol holed a 12-foot downhill putt for a par and a 72. Maples’ five-foot par putt hit the back of the hole and stayed out. Furgol posted a 217 winning $1,200 and possession of the Bulletin Cup for one year. At age 54 Furgol was by far the oldest winner of the Section Championship. Maples ended up in a tie for second with Dick Hendrickson at 218 and they each took away $725. Howard Kramer finished fourth at 219 one stroke ahead of Tim DeBaufre (220) and Dick Smith, Sr. (220).
After failing to earn his PGA Tour playing privileges the year before Hubert Green picked up his tour card at the Q-School in the first week of November. Green posted a four round 284 total at the Tucson Country Club, which gave him a tie for fifth place. A future Section member, Bob Bourne (283) finished one stroke ahead of Green in a tie for second. The medalist was Bob Barbarossa with a score of 279. In order to reach the final qualifying stage in Tucson the players had to get through one of nine pre-qualifying 54-hole tournaments that would trim the field of 182 entrants to a manageable number for the final stage.
The Section’s Schmidt’s Challenge Cup team defeated the Middle Atlantic Section at the Radley Run Country Club and evened the record at two wins for each Section. The matches had been scheduled for two days in late October at the Shawnee Country Club (PA) but after two days of rain and no golf the matches were moved to the Radley Run Country Club on the first Tuesday of November. The match was reduced to one day. Each pairing was made up of two pros from each team. Each group of four players played for three points, a better-ball match and two singles. In the number one group of Dick Hendrickson-Dick Smith, Sr. won the better-ball match even though they both lost their singles matches. In the second group of Willie Scholl-Dave Collingwood won their better-ball match and Scholl won his singles match. In the third pairing Willie Maples won his singles match and in the fourth group of Jerry Pisano-Dennis Milne halved their better-ball, Pisano won his singles match and Milne halved his match. With four pairings finished the points stood 6 to 6 so it all came down to the last match on the course. Bob Schoener, Jr. won his match, Bob Ross halved his match and the better-ball finished even giving Philadelphia the edge 8 to 7. Non-playing captain Skee Riegel was awarded the Marty Lyons trophy as the team’s most valuable member. The other team member was Marty Furgol.
The Section held a fall golf show at the Ivystone Inn in Pennsauken, New Jersey on the first Wednesday of November. The Section had hosted many outstanding golf shows and this was one of the best except that the attendance was very low. There was a daylong downpour and the weather was of such magnitude that it included tornado like winds and water spouts off the Jersey Shore. The public and most of the golf pros just stayed home. The show’s guest celebrities were Tom Weiskopf and Carol Mann who each put on two clinics during the day. There were fashion shows, 55 pro golf salesmen displayed their wares and the professionals offered free instruction in the driving nets. The show chairmen were Dick Hendrickson and John Vasco. Bob Thatcher arraigned the fashion shows and Pete Dever was in charge of the instruction.
The national meeting was in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in the last week of October. The Section’s delegates were John Vasco and Jerry Pisano. New officers were elected. President Leo Fraser stepped down and Warren Orlick moved up to take his place. Bill Clark moved from treasurer to secretary and former Section member Henry Poe won a three-man race for treasurer. The PGA officers had great news for the PGA members. The officers and the PGA lawyers had worked out a pension plan for the PGA members with the Internal Revenue Service. A club could put $50 a month into the pension plan for each PGA member employed at the facility. The payments were tax deductible for the club and no taxes were assessed to the money or the earnings until he began drawing funds at retirement. The delegates directed the PGA staff to pursue the Department of Labor to try to overturn its decision to combine the golf shop operation with the total income of the club when applying the minimum wage rules. The PGA had created a Master PGA Member classification. There were several resolutions presented to eliminate the Master PGA category but they were all defeated. The PGA announced that there would be no one inducted into the Hall of Fame. The members of the Hall of Fame committee were unwilling to make a selection. The Hall of Fame was started in 1940 when two professionals and two amateurs were chosen. From 1953 through 1969 at least one person had been added each year.
On the second Monday of November Bob Ross was elected president of the Section at its annual meeting. The meeting was held at the George Washington Motor Lodge in King of Prussia. For the second straight year the new president was nominated from the floor. Ninety-eight votes were cast with Ross winning the election over the incumbent John Vasco in what was called a close vote. Bob Thatcher was elected first vice president and Henry McQuiston was reelected second vice president. Dick Hendrickson, who had been the first vice president,” was elected secretary and the new treasurer was Charlie Gilbert. Jerry Pisano and Pete Trenham, the secretary and treasurer from the previous year choose not to run for office. The Section’s new Chapter in the central counties elected officers and their first president was John Abernethy. The Section’s “Golf Professional of the Year” award went to Wally Paul, a PGA member of 26 years. He was selected for his development of many junior golfers, his work at the assistant’s schools and for his many hours spent as the starter and scorer at the Section’s tournaments. Paul was signed on as the official scorer for the next year’s U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. Hendrickson was the “Player of the Year”, won the DeBaufre Trophy with a scoring average of 71.56 and he led the Schmidt’s point competition. It was reported that the Section had raised $6,456 for National Golf Day, which put them in fifth place among the 37 PGA Sections. The Section also donated $1,000 to the J. Wood Platt Caddy Scholarship Fund.
A future Section member, Rex Baxter, won the PGA Club Professional Championship in mid November. Baxter put together a 285 to nip Bob Duden (286) and Ernie George (286) by one stroke. The tournament was held at the Sunol Valley Country Club in northern California. The purse was $50,000. Dick Smith, Sr. had a chance to win as rounds of 74, 71 and 70 placed him only two strokes back of the leader entering the final round. At one point early in the last round Smith was tied for the lead but a four-putt green ended his chance to win. He finished with a 73 that left him in a six-way tie for fourth, three strokes off the winning pace. Smith’s tie for fourth qualified him for the 1971 PGA Championship. Baxter’s (285) four rounds were 71, 68, 75 and 71. Smith (288) picked up a check for $1,758. Stan Dudas (297) tied for 57th and John Carson (310) tied for 106th. They each won the last money of $71.43. John Abernethy, Dave Collingwood and Pete Dever missed the cut.
Billy Casper was selected PGA “Player of the Year” by the executive committee of the PGA of America. He also won the award in 1966 and he probably would have won it in 1968 but there was no award due to the player controversy. The leading money winner was Lee Trevino with $157,037 and he also won the Vardon Trophy with a stroke average of 70.64. Bert Yancey finished thirteenth on the money list with $110,405 and he averaged 71.74 strokes per round in the 31 tournaments he entered. Art Wall won $18,940.06 in 22 tournaments. Wall was one of four players on the PGA Tour Policy Board.
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The Section champion Marty Furgol, started the year right by finishing eighth with a score of 296 at the Senior PGA Championship. The tournament was played in late January at the PGA National Golf Club. Julius Boros won by three strokes over Tommy Bolt (288) with rounds of 73, 69, 71 and 72 for a three under par 285. Sam Snead was next with a 289 and Chandler Harper finished fourth at 290. First prize was $4,000 and Furgol won $850. Henry Williams, Jr. (307), the professional at the Berkleigh Country Club, tied for 28th and won $222. Skee Riegel (311) tied for 39th and won $110. Bob Hendricks (313) won the last money of $83.33 for a tie for 46th.
The PGA Championship was held in the early part of the year for first time since it began in 1916. The tournament was played at the PGA National Golf Club at the end of February. Philadelphia Section pros Bert Yancey, Marty Furgol and Dick Smith, Sr. were in the field. Yancey was exempt off the PGA Tour money list, Furgol had an exemption as the Section champion and Smith got in through his finish at the PGA Club Professional Championship. Jack Nicklaus began with two 69s and added a 70 and a 73 to lead from wire to wire. Nicklaus (281) finished two strokes in front of Billy Casper (283) and three ahead of Tommy Bolt (284). Miller Barber and Gary Player tied for fourth with 285s. Nicklaus had now won each of the four majors at least twice. The purse was $202,440 and first prize was $40,000. Yancey (291) tied for 22nd and won $2,088. Furgol and Smith missed the cut.
Ninety-seven Section members and apprentices attended the Section’s spring meeting at the Westover Golf Club on the first Monday in April. Atlantic City Country owner and the honorary president of the PGA Leo Fraser reported on the affairs of the PGA of America. The Section members were given the details concerning the newly created pension plan. The tournament chairman, Dick Hendrickson, presented the tournament schedule for the year. Hendrickson announced that LeChateau Inn & Country Club would be hosting the Section Championship and adding $2,500 to the purse. Again C. Schmidt and Sons was the major sponsor of the Section’s tournaments. Seven events sponsored by Schmidt Beer were on the schedule with a total of $21,500. There was a new tournament also sponsored by Schmidt called the Maiden Race. It was for professionals who did not win a total of $300 in the Section Championship, Prior Festival and Philadelphia Open. The Section was still a co-sponsor to the J. Wood Platt Caddy Scholarship Fund. A pro-am was on the schedule for May that was expected to raise $4,000 for the scholarship fund.
Art Wall and Bert Yancey were in the Masters Tournament field at the Augusta National Golf Club in the second week of April. Charles Coody (279) opened up with a 66 in the first round and tacked on three steady rounds of 73, 70 and 70 to win the green jacket by two strokes. Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller tied for second at 281. Don January and Gene Littler tied for fourth with 283s. Wall and Yancey started with 71s but Yancey missed the cut and Wall wasn’t in contention. Wall (293) finished tied for 27th and won $1,750. First prize was $25,000.
The Section’s annual spring golf show was at the Marriott Motor Hotel in Bala Cynwyd on the last Tuesday of April. Admission was $1.50. The guest celebrities were Art Wall, the LPGA’s Peggy Kirk Bell and trick shot artist Paul Bumann from the Georgia PGA Section. The golfing public had their swings analyzed and photographed by the golf professionals. The golf show was followed by an awards dinner. Past president of the PGA of America Leo Fraser and Helen Wilson were honored for their contributions to golf. Wilson had won numerous Philadelphia championships and she owned a restaurant, which had hosted several of the Section’s meetings in the 1940s. Former Philadelphia Eagles star and TV sports commentator Tom Brookshier was the toastmaster for the dinner. Tickets to the dinner were $20.
Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Central Pennsylvania was at the Hershey Country Club on the last Monday of May. Amateur Ed Anewalt (143) led 83 pros and amateurs with rounds of 67 and 76. Jeff Steinberg opened with a 75 but he came back with seven birdies in the afternoon to post a four under par 69. That put him in the second spot with a 144. John Abernethy opened up with a 70 in the morning round and finished third with a 147 total. Mike Swisher, army sergeant Philip Aldrige, professional at the Carlisle Barracks golf club, amateur Art Brunn and non-PGA pro Andy Stofko tied for fourth with 148s. Charlie Gilbert and a future Section member, amateur Bobby Huber tied for eighth at 150. Don Stough, Frank Kiraly, from the Tri-State PGA Section, and amateur Ned Walker were next with 151s. Jimmy Johnson finished alone in the thirteenth place with a 152. With the help of automobile headlights, Clark George, the professional at the Centre Hills Country Club, won the last spot in a two-hole playoff after tying for fourteenth with a 153.
Art Wall also passed a local qualifying test for the U.S. Open on the last Monday of May. Wall led the qualifying in Dallas, Texas at the Northwood Club and Las Colinas Country Club with a 69 and a 71. His 140 total was two under par. The Dallas Open had just finished on Sunday, so a large number of the 155 entries were touring pros. There were 38 spots to qualify for.
The next day U.S. Open local qualifying for the Philadelphia area was at the Rolling Green Golf Club and The Springhaven Club. The U.S. Open was being played at the Merion Golf Club, which generated a larger entry than usual and the USGA had granted Philadelphia more qualifying spots. There were 155 pros and amateurs entered and 26 of them would earn the right to move on to the sectional qualifying in early June. John Kennedy came home from the PGA Tour to qualify and he put together two solid rounds in swirling winds of 71 and 70 for a 141 that led by four strokes. Wilmington amateur Bill Harmon who was runner-up in the 1968 USGA Junior Amateur Championship finished second with a 145. Bob Ross, Pete Trenham and Dick Smith, Sr. earned the right to move on with 146s. Willie Scholl finished alone in sixth place at 147. The next two spots went to amateurs Jay Sigel and Ted Mandes with 148s. Mike Reynolds, a professional and future Section member who grew up at Springhaven was alone at 149 and Buzz Garvin was next at 151. Jerry Pisano, now the teaching professional at the Edgmont Country Club, George Griffin III, the assistant to his father George at the Green Valley Country Club, Butch Sweigart, now the head professional at the Ingleside Manor Golf Club, Willie Maples, out of state pro Frank Boyd and amateur Robert McMahon tied for eleventh with 152s. There was an eleven-man playoff for the last ten spots at 153. The survivors were Bill Bishop, the professional at the Freeway Golf Club, Jack Connelly, the assistant at the Montgomeryville Golf Club, Ted McKenzie, Henry McQuiston, Bill Hackett, now the professional at the Delcastle Golf Club, Tony Perla, an assistant at the Merion Golf Club, Bob Schoener, Jr., Rolling Green amateur and future Section member Bob Toner along with two other amateurs Terry Sawyer and Harry Heffer. It took fourteen hours to complete the two rounds and the eleven-man playoff. Bert Yancey was fully exempt for having been one of the top 15 players on the PGA Tour the previous year.
On the first Monday of June Art Wall qualified for the U.S. Open in Atlanta with rounds of 71 and 70 for a 141. Wall tied for 12th. There were 39 spots there because the PGA Tour had been there the week before for the Atlanta Classic. Don Bies was the medalist with a 135 at the Atlanta Country Club a score of 145 passed the test.
The next day three professionals from the Philadelphia Section qualified for the U.S. Open at the Montclair Golf Club in New Jersey. Ted McKenzie shot the second lowest score at the site, a 74-69 for 143. Bob Ross and John Kennedy passed the test with 144s. Ross, Kennedy and McKenzie had qualified locally in Philadelphia. Keith Davidson led with a 141 and it took a 145 to qualify. There were 137 players for 13 spots.
The U.S. Open was back in the Philadelphia Section for the first time in 21 years in mid June. The Merion Golf Club was hosting America’s most important golf tournament for the third time. The other two at Merion had been played in 1934 and 1950. The host professional was Bill Kittleman. Merchandising at tournaments, especially the majors, was becoming a big business and Kittleman had a profitable week selling U.S. Open merchandise from tented booths on the golf course. There were only two players in the field that had been at Merion in 1950, Dutch Harrison and Julius Boros. Everyone, including the players, thought that Merion was too short at 6,544 yards for the professional game of the 1970s but they soon found out differently. At the end of the regulation 72 holes Lee Trevino (70-72-69-69) and Jack Nicklaus (69-72-68-71) were tied at the top with even par 280s. In an 18-hole playoff on Monday Trevino established himself as one of the great players of his time by winning our Open for a second time. Trevino took the lead on the third hole and kept it the rest of the way shooting a 68 to Nicklaus’ 71. First prize was $30,000 from a total purse of $193,200. One member of the gallery on Monday was Johnny McDermott who had come within one stroke of winning three straight U.S. Opens from 1910 to 1912. McDermott was out on the course even through a rainstorm that passed over during the front nine. Bob Rosburg and Jim Colbert tied for third at 282. Bert Yancey, who lived only a few blocks from Merion, was the low pro from the Philadelphia Section. He tied for 9th at 285 and won $3,325. The entry fee was $25. John Kennedy, Ted McKenzie, Bob Ross and Art Wall missed the cut. They all received checks for $500.
The British Open was played in early July at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. Lee Trevino (278) won with rounds of 69, 70, 69 and 70. Trevino became only the fourth golfer to hold both Open titles in the same year. First prize was $13,300 in U.S. money and the total prize money was $108,000. Par was 73. Lu Liang-Huan (279), Tony Jacklin (280) and Craig Defoy (281) finished second, third and fourth. Bert Yancey finished tied for eleventh at 287 and won $2,780.
Philadelphia Country Club assistant John Toepel won the Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship on the third Monday of July. Toepel and Philmont Country Club assistant Tom Lynch had completed their rounds at the Bala Golf Club in a tie with two under par 66s. On the first extra hole of a sudden death playoff, Toepel made a birdie three for the victory. Willie Maples and Whitemarsh Valley Country Club assistant Ed Slaw turned in 67s to tie for third.
The fifth annual Prior Golf Festival was played in the fourth week of July. Play was over four different courses teaming up two pros with two amateurs at the first three courses. The purse was $18,100 with the largest part going to the pros for their individual scores. Dick Smith, Sr. began on Thursday with a 70 at the Brookside Country Club in Pottstown, which put him in a three-way tie for first. In the second round at the North Hills Country Club he tacked on a 71 for a two-stroke lead. Saturday was a day off. On Sunday Smith played the Little Mill Country Club in a two over par 73 but he picked up strokes on most of the field to finish the day with a six-stroke lead. On Monday Smith posted a 71 at his home course, the Hi-Point Country Club, to win by eight strokes with a total of 285. His 71 was the only sub-par round of the day. First prize was $3,000. Bob Ross finished second at 293 and won $1,700. Dick Hendrickson, Bob Schoener, Jr. and the defending champion Jack Kiefer, now the teaching pro at the Meadia Heights Golf Club, tied for third with 295.
The Philadelphia Section’s greatest golfer, Johnny McDermott, was at Hi-Point to witness the final round on fourth Monday of July and on Saturday he died peacefully in his sleep. His two sisters who drove him to the golf courses told the press that you might say that he died with his spikes on.
Ted McKenzie won the Philadelphia Open in a playoff with Henry McQuiston. The tournament was played in early August at the Aronimink Golf Club where McKenzie had been an assistant from 1962 to 1966. McKenzie (140) put together two rounds of even par 70. McQuiston (140) was tied for the lead after Monday’s first round with a 69 and then posted a 71 on Tuesday. In the playoff, which took place on Thursday, McKenzie began with a double bogey on the first hole, but he played solid golf after that to win by six strokes as he posted another 70 against a 76 for McQuiston. Amateurs Jay Sigel, a future Section member, and Bucky Erhardt, a former assistant at Saucon Valley Country Club, tied for third with 142s. Jack Kiefer and Don Stough tied for fifth at 143.
On the second Tuesday of August Jack Kiefer won the Pennsylvania Open in a sudden-death playoff over Willie Maples. The tournament was played at the Hershey Country Club. Kiefer (72-74) and Maples (72-74) had finished tied with even par 146 scores when Maples bogied the last hole. A new clubhouse had been built on a different site at Hershey so the last hole was no longer a par 3 and the first hole was now a 434-yard dogleg to the right. The playoff started on the first hole and when Maples’ tee shot ended up under a tree Kiefer’s par wrapped up the title. First prize was $1,000 and second was $750. There was a three-way tie for third place at 147 among Dick Smith, Sr., Harold Sweigart and amateur Bobby Huber. The total purse came to $3,975.
Sam Penecale and the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club hosted the IVB Golf Classic again in the third week of August. On Monday 106 golfers qualified for 35 spots in the tournament. None of the Section’s pros qualified but there were nine Section members in the starting field. Some were exempt players on the PGA Tour and the others had sponsor exemptions, which had been granted to the Section. As the host professional, Penecale was exempt but choose not to play. Bert Yancey and Art Wall were exempt members of the PGA Tour. John Kennedy was in the field off having made the cut at Sutton, Massachusetts the week before. Marty Furgol, Dick Smith, Sr. Jack Kiefer, Henry McQuiston and Bob Schoener, Jr. were in off their standing on the Philadelphia Section point list. Dick Mullen, who was back in the Section as the professional at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club, had a sponsor exemption. The tournament boiled down to a battle between Tom Weiskopf and Dave Hill as Weiskopf led by three strokes entering the final round. Hill, who putted with his caddy crouching behind him on the line, made a charge in the last round with some early birdies. When Hill eagled the 17th hole he had caught Weiskopf but Weiskopf eagled the hole right behind him. Weiskopf bogied the last hole and edged out Hill by one stroke, tying the tournament record of 274. Weiskopf’s rounds were 67, 71, 66 and 70. Even though he missed a four-foot birdie putt on the last hole, Jack Nicklaus ended up third alone at 276, one stroke in front of George Knudson (277). Wall led the Section pros with his best finish at Whitemarsh. He finished with a 284, which earned him a tie for 16th and $2,325. Smith (285) holed out a bunker shot on the 72nd hole for his seventh birdie of the day. That gave him a 68 as he finished one stroke behind Wall in a tie for 18th and picked up a check for $1,533. Yancey (290) tied for 44th, winning $423 and Kennedy (292) won $214 for a 54th place tie. Furgol, McQuiston, Schoener, Kiefer and Mullen missed the cut. Attendance at the tournament was down sharply due to the U.S. Open having been at Merion in June, August dates and the economy. The PGA had offered the IVB the option of sitting out that year due to the U.S. Open being in Philadelphia but the tournament sponsors had declined.
On the fourth Monday of August the Section members qualified for the PGA Club Professional Championship at the Berkleigh Country Club. There were 33 players competing for seven places in the championship. George Griffin, Jr., the professional at the Green Valley Country Club, led with a score of (74-70) 144. Dick Smith, Sr. finished second, two shots back at 146. Dave Collingwood, now the professional at the Oak Terrace Country Club and Stan Dudas tied for third with 147s. There was a three-way tie for the last three spots at 148 among John Abernethy, Bob Thatcher and Bob Schoener, Jr. Willie Scholl and Bob Hutnik finished with 148s and played off for alternate spots. Scholl won the playoff and as the first alternate he got into the tournament when the Section champion Art Wall wasn’t eligible. Wall was ineligible because he had entered more than twelve tournaments on the PGA Tour in the past twelve months.
On the second Tuesday of September Gene Klein, the new professional at the Indian Spring Golf Club in Lancaster, put on a very successful tournament called the Dutch Open. Dean Beman, one of eight PGA Tour professionals in the field, took the first prize of $2,500 with a three under par 67. Don Stough and Charlie Sifford tied for second with 68s. The total purse was $13,000. Dan Sikes and Rafe Botts tied for fourth at 69. Doug Sanders would have finished high in the money but he didn’t putt out on the 18th green so that some of the local pros could get a larger piece of the prize money. He already had a guaranteed amount from the tournament sponsor. Pete Trenham, Charlie Gilbert, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club assistant Steve Probst, Bob Batdorff, the professional at the Green Hills Golf Club and Steve Melnyk tied for sixth with 70s.
Marty Furgol tied for second at the U.S. National Senior Open at Las Vegas in late September. He finished tied with Pete Cooper and amateur Harvey Breaux at 284, five strokes behind the winner Tommy Bolt. It was Bolt’s fourth straight victory in that tournament. First prize was $7,500 and Furgol won $3,750. There were 139 professionals and 299 amateurs entered and the tournament was played over three courses. Furgol had to make a long journey home that night as he was defending his Section Championship title the next day at the Le Chateau Inn & Country Club in the Poconos. He also lost two hours off the clock crossing the country from west to east.
The 50th annual championship of the Section was held at the Le Chateau Inn & Country Club at the end of September. The host professional was Stu Sirbaugh. The winner was Art Wall but it took an 18-hole playoff for him to pick up the Section title, his fifth. Wall trailed by two strokes after Monday’s round of 73 but a three under par 69 in the second round put him in front by one. In the third round former Section Champion Bob Schoener, Jr. turned in a 71 against a 72 for Wall and they were tied at 214. In the playoff on Thursday Schoener led after thirteen holes but Wall played the last four holes in three under par and finished with a 70 versus a 74 for Schoener. Wall’s check was for $1,500 and Schoener won 1,000 from the $8,800 purse. Le Chateau had added $2,500 to the purse. Wall’s 69 was the only round under 70 in the tournament. It was Wall’s first win of any kind in five years. Bob Ross put together a last round 70 to tie Don Stough for third at 216. After two days of cold, fog and mist the third day was sunny and the scoring was much better. Three strokes farther back Jerry Pisano, Dick Smith, Sr., Dick Mullen and Bob Hutnik tied for fifth with 219s. The defending champion Marty Furgol was never in contention after a first round of 74. He finished eleven strokes off the winning pace. The tournament committee had put him in the last pairing for the first round in order to give him a chance to get some rest from his all night trip across the country after finishing second in the U.S. National Senior Open.
PGA Tour qualifying was held at the PGA National Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in the third week of October. Twenty-three players earned cards. A future Section member, Billy Ziobro posted rounds of 76, 72, 75, 74, 72, and 74 for 443 to earn his playing privileges. Bob Zender led the qualifying with a score of 425.
In mid October the PGA Club Professional Championship was held at the Pinehurst Country Club. The #1 and #2 Courses were used for the first two rounds and the final 36 holes were played on the #2 Course. 59-year-old Sam Snead (67-65-74-69) posted a thirteen under par 275 and won by five strokes. Ron Letellier and Jerry Steelsmith tied for second at 280. Babe Lichardus, Stan Thirsk and Charles Volpone tied for fourth with 282s. Stan Dudas tied for 40th with a 293 and won $510. Bob Schoener, Jr. (296) tied for 61st and Bob Thatcher (299) tied for 77th. They each won the last money of $191.50. Dick Smith, Sr., Dave Collingwood, Willie Scholl, John Abernethy and George Griffin, Jr. missed the cut. First prize was $15,000 and the total prize money had been doubled to $100,000.
On the third Wednesday of October Billy Gilbert won the Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship. He put together an even par 70 at the Twin Lakes Golf Club. Henry Williams, Jr. had an opportunity to force a playoff, but he three putted the par three 18th hole and finished with a 71. Jack Robinson was third with 72. Marty Furgol, Skee Riegel, Jimmy Johnson and Huntingdon Valley Country Club professional Ken Stear all posted 73s and tied for fourth. There were 29 entries.
In late October the ten-man Philadelphia Section team won the Schmidt Challenge Cup at the Hunt Valley Golf Club near Baltimore. It was the fifth year for the matches and for the first time the visiting team came away victorious. The first day made the difference as the teams of Henry McQuiston-Bob Thatcher, Tony Perla-Jack Kiefer and Bob Ross-Bob Schoener, Jr. won their better-ball matches and the Ted McKenzie-Don Stough team got a half. That put the Philadelphia team in front 3 ½ points to 1½ points. The second day Dick Smith, Sr., McKenzie, Perla and Stough won their singles matches and McQuiston and Ross got halves. The final tally was Philadelphia 8 ½ points to 6 ½ points for the Middle Atlantic Section. The other member of the team was Dick Hendrickson. Philadelphia now had three wins versus two losses in the challenge matches and led for the first time.
Bob Ross was reelected president of the Section on the first Monday in November. The annual meeting was at the Atlantic City Country Club. Dick Hendrickson, who had been the secretary, was elected first vice president and Bob Thatcher moved from first vice president to secretary. Buzz Garvin was elected second vice president and Charlie Gilbert was reelected treasurer. Dick Smith, Sr. picked up the Johnny McDermott trophy as the “Player of the Year” in the Section and he won the DeBaufre Trophy with an average of 72.10 strokes per round. Hendrickson was selected as the “Golf Professional of the Year”. He was honored for the many hours he spent improving the tournament schedule and the effort he made in creating the first office for the Section. Bob Schoener, Jr. led the Schmidt’s points race.
The national PGA meeting was at Palm Beach Shores, Florida in the third week of November. The officers, President Warren Orlick, Secretary Bill Clarke and Treasurer Henry Poe were unanimously reelected. Negotiations to renew the lease with John D. MacArthur at PGA National were still going on. A price on green fees and carts had been settled but the major stumbling block was MacArthur’s desire to have the PGA Championship back at his course. A thirteenth district composed of the Florida and Georgia Sections was added. Philadelphia’s delegates to the meeting were Bob Ross and Charlie Gilbert.
Lee Trevino was the PGA “Player of the Year” and he won the Vardon Trophy with an average of 70.28 strokes per round. The leading money winner was Jack Nicklaus with $244,490. Bert Yancey finished 22nd with $80,364 and he was 15th in stroke average with an average of 71.41. Art Wall played in 24 tournaments and won $51,282. John Kennedy played nearly a full schedule via Monday qualifying, winning $1,734.09. Tom Lynch played in five events and won $437.
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For the third straight year Marty Furgol played well in the Senior PGA Championship finishing in a tie for fifth. He put together a four over par 292 at the PGA National Golf Club and won $1,137.50. Sam Snead (69-73-73-71) picked up his fifth Senior PGA title with a 286 one stroke ahead of Tommy Bolt (287) and Julius Boros (287). Pete Cooper finished fourth at 291. First prize was $4,000 and the purse was $40,000. Skee Riegel tied for 25th at 304 and won $281. Billy Gilbert (308) finished in a tie for 34th and won $150. Overbrook Country Club professional Harlan Will (309) and Henry Williams, Jr. (309) tied for 39th, winning $106 each. Bob Hendricks (310) was next in a tie for 44th and he won $100.
The Section’s spring meeting was held at the Westover Country Club on the fourth Monday of March. The most ambitious tournament schedule in the history of the Section was presented to the professionals. First vice president and tournament chairman, Dick Hendrickson, had joined the PGA Tour. Section President Bob Ross announced that he had appointed Bill Kittleman to head up the tournament committee. Kittleman presented a schedule of 43 events of which 14 were open tournaments. In addition to that there was qualifying for the U.S. Open and the IVB Golf Classic. Ross reported that the Section had 425 members of which 265 were head professionals.
The Masters Tournament was played in the first full week of April as usual. In the first round Jack Nicklaus played six holes from #11 through #16 in six under par. He finished with a 68 and was never headed as he won his fourth Masters to put him even with Arnold Palmer. He played the last three rounds in 71, 73 and 74 for a 286 to win by three strokes. First prize was $25,000. Tom Weiskopf, Bruce Crampton and Bobby Mitchell tied for second with 289s. Gusty winds and slick greens were responsible for the high scoring. Bert Yancey tied for 12th at 292 and won $3,100. Art Wall missed the cut. Two professionals who had been working as assistants in the Section not long before were beginning to make a name for themselves in professional golf. Jerry McGee who had been at the Frosty Valley Country Club in the mid 1960s tied for fifth at 290 and Hubert Green, an assistant at the Merion Golf Club in 1970, tied for 22nd.
At the Masters Tournament the Golf Writers Association presented Leo Fraser with the Richardson Award. Fraser was cited for his many years of devotion to golf but especially for his initiative in resolving the split between the tournament players and the PGA.
On the Monday after the Masters the Philadelphia Section held its annual spring golf show at the Cherry Hill Inn. The show kicked off at noon with the pro-golf salesmen showing their wares, the professionals gave free instruction and Paul Bumann put on trick shot demonstrations. At 8:00 PM there was a dinner, which was attended by 350 Section members and their guests honoring George Fazio and past USGA President Phil Strubing. In the past decade Fazio had retired from competition and become one of the leading golf course architects in the country. Admission to the show was $1.50 and the price of both the show and the dinner was $20. More than 350 people attended the dinner.
Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Central Pennsylvania was at the West Shore Country Club on the fourth Monday in May. Mac Sartin, an assistant at the Hershey Country Club, was the medalist with rounds of 75 and 73 for a four over par 148. Charlie Gilbert and Jeff Steinberg tied for the second spot with 150s. Next in line were Hanover Country Club professional Ted Sheftic and Jack Kiefer, the teaching pro at the Airport Driving Range, with 151s. Howard Kramer and John Yoder, the professional at the Shade Mountain Golf Course, also qualified as they posted 152s. The eighth and last place went to Frank Kiraly in a three-man playoff that lasted two holes.
The next day local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held in the Philadelphia area. The players were competing for 16 places in the sectional qualifying rounds. There was a large field and play was over the St. Davids Golf Club and the Philadelphia Country Club. Ted McKenzie shot one of the low rounds, a one under par 70 at St. Davids in the morning. That along with an afternoon 74 at the Philadelphia Country Club sent him on the way to a tie for the medalist honors with Puerto Rico’s Manny Camacho at two over par 144. Skee Riegel (146) finished third and Willie Maples (147) finished fourth. There was a six-way tie for fifth as Alan Shankin, the assistant at the Ashbourne Country Club, Andy Thompson, the assistant at the Spring Ford Country Club, Steve Probst, the professional at the Northampton Valley Country Club, Willie Scholl, John Toepel and amateur Buddy Marucci tied with 148s. Dennis Milne and Dick Hendrickson tied for tenth at 149. The next two spots went to Bill Kittleman and Bobby Mayes, who played out of the Tioga-Quaker City Club which was not attached to a golf course, with 150s. Ed Dougherty (151) and Ken Peyre-Ferry (151), the assistant at the Indian Spring Country Club won the 14th and 15th spots in a five-man sudden death playoff. On one broke 70 in any round. Bert Yancey was exempt from both local and sectional qualifying off his finish in the U.S. Open the previous year.
Qualifying for the IVB Golf Classic was held on the first Monday of June at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. There were 55 spots in the starting field to shoot for, which was the most in the ten-year history of the tournament. The large number of openings was due to the U.S. Open being in California the next week. A score of 75 made the grade and ten professionals from the Section passed the test. Jack Ewing led the qualifying with a 66. Jack Kiefer led the Section qualifiers with a 72 one stroke in front of Jack Connelly, who was now playing the PGA Tour and Marty Furgol who posted 73s. Willie Maples and Bob Hutnik were at 74. John Kennedy, Willie Scholl, Harold Sweigart, Dick Hendrickson and Tom Lynch got under the wire with 75s after being in a 17-man playoff for the last 16 spots. Dave Collingwood who was now playing the PGA Tour, was the loser in the playoff but he got in as an alternate. Ted McKenzie, John Toepel, Henry Williams, Jr. and Bob Batdorff had qualified on the third Monday of May at North Hills in the Schmidt Summer Open. McKenzie had won the tournament.
The next day, a Tuesday, North Hills Country Club and the Philadelphia Cricket Club hosted the sectional U.S. Open qualifying. The qualifying was in Philadelphia because the PGA Tour was in town for the IVB Golf Classic. The sectional rounds were usually held in northern New Jersey. Jim Hardy and Dwight Nevil tied for the medal with 140s and each received a check for $200. The only one who passed the test from the Section was Dick Hendrickson who posted a 144. Hendrickson, who was now playing the PGA Tour, had qualified locally in Philadelphia. There were 21 spots and the players with 145s played off. The lone survivor of the sudden death playoff was future Section member Billy Ziobro, who won an eight-man playoff.
On Wednesday of the IVB Golf Classic there was a satellite tournament held at the Atlantic City Country Club for those who didn’t qualify. Jeff Voss came all the way from Dallas and he not only didn’t qualify he forgot to enter the IVB but he won at Atlantic City. He put together a three under par (35-33) 68 to win by three strokes on a windy day. Three Section members, Stan Dudas, Tony Perla, now the professional at the Sunnybrook Golf Club, and Don Stough, who was now the professional at the Honey Run Golf Club tied for second at 71 with Bob Stone and Steve Spray. First prize was $2,060.
Whitemarsh Valley Country Club and their professional Sam Penecale hosted the IVB Golf Classic again in early June. On Thursday 19 members of the Section teed off in the tournament. Along with the eleven Section members that had qualified on Monday and the four that had qualified at the Schmidt Summer Open, Bob Ross Dick Smith, Sr. had sponsor exemptions. Bert Yancey and Art Wall were exempt on the PGA Tour. As the host professional Penecale was exempt, but chose not to play. The highest score in the ten-year history of the tournament, a 282, took the top prize of $30,000. J.C. Snead (282), who was Sam Snead’s nephew, finished on top one stroke ahead of Chi Chi Rodriguez (283) with four steady rounds of 70, 71, 69 and 72. J.C. had worked for Chi Chi in Puerto Rico as his assistant during the winter six years before. Wall tied for ninth at even par 288 and won $3,900. Four shots farther back Yancey (292) tied for 14th, winning $2,625 and Dick Hendrickson (295) picked up $1,190.63 for a 23rd place tie. John Kennedy, Ted McKenzie, Ross, Smith, Bob Hutnik, Marty Furgol, Jack Kiefer, Butch Sweigart, Dave Collingwood, John Toepel, Henry Williams, Jr., Jack Connelly, Willie Scholl, Tom Lynch, Willie Maples and Bob Batdorff missed the cut. Due to a lack of big name players in the field and a cold weekend the tournament suffered a drop in attendance as only 38,395 patrons showed up. It was a big drop off from the 63,000 the tournament drew only two years before in 1970. A ticket for the week with clubhouse privileges cost $25. ABC, channel 6, televised the tournament on Saturday from 6:30 to 7:30 pm and Sunday from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.
The next week the U.S. Open was played at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. For the first time, more than the last six holes at the Open were telecast. Because some of the spectacular ocean holes were in the middle of the round ABC decided to show the golf beginning with the fifth hole. On Sunday the telecast was extended to three hours. The Philadelphia Section had only two representatives. Jack Nicklaus opened with a one under par 71, which put him in a six-way tie for first. He followed it up with a 73 and he was still in a six-way tie at the top. In the third round Nicklaus shot a 73 to take a one-stroke lead. On Sunday Nicklaus put together a 74 in winds up to 35-mile-per-hour. On the 71st hole Nicklaus’s one-iron shot hit the flagstick and his tap-in birdie put him four strokes in front at 290. Bruce Crampton finished second three strokes back with a 293. Arnold Palmer was only one stroke out of the lead with four holes to play but fell back and ended up third alone at 294. Lee Trevino and Homero Blancas tied for fourth with 295s. Bert Yancey posted a 300 total to get a tie for 11th and $2,500. Dick Hendrickson (315) made the cut and tied for 67th, winning the $800 last money. Danny O’Neill (317) a Penn State University sophomore and future Central Pennsylvania professional also made the cut and finished at the end of the field that played all four rounds. He had qualified at Butler Country Club in Butler, Pennsylvania.
Lee Trevino won the British Open for the second year in a row. The Open was at Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland during the second week of July. Trevino’s 278 topped Jack Nicklaus (279 by one and Tony Jacklin (280) by two. Doug Sanders was fourth at 281. Bert Yancey shot a 290 and tied for 19th, winning $1,500. First prize was $13,750 in US dollars from the $125,000 purse.
Bert Yancey won the 150,000 American Golf Classic at Akron, Ohio in the third week of July. It was Yancey’s seventh win on the PGA Tour but his first in more than two years. He put together rounds of 69 68, 67 and 72 at the Firestone Country Club for a 276. That left him in a tie for first with Edison, New Jersey professional Tom Ulozas (273). Yancey won the $30,000 first prize with a par three on the first hole of a sudden death playoff. Hale Irwin posted a 277 for third place one stroke ahead of George Knudson (278).
The Schmidt’s Golf Festival, which had been named the Prior Golf Festival for three years, was played in the fourth week of July. The tournament was played over four courses on four days. The pros played with amateurs during the first three rounds but most of the $20,100 in prize money went to the individual scoring. Dick Hendrickson started out on Thursday with a 73 at the Chester Valley Golf Club and then posted a 71 at the Brookside Country Club near Allentown. After a day off on Saturday Hendrickson turned in a 70 at the Radley Run Country Club to move into third place but he trailed the leader by four strokes. The final round was played at the Aronimink Golf Club on Monday. Hendrickson didn’t take the lead until the back nine but then he pulled away. He turned in a 69 for 283 and won by four strokes over Tony Perla (287) who had had at least a share of the lead all three rounds. Dick Smith, Sr. finished third at 288 four strokes ahead of Ted McKenzie (292), Harold Sweigart (292) and Andy Thompson (292). First prize was $3,000 and second $1,900.
One week later Dick Hendrickson picked up another first place check by taking the Philadelphia Open title at the Heidelberg Country Club. A one over par 71 in the first round on Monday left Hendrickson in a five-way tie for fourth, three strokes off the pace. The field was cut to the low 50 and ties after the first round. It took a score of 77 to make the cut. On Tuesday Hendrickson shot the low round of the tournament, a 67, to finish four strokes in front of the field at 138. Four professionals, Pete Trenham, Howard Kramer, Don Stough and Alan Shankin tied for second with 142s. First prize was $600 and each of the pros that finished second won $345 from a total purse of $3,540.
The PGA Championship was held at the Oakland Hills Country Club in early August. Bert Yancey and Art Wall were the representatives from the Section. Yancey was exempt off his standing on the PGA Tour and his finish in the PGA the year before and Wall was in the field as the Section champion. Berwick, Pennsylvania native Mike Souchak had an exemption as the host professional. Gary Player (281) won the PGA for a second time with rounds of 71, 71, 67 and 72. Tommy Aaron and Jim Jamieson tied for second with 283s. Sam Snead, Billy Casper and Ray Floyd tied for fourth at 284. First prize was $45,000. Wall shot a 291, tied for 24th and picked up a check for $1,800. Yancey (292) and Souchak (292) both finished one stroke behind Wall in a tie for 29th and they each won $1,497.
The Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship was played at the Squires Golf Club on the second Monday of August. Ed Dougherty, an assistant at the Edgmont Country Club, won with a three under par 67. Bruce MacDonald, an assistant at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, and Jeff Steinberg tied for second with 70s. Tom Lynch and Andy Thompson turned in 71s and tied for fourth.
The Hershey Country Club hosted the Pennsylvania Open again on the third Monday in August. Andy Thompson led by two strokes after the first day with a four under par 69. Thompson (143) came back on Tuesday with a steady 74 to win by two strokes over Ted McKenzie (145). Amateur Jay Sigel finished third at 146. Jeff Steinberg and Vern Novak, the assistant at the Edgmont Country Club, tied for fourth with 147s. First prize was $1,200 from a purse of $4,000.
The Section Championship was hosted by the Tamiment Resort and Country Club in the third week of September. The host professional was Vince Yanovitch. Not since the 1929 Section Championship when George B. Smith won at the Bala Golf Club had the final outcome hinged on an interpretation of the rules and this was just as complicated and drawn out. In the first round Dick Smith, Sr.’s caddy moved his ball on the 16th hole. When Smith saw that the ball had been moved, the caddy stated that it had been an accident, so Smith decided to replace the ball. At that time the rule was that if the ball was moved accidentally there was a penalty of one stroke and the ball would be played from the spot where it now lay. Since Smith had lifted a ball that was in play the penalty for that was two strokes. There was much discussion by the members of the tournament rules committee as to whether a player could be penalized twice for what seemed to be one infraction and at one point the USGA agreed that he could not. Skee Riegel, the Section’s long time rules chairman, maintained that there could be a three-stroke penalty and that is what it was. On day one Smith had shot a 73 and a 74 was posted after a penalty of one stroke was accessed. On day two the penalty was increased to two strokes and Smith tacked on a two under par 70. In the third round Smith posted a 70 but after the completion of the round he was informed that the penalty from the first day would be three strokes. Riegel had finally been able to reach P.J. Boatwright, executive director of the USGA and the authority on the rules of golf in the United States. Boatwright concurred with Riegel that the penalty had to be three strokes and Smith could be disqualified for having played his ball from a wrong place. Boatwright also stated that the tournament’s rules committee had the power to waive the disqualification. The members of the rules committee all agreed that Smith should not be disqualified as he was only trying to correct a mistake made by his caddy. Smith’s score was now 76-70-70 for a 216 total. In the meantime Dick Hendrickson, who was playing the PGA Tour now, had flown into Philadelphia from St. Louis where he had missed the money on Sunday. He rented a car and drove to Tamiment and shot a 68, which took the first round lead by three strokes. Hendrickson then shot a 72 in the second round to take what appeared to be a five-stroke lead, and turned out to be six, into the final round. A 76 in the final round left him in a tie with Smith, who had been his assistant in 1965. There was an 18-hole playoff but due to scheduling conflicts it wasn’t played until fourteen days later. In the playoff Hendrickson, who had finished second in the Section Championship seven times, never trailed. He put together a 73 against a 75 for Smith to win by two strokes. Hendrickson picked up a check for $2,000. The tournament was co-sponsored by C. Schmidt and Sons and the total purse was $12,000. Bob Ross shot 220 and finished third one stroke ahead of Tony Perla (221). Roger Stern, the professional at the Schuylkill Country Club, Henry Williams, Jr., and Dennis Milne tied for fifth at 223. A program book produced by Bill Kittleman helped to increase the purse.
Qualifying for the PGA Club Professional Championship was held during the Section Championship. The standings at the completion of the second round among those who had entered the Club Pro determined the qualifiers. The two leaders after 36 holes, Dick Smith, Sr. and Dick Hendrickson along with Art Wall, who was in ninth place, weren’t eligible, as they had entered more than twelve tournaments on the PGA Tour in the last twelve months. The leaders among the qualifiers were Bob Ross and Tony Perla with 146s. Stan Dudas, Dennis Milne and Henry Williams, Jr. made it with ease at 148. After that came Billy Gilbert and Bob Schoener, Jr., with 149s. Roger Stern and John Abernethy posted 150s. The last spot went to Willie Scholl who finished with a 151. The Section had been allotted ten spots in the championship plus one for the Section champion, but when Hendrickson who wasn’t eligible won the Section Championship, that spot went to Jimmy Johnson who was next in line at 152.
Marty Furgol won the Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship on the second Monday of October. Furgol posted a three over par 75 at the Locust Valley Country Club to win by two strokes. Harlan Will and Jimmy Johnson tied for second with 77s. Ken Stear was fourth with a 78.
The PGA Club Professional Championship was at the Pinehurst Country Club again. The tournament was played on Pinehurst #1 and #4 courses in the third week of October. Another former touring pro, Don Massengale, took the title with a last nine 33 that was played in record low temperatures produced by an arctic cold front. Massengale’s rounds were 72, 66, 74 and 68 (280). Bob Bruno (282) finished second two strokes back and two strokes in front of Sam Snead (284), who finished third. Ernie George and Babe Lichardus were fourth with 285s. Bob Schoener, Jr. tied for 31st at 294 and won $825. Willie Scholl (295) finished one stroke back of that in a tie for 35th and picked up $660. Dennis Milne also made the cut and he tied for 61st winning the last money of $204.54. Jimmy Johnson, Stan Dudas, Bob Ross, Henry Williams, Jr., Tony Perla, Roger Stern, John Abernethy and Billy Gilbert missed the cut.
The Schmidt’s Challenge Cup matches were played at the Hershey Country Club in late October. The teams had been expanded to 12 players with the addition of two seniors. The home team usually had some advantage since they knew the course better than the visiting team but Hershey had a new course that none of the pros from the Philadelphia Section had played either. The new course, called the East Course, had been designed by George Fazio. The first day there were six better-ball matches and each team won three of them. The winning Philadelphia teams were Jimmy Johnson- Henry Williams, Jr., Dick Smith, Sr.-Pete Trenham and Tony Perla-Stan Dudas. The next day there were twelve singles matches and each team won six of the matches. The Philadelphia winners were Williams, Johnson, Smith, Perla, Trenham and Alan Shankin. It had been agreed that the last match off the course would continue into a sudden-death playoff if the points were even. The last match was Art Waerig, the assistant at the LuLu Country Club, versus Jennings House of the Middle Atlantic Section. Waerig had lost his match but he won the playoff on first extra hole and that extended the Philadelphia Section’s lead in the matches to four wins against two losses. The two seniors, Williams and Johnson, carried the day for Philadelphia as they won all three of their points. The other members of the team were Ted McKenzie, Bob Ross, Bob Schoener, Jr. and Jeff Steinberg. Trenham was on the team as a replacement for Vern Novak, who had decided to head south to test his game on some PGA Tour tournaments.
In early November John D. MacArthur notified the PGA that he was terminating their lease on the office space at the PGA National Golf Club, which had an expiration date of December 31, 1974. The PGA had been leasing the space for $40,000 a year since late 1962 when negotiations fell through for the ownership of the property. Originally the PGA was to build the clubhouse and office for $1-million in return for the gift of a 36-hole golf course. The courses had been designed by Dick Wilson and were the equal of any courses in Florida. When the PGA couldn’t get clear title to some of the ground and there were problems with the sprinkler system they had walked away from the deal. MacArthur told the press that the PGA was not in violation financially but in spirit as they had been negotiating for a new headquarters elsewhere. Also MacArthur said that Frank Cardi was running for PGA president on the platform that the PGA would leave for a new site.
In mid November Bill Clarke was elected president at the PGA’s national meeting in Los Angeles. The runner-up in the election was Frank Cardi. Henry Poe was also opposed but he was elected secretary by a comfortable margin. There were six candidates for treasurer. The vote came down to Don Padgett and Joe Black with Padgett finally getting the majority. The delegates voted to suspend all negotiations with John D. MacArthur on the lease but Clarke said that he thought the difficulties with MacArthur could be worked out. The Philadelphia Section’s delegates were Bob Ross and Bob Thatcher.
Henry McQuiston was elected president of the Section at the fall meeting on the third Monday of November. The meeting was held at the Atlantic City Country Club. Bill Kittleman was elected first vice president and Buzz Garvin was reelected second vice president. Charlie Gilbert moved to secretary and Don Siok, the professional at the Atlantic City Country Club, was elected treasurer. The night before the meeting there was an awards dinner honoring that year’s winners and there was a pro-pro tournament after the meeting. Bob Ross was selected as the “Golf Professional of the Year”. As the president of the Section Ross had taken the spring golf show to a new level by adding a dinner to honor the outstanding golfers in the region. Dick Smith, Sr. had gone out on the PGA Tour with Dick Hendrickson in January, but by early spring he had returned to the Section for the life of a club pro and he took all of the playing honors. Smith was the “Player of the Year” in the Section and he won the DeBaufre Trophy with a stroke average of 72.00 per round. He was also the leader for the year in Schmidt’s points.
The leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Jack Nicklaus with $320,942 and Lee Trevino won the Vardon Trophy for a third consecutive year with a 70.89 stroke average. The PGA “Player of the Year” was Jack Nicklaus. Bert Yancey finished 29th with $73,374.91 in 34 tournaments. Art Wall won $36,461.35 in the 29 tournaments he entered. That put him in 61st place on the money list. The top sixty money winners on the PGA Tour were fully exempt for the next year. In spite of not being fully exempt Wall still had some exempt status due to past victories, one being a major, and money won during his career. Dick Hendrickson won $5,656 in eight tournaments.
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In late January the Senior PGA Championship was played at the PGA National Golf Club’s East and West Courses for the last time and it made history for another reason. It was Sam Snead in the winner’s circle again for the sixth time but this time he won by an amazing 15 strokes. Snead’s rounds on the East Course were 66, 66, 67 and 69 for a twenty under par 268. Julius Boros, who said that he thought he played well, finished second with a 283. That was two strokes lower than the score Boros had won with on the same course in 1971. First prize and the total purse were still $4,000 and $40,000. Joe Taylor finished third at 288. Ed Furgol and Milon Marusic tied for fourth with 290s. Henry Williams, Jr. made a very creditable showing finishing tied for 11th at 297, which was 29 strokes behind Snead. Williams won $637.50. Joe Kirkwood, Jr. (299) tied for 18th and won $487.50. Skee Riegel (301) and Marty Furgol (301) tied for 24th and they each won $292.50.
At the Section’s spring meeting it was announced that C. Schmidt & Sons was dropping their sponsorship of the Challenge Cup matches along with the yearlong points competition. The Schmidt brewery did add on the sponsorship of one more open tournament. Section President, Henry McQuiston, said that the officers were trying to find a new sponsor for the matches. The meeting was held at the George Washington Motor Lodge in Plymouth Meeting on the first Monday in April.
Later that week at the Masters Tournament a Georgia native who had only two wins on the PGA Tour won his only major title. Tommy Aaron (283) opened with a 68, added a 73 and a 74 before ending with a 68 to edge out J.C. Snead (284) by one stroke. It would be his last win on the tour. Aaron won $30,000. Jack Nicklaus made eight straight birdies in the last round but the best he could do was a 66 and a tie for third with Peter Oosterhuis and Jim Jamison at 285. The tournament ended on Monday as Saturday was rained out. Art Wall and Bert Yancey made the cut. Wall tied for 37th with a 298 and won $1,675. Yancey (300) finished two strokes farther back in 51st place and won $1,600.
The spring golf show and awards dinner was at the Marriott Motor Inn on Philadelphia’s City Line Avenue. Held on the second Monday of April the show opened at noon with 50 pro-golf exhibitors. The featured guests were former PGA “Golf Professional of the Year” Bill Strausbaugh, trick shot artist Paul Hahn, the PGA’s director of education Dr. Gary Wiren and LPGA tour player Janet Caponi LePera. In the evening an awards dinner honored Art Wall and Llanerch Country Club member Dorothy Germain Porter a past winner of the Women’s U.S. Amateur. Wall wasn’t able to attend because of the rain out that pushed the Masters Tournament into a Monday finish. PGA of America Treasurer Don Padgett was also in attendance.
The Section’s spring seminar was held on the third Monday of April. Attendance at the seminar was mandatory for any apprentice who wanted to participate in the Section’s tournaments that year. The program coordinator was Buzz Garvin who spoke on how to upgrade your job. The president of Aldila Jim Flood spoke on the graphite golf shaft; Skee Riegel discussed the rules of golf and an accountant lectured on finances.
In mid May the PGA announced that its winter program of five tournaments was moving to the St. Lucie Hilton’s Saints and Sinners golf courses. Earlier in the year the PGA having failed to reach an agreement with John D. MacArthur had moved their offices to Lake Park, Florida.
Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Central Pennsylvania was at the Colonial Country Club on the third Monday in May. Don Stough won the medal on with a seven over par (76-73) 149 on a day that included high winds, chilly temperatures and intermittent rain. There were seven spots to shoot at for the 45 entries at Colonial. Bob Bourne, a former touring pro who was now the assistant at the Lancaster Country Club, Charlie Gilbert and Joe Stencik, the assistant at the Tamiment Resort & Country Club, all turned in 151s and tied for second. The next two spots went to Frank Kiraly with a 152 and Jimmy Taylor, the professional at the Blue Ridge Country Club, at 154. Jack Kiefer posted a 155 and won the last place in a three-man sudden death playoff.
The next day on Tuesday local qualifying for the U.S. Open in the Philadelphia area was held at the Rolling Green Golf Club and The Springhaven Club. Vern Novak (143), who was back from the PGA Tour for a few days, led the qualifying by three strokes with a 74 at Rolling Green and a 69 at Springhaven. There were 15 spots in Philadelphia and a total of 531 in the country. Dennis Milne qualified second with a 146 and amateur Buddy Marucci was next with a 147. Stan Dudas and amateur Allan Sussel tied for fourth at 148. Henry McQuiston and Jack Connelly, now the assistant at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club, posted 149s and tied for sixth. Next in line with 150 totals were Ed Dougherty, Bob Gleeson, who was now working in North Jersey along with amateurs Jay Sigel and Bucky Erhardt. Dick Hendrickson, Bob Thatcher, Joe Data, an assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club and Steve Probst posted 152s and survived a six-man playoff for the last four spots. Sixty players were exempt from local qualifying and thirty-three were fully exempt. Bert Yancey was fully exempt off his position on the PGA Tour money list and Art Wall was exempt from local qualifying.
On the second Monday of May Ted McKenzie won the Lavino Shipping Open at the Plymouth Country Club and also qualified for the IVB Golf Classic, which was being held in early June at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. McKenzie put together a one under par 71 to win by one stroke over Henry McQuiston, Jimmy Taylor and Tom Mastroni, the assistant at the Meadowlands Country Club. First prize was $700 from a purse of $3,300. The Section members were competing for two places in the starting field at the IVB and for fourteen openings in the pre tournament qualifying round. McQuiston defeated Taylor on the third hole of a sudden death playoff for the other exemption into the IVB. As an apprentice, Mastroni wasn’t eligible for one of the Section’s two spots in the starting field.
Sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open was in Philadelphia at the Aronimink Golf Club and the Waynesborough Country Club on the first Tuesday of June. It was one of thirteen sectional qualifying sites in the country. Ralph Johnston led by two with a par 70 round at Aronimink in the morning and a two under par 70 at Waynesborough in the afternoon for 140. Two of the sixteen spots went to locals, Dick Hendrickson and Vern Novak. Hendrickson tied for third with rounds of 70 and 73 for 143 and Novak turned in a pair of 73s for 146. They had qualified locally in Philadelphia.
Art Wall qualified for the U.S. Open in Charlotte, North Carolina where there were 39 spots. Wall’s rounds at the Charlotte Country Club were 72 and 73 for a 145. Sam Snead and Fred Marti tied for medalist honors with 139s. The players with 146 scores played off for the last spots.
The IVB Golf Classic was played in early June the week before the U.S. Open. Sam Penecale and the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club hosted the tournament again. Qualifying was held on Monday as 101 pros and amateurs fought it out for 36 places in the tournament. Bobby Greenwood and Butch Baird were the low qualifiers with 67s. Bob Ross (72) made it easily and Bob Schoener, Jr. (74) survived a 16-man playoff for the last ten spots. Dick Smith, Sr., Dick Hendrickson, Skee Riegel, Tony Perla, Andy Thompson, now the assistant at the Radnor Valley Country Club and John Toepel had exemptions through the Philadelphia Section. Ted McKenzie and Henry McQuiston had won two spots at the Lavino Shipping Open, in May. Bert Yancey was an exempt player on the PGA Tour. Penecale was exempt as the host professional, but choose not to play. Tom Weiskopf (67-71-65-71) won the IVB and for the second time in three years as he tied the tournament record of 274. Jim Barber (278) finished second four strokes back. Johnny Miller and Forrest Fezler tied for third with 279s. There were twelve Section members in the starting field but only Yancey made the cut and finished at 283. Yancey won $2,103 for a 16th place tie. First prize was $30,045. Weiskopf stayed at Yancey’s house the week of the tournament. Weiskopf’s extra $45 came about because when Lee Trevino withdrew only 69 players completed 72 holes. The 69 players split up the 70th place money. It was the third straight year that Trevino had withdrawn during the tournament. Thompson, Toepel, Smith, Ross, Hendrickson, Schoener, McKenzie, McQuiston, Perla, Riegel and Wall missed the cut. The Sunday attendance came to 18,875, which brought the total to a record of 64,081 for the four days.
The next week the U.S. Open was at the Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh with its 187 bunkers. Several rainstorms during the tournament softened the greens and made the course easier than usual but the scores weren’t real low. After three rounds four players shared the lead at 210, three under par. Trailing by six strokes after rounds of 71-69-76, and teeing off an hour ahead of the leaders, Johnny Miller proceeded to make eight birdies and finish with a 63, the lowest score in the history of our Open. Miller (279) made it look easy but only three other players broke 70 on Sunday. The three other players who broke 70 that day were Lanny Watkins (65), Jack Nicklaus (68) and Ralph Johnston (68) who had been the low qualifier in Philadelphia. Several players could have won but in the end Miller finished one stroke in front of John Schlee (280). Tom Weiskopf finished third at 281 as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino tied for fourth with 282s. Bert Yancey finished tied for 25th at 294 and won $1,382.50. Art Wall won $930 for a tie at 45th place. The prize money came to $219,400 and first place paid $35,000. Vern Novak and Dick Hendrickson missed the cut and each received $500.
Bert Yancey (281) finished fifth in the British Open, five strokes back of his friend Tom Weiskopf who won with a twelve-under-par 276. Weiskopf overcame the Open’s usual wind and rain to post rounds of 68, 67, 71 and 70. First prize was $14,300. The Open was played at Troon Golf Club in the second week of July. Johnny Miller and Neil Coles tied for second at 279. Jack Nicklaus shot a 65 in the last round and finished fourth alone at 280. Yancey won $6,370 and his 281 total was five strokes better than the next player in line. Only six players finished under par for the tournament. Total prize money was $130,000.
The Schmidt’s Golf Festival kicked off on the third Thursday of July at the Brookside Country Club in Pottstown and then moved to the Coatesville Country Club on Friday. After a day off on Saturday the tournament shifted to the Sunnybrook Golf Club and it finished up with the fourth round played at the Hidden Springs Golf Club. Dick Hendrickson and Willie Scholl ended up in a tie for the top money at the end of the 72 holes with 287s. Hendrickson put together rounds of 72, 74, 69, 72 and Scholl’s rounds were 71, 73, 73 and 72. Six days later on Sunday there was an 18-hole playoff at Hidden Springs. Hendrickson, who had left the tour temporarily because of a bad back, won the playoff and a check for $3,000 with a 72 against a 76 for Scholl. The purse including pro-am money came to $23,175. Hendrickson had now won three of the seven Schmidt Festivals and had not finished lower than sixth. Hendrickson’s seven-year money total in the tournament now added up to $14,321. Scholl won $1,800. Andy Thompson finished third one stroke back at 288. Joe Data won the fourth place money with a 289 and Dick Smith, Sr. finished fifth at 292.
Two days after winning the Schmidt’s Festival Dick Hendrickson won the Philadelphia Open for a second straight year. The tournament was played at the Atlantic City Country Club over two days and the field was cut to the low 45 and ties after Monday’s round. Forty pros and eight amateurs made the cut with scores of 75 or better. Hendrickson put together rounds of 69 and 70 for a one under par 139. Andy Thompson finished second at 141 two strokes in front of Tony Perla (143) and George Griffin, III (143). Hendrickson won $650 and Thompson $526 from a total purse of $3,721.
In mid August the PGA Championship was played at the Canterbury Country Club near Cleveland. Jack Nicklaus won the PGA for a third time, which gave him twelve wins in the majors eclipsing the former leader Walter Hagen. Counting his two wins in the U.S. Amateur he was now ahead of Bobby Jones as well. Nicklaus (277) started slowly with a 72 and then he tacked on rounds of 68, 68 and 69 to win by four strokes over Bruce Crampton (281). Lanny Watkins, J.C. Snead and Mason Rudolph tied for third at 282. First prize was $45,000. Bert Yancey tied for 24th with a 287 and won $1,774.16. Three strokes farther back Dick Hendrickson (290) tied for 35th and picked up $1,054.44. Hendrickson was in the field as the Philadelphia Section champion and Yancey was exempt off his status on the PGA Tour money list.
Tony Perla picked up his second Pennsylvania Open title at the Oakmont Country Club in the third week of August. Because the tournament was at Oakmont more than 300 pros and amateurs were entered. Players went off No. 1 and No. 10 tees paired in fours. Before play began a steady rain set in. With greens that were like wet panes of glass play was at a snail’s pace. When the early players began making the turn they were delayed due to the course being backed up by the slow play. Then the afternoon players were late teeing off. It became evident that a large number of players would not be able to complete their rounds, so the first round was washed out. The state golf officials went to plan “B”. Enough contestants either didn’t show up or withdrew so the committee sent the players off in two shotgun starts on Tuesday. With nearly 288 players left, play was in fours and two groups had to begin play on each hole. The morning pairings teed off at 7:00 and needed six hours to complete the round. The afternoon players teed off at 2:00 and finished at dark. The field was then cut for the second round on Wednesday. The field was cut to 40 and ties, a reduction from the planned number of 60. The last starting time was 10:00 a.m., so the members could get on their course. Also there was a golf outing that afternoon. Perla (144) put together two par rounds of 72. With four holes to play Perla had a four stroke lead, but a double bogey on the 15th hole and a bogey on the 16th hole eroded his lead to one stroke. With pars on the last two holes, Perla (144) edged out amateur Ron Milanovich (145) by one stroke. First prize was $1,200 from a total purse of $6,000. Second money was $600. Milanovich shot the only sub-par round, a 71 in the first round. Allegheny Country Club professional Roy Vucinish ended up in third place alone with a score of 149. Two former Pennsylvania Open champions Bob Ross and Roland Stafford tied for fourth along with Tom Lynch and amateur John Birmingham at 151. There were 30 money places and only 28 professionals made the cut. The ones who missed the cut by one stroke did not receive any money.
Dick Hendrickson shot a last round 63 at the Insurance City Open on the first Sunday of September. His eight under par 63 gave him a 72-hole score of 273 and left him nine strokes behind the winner Billy Casper (264). Hendrickson tied for 28th and won $1,244. Art Wall finished with a 270, tied for 16th and won $2,800. The total purse was $200,000 and first prize was $36,000.
The Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship was played at the Squires Golf Club on the second Monday of September. Tom Mastroni made birdies on all three of the par five holes to put together an even par 70 for victory. Jack Connelly finished second with a 71. Alan Shankin, the assistant at the Medford Village Country Club, was third with a 72. Manufacturers Golf & Country Club assistant Bob Sheppard, Gulph Mills Golf Club assistant Tim Foran and Laurel Oak Golf Club assistant Bob Dorsey all scored 73s and tied for fourth. First prize was $400.
Joe Data, playing in his first Section Championship, came away the winner over John Kennedy. North Hills Country Club and Ron Rolfe hosted the tournament in the first week of October. The defending champion, Dick Hendrickson, wasn’t able to defend his title due to a bad back. Data started out on Monday with a two under par 69 and took a two-stroke lead. In the second round he posted another 69 and opened up a five-stroke lead. Data (209) put together a conservative 71 in the last round to win by four strokes. There were only three scores under 70 and Data had two of them. Data picked up $1,700 from the $9,000 purse and Kennedy (213) won $1,100. Dick Smith, Sr. finished third at 216 two strokes in front of Art Wall (218). There was a three-way tie for fifth at 219 between Bob Ross, John Carson and Stan Dudas. In order to boost the purse the Section under the chairmanship of Bill Kittleman hired a salesman to sell ads and publish a program book.
Qualifying for nine places in the PGA Club Professional Championship was held during the first two rounds of the Section Championship. The medalist was Joe Data (138) who turned in a pair of 69s. Skee Riegel and Bob Schoener, Jr. were next with 145s, one stroke ahead of Stan Dudas (146) and Dick Smith, Sr. (146). John Carson finished sixth with a 147 and Dennis Milne won the seventh spot with a 148. Bob Thatcher posted a 150 to pick up the ninth spot and Henry McQuiston got under the wire at 151. When Data won the Section Championship he received the Section champion’s exemption so Willie Scholl, who had been the first alternate with a 152 score, was added to the starting field. The ones who finished ahead of them either weren’t eligible or choose not to enter. John Kennedy and Art Wall weren’t eligible because they had played in more than twelve tournaments on the PGA Tour in the past twelve months.
Henry Williams, Jr. won the Philadelphia Section Senior Championship on the second Friday of October. He toured the Radley Run Country Club in a two under par 70. Sam Penecale posted a 73 to finish second. Marty Furgol and Harlan Will tied for third with 73s. First prize was $185.
The PGA Club Professional Championship was played at the Pinehurst Country Club in mid October. Three of Pinehurst’s courses were used, #2, #3 and #5. A Texan, Rives McBee (73-67-71-71), won by three strokes over former Green Valley Country Club assistant Stan Brion (285) with a score of 282. Don Massengale and John Molenda tied for third with 286s. Dick Smith, Sr. (295) tied for 21st and qualified for the PGA Championship while winning $1,121.82. Dennis Milne (302) tied for 83rd and won the last money of $236. Willie Scholl, Joe Data, Bob Thatcher, Henry McQuiston, Skee Riegel, Stan Dudas, Bob Schoener, Jr. and John Carson missed the cut.
In the fourth week of October a future Section member, Jim Masserio, earned playing privileges on the PGA Tour. Qualifying was held at the Perdido Bay Country Club in Pensacola, Florida and the Dunes Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. For that final qualifying stage the players played the first four rounds in Pensacola and then drove several hundred miles to South Carolina for the final four rounds. Masserio tied for 14th with rounds of 74, 76, 70, 74, 72, 75, 70 and 72 for a 583 total. It was Masserio’s third attempt to qualify for the PGA Tour. Twenty-three players earned cards as Ben Crenshaw led the qualifying by a record 12 strokes with a total of 558.
After C. Schmidt & Sons dropped its sponsorship of the team matches between the Philadelphia Section and the Middle Atlantic Section, the two Sections attempted to find a new sponsor. They were not able to locate a new sponsor and the matches weren’t played for two years.
The fall meeting and election of officers was held at the George Washington Motor Lodge in Plymouth Meeting on the third Monday of November. The President, Henry McQuiston, and all of the other officers were reelected. The first vice president and the second vice president were Bill Kittleman and Buzz Garvin and the secretary and treasurer were Charlie Gilbert and Don Siok. Harlan Will was honored as the “Golf Professional of the Year”. Will had been a head professional and a Section member for forty years. He was a Section officer nine years and the Section’s tournament chairman for nine years. There was a tie for the “Player of the Year” between Dick Smith, Sr. and Dick Hendrickson. Smith won the DeBaufre Trophy with a stroke average of 72.57 and he led the challenge points race with 92 points. Hendrickson was second with 86.33 points. Due to being on the PGA Tour most of the year Hendrickson only entered twelve of the local events, but he either won or tied for first in nine of them.
In mid November Henry McQuiston and Charlie Gilbert attended the national PGA meeting in Dallas, Texas as the delegates from the Philadelphia Section. President Bill Clarke and the other officers Henry Poe and Don Padgett were reelected without opposition. The delegates made sweeping revisions of the member classifications for the purpose of simplification. There were now three groups. There was the Active—Class A-Head Professionals, Class Junior A-Assistant Professionals; Inactive—anyone not in the active group and Life Member, which was anyone who had been a PGA member for more than 25 years and didn’t fall into the Active class. Also graduates of two-year colleges were given four credit months toward membership since graduates of a four-year college already received eight credit months.
In early December the Fairmount Park Commission announced that it was closing Cobbs Creek and the other five city golf courses for the months of January and February to save money on fuel. The price of gas and oil had more than doubled since the beginning of the year.
For the third year in a row the leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Jack Nicklaus with $308,362 and he was the PGA “Player of the Year”. The Vardon Trophy was won by Bruce Crampton with a 70.57 stroke average. Bert Yancey played in 30 tournaments and won $66,394.38 which was good for 39th place on the money list. Art Wall got into 25 tournaments and won $29,822.69 which left him 84th on the money list. Dick Hendrickson won $4,341 in six tournaments and Vern Novak won $1,584 in 6 tournaments. John Kennedy played in several tournaments winning $640. Jeff Steinberg played in five tournaments, winning $205.
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The PGA was in the midst of legal negotiations with their landlord at Palm Beach Gardens, John D. MacArthur. The discussions were over the lease of the office space in the clubhouse and the fees that the PGA members would be paying for carts and golf. The Senior PGA Championship along with the other winter activities found a temporary home at Port St. Lucie, Florida.
In late January Joe Data won the PGA Match Play tournament during the winter program at the Port St. Lucie Country Club. Data defeated Wisconsin’s Dennis Tiziani in the 36-hole final 4 & 3, winning $1,900. Data picked up another $600 for using a golf ball manufactured by one of the tournament’s sponsors. To reach the finals Data had to defeat six other professionals. One of those was former Section member Stan Brion, who Data defeated in the semi-finals 1-down with the help of a 35-foot putt that he holed for a birdie on the last green.
In early February Roberto De Vicenzo won the Senior PGA Championship with a 15 under par (68-68-71-66) 273 at the Port St. Lucie Country Club. De Vicenzo was the first non-resident of the United States to take the title. Art Wall, playing in his first Senior PGA Championship tied Julius Boros for second at 276. Sam Snead finished fourth at 279. First prize from the $40,000 purse was $4,000 and the runner-ups each picked up checks for $2,500. The club pros from the Section made a good showing. Marty Furgol (289) tied for 11th, winning $650. Billy Gilbert (292) tied for 20th and won $500. Bob Hendricks (298) finished in a tie for 41st and won $100.
The Section’s annual spring meeting was at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel in King of Prussia on the second Monday of April. The meeting was in the morning and Section’s annual spring golf show kicked off at noon. Bill Kittleman announced a policy for the Section’s one-day open tournaments. In order to make it easier for the press to cover the tournaments the higher ranked players in the Section would be given late starting times. That way the winners would be around to speak to press when the tournament came to a conclusion. The Section members elected their Secretary Charlie Gilbert to the office of national vice president for District II. Gilbert had been an officer in the Section for four years, had attended three national meetings and he was a member of the national PGA long range planning committee. He would take office at the annual meeting in the fall and represent District II, which was comprised of the New Jersey, Metropolitan and Philadelphia Sections. The term of the national vice president, later called District Director, was for three years. The Section President Henry McQuiston called on Kittleman, who was the first vice president and tournament chairman to take on the duties of secretary as well so that Gilbert could become acclimated to the national PGA affairs.
The Philadelphia Section’s 17th annual Spring Golf Show was held on the second Monday of April at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel in King of Prussia. The show was held under the direction of Philmont Country Club assistant Bob Intrieri and Section President Henry McQuiston. The guest celebrities were former PGA champion Dave Marr and LPGA star Carol Mann. Marr and Mann hit shots with wiffle balls and answered questions about the golf swing. Harry Obitz and Dick Farley put on their “Swings the Thing” show along with Georgia professional Paul Bauman displaying his array of trick shots Obitz, Farley and Marr donated their appearance fees to the PGA for its Junior World International tournament in San Diego. The Section’s members supplied free instruction as the public hit golf balls into nets. The show ran from noon to 9:30 p.m. and the admission fee was $1.50.
The Masters Tournament ended on the second Sunday of April with Gary Player getting fitted for a second green jacket. A 66 in the third round and a nine-iron shot that stopped inches from the cup on the 71st hole gave Player (278) a two-stroke victory. Players’ rounds were 71, 71, 66 and 70. Tom Weiskopf and Dave Stockton tied for second with 280s. Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin and Jim Colbert tied for fourth with 281s. In the first round Art Wall discovered some of his magic from the 1959 Masters. Playing in his 17th Masters at the age of 50 Wall played holes number 2 through 6 in five under par. That run included a two on the fifth hole where he holed out a #4 wood. Wall (291) finished with a 70 and went on to win $1,775 for a tie for 37th. Wall was the only invitee from the Philadelphia Section.
On the fourth Monday of April the spring education seminar drew a record attendance. Guest speakers lectured on accounting and finance. Leo Fraser spoke on the national PGA and what it is doing for the golf professional. Leo McNamara from the Wilson Sporting Goods Company gave a slide show and talked on the evolution of golf and golf equipment. McNamara was well versed in the history of golf. He was the son of Tom McNamara, a pro golf salesman who won the Philadelphia Open in 1914 and 1915 while covering the New England territory for Wanamakers.
In May Henry McQuiston won the Lavino Shipping Open at the Sunnybrook Golf Club. McQuiston posted a one under par 71 and then chaired a Section board meeting. Later in the day Joe Data put another 71 on the scoreboard to gain a tie for first. McQuiston came out of the board meeting and made a par on the first hole of a playoff to pick up a check for $950 and an exemption into the IVB Golf Classic. Data already had an exemption as the Section champion. Eight players finished in a three-way tie for third and a second spot in the IVB. Ron Rolfe won a playoff on the next Monday for that second spot. The total purse was $5,200.
Dave Collingwood, who was now the professional at the Olde Hickory Golf Club, led the local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Central Pennsylvania. Qualifying was held at the par 72 Blue Ridge Country Club on the third Monday of May. Collingwood was around in 71 strokes in the morning round and he came back with a 74 in the afternoon for a 145 that won the medal by two strokes. The assistant at the Hershey Country Club, Bobby Huber and Bob Bourne tied for second with 147s. Bourne shot a 69 in the afternoon, which was the low round of the day. Tom Robertson, who was the teaching pro at Rabold’s Driving Range, was next with a 149. Local amateur Richard Hrip turned in a 150 and took claim to the fifth spot. Jerry Janeski, the assistant at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club, won the sixth spot with a 151. Mike Atkins (152), the professional at the Overlook Golf Club, won a five-man playoff for the seventh and last spot with a birdie on the second extra hole.
Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in the Philadelphia area was on the third Tuesday of May at the Woodcrest Country Club and the Tavistock Country Club. At age 58 amateur Bill Hyndman led the scoring with a 145, a three over par 74 at Woodcrest and a one over par 71 at Tavistock. Four players tied for second. John Kennedy now the head professional at the Edgmont Country Club, Tony Perla, Ed Dougherty, who was now on the PGA Tour, and amateur Jay Sigel all posted 147s. Jack Connelly, Ted McKenzie and Norm Hammer, the professional at the Warrington Country Club, were next with 148s. Bob Hibschman, the assistant at the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club, turned in a 149 and ended up alone in the ninth spot. Alan Shankin and Andy Thompson, who was now on the PGA Tour, tied for tenth with 150s. The twelfth and last spot went to Bobby Mayes with a total of 151. Mayes was a non-PGA African American pro who played out of the Tioga-Quaker club that had a clubhouse but no golf course. For over 20 years he had been winning checks around the country on the black tour. He beat out two other players in a sudden death playoff to secure his right to move on the next stage at the sectional level. Bert Yancey was exempt from local qualifying off his record on the PGA Tour.
On the first Tuesday in June sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Aronimink Golf Club and the Rolling Green Golf Club. There were 75 players competing for 17 places in the Open. Canada’s George Knudson (138) earned medalist honors with a par 70 at Aronimink and a three under par round of 68 at Rolling Green. Bert Yancey finished second to Knudson with a 142. Bobby Mayes qualified with a 144. The players with 146 totals played off for the last three openings. It took almost 13 hours to complete the qualifying and playoffs with play finishing up in the moonlight at 8:55.
The IVB Golf Classic was played at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in early June, the week before the U.S. Open. Qualifying was held on Monday for the 52 remaining places in the tournament. Ross Randall and Ben Kern were low with 67s. Six Philadelphia pros qualified with Bruce MacDonald leading the group at 69. Jack Connelly posted a 72. Pete Trenham, John Carson, Ed Dougherty and John Kennedy passed the test with 73s. The last spots went to the 74 shooters. When the IVB Golf Classic got under way on Thursday there were seventeen Section members in the starting field via Section exemptions, sponsor exemptions, qualifying or for having made the cut on the PGA Tour the week before. Bert Yancey and Art Wall were exempt players on the PGA Tour. Henry McQuiston and Ron Rolfe had won two available spots provided to the Section at the Lavino Shipping Open in May. Dick Hendrickson and Dick Smith, Sr. had two of the Section’s six exemptions as the leading performance point winners from the year before. The other four were Joe Data, Tony Perla, Tim DeBaufre and Andy Thompson. Hershey’s Larry Wise who was playing the PGA Tour was in the field off having made the cut at Charlotte the week before. Sam Penecale had an exemption as the host professional, but choose not to play. Hubert Green, who had been on Bill Kittleman’s staff at Merion four years before, set a tournament record on the way to winning the top check of $30,000. Green (271) picked up his third victory of the year with rounds of 70, 67, 66 and 68 that lowered the IVB record by three strokes. Hale Irwin finished four strokes back at 275. Johnny Miller and Tom Jenkins tied for third with 277s. Yancey led the Philadelphia pros with a tie for 27th at 287 and won $1,065. Wall (291) finished four strokes farther back 46th place and won $424. Kennedy (295) and Thompson (295) tied for 61st and each won $281. McQuiston (300) finished 70th and won the last payoff, $225. In spite of a sizable turnout of 19,437 on Sunday the attendance for the four days was well below the record of the previous year. Smith, Connelly, Data, Hendrickson, Wise, DeBaufre, who was now the professional at the Woodcrest Country Club, Rolfe, Dougherty, Carson, Perla, MacDonald and Trenham missed the cut.
The week after the IVB the touring pros shifted over to New York for the U.S. Open at the Winged Foot Golf Club. A very difficult golf course was made even more difficult with hard and fast greens. When it was all over on Sunday evening Hale Irwin had won by two strokes with a seven over par 287. His rounds were 73, 70, 71 and 73. Forest Fezler finished second at 289. Bert Yancey and Lou Graham tied for third with 290s. Yancey was never really in contention after an opening round of 76. As many fell back in the last round a 72 moved Yancey into an $11,500 payday. First prize from the $223,900 purse was $35,000. Bobby Mayes missed the cut.
The British Open was at the Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s course at Lytham St. Anne’s, England. Gary Player won with round of 69, 68, 75 and 70. His 282 total won by four strokes over Peter Oosterhuis (286). First prize was $13,200 in US dollars. Jack Nicklaus was third at 287 and Hubert Green was fourth at 288. Total prize money was $120,000.
The eighth annual Schmidt’s Golf Festival was played in the third week of July. The tournament opened on a Thursday at the Berkleigh Country Club and then moved to the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club. Saturday was a day off. The third round was at the Edgmont Country Club and the tournament finished up across the Delaware River at the Medford Village Country Club. The tournament came down to Dick Smith, Sr. who was at the peak of his playing career and Ed Dougherty who was just beginning to realize his potential. With rounds of 71, 70 and a 69 at his home Edgmont course Dougherty led Smith by four strokes. In the final round on the 7,000 Medford Village course Smith produced the low round of the day, a one under par 71, to finish first with a 286. Smith’s four rounds were 71, 72, 72 and 71. Dougherty slipped to a 79 and finished second. First prize from the $20,000 purse was $3,000. Dougherty, who was headed for the PGA Tour in three weeks, won the largest check of his short career, $1,800. Dick Hendrickson maintained his record of having never finished worse than sixth in the Schmidt’s Festival by tying Ted McKenzie for third at 291. Dave Collingwood and Bob Bourne tied for fifth with 297s.
Joe Data won the Philadelphia Open played in late July at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club but it took another six weeks to wrap up the title. On Monday Data shot the only par round, a 70, and led three players by one stroke. It took a score of 78 or better to make the cut for the second round. On Tuesday Bob Bourne put together the low round of the tournament, a 68, for 142. Data bogied the last hole and finished with a 72 and a 142 total as well. Due to conflicts in the player’s schedules the playoff wasn’t held until the second Sunday of September. In the playoff Bourne led by one stroke after 16 holes in spite of a triple bogie seven on the 8th hole. On the par three 17th hole Bourne had a short putt for a birdie and Data’s tee shot was buried in the face of the bunker but they halved the hole with pars. On the next hole Bourne made a bogie and Data holed an 18-foot putt for his only birdie of the day, which gave Data a 73 to Bourne’s 74. Dick Hendrickson (143) finished third one stroke back and one stroke in front of George Griffin III (144). Willie Scholl and John Poole, the professional at the West Chester Golf & Country Club tied for fifth at 146. First prize was $700.
The Philadelphia Section PGA was paying the expenses for a boy and a girl to compete in the PGA Junior World International tournament in San Diego, California. The Section’s girl’s representative, Lori Nelson, from the Penn Oaks Country Club put together rounds of 75, 82, 74 and 79 for a 310 total, to win the championship in early August. Georgia’s Elaine Hand (311) and Florida’s Beverly Davis (311) finished second one stroke behind Nelson. Chester Valley Golf Club’s David Wormwood was the boy representative from the Philadelphia Section.
The Pennsylvania Open was at the Merion Golf Club in early August and the same week as the PGA Championship. There were 102 pros and 75 amateurs entered. After the first round the field was cut to the low 60 and everyone who shot 81 or better made it. Jay Sigel, who had won the Pennsylvania Amateur earlier that year, won with a 73 and a 70 for 143. Bobby Huber, led the first day with a one over par 71, and finished second at 145. He picked up the $1,200 top check. The total purse was $4,625. Bob Thatcher, George Griffin III and Bill Hyndman, who posted a last round 67, tied for third with 146s. Hyndman’s 67 was the only sub-par round of the tournament,
The PGA Championship was at the Tanglewood Country Club in North Carolina just two days after the Pennsylvania Open ended. Lee Trevino found an old putter in the attic of the house he was renting and used it for a one-stroke victory. He started slowly with a 73 and then shot 66-68 for a one-stroke lead over Jack Nicklaus. On Sunday Nicklaus shot a 69 and Trevino (276) matched it for his fifth win in a major. First prize was $45,000. Two professionals who had worked in the Philadelphia Section, Sam Snead and Hubert Green, tied with Dave Hill and Bobby Cole for third with 279s. Bert Yancey tied for 32nd at 290 and won $1,260. Dick Smith, Sr., who had qualified through the PGA Club Professional Championship and Joe Data, who was in the field as the Section champion, missed the cut. Yancey was exempt off his standing on the PGA Tour.
Mike Thompson, the assistant at the Northampton Country Club, won the Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship on the second Monday of August. Thompson played the par 70 Squires Golf Club in one over par 71. Ray Thompson, who was not related to Mike, shot a 72 to finish alone in second place. Ray Thompson was the assistant at the Radnor Valley Country Club. There were 150 entries.
Qualifying for the PGA Club Professional Championship was held at the Plymouth Country Club on the third Monday of August. The Section members were qualifying for fourteen places in the starting field plus the Section Champion was exempt. John Carson was the medalist with two rounds of 69. His six under par 138 edged out Tim DeBaufre (139) by one stroke. Next in line were Skee Riegel at 142, Dick Hendrickson at 144, Stan Dudas at 145 and Bob Pfister the professional at the Llanerch Country Club who posted a 146. Jack Connelly, Hugh Reilly, Sr. the assistant at the Green Valley Country Club and Tony Perla turned in 147s. The last five spots went to Joe Data, Ted McKenzie, Dick Smith, Sr., Bob Schoener, Jr. and Bob Thatcher who had all finished with 148s. When Smith won the Section Championship the Section picked up another spot, which went to Ed Dougherty, the first alternate, who had qualified with a 149. When Hendrickson didn’t play in the tournament Jerry Port, the professional at the Glen Oak Country Club, made the starting field. Port had also shot a 149 in the qualifying rounds and was the second alternate.
The Jack Cuttle Open was played at the Pocono Manor Inn & Golf Club to honor their golf professional who was in his 50th year as the head professional at Pocono Manor. It was held on the fourth Monday of August. Cuttle had been the pro there since May 1, 1925 and was now 75 years old. He said he thought that he might retire, as “50 years is really long enough”. Jack Connelly won the tournament with a 65, while needing only 24 putts for the 18 holes.
Philmont Country Club and Buzz Garvin hosted the Section Championship in the second week of October. Dick Smith, Sr. toured Philmont’s par 70 North Course in 70, 73 and 72 for 215 to win his first Section Championship and possession of the Bulletin Cup for one year. He took a two-stroke lead into the last round and finished three ahead of John Kennedy (218) who closed with a 69. Four years earlier Smith had won the Philadelphia Open at Philmont. Dave Collingwood finished third at 219 two strokes in front of Ted McKenzie (221) and Bob Schoener, Jr. (221). The purse was $5,965.
The PGA Club Professional Championship was back at the Pinehurst Country Club in late October. Courses #2, #3 and #5 were used. Roger Watson, a true club professional from the Carolinas Section, defeated Sam Snead on the first hole of a sudden death playoff. They had tied with 284 totals. Watson’s rounds were 71, 73, 71 and 69. Bobby Benson (286) finished third and Ron Letellier (287) finished fourth. Ed Dougherty was playing the PGA Tour but he was still eligible for the tournament because he hadn’t played in 12 events in the past 12 months. Dougherty had gotten into the starting field as an alternate when Dick Smith, Sr. won the Section Championship, giving him an automatic spot in the field. Dougherty finished 12th with a 291, picked up $2,000 and qualified for the 1975 PGA Championship. Jack Connelly (297) tied for 45th and won $300.45. Ted McKenzie (298) tied for 56th and Tim DeBaufre (300) tied for 74th. They each won $165. Dick Smith, Sr., Hugh Reilly, Sr., Jerry Port, Stan Dudas, Bob Thatcher, Bob Pfister, Joe Data, Bob Schoener, Jr., John Carson, Tony Perla and Skee Riegel missed the cut.
The Section’s annual meeting was held at the Bala Golf Club on the fourth Monday of October. Frank “Buzz” Garvin was elected president and Don Siok moved from treasurer to secretary. There were three new officers. Dick Smith, Sr. took over as the first vice president and tournament chairman, Pete Dever was elected second vice president and Jim Lydon, the professional at the Glenhardie Country Club was elected treasurer. For a fourth straight year Dick Smith, Sr. was the “Player of the Year” and the winner of the DeBaufre Trophy. Smith led the DeBaufre scoring with an average of 72.90. The “Golf Professional of the Year” honor was awarded to Joseph “Bud” Lewis who had been a professional in the Section for fifty years and the professional at the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club for 31 years. For most of those years Lewis had been a leader in promoting junior golf as well as one of the top players in the Section. Each year he had given more golf lessons than any other pro in the Section, teaching indoors during the winter months.
Sam Penecale won the Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship on the second Monday of November. He toured the Pitman Golf Club in three under par 68 to win by one stroke. Charley Lepre, Bob Hendricks and Carman Iannotti tied for second with 69s.
The Southern California Section hosted the national PGA meeting in Hawaii in early December. Hawaii was still part of the Southern California Section. Former Philadelphia Section President Henry Poe was elected president without opposition. Don Padgett moved from treasurer to secretary and Frank Cardi was elected treasurer. There were five candidates for treasurer but two withdrew before the voting began and Cardi received a majority on the first ballot. The decision was made to allow the contestants to use their own caddies at the PGA Championship commencing with the 1978 championship. The next three championship committees had assured the PGA that they would be able to supply qualified caddies. Bert Yancey was at the meeting as the elected representative from the PGA Tour tournament Policy Board. Julius Boros and Cary Middlecoff were voted into the PGA Hall of Fame. Boros and Middlecoff were the first to be inducted since 1969. Charlie Gilbert was sworn in for a three-year term as the vice president representing District II. The Philadelphia Section’s delegates were Buzz Garvin and Don Siok.
Johnny Miller was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour with $353,021 and Hubert Green, who had been an assistant at Merion Golf Club just four years before finished third with $211,709. Miller was also the PGA “Player of the Year”. The Vardon Trophy went to Lee Trevino for a fourth time with an average of 70.53 strokes per round. Bert Yancey won $68,871.06 in 30 events and finished 29th on the money list. Art Wall won $14,551.17 in 22 events. Andy Thompson played in fifteen tournaments and won $811.53. Jeff Steinberg played in 13 tournaments and won $502.25.
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Charlie Sifford, who had honed his game at Cobbs Creek in the 1940s, won the Senior PGA Championship on February 2nd. The tournament was played at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando. The PGA was holding its winter activities and merchandise show at Disney until they found a new home. Sifford (68-71-72-69) finished in a tie with Fred Wampler at eight under par 280 and beat him with a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. Chick Harbert finished third at 282 and Julius Boros was next with a 284. Bob Hendricks tied for 24th at 295 and won $337.50. Henry Williams, Jr. (298) tied for 35th and won $180. Marty Furgol (300) tied for 39th, winning $116.67. The purse was increased to $50,000 and first prize was almost doubled to $7,500.
The Section’s spring meeting was held at the Cherry Hill Inn in New Jersey. Section President, Buzz Garvin, announced that the Treasurer Jim Lydon had resigned and Pete Trenham, who had been Section treasurer in 1970, had been appointed to take his place. Lydon had left the Glenhardie Country Club to take a job with Somerton Springs, which was setting up discount stores to compete with the club professionals. Lydon didn’t feel like it would be right for him to be the treasurer and work for Somerton Springs, which was making life difficult for the pros. The tournament chairman Dick Smith, Sr., who was now a partner and co-head professional at the Wedgwood Country Club, went over the tournament schedule. The challenge cup match between the Philadelphia Section and the Middle Atlantic Section was back on the schedule for late October.
At the Masters Tournament in the second week of April Jack Nicklaus kept two deserving players from winning a green jacket. Nicklaus (276) holed a forty-foot birdie putt on the 70th hole to finish one stroke in front of Johnny Miller (277) and Tom Weiskopf (277). Hale Irwin and Bobby Nichols tied for fourth at 282. Nicklaus’ rounds were 68, 67, 73 and 68. Nicklaus picked up $40,000 for his fifth win at the Masters. Art Wall put together four solid rounds and tied for 15th at even par 288. Wall won $2,900. Bert Yancey tied for 30th with a 292 and won $1,950.
The Section’s spring golf show was also at the Cherry Hill Inn in New Jersey. The guest stars were Carol Mann from the LPGA Tour and trick shot artist Paul Bumann. The Section’s golf professionals and their wives modeled the latest golf clothing and films of the 1974 Masters Tournament and PGA Championship were shown. Green Valley Country Club assistant Bob Intrieri directed the show.
Later in April the Section’s education seminar was held at the Philadelphia Hilton Hotel. Joe Dey, Tournament Players Division commissioner and former executive director of the USGA, spoke on the rules of golf, Merion Golf Club’s green superintendent Richie Valentine lectured on turf care and an insurance executive outlined the PGA Pension Plan.
Dave Collingwood led the local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Central Pennsylvania for a second straight year. The Country Club of Harrisburg hosted the event on the third Monday of May. Collingwood posted two steady rounds of par 71 in the morning and an afternoon 72 for 143. Amateurs Gage Bolton and Warren Choate tied for second with 146s. Bobby Huber picked up the fourth spot with a 147. Jerry Janeski, the assistant at the Lancaster Country Club and New York state professional Tony Losito tied for the last two spots with 148s.
Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was at the Berkleigh Country Club and the Heidelberg Country Club on the third Tuesday in May. Ed Dougherty and Jerry Pittman, the new professional at the Saucon Valley Country Club, tied for the medal with 144s. None of the 84 contestants who were competing for ten spots in order to move on to the sectional qualifying were able to break par on either course. Dougherty equaled the par of 72 at Berkleigh in the morning and he came back with a 72 at Heidelberg in the afternoon. Pittman had a par 70 round at Heidelberg in his morning round and a 74 at Berkleigh in the afternoon. Tony Perla and Ray Thompson, an assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club, tied for the third and fourth spots with 146s. Jack Connelly and Doug Steffen who was working at the Ocean View Driving Range were next at 147. Dennis Milne, now the head professional at the Trenton Country Club, won the seventh pass with a 148. There was a four-way tie at 149 for the last three spots. Bob Hibschman and amateurs Billf Hyndman and Buddy Marucci were able to eliminate Dick Hendrickson, who was now leasing the Wedgwood Country Club with Dick Smith, Sr., on the first hole of a sudden death playoff. Bert Yancey was fully exempt off his standing on the PGA Tour.
Doug Steffen qualified for the U.S. Open in Pittsburgh on the first Tuesday of June. Steffen’s rounds of 70 and 68 for 138 were just one stroke off the medalist pace which was set by Charlie Sifford (137). There were five spots in Pittsburgh.
Bob Hibschman led the sectional qualifying for six places in the U.S. Open on the second Tuesday of June. He earned his spot at the Washingtonian Golf Club’s National Course near Washington D.C. Hibschman (145) put together a par round of 70 in the morning and came back with a 75 in the afternoon to win the medal by one stroke. Jack Connelly (147) and a future Section member Pete Oakley also qualified at the Washingtonian. There were six spots there and the 148 scorers played off for the last spot.
The IVB Golf Classic was at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club as usual and for the fourth straight year it was held the week before the U.S. Open. The host professional, Sam Penecale had an exemption but choose not to play. On the second Monday of June qualifying was held at the nearby Philadelphia Cricket Club for 51 spots. Spike Kelley led a contingent of 125 pros and amateurs with the only sub-70 round, a four under par 67. Larry Wise was the low Section pro with a 71. Roger Stern and Ed Dougherty posted 74s and Bob Hutnik qualified with a 75. John Kennedy got in as an alternate after shooting a 76 and losing a playoff for the last two spots. Tom DeBaufre, the head professional at the Cedarbrook Country Club, was at 77 and he also got in as an alternate. There were 19 professionals from the Section in the starting field. Andy Thompson had won the Lavino Shipping Open in May, which gave him an exemption into the IVB along with $925. With Thompson being already exempt for the IVB, that spot went to Tom Mastroni, the professional at the Meadowlands Country Club, who had finished second. Bert Yancey and Art Wall were exempt members of the PGA Tour. Bob Ross, Tony Perla and Al Besselink, who was representing the Downingtown Inn & Country Club on the PGA Tour, had sponsor exemptions. Dick Hendrickson, Dick Smith, Sr., Jack Connelly, John Toepel, Bruce MacDonald, now the head professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, and Tim Foran, now the professional at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club, had exemptions off their positions on the Philadelphia Section point list. After twelve years of the tournament never having lost a day to weather the rains came. On Thursday as MacDonald, the third man in the field, was preparing to tee off on #1, gusty winds and heavy rain arrived. Play was stopped and there was no more play that day. On Friday MacDonald’s group teed off first on the front nine again. When they reached the green on #3 the Wissahickon Creek spilled over its banks and flooded the fairways on holes #4, #5, #13 and #14 with only the tees and greens visible. There was no more golf that day either. The first and second rounds were rescheduled for Saturday and Sunday with a double round on Monday. The IVB chartered a plane for the players who wanted to fly to Chicago on Monday night, for the U.S. Open. On Saturday the golfers were finally able to play the course and Tom Jenkins shot a 69 and followed it up with a 65 on Sunday for a five-stroke lead. On Monday morning Jenkins turned in a 69 and retained his five-stroke lead over four players. In the afternoon Jenkins struggled in with a one over par 72 for 275, but he eked out a one stroke win over a fast closing Johnny Miller. Miller (276) shot a pair of 68s on Monday. Par was 71 as the 17th hole had been shortened by thirty yards and played as a par four. Bob Wynn (277) made a four over par 8 on the 71st hole and finished third two strokes back. Jim Simons (279) was next in fourth place. Wise led the Section professionals as he tied for 35th with a 288, winning $810. Yancey (291) tied for 51st and won $363. First prize was $30,000. Smith, Wall, Thompson, Kennedy, Ross, Toepel, MacDonald, Dougherty, Connelly, Hendrickson, Stern, Foran, DeBaufre, Mastroni, Perla, Besselink, and Hutnik, missed the cut. At the close of the tournament it was announced that the dates for the next year would be two weeks before the U.S. Open and the purse was being increased by $50,000 to $200,000.
Nittany Country Club’s Danny O’Neill qualified for the PGA Tour in the second week of June at Bay Tree Plantation in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He posted rounds of 72, 76, 75, 75, 72 and 67. His final round of 67 was the second lowest round of the event and his 437 score got him under the wire by two strokes. Joey Dills led the qualifying with a 430. O’Neill tied for 9th as 13 won cards. That was one of several times that qualifying was held twice during the year.
In mid June the U.S. Open was held in Chicago on the Medinah Country Club’s #3 course. Lou Graham won his only major in an 18-hole playoff with John Mahaffey after they had tied for the title with 287s. The tournament was plagued by thunderstorms. In the playoff Graham shot a steady 71 against Mahaffey’s 73. Graham’s tournament rounds were 74, 72, 68 and 73. Because of a lack of cooperation between the Chicago based Western Golf Association and the USGA the Open hadn’t been played in the Chicago area since 1949. Frank Beard, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin and Bob Murphy had a chance but they all missed by a shot and tied for third with 288s. Jack Connelly (306) tied for 63rd and won the $800 last money. Doug Steffen, Bert Yancey and Bob Hibschman missed the cut. Any professionals who didn’t complete the 72 holes received $500.
At the age of 51 Art Wall pulled his game together to win what would be his final PGA Tour title in early July. It was his first win since 1966 and the fourteenth in 26 years on the tour. The victory came at the Tuckaway Country Club in the $130,000 Milwaukee Open. Wall began with three 67s and took a three stroke lead into the last round. They were his first scores under 70 that year. Because of being played around the 4th of July holiday the tournament ended on a Saturday. Wall shot a steady one under par 70 for a total of 271 and won the first place $26,000 check by two strokes. Rod Curl (273) finished second one stroke in front of Dave Hill (274) and Gibby Gilbert (274). The win made Wall the second oldest winner of a PGA Tour tournament. Sam Snead had won the 1965 Greensboro Open at the age of 52.
The British Open was played in Carnoustie, Scotland on the Carnoustie golf course. The tournament ended in a tie between Tom Watson and Jack Newton with scores of 279. Watson won an 18-hole playoff the next day, a Sunday, with a 71 against a 72 for Newton. Watson’s tournament rounds were 71, 67, 69, 72 and Newton’s were 69, 71, 65, 74. Par was 72. First prize was $16,500 in US dollars. Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller and Bobby Cole tied for third at 280. Total prize money was $165,000.
For the first time there was a qualifying round for the Philadelphia Open. The entry for the tournament had become too large to allow the players to complete their first round in one day. Nine professionals were exempt. St. Davids Golf Club hosted the qualifier on the third Monday of July. Jack Connelly led with a three under par 68 as 36 professionals qualified. The Golf Association of Philadelphia held a separate qualifying round for the amateurs.
In the fourth week of July Jack Kiefer, who was now working in northern New Jersey, became the first person to win both the Pennsylvania Open and the New Jersey Open during his career. He had won the Pennsylvania Open in 1971. Kiefer annexed the New Jersey title by putting together rounds of 72, 72, 73 and 75 for a four over par 292 on the 7,000 yard Plainfield Country Club course. John Buczek and Mike Zack tied for second with 293s. Carlton “Slugger” White came in fourth at 298. First prize was $2,500.
The Philadelphia Open was played on the last Tuesday of July at the relatively new Bidermann Golf Club. Most of the players hadn’t played the course and all the scores were high except the winner’s. Amateur Jay Sigel (137) posted a six under par 66 in the morning round, which was low by six strokes and a course record. In the afternoon he came back with a 71 and finished twelve strokes in front of second place Ted McKenzie (149). That made Sigel the current holder of the Pennsylvania Open, Pennsylvania Amateur and Philadelphia Open titles. McKenzie picked up the $600 top check with a 75 and a 74. John Poole and Mike Nilon, an assistant at the Philadelphia Country Club tied for third with 150s. One stroke farther back Dick Hendrickson and Bob Gleeson, the teaching pro at the Edgmont Country Club tied for fifth at 151. The starting field was made up of 45 professionals and 15 amateurs.
In early August twenty-one year old amateur Steve Brewton won the Pennsylvania Open. The tournament was played at the Pittsburgh Field Club. On Monday, Brewton a student at Wake Forest University led by two strokes with a one under par 70. The first round was delayed by rain and some of the players had to finish the next morning. On Tuesday Bob Ford, an assistant at the Oakmont Country Club, put together the best round of the tournament, a 68, and finished in a tie for first with Brewton at 144. Brewton managed to post a 74 in spite of a quadruple bogie on the front nine. Brewton defeated Ford in a sudden death playoff with a birdie 4 on the third extra hole. Jeff Steinberg (145), who was playing the PGA Tour, missed the playoff by one stroke and finished third with rounds of 75 and 70. Jack Connelly, Andy Thomson and the Pennsylvania high school champion Rick Smith tied for fourth with 148s.
The Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship was played at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club on the second Monday of August. Bob Schoener, Jr. and Mike Williams, an assistant at the Freeway Golf Club, both turned in one over par 71s to tie for the title. A sudden death playoff was held at the conclusion of play, which Schoener won with a par on the second hole when Williams three putted. Dick Hendrickson and Mike Nilon tied for third with 72s. Hendrickson was eligible for the tournament even though he and Dick Smith, Sr. were leasing the Wedgwood Country Club, he was on the books with the PGA as Smith’s assistant.
Ed Dougherty tied for 22nd in the PGA Championship at the Firestone Country Club. Dougherty had qualified via his tie for 12th in the PGA Club Professional Championship the previous October. He was in contention for three rounds with 69, 70 and a 72, which got him a pairing with Jack Nicklaus for the final round. A last round 77 gave Dougherty a 288 total and a check for $2,115 while Jack Nicklaus shot a 71 to pick up his fourth PGA title with a four under par (70-68-67-71) 276. Bruce Crampton finished second at 278, Tom Weiskopf was third with a 279 and Andy North was fourth at 281. First prize from the $225,000 purse was $45,000. Art Wall, who was in the field off his win at Milwaukee, tied for 50th with a total of 295 and won $433.94. Dick Smith, Sr., representing the Philadelphia Section as their champion, missed the cut by one stroke. The tournament was played in second week of August.
In September the first Professional Golf Management program was initiated by Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. This allowed a student to attend college and major in golf management. A portion of each year was spent working at golf courses under PGA professionals in various capacities. Upon completion of the PGM course at Ferris State the student would be almost halfway to becoming a PGA member. There were 50 students in the first class at Ferris State. The program was the brainchild of golf professional Don Perne who would later be the professional at the Wilmington Country Club. Perne saw young men struggling with the decision of attending college or going to work as assistant golf professionals. The program made it possible for the boys to be college students and still work in the golf business.
In early September the first of what would be many Westlake-Lexan Invitational golf tournaments was held at the Whitford Country Club. The tournament began on the Sunday after Labor Day with two Philadelphia Section pros paired with two amateurs. On Monday the pros were paired together and both days’ scores were used. Mike Nilon (139) won the two-day tournament by four strokes with a four under par 68 on Sunday and a 71 on Monday. Stan Dudas and Andy Thompson tied for second with 143s. Ted McKenzie, Bob Hutnik, John Carson and Jack Connelly tied for fourth at 145. Nilon picked up a check for $1,650 from a purse of $12,000.
The Kent County Open was played at the Maple Dale Country Club in the middle of September. There were more than 100 Section entries as it was also qualifying for the PGA Club Professional Championship. Based on the number of entries the Section had thirteen spots to qualify for. The Section champion had an exemption, so when Ed Dougherty won the championship, another spot was awarded to the Section. Dougherty wasn’t eligible for the tournament because he had entered more than twelve tournaments on the PGA Tour in the past twelve months. On Monday it was cold and Tuesday it was rainy and windy. Bob Pfister posted a one under par (70-73) 143, to win the tournament and a check for $640. The total purse was $3,600. Tim DeBaufre finished second at 144. Roger Stern and Ray Thompson tied for third with 145 totals. Thompson was not a PGA member yet and not eligible for the CPC. The fourth spot went to Dick Hendrickson (146) and the fifth to Pete Trenham (148). Dick Smith, Sr., Ted McKenzie and Dennis Milne scored 150s to pick up the next three spots. Ken Peyre-Ferry, who was now an assistant at the Wedgwood Country Club and Robin Sutton, the professional at the Kings Grant Country Club, won the 9th and 10th spots with 151s. Bob Thatcher and Stan Dudas took the 11th and 12th spots with 152s. Three more spots went to Pete Dever, Skee Riegel and Bob Schoener, Jr. Hendrickson did not go to the tournament.
The Section Championship was played in Central Pennsylvania for the first time. The Schuylkill Country Club and Roger Stern hosted the tournament at the end of September. Ed Dougherty (212) started slowly with a 75 but he kept improving as he followed it up with a 69 in the second round. At that point he trailed the leader Ted McKenzie by three strokes. In the final round Dougherty holed a two-foot birdie putt on the second hole and a four-foot putt for an eagle three on the third hole and never faltered. He finished with a four under par 68 to win by two strokes. McKenzie (69-72-73) finished second at 214. First prize was $1,800 from a purse of $11,000. George Griffin, III who was now on the PGA Tour finished third with a 218, Dennis Milne ended up in fourth place at 219 and Jack Connelly was next with a 221.
Henry Williams, Jr. won the Philadelphia Section Senior Championship on the third Friday of October as the host professional. He toured the Berkleigh Country Club in one under par 71 to win by one stroke. Jimmy Johnson finished second at 72. Sam Penecale, the defending champion, was third with a 74 and Berkshire Country Club professional Johnny Markel was fourth at 76.
After two years of no matches the Challenge Cup between the Philadelphia Section and the Middle Atlantic Section was revived. The competition, condensed to one day, was hosted by the Turf Valley Country Club on the last Thursday of October. There were six four-ball matches in the morning and twelve singles matches in the afternoon. Due to a frost delay the afternoon singles matches were reduced to nine holes. The Middle Atlantic led by 4 to 2 at the completion of the morning matches. The brother team of Andy Thompson–Ray Thompson were the only winners for Philadelphia. The team of Dick Hendrickson-Sam Canceliere assistant at the Wedgwood Country Club and the senior team of Bob Hendricks–Charley Lepre a partner and head pro at the Pitman Golf Club, halved their matches. In the afternoon the singles matches were evenly split with six matches going each way. The Philadelphia winners were Ray Thompson, Pete Trenham, Tim DeBaufre, Roger Stern, Bob Huber and Hendricks. The final was Middle Atlantic 10 points to 8 points for Philadelphia. The other members of the Philadelphia team were Ted McKenzie and Bob Gleeson.
The Section’s annual meeting was held on the second Monday of November at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel in King of Prussia. Section President Buzz Garvin and first Vice President Dick Smith, Sr. were reelected. Pete Dever moved from second vice president to secretary. The professional at the Country Club of York Van Tanner was elected second vice president and Pete Trenham, who had been appointed treasurer in April, was elected to the office. The “Golf Professional of the Year” was Ed Tabor. He was the professional at the West Shore Country Club where he had been the pro for over thirty years. As the head professional he had helped design and construct the golf course. Tabor started the first junior golf program in central Pennsylvania and the first pro-lady championship in that region. He also spearheaded the formation of the central Pennsylvania Ladies Golf Association. He was one of the leading instructors in the Section and had demonstrated the bunker shot at the Section’s spring golf show for many years. Tabor was also a member of the green superintendents association and had served as its president. The “Player of the Year” was Ted McKenzie and he also won the DeBaufre Trophy with a stroke average of 72.90.
The PGA Club Professional Championship moved to the Callaway Gardens Resort in western Georgia. The tournament was played in mid November on all three of the resort’s courses. Roger Watson (73-69-67-70) repeated as the champion winning in a sudden death playoff again. This time Watson made a birdie on the first extra hole against David Jimenez. They had tied with 279s. Randy Glover and Rives McBee tied for third at 283. First prize was $16,500 and the total prize money was $110,000. Ted McKenzie (297) tied for 65th and Dick Smith, Sr. (299) tied for 76th. They each won the last money of $225. Ken Peyre-Ferry, Bob Pfister, Bob Thatcher, Tim DeBaufre, Stan Dudas, Dennis Milne, Robin Sutton, Pete Trenham, Skee Riegel, Pete Dever, Roger Stern, and Bob Schoener, Jr. missed the cut.
The Gulf States Section and the city of New Orleans hosted the national PGA meeting in early December. Delegates Buzz Garvin, Pete Trenham and District II national Vice President Charlie Gilbert represented the Philadelphia Section. President Henry Poe and the other officers, Don Padgett and Frank Cardi, were reelected without opposition. A proposal to grant a grace period to PGA members who had failed to acquire their recertification points was overwhelmingly rejected by the delegates. Hawaii became the 39th Section of the PGA after being split out of the Southern California Section. Even though Hawaii didn’t have the required number of members the PGA officers made an exception due to its remote location. Jack Burke, Jr., the son of the Philadelphia Section’s Jack Burke, Sr., and Doug Ford were inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame.
Bert Yancey was still one of the four elected representatives of the PGA Tour tournament Policy Board but he wasn’t one of the Tour’s representatives at the national meeting that year.
Jack Nicklaus topped the PGA Tour money list with $298,149 and he was the PGA “Player of the Year”. Bruce Crampton won a second Vardon Trophy with a stroke average of 70.51 per round. At age 51 Art Wall revived his game and won a tournament along with S44,389.64. He played in 22 tournaments and finished 57th on the money list. Bert Yancey played in just 18 tournaments on the PGA Tour and won $31,290.39 which left him in 73rd place on the money list. Ed Dougherty got into 16 tournaments and finished 129th on the money list with winnings of $9,373.83. Jeff Steinberg played in six tournaments and won $217.67.
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In early January a court in New Orleans ruled on the Golf City lawsuit, which had named the PGA and 12 golf equipment manufacturers to be in violation of antitrust laws, because of “Pro Only” golf equipment exclusively for sale at green grass facilities. Everyone except the PGA and Wilson Sporting Goods Company had settled out of court. The court awarded Golf City $230,000. The PGA and Wilson appealed the decision.
Pete Cooper who knew how to putt Bermuda grass greens won the Senior PGA Championship at the Walt Disney World Resort on the 1st of February. He shot four steady rounds of 69, 71, 71 and 72 for 283 and won by five strokes over Fred Wampler (288). Once again first prize was $7,500 and the prize money was $50,000. For the second straight year Wampler was second. Cooper finished eleven strokes in front of the third place Manuel de la Torre (294). George Bayer and Milon Marusic tied for fourth with 295s. Henry Williams, Jr. who was now the professional at the Moselem Springs Golf Club shot a 298 and won $575 for a tie for 15th. Marty Furgol (304) tied for 30th and won $230. Bob Hendricks (305) won $176.25 for a 33rd place tie. Billy Gilbert (307) tied with Sam Penecale (307) for 43rd and they each won $80.
In mid March the USGA announced that new distance standards had been set for the golf ball. The amended rule stated, “A golf ball shall not cover an average distance in carry and roll exceeding 280 yards plus a tolerance of 8 percent”. A test involved a mechanical golfer on an outdoor range. No ball of the market would be affected.
Raymond Floyd ran away from the field at the Masters Tournament in the second week of April by opening with a 65 and tacking on a 66 in the second round. In the early rounds the scores were good but his were better. Floyd led Jack Nicklaus by five strokes at the halfway point. On the weekend he posted two 70s and Nicklaus couldn’t make a move. Floyd (271) finished eight strokes in front of Ben Crenshaw (279), who closed with a 67 to move into second place. Nicklaus and Larry Ziegler tied for third at 282. First prize was $40,000. Art Wall made the cut with ease at 145 and finished tied for 28th at 295. He won $1,950.
The Section’s spring meeting was held at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia on the second Monday on April. The meeting was in the morning with its annual golf show kicking off the golf season, after lunch.
The Philadelphia Section staged its annual spring golf show at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel on the second Monday of April. Because it was the country’s bicentennial year and the city of Philadelphia was the center of the celebration the Section decided to go to extra expense. Through the efforts of Section President Buzz Garvin the officers were able to entice Sam Snead to be the guest star of the show. A few years earlier Garvin had worked for Snead in Florida. The Section flew Snead in from the Masters Tournament in a private airplane, he put on an afternoon and an evening show and then the Section flew him to the Greensboro Open in the private airplane. There was a display of antique golf equipment and a fashion show with the models wearing golf clothes from the early 1900s. Ted McKenzie put on a clinic for the junior golfers and two panels of golf experts answered questions. Financially, the Section barely broke even, but it was one of the Section’s most successful shows. Bob Intrieri, who was now the professional at the Plymouth Greens Driving Range, directed the show again.
At the spring education seminar the USGA’s Frank Hannigan covered the changes in the rules of golf. National Vice President Charlie Gilbert brought the professionals up to date on the national PGA affairs and the PGA’s director of club relations spoke on jobs and employment.
The Lavino Shipping Open was played at the Sunnybrook Golf Club on the first Monday of May. The low 15 Section members who were not already in the IVB Golf Classic, were now eligible to play in a qualifying round with PGA Tour members. Ray Thompson won the tournament with a two over par 74 and picked up a check for $900, but he could not advance to the IVB qualifying because he was not yet a PGA member. Ted McKenzie, Tim DeBaufre, Willie Scholl and Jeff Steinberg, who had spent three years on the PGA Tour and was now the head professional at the Berkleigh Country Club, all shot 75 to tie for second. The PGA members who shot 78 or lower prequalified.
Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Central Pennsylvania was at the Hershey Country Club’s West Course on the fourth Monday of May. Tom Robertson (144), the assistant at the Chambersburg Country Club, put together a pair of one under par 72s to lead seven successful qualifiers into the sectional qualifying. The number two qualifier with a 147 was former St. Davids Golf Club member, amateur Dave King, who was now living in Maryland. Doug Steffen, who was now the assistant at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club, was next with a 148. Dave Collingwood and amateur Dave Maier made it through with 149s. Amateur Art Brunn was at 150 and Sherm Keeney (151), the assistant at the Cool Creek Country Club, won the seventh and last spot in a sudden death playoff with Jerry Janeski.
The next day Andy Thompson came home from the PGA Tour to lead the local qualifying for the U.S. Open in the Philadelphia area. Play was over the Manufacturers Golf & Country Club and the North Hills Country Club. Thompson (141) had a par 71 round at North Hills in the morning and a one under par 70 in the afternoon at Manufacturers. He finished two strokes in front of a field of 68 professionals and 20 amateurs who were competing for ten places in the sectional qualifying round. Willie Scholl finished second with a 143 and Andy’s brother Ray Thompson was next at 144. Ted McKenzie, Rick Osberg, the assistant at the Maple Dale Country Club, and amateur Robert Allen tied for fourth with 145s. Amateur Bucky Erhardt was alone in seventh place with a 146. Spots eight through ten went to Don DeAngelis, an assistant to his father Pete at the Plymouth Country Club, Bob Hibschman and Dom Manari, the assistant at the Ramblewood Country Club, with 147s. All totals of 147 and under made the grade.
Qualifying for the IVB Golf Classic was held on the first Tuesday of June at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. There were 20 spots to qualify for. Bob Gleeson, Henry McQuiston and Jeff Steinberg qualified there. Jack Connelly, now the head professional at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club, Tim DeBaufre, Dick Hendrickson and Ted McKenzie were exempt off the 1975 Philadelphia Section points list. Ed Dougherty, Danny O’Neill, Art Wall, and Bert Yancey were exempt on the PGA Tour. Dougherty was also exempt as the Philadelphia Section champion. Bruce MacDonald and Mike Nilon, now the assistant at The Springhaven Club, had sponsor exemptions. Sam Penecale was exempt as the host professional, but chose to not enter.
Sam Penecale and Whitemarsh Valley Country Club hosted the IVB Golf Classic in the first week of June. That year it was two weeks before the U.S. Open. The purse was boosted to $200,000 for the bicentennial, an increase of $50,000. Five players were tied for the lead entering the final round but Tom Kite who was three strokes back in 11th place passed all but one of them with a five under par 66. Kite and Terry Diehl ended up tied for first with 277s. There was a sudden death playoff that started on the 15th hole and continued through the 18th hole and back to the 15th hole. Kite and Diehl halved the first hole in bogey 5s and then they each made three pars. When they came back to number fifteen Kite made a par and earned his first of many PGA Tour victories. Kite’s four tournament rounds were 71, 70, 70 and 66. First prize was $40,000. Jerry Pate finished bogey-bogey for 278 and ended up in third place one stroke out of the playoff. Jerry McGee, Raymond Floyd and Larry Nelson who double bogied the last hole tied for fourth with 279s. Thirteen pros from the Philadelphia Section were in the starting field on Thursday but Ed Dougherty and Art Wall were the only ones that made the cut. Dougherty and Wall tied for 35th at 287 and they each won $986. Ted McKenzie, Jeff Steinberg, Bert Yancey, Dick Hendrickson, Danny O’Neill, Tim DeBaufre, Mike Nilon, Jack Connelly, Bruce MacDonald, Henry McQuiston and Bob Gleeson, who was now teaching at the Burholme Driving Range, missed the cut. The IVB officials had seriously considered moving the tournament to another site because of persistent flooding problems but the players talked them out of it. The pros said that Whitemarsh Valley was a great golf course and they didn’t want the tournament moved.
The day after winning the IVB at Whitemarsh Tom Kite took his game across the Schuylkill River to the St. Davids Golf Club for the U.S. Open sectional qualifying rounds. There were nine spots to qualify for at St. Davids. Kite said that he only had about two hours sleep because of all the excitement caused by his first tour win but he was still on his game. Kite made nine birdies and posted rounds of 67 and 68 for a seven under par 135. Chi Chi Rodriguez shot the low round of the day, an afternoon 66, and finished second at 140. Maryland professional Mel Rifman was third at 141. Ray Thompson, (142) and Lee Elder (142) took the next two spots. Oklahoma professional Joey Dills (143) won the sixth spot. The seventh spot went to Butch Baird (144). Ed Dougherty, Marty West and Gary Groh tied for the last two spots with 145s. A sudden-death playoff began on the first hole. Dougherty’s second shot went over the green. He pitched back across the green and wound up with a double-bogey six. West made a par and Groh made a bogey to qualify. Kite won $462.50.
Danny O’Neill qualified for the U.S. Open on the second Tuesday of June. He was in Charlotte, North Carolina, where most of the touring pros were also trying to earn their passes into the Open. Qualifying was held at the Charlotte Country Club and the Myers Park Country Club. Don January and Kermit Zarley led at Charlotte with 136s. There were 54 openings in Charlotte and a score of 144 qualified, which is what O’Neill (70-74) shot. He and two other players won a sudden death playoff for the last three spots. O’Neill had been exempt from local qualifying as a member of the PGA Tour.
The U.S. Open was held at the Atlanta Athletic Club in the third week of June. It was the first time that it had been played in the southeastern section of the country. That open will always be remembered for Jerry Pate’s #5 iron shot on the 72nd hole. Holding a one-stroke lead Pate hit his iron shot from a lie in the rough over water to within three feet of the hole. He holed the putt for 68 and a 277 total that gave him a two-stroke victory over Tom Weiskopf (279) and Al Geiberger (279). Butch Baird (280) and John Mahaffey (280) tied for fourth. It was Pate’s first win on the PGA Tour. His four rounds were 71, 69, 69 and 68. The total purse was $251,516 and the first prize was $42,000. Ray Thompson and Danny O’Neill missed the cut. They each picked up checks for $500.
Johnny Miller won the British Open at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England during the second week of July. Starting the final round Miller (279) was two strokes off the lead, but a last round 66 brought him in the winner by six strokes. Miller’s rounds were 72, 68, 73 and 66. Jack Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros tied for second with 285 totals. Ray Floyd was fourth at 286. Mike Souchak missed the cut. First prize was $13,500 from the $135,000 prize pool.
In the fourth week of July Jack Kiefer won the New Jersey Open for a second straight year. Kiefer, who was working in North Jersey, toured the Essex County Country Club in rounds of 72, 69, 68 and 74. His total of 283 gave him a nine-stroke margin of victory over Bruce Young (292). Russ Helwig and Mike Zack tied for third with 293s. First prize was $2,500. The third day of 36 holes was quite rainy but it did not seem to bother Kiefer.
Four weeks after being involved in a four-car accident that left him flat on his back for three days Tim DeBaufre won the Philadelphia Open. He put together a one over par 141 that included a course record 65 in the first round. A #5 iron shot that found the hole for an eagle two on the 445-yard 16th hole put DeBaufre five under par in his morning round and two more pars allowed him to finish the round in 65 strokes. In the afternoon he missed some short putts but he put together a solid 35 on the last nine for a 76 to win by two strokes. The tournament was played on the Philmont Country Club’s North Course on the last Tuesday of July. For fifteen years DeBaufre had been winning big money tournaments in the Section but this was his first victory in one of the region’s majors. Jack Connelly shot 71-72 for 143 and finished second. John Carson, Pete Dever, Jerry Janeski, Mike Nilon and amateur Bucky Erhardt, a former assistant at Saucon Valley Country Club, tied for third with 145s. First prize was $485. Qualifying for the tournament among the professionals was held eight days earlier at the DeSimone Open.
One week later in the first week of August the Pennsylvania Open was in the Philadelphia area at the Sunnybrook Golf Club. The summer had been dry and the course played short but the greens were firm also so the scores weren’t low. Jeff Steinberg put together two steady rounds of 72 and 73 for 145 and a one stoke win. The $1,800 first place check was a career high for Steinberg. His one over par 145 nosed out the Thompson brothers, Andy and Ray who finished with 146s, which earned each of them $1,050 from the record purse of $9,800. Bruce MacDonald and Reading amateur Jim Hamilton tied for fourth. Mike Nilon, Pete Trenham, Bob Gleeson, Pete Oakley, the assistant at the Aronimink Golf Club, and Oakmont Country Club’s Bob Ford tied for sixth.
Don DeAngelis won the Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship on the second Monday of August. DeAngelis made three birdies against two bogies to post a one under par 69 at the Heidelberg Country Club. Three strokes back in a tie for second were Ray Thompson (72) and Schuylkill Country Club assistant Doug Steffen (72). Pete Oakley (74), Medford Village Country Club assistant Sam Cancelliere (74) and Oak Terrace Country Club assistant Rick Umani (74) tied for fourth. First prize was $475.
The PGA Championship was held at the Congressional Country Club near Washington D.C. in mid August. The tournament drew 115,450 spectators, which was a record. Dave Stockton won his second PGA with a one over par (70-72-69-70) 281. First prize was $45,000. The purse had been increased again and it was now $250,950. Ray Floyd and Don January tied for second one stroke back at 282. Jack Nicklaus, David Graham and Jerry Pate and John Schlee tied for fourth with 283s. Art Wall and Ed Dougherty missed the cut. Dougherty was there as the Section champion and Wall had an exemption for his position on the 1975 PGA Tour money list.
The Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship was played at the Limekiln Golf Club on the second Friday of September. Henry Williams, Jr. was the winner with a two under par 68. Ralph Hutchison, the professional at the Saucon Valley Country Club, and Harvey Smith, the professional at the Greate Bay Country Club, tied for second with 71s. Sam Penecale finished fourth with a 72.
Jack Connelly won the Westlake-Lexan Invitational in the second week of September. Connelly toured the Whitford Country Club in 72 on Sunday and came back with a 69 on Monday to win by three strokes. Don Stough finished second with a 144. Next was Ray Thompson (145) one stroke ahead of Pete Oakley (146) and Rick Osberg (146). The purse was $11,000 and Connelly’s cut was $1,600.
The Section Championship moved to the western edge of the Section for the first time. The tournament was hosted by Peter Duffy and the Toftrees Country Club in the first week of October. The first round was delayed by two and one half hours by fog. This was the year of the PGA Tour pro at the Section Championship. Four of the top five finishers were playing on the PGA Tour at least part of the time that year. The tournament came down to the last green where the defending champion Ed Dougherty had an 18-foot putt for a birdie that would have sent the tournament into extra holes. Dougherty (219) missed and Andy Thompson was the new Section champion. Thompson finished with a two over par 218 after rounds of 73, 71 and 74. Jeff Steinberg, the only one of the top five who was working at a club, finished third at 220. Tom Lynch posted a 221 for fourth place one stroke ahead of George Griffin, III (220). There were only four under par rounds and no one broke 70 on the 7,080-yard course. Thompson won $1,500 and Dougherty picked up $1,100 from the $9,750 purse.
Qualifying for the PGA Club Professional Championship was held during the Section Championship as the first two rounds were used for qualifying. The Section had been allotted twelve spots and when Andy Thompson, who wasn’t eligible, won the championship another spot opened up for the qualifiers. Thompson had played in more than twelve tournaments on the PGA Tour in the previous twelve months. Jeff Steinberg led with a 144 three strokes in front of Henry McQuiston (147). Next in line were Dick Hendrickson and Charlie Gilbert at 148. Pete Trenham posted a 149 to pick up the fifth spot and Jack Connelly was sixth with a 150. Bob Hendricks, Larry Morris the professional at the Glenhardie Country Club and Dennis Milne also passed the test with 151s. John Carson made it with a 152. Tony Perla and John Poole took the last two spots with 153s. Thompson’s place in the tournament went to Willie Scholl. Ed Dougherty, Tom Lynch and George Griffin, III would have qualified but they had played too many tournaments on the PGA Tour also.
The Challenge Cup match between the Philadelphia Section and the Middle Atlantic Section was played at the Waynesborough Country Club in mid October. The Middle Atlantic Section led at the end of the first day’s six better-ball matches by 3 ½ points to 2 ½ points. The only winning team for Philadelphia was the team of Dick Hendrickson-Jack Connelly. The teams of John Carson-Tony Perla, Mike Nilon-Rick Osberg and the senior team of Bob Hendricks-Charley Lepre halved their matches. The next day the Philadelphia pros blitzed the Middle Atlantic winning ten of the twelve singles matches making the final count, Philadelphia 12 ½ points to 5 ½ points for the Middle Atlantic. The singles winners for Philadelphia were Ted McKenzie, Pete Oakley, Tim DeBaufre, Perla, Carson, Hendrickson, Connelly, Nilon, Osberg and Lepre. The other member of the team was Ray Thompson. The win gave the Philadelphia Section a 5 to 3 lead in the matches.
The PGA Club Professional Championship was played at the Callaway Gardens Resort again in early November. All three of the resort’s courses were used for the tournament. North Carolina professional Bob Galloway won by one stroke with a (71-69-69-71) 280. First prize was again $16,500. Larry Gilbert, George Lanning and Jim Ferriell tied for second with 281s. Dick Hendrickson (294) tied for 61st winning $183.34 and Jack Connelly (296) won $183.33 as he tied for 76th. Willie Scholl, Jeff Steinberg, Henry McQuiston, Dennis Milne, Charlie Gilbert, John Carson, Tony Perla, Bob Hendricks, Pete Trenham, John Poole and Larry Morris missed the cut.
For a second straight year Buzz Garvin and the other officers were reelected at the Section’s annual meeting, which was held at the Hershey Motor Lodge on the second Monday of November. The first vice president and second vice president were Dick Smith, Sr. and Van Tanner again. Pete Dever and Pete Trenham were retained as the secretary and treasurer. Harold Evans, the professional at the Bucknell University Golf Club, was the “Golf Professional of the Year”. He had helped construct the course at Bucknell and had been the professional there for over 40 years. The “Player of the Year” in the Section was Jack Connelly and he also led the scoring for the DeBaufre Trophy with a stroke average of 73.40.
In the winter of 1976-77 six four-day teaching and playing seminars were held by the PGA at various locations around the USA. There was one in the Philadelphia Section at the Overbrook Golf Club in the second week of November 1976. The coordinator was Overbrook’s professional Harlan Will. The two instructors were Eddie Merrins, who had been an assistant in the late 1950s at Merion Golf Club, which was only a few miles from Overbrook, and Cary Middlecoff. Merrins spoke on teaching and Middlecoff spoke on playing.
The national PGA meeting was at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida in the third week of November. The PGA’s retiring President Henry Poe announced that an agreement had been signed for construction of a new national administrative headquarters, which would include three golf courses. The new PGA home would be at a site to be selected in Palm Beach County. The developer, E. Lloyd Ecclestone, would deed 625 acres to the PGA and the PGA would then lease 620 acres back to Ecclestone for the three golf courses. The PGA would construct their office building on the other five acres. A completion date of mid 1979 was projected. Don Padgett was elected president and Frank Cardi was elected secretary without opposition. There was a three-way contest for the treasurer’s post with Joe Black defeating Mickey Powell and Bill Strausbaugh on the first ballot. The delegates reduced the apprenticeship requirement from 40 months to 36 credit months. A graduate of a PGA-approved university course in golf management would only need 24 months. The delegates from the Philadelphia Section were Buzz Garvin and Dick Smith, Sr. along with their national vice president from District II, Charlie Gilbert. Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias was inducted into the PGA Hall-of-Fame.
In the second week of December Allentown’s Jimmy Booros qualified for the PGA Tour. It was his fourth trip to the PGA Tour Qualifying School. The final stage was held at the Rancho Viejo Country Club in Brownsville, Texas. Booros put together rounds of 73 72, 72, 72, 78, 72 for at total of 439. He finished tied for 24th, which gave him a tie for the last spots as 29 players earned their playing cards. Keith Furgus was the medalist with a score for the six rounds of 418.
The leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Jack Nicklaus with $266,438 and he was the PGA “Player of the Year” for a fifth time. Don January won the Vardon Trophy with a stroke average of 70.89 strokes per round. Art Wall entered 25 tournaments and won $22,384.67 which left him in 94th place on the money list. Ed Dougherty played in 25 tournaments and finished 113th on the money list with winnings of $17,334. Jeff Steinberg played in three tournaments and won $924.71. Andy Thompson played in 3 events and won $243.50.
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The Senior PGA Championship was played in icy rain and cold winds in late January at the Walt Disney World Resort. Julius Boros put together a 283 and won by one stroke over former winner Fred Haas, Jr. (284). Boros won his second Senior PGA Championship with rounds of 71, 69, 71 and 72. Clare Emery and Gaylon Simon tied for third with 289s. Billy Gilbert was the only Section member in the money. He tied for 34th with a score of 304 and won $180. The purse of $50,000 and the $7,500 first prize were the same as the previous two years.
In late March the Section held a seminar for apprentices. Any apprentice who wanted to become an approved tournament player and compete in the Section’s tournaments had to attend the seminar and pass a test on the rules of golf. The feature speaker was Gary Adams, the national sales manager for the PGA Golf Company. Adams would go on to found the Taylor Made Gold Company, which popularized the metal wood. The tournament chairman, Dick Smith, Sr., covered the tournament regulations, TPD and the code of ethics of the PGA. The USGA’s Tom Meeks lectured on the rules of golf.
The spring meeting of the Philadelphia Section was held at the George Washington Motor Lodge in King of Prussia on the first Monday of April. One topic of discussion was a Tournament Players Division that had been created early that year by the Section officers. The idea behind the formation of the TPD was to have the pros that played in the tournaments carry a larger part of the financial burden.The money was used to pay for rules officials, scoring, office expenses, etc. and didn’t go into the tournament purses. Because of the dues that the PGA members were already paying to the Section they paid $50 and apprentices were charged $100. If a professional didn’t wish to join the TPD they paid a higher tournament entry fee than those who had paid the fee. As of the spring meeting almost 200 of the Section’s members and apprentices had joined the TPD. With the assistance of Bill Kittleman and his artistic talents, a Section logo had been created. The logo featured a Quaker holding a golf club in front of the Liberty Bell. The logo was a big success and within a few years almost every other PGA Section had a logo depicting something from their region of the country. Not long after that the PGA of America decided that there should be only one PGA logo and the Section logos were banned.
The Section’s spring golf show was held on the first Monday in April at the George Washington Motor Lodge in King of Prussia at the conclusion of the its spring meeting. The show opened to the public at 11:30 AM and ran to 7:30 PM. There were driving nets for the patrons, playback TV for swing analysis by the Section’s pros and Paul Bumann put on his trick shot show. For the fourth straight year the show director was Bob Intrieri.
On the second Sunday in April Tom Watson picked up his second victory in a major by winning the Masters Tournament. He had won the British Open in 1975. Watson entered the final round tied for the lead at 209 and closed with a 67 but it took a birdie on the 71st hole to wrap it up. Jack Nicklaus (278) came to the last hole needing a birdie to tie Watson (276) but he made a bogie for a 66 and finished two strokes back in second place. Watson’s rounds were 70, 69, 70 and 67. Tom Kite and Rick Massengale tied for third with 280s. First prize was $40,000. Art Wall (292) made the cut and finished tied for 35th. He won $1,925.
Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Central Pennsylvania was held at the Colonial Country Club on the fourth Monday of May. Tom Hanna the professional at the Clinton Country Club, and amateur Marlin Detweiler tied for the medal with one over par 143s. Hanna’s rounds were 73 and 70 to tie Detweiler’s 72 and 71. Warren Choate, an amateur from Williamsport, finished third at 147. Jeff Steinberg and Stu Ingraham, a high school golfer out of the Lebanon Country Club, tied for the fourth and fifth spots with 148s. Tom Robertson, now the assistant at the Chester Valley Country Club, took the sixth and last spot in at three-man playoff. Robertson shot a 149 and then went par-birdie to win the sudden death playoff.
The next day U.S. Open local qualifying for the Philadelphia entrants was at the Cedarbrook Country Club and the Old York Road Country Club. There were nine spots available there. Jack Connelly and Mike Nilon were the medalists with even par 143s. Par at Cedarbrook was 72 and Old York Road’s par was 71. Connelly had rounds of 74 at Cedarbrook and 69 at Old York Road and Nilon shot a 73 at Cedarbrook and a 70 at Old York Road. Ray Thompson, who was now playing the PGA Tour, George Griffin III, Gary Hardin, now an assistant at the Plymouth Country Club, and Tom Lynch, the professional at the Allentown Municipal Golf Club, tied for third through sixth with 145s. The last three spots went to amateurs Jay Sigel, Gordon Brewer and Robert Allen who all posted 146s.
On the first Monday in June Ray Thompson qualified for the U.S. Open in Charlotte, North Carolina where most of the non-exempt touring pros were competing. He slipped under the wire with a 144 to earn one of the 40 qualifying places at that site. There were 129 players at Charlotte, many of which were touring pros. Grier Jones led with an eight under par 135. Play was over the Charlotte Country Club and Myers Park Country Club courses.
The next day, the first Tuesday in June, George Griffin, III qualified for the U.S. Open at Gaithersburg, Maryland. Griffin posted a 76-70 to tie Curtis Strange, who had rounds of 71-75, for the top spot at 146 in the Washingtonian Golf Club’s National Course. There were 26 players competing for four spots at that location. The players with 151 totals played off for the last spot.
Hubert Green won the U.S. Open at Tulsa, Oklahoma in the third week of June. He led from wire to wire but it didn’t come easy. He began with a 69 and tacked on a 67 in the second round. A 72 in the third round left Green one stroke in front with a round to go. In the middle of the final round on Sunday the Tulsa police notified the USGA that a lady had called to say that someone intended to kill Green. As Green left the 14th green he was told of the threat and given the option to withdraw, have play suspended or continue on. Green chose to play on and made a birdie on #16, a par on #17. In the meantime Lou Graham (279) was putting the finishing touches on a last nine 31 for a U.S. Open record of 68-68 on the final 36-holes. Green (278) made a shaky bogie on the last hole for a 70 and won by one stroke. First prize was $45,000. As it turned out the threat was probably a hoax. Tom Weiskopf (281) and Tom Purtzer (282) finished third and fourth. That was Sam Snead’s last U.S. Open. His first Open appearance had been forty years earlier in 1937 when he finished second at Oakland Hills. The two entries from the Philadelphia Section Ray Thompson and George Griffin III missed the cut. The each picked up checks for $500.
Tom Watson (65-65) out-dueled Jack Nicklaus (65-66) to win the British Open at Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland by one stroke. They both made birdie threes on the final hole. Watson’s four rounds were 68, 70, 65 and 65 for a twelve under par 268 versus a 269 total for Nicklaus. First prize was $17,000 in US dollars. Hubert Green was third at 279 and Lee Trevino was fourth at 280. Total prize money was $170,000.
A field of 45 professionals and 14 amateurs competed in the Philadelphia Open at the Saucon Valley Country Club on the third Tuesday of July. The contestants played both the Grace Course and the Old Course in temperatures that reached ninety-nine degrees. Jay Sigel 140) turned in a two under par 69 on the Old Course in the morning and came back with a one under par 71 in the afternoon on the Grace Course to win his second Philadelphia Open. Bruce MacDonald (143) finished three strokes back in second place with rounds of 71 and 72. MacDonald picked up a check for $580 from the $3,400 purse. Pete Oakley finished third at 145 and John Kennedy was fourth with a 146.
The IVB Golf Classic was played at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club at the end of July. Qualifying was held on Monday at the Philadelphia Cricket Club with 152 players shooting for 54 open places in the starting field. Jay Haas and Don Pooley led with three under par 68s. Jimmy Booros tied for third with a 69. Players with scores of 73, which included John Kennedy, Dave Collingwood and Skee Riegel, played off for the last spots. They all lost in the playoff but Kennedy and Collingwood got in as alternates. The host professional was Sam Penecale and his assistant Ed Slaw played in the tournament on his boss’ head professional exemption. Ed Dougherty was there as an exempt player on the PGA Tour. Andy Thompson was exempt as the Philadelphia Section champion. Bruce MacDonald had a sponsor exemption. Jack Connelly, Jeff Steinberg, Tim DeBaufre, Henry McQuiston, Gary Hardin and John Carson were exempt off their position on the Philadelphia Section point list. Jerry McGee, who had been an assistant at the Frosty Valley Country Club in the mid 1960s, won the IVB with a 272. He had now been on the PGA Tour for ten years and this was his second victory. For three rounds he stayed near the top with rounds of 70, 68 and 65. On Sunday he shot a two under par 69 and when all of the other contenders faded he found himself in the clubhouse four shots in front of the field. First prize was $40,000 from the $200,000 purse. Bob Shearer (276) and John Lister (276) tied for second one stroke in front of Bob Gilder (277). Gilder had started the tournament with a two-stroke penalty for being late at the first tee. Thirteen pros from the Philadelphia Section teed off in the first round on Thursday but only Dougherty and Booros made the cut. Dougherty shot 289 and won $420 for 55th place tie. Booros (294) tied for 69th and picked up a check for $152. MacDonald, Kennedy, McQuiston, Connelly, Slaw, DeBaufre, Steinberg, Hardin, Carson, Thompson and Collingwood missed the cut.
The next day, the first of August, 150 players teed off in the Pennsylvania Open. The tournament was held at the Longue Vue Club near Pittsburgh on the first Monday and Tuesday of August. Bob Ford (141) shot two steady rounds of 71 and 70 to win by two strokes. The defending champion, Jeff Steinberg, posted a one over par 143 and tied for second with another former winner, Steve Brewton who was now a professional. Clint Doyle, an assistant at the Gulph Mills Golf Club who shared the lead the first day with a 69, tied for fourth at 145 with Herky Smith.
In August the Fifth District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the PGA in the Golf City lawsuit. The court unanimously reversed the decision of the lower court, holding that its findings were inadequate and clearly erroneous. The judge removed the PGA from the lawsuit and sent the case back to the lower court for reassessment of damages. Wilson Sporting Goods Company was the only entity left in the lawsuit. The other companies had settled or been excused by the court. This was a huge victory for the PGA and a relief as three other similar cases had been filed and more were cropping up. The PGA of America would have been bankrupt.
Andy Thompson, the Philadelphia Section’s only eligible player for the PGA Championship withdrew. Thompson was exempt as the Philadelphia Section Champion. He had announced after the IVB Classic that he was leaving the PGA Tour to take a job as a salesman. For the first time in the 58-year history of our championship no one from the Philadelphia Section was in the starting field. The tournament was held at the Pebble Beach Golf Course in mid August. A number of the contestant’s irons were determined to be illegal because the grooves were too wide. It had all started the week before at the Greater Hartford Classic. Only the clubs of players who volunteered were checked. The tournament ended up in a tie between Lanny Watkins and Gene Littler who finished with six under par 282s. For the first time in the history of major championships a winner was decided by a sudden death playoff. Littler led from the first round but he faltered on the last nine and Jack Nicklaus pulled up even with him. Nicklaus then bogied the 17th hole and Littler had the lead again. Watkins, who had begun the day six strokes behind, made two eagles on the front nine to get in contention. He made his lone birdie of the day on the 18th hole for a 70, which eventually got him the tie. Watkins won the playoff with a par on the third extra hole and a place on the Wanamaker Trophy. Watkins’ rounds were 69, 71, 72 and 70. First prize was $45,000 from a total payout of $250,700. Nicklaus finished third at 283 and Charles Coody was next at 284.
The Philadelphia Section Assistant Championship was held at the Radley Run Country Club on the third Monday of August. Sam Cancelliere played early and posted a 71. Pete Oakley was out a little later and turned in a 72. Seeing what Cancelliere had shot, Oakley left the club. Late in the day Hidden Springs Golf & Country Club assistant John Robinson came in with a 72, like Oakley. At some point it was determined that Cancelliere was not eligible for the tournament and was disqualified. Because Oakley had left a playoff would need to be held at a later date. Gary Hardin (73) and Bob Hibschman (73) tied for fourth. The need to have a winner was very important because, for the first time a PGA Assistant Championship had been created. The playoff was held at the St. Davids Golf Club, which Robinson won with a par 71 against a 73 for Oakley.
The Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship was played at the Limekiln Golf Club on the second Friday of September. Sam Penecale won it for a second time with a two under par 68. Bob Hendricks finished second with a 72. Harvey Smith and Ralph Hutchison tied for third with 73s.
For a second straight year Jack Connelly won the Westlake-Lexan Invitational. The tournament was played at the Whitford Country Club in the second week of September. Connelly (145) won by one stroke with a Sunday 73 and a Monday 72. Willie Scholl and Rick Osberg tied for second at 146. Charlie Lepre, Henry McQuiston, John Abernethy, Dick Hendrickson and Jerry Janeski, now the assistant at the Allentown Municipal Golf Club, tied for fourth with 147s.
The first national PGA Assistant Championship, sponsored by Foot-Joy Inc, was played at the Thorny Lea Golf Club in Brockton, Massachusetts. The tournament was played on the last four days of September. New Jersey’s Mike Zack won with rounds of 67, 69 and 73 for a 209 total. Zack won $3,000 from a total purse of $25,000. Dennis Sullivan was second with a 210 total. John Robinson came up with a bad back and finished 40th with a three round total of 250 and won $300.
The Section’s members were playing one of their major events at the Saucon Valley Country Club for a second time that year. The Section Championship was played on Saucon Valley’s Grace Course in mid October. The host professional was Jerry Pitman. The 7,044-yard course was very soft and many times the golf balls were muddy after the tee shots. That made the course more difficult than usual and as a result only two players broke the par of 72 and no one broke 70 during the three days of the tournament. After the first round four players led with 73s. On Tuesday Dick Smith, Sr. posted a 71 to go with his first round 74 and toke a three-stroke lead at 145. Smith tacked on a conservative 75 on Wednesday for a 220 total to win by one stroke over Ed Dougherty (221). Dougherty moved up from fifth place with a final round 70, the low round of the tournament. Dick Hendrickson finished third with a 224, one stroke in front of Bruce MacDonald (225). Jack Connelly and Charles Genter, the professional at the Tavistock Country Club tied for fifth with 227s. It was Smith’s second Section Championship victory and it earned him a check for $2,000 from the $12,000 purse. There were 115 entries.
Qualifying for the PGA Club Professional Championship was held at the North Hills Country Club on the third Wednesday of October. Based on the number of entries the Section had nine spots to qualify for. Ted McKenzie (72-71) led with a one over pat 143. Henry McQuiston picked up the second spot with a 144 and Pete Trenham was next at 145. Jack Connelly and John Abernethy took the fourth and fifth places with 146s. The sixth spot went to Jeff Steinberg (147) and the seventh to John Poole (148), now the professional at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club. Billy Gilbert (149) and Dennis Milne (149) defeated Stan Dudas (149) on the first hole of a sudden death playoff for the eighth and ninth spots. Dick Smith, Sr. had also qualified as the Section champion.
In the fourth week of October, the Hunt Valley Country Club near Baltimore hosted the Challenge Cup Match with the Middle Atlantic Section. At least two members of the team had to be seniors. On Tuesday Philadelphia won 4 ½ of the 6 points in the four-ball matches. The teams of Dick Smith, Sr.-Ted McKenzie, John Kennedy-Rick Osberg and Dennis Milne-Pete Oakley were winners. Half points were won by the teams of Jack Connelly-Bruce MacDonald, John Carson-Henry McQuiston along with the senior team of Henry Williams, Jr.-Skee Riegel who was now the professional emeritus at the Hidden Springs Golf & Country Club. On Wednesday only Riegel, Connelly, Osberg and McKenzie won in the singles and MacDonald halved which left the matches tied at 9 to 9. Smith and the Middle Atlantic’s Tom Smack were sent out in the rain for a sudden death playoff to break the tie. While the other players from the two teams watched from the protection of the clubhouse porch the two players went down the first fairway. They were both on in two shots but Smith’s shot had finished close to the hole. Smack missed from long range and Smith holed his twelve-foot birdie putt for the win. Playing in a steady rain most of the day the professionals were playing for pride, as there was no prize money. The win gave Philadelphia a 6 to 3 record in the nine-year history of the matches.
The PGA Club Professional Championship was at the Callaway Gardens Resort for the third year. The tournament was played on all three of the resort’s courses in the second week of November. Florida professional Laurie Hammer, (282) won by one stroke over Steve Benson (283) with rounds of 73, 67, 71 and 71. First prize was $16,500. Art Proctor finished third at 285. Rives McBee, Ron Smith, Jr., Tommy Aycock and Tim Collins tied for fourth with 286s. Jack Connelly tied for 43rd with a 294 and won $530. Ted McKenzie (296) tied for 56th, John Poole (297) tied for 63rd and Dennis Milne (300) tied for 85th. The each won the last money of $210.64. Jeff Steinberg, Dick Smith, Sr., Pete Trenham, Henry McQuiston, John Abernethy and Billy Gilbert missed the cut.
On the third Monday of November Dick Smith, Sr. was elected president at the Section’s annual meeting held at the Sheraton-Valley Forge in King-of-Prussia. Pete Trenham was reelected treasurer. There were three new officers elected. The new first vice president and tournament chairman was Tim DeBaufre, Tim Foran was elected second vice president and DuPont Country Club professional Dave Schueck was elected secretary. A top priority of the Section had been to hire a tournament director to sell and promote tournaments. The outgoing President Frank “Buzz” Garvin introduced John W. “Jack” Klein as Section’s newly hired tournament director. Klein was from Newtown Square and had been managing his family’s newspaper that advertised local businesses. The “Player of the Year” and the winner of the DeBaufre Trophy was Dick Hendrickson. Hendrickson won the DeBaufre Trophy with a scoring average of 73.40. He was also topped the point list for the year, which determined the Challenge Cup Team. Garvin was honored as the “Golf Professional of the Year” in the Section. Garvin had been the president for three years and an officer for three other years. He had created the Section’s sponsor pro-am that thanked the Section’s sponsors and raised money for the Section’s treasury by charging other amateurs to play in the event. Garvin and Philmont Country Club had hosted the Section championship, the Philadelphia Open, the Philmont Pro-Am and many other Section events.
The PGA of America’s national meeting was in Seattle, Washington in the first week of December. The Philadelphia Section was represented by delegates Dick Smith, Sr. and Tim DeBaufre along with their District II Vice President Charlie Gilbert who was completing his three-year term of office at the meeting. The 185 delegates and alternates who attended the meeting each received a 168-page book called “Reports of the Officers, Committee and Staff”. 34 of the 39 PGA Sections now had at least one staff member and 23 of the Sections had a staff member at the meeting. The three officers, President Don Padgett along with Frank Cardi and Joe Black were reelected without opposition. The biggest news from the meeting was that women could now join the PGA by enrolling in the apprentice program. They had to be employed by a PGA member and pass the playing ability test. PGA Tour commissioner Dean Beman reported that in 1978 the purses on the Tour would exceed ten million dollars for the first time. A new addition to the meeting was an open forum where any PGA member, even though he might not be a delegate, could speak on any subject relating to the PGA. Patty Berg was inducted into the PGA Hall-of-Fame.
The leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Tom Watson with $310,653, he won the Vardon Trophy with an average of 70.32 strokes per round and he was selected as the PGA “Player of the Year”. Art Wall played in 23 events and won $22,319.11, finishing 97th on the money list. For the second straight year Ed Dougherty finished 113th on the money list. That year he played in 22 tournaments and won $17,606. Jimmy Booros played in 8 tournaments and won $2,459. He was headed back to the PGA Tour qualifying school for a fifth time.
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In early January 13 winners of major championships sued the PGA Tour for attempting to take away their lifetime exemptions on the PGA Tour. When the PGA of America had governed the PGA Tour a winner of a major championship had earned a lifetime exemption into all tournaments on the tour. The PGA Tour now wanted to apply certain performance guidelines to a player in order for him to keep the exemption. About 25 former winners of majors were affected by the rule. Some of the players were Sam Snead, Jack Burke, Jr., Don January and Julius Boros. In June Dean Beman and the PGA Tour policy board dropped the new guideline and the exemptions were honored.
The Senior PGA Championship was at the Walt Disney World Resort for a fourth year in early February. For the first time there was a three-way tie for the title. Joe Jimenez birdied the first hole of sudden death to eliminate Manuel de la Torre and Joe Cheves. They had tied with 286s. Jimenez won the $8,000 top prize with rounds of 72, 71, 73 and 70. Jack Fleck and Ray Montgomery tied for fourth with 287s. Art Wall tied for seventh at 289 and won $1,100. Billy Gilbert shot a 298, tied for 24th and won $337.50. Bob Hendricks (304) finished tied for 36th winning $170. The total prize money was still $50,000.
North Hills Country Club and Ron Rolfe hosted a spring seminar. The featured speaker was Joe Black, the treasurer of the PGA of America. The other speakers were Bud Fretz, advisor to many PGA professionals; Joe Hilger, CPA for a number of country clubs and Francis Poore, a local business executive whose father Elwood Poore and brother Pete had been Philadelphia Section members.
The Section’s spring meeting was hosted by the DuPont Country Club on the first Monday of April. President Dick Smith, Sr. announced that Jack Klein was now the Section’s executive director. Klein replaced Alleyn Parker who had resigned. She had been the executive secretary since 1970. A Philadelphia PGA All-Star Team was announced with nine departments represented from driving to putting. Dick Hendrickson was selected as the best all-around player. Smith introduced something new at the meeting. Clark Luis, who was a professional entertainer and Smith’s assistant at the Hi-Point Golf Club, opened the meeting with the singing of the national anthem. It made such an impression on the membership that Luis was asked to open every meeting. He continued to sing the national anthem at every spring and fall meeting for more than 30 years.
On the second Sunday of April Gary Player made seven birdies on the last ten holes to win the Masters Tournament for a third time. Hubert Green held a three-stroke lead on the field after three rounds and he was seven in front of Player. On Sunday Green played par golf but Player brought in an eight under par 64 to go with his earlier rounds of 72, 72 and 69. His 72-hole score of 277 gave him a one-stroke victory. It was Player’s ninth and last major victory. First prize was $45,000. Green (278), Tom Watson (278) and Rod Funseth (278) tied for second. Art Wall missed the cut and received the $1,500 check that each of the 78 invitees was guaranteed.
Don DeAngelis led nine successful qualifiers through local qualifying for the U.S. Open on the fourth Tuesday of May. In the morning round he turned in a one under par 71 at the Waynesborough Country Club and he followed that up in the afternoon with a six over par 76 at the Aronimink Golf Club. His 147 led the field by two strokes. Rick Osberg, who was now the professional at Garrison’s Lake Golf Club, and amateur Bucky Erhardt tied for the second and third spots with 149s. Jack Connelly ended up in a four-way tie at 150 with amateurs Larry Jones, Charlie Bolling and Bill Hyndman. Jones and Bolling were future Section members. Pete Oakley, now the assistant at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club, and George Griffin III, who was now the teaching pro at the Northampton Valley Country Club, posted 151s and picked up the last two spots through a four-way sudden death playoff for the last tickets to the next level.
Tom Robertson and Sherm Keeney also passed the local qualifying test for the U.S. Open as they led the trials in Central Pennsylvania. Robertson put together a 74-70 and Keeney’s rounds were 73-71 as they posted even par 144s at the West Shore Country Club. Fred Shultz, the professional at the Briarwood Golf Club, finished third with a 146. The last three spots were won by amateurs Jim Spagnola, Warren Choate and Joe Reynolds, as six players moved on to the sectional qualifying rounds.
Don DeAngelis and Rick Osberg made the grade at the U.S. Open sectional qualifying in Maryland on the first Monday of June. DeAngelis put together rounds of 71 and 72 on the par 70 Bethesda Country Club course. He picked up the second spot, trailing the medalist Lee Elder by two strokes. Osberg came through with rounds of 71 and 74. His 145 score won the last of the four spots at Bethesda.
The U.S. Open was played at the Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver in mid June. It was an Open that no one seemed to want to win. Starting the final round Andy North held a one-stroke lead and after thirteen holes he was one under par and led the field by five strokes. North played the last five holes in four over par, that included a sand-save four-foot putt he holed on the last green for a bogie. That gave him a 74 and a one over par 285 total, which included earlier rounds of 70, 70 and 71. That left him one-stroke in front of Dave Stockton (286) and J.C. Snead (286), who both had missed makeable putts on the last green. North had only 114 putts for the week tying Billy Casper’s Open record set at the Olympic Club in 1966. Hale Irwin and Tom Weiskopf tied for fourth with 288s. First prize from the $299,000 purse was $45,000. Rick Osberg and Don DeAngelis missed the cut. They each received checks for $600.
Jack Nicklaus won the British Open during the second week of July in St. Andrews, Scotland on the Old Course. Nicklaus won with rounds of 71, 72, 69 and 69. His seven under par 281 won by two strokes. First prize in US dollars was $23,750. Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Ray Floyd and Simon Owen all tied for second with 283s. Total prize money was $237,500.
Amateur Jay Sigel, a member of the Walker Cup team, won the Philadelphia Open for the third time in four years. Sigel (145) put together rounds of 74 and 71 on Merion Golf Club’s East Course on the fourth Monday of July to finish two strokes in front of John Carson (147) who had rounds of 73 and 74. As the low professional Carson picked up the first place check of $620. Amateurs Bucky Erhardt and Gordon Brewer tied for third at 148. There was a four-way tie for fifth as Don Stough, Bill Bishop the professional at the Freeway Golf Club and amateurs Charlie Bolling and Chris Lange posted 149s. The field of sixty pros and amateurs toured the East Course twice and no one broke the par of 70, as Brewer turned in the only par round. The total purse was $3,637.50.
The IVB Golf Classic had what appeared to be bad dates but all of the top players were entered. The tournament was played in the third full week of July right after the British Open. Normally most of the big names players who were at the Open would not have been playing one week later but the PGA Tour had made the IVB a “designated tournament” and their presence was mandatory. Only Gary Player was missing as he was excused on the eve of the tournament due to exhaustion from having played in 16 of the last 18 events. The Whitemarsh Valley Country Club and their professional Sam Penecale were hosting the event for the 16th consecutive year. Dale Douglas led the qualifying on Monday with a four under par 67. There were only 49 players qualifying for 13 places. The small numbers was because many of the non-exempt players had made the cut the week before at the Quad Cities Open, which put them in the IVB. Dick Smith, Sr., Dick Hendrickson, Bruce MacDonald, Jack Connelly and Henry McQuiston were in the starting field off their position on the Philadelphia Section point list. Ed Slaw, assistant to Penecale was in the tourament on the host professional exemption. Hubert Green led the first day with a 65 but Jack Nicklaus who had just won the British Open took the lead after two rounds with 66-64. Smith posted a 67-72 and was the only one of the six Philadelphia pros to make the cut. A 72 in the third round left Nicklaus one stroke back and a 68 in the last round gave him a third victory at Whitemarsh Valley and a check for $50,000. Nicklaus took a three stroke lead into the 71st hole but a bogey on #17 left him one in front. A conservative tee shot with a #3 wood on #18 left him in a fairway bunker but a perfect lie and a 9-iron put him on the green and he two-putted for the win. Nicklaus’s 270 set a new tournament record eclipsing Green’s 271, set in 1974. Gil Morgan finished second at 272 one stroke ahead of Jerry Pate (273) and Hale Irwin (273). Green was paired with Nicklaus in the last round and with the help of a hole-in-one on #12 he ended up in fifth place at 274. It was the fifth hole-in-one of the tournament including one by Gene Littler on the fourth hole with a #3 wood. Smith put together a third round 72 and a 67 in the last round for a 278 that put him in a tie for 17th, earning him $3,350. That was by far the best showing best showing by a Section club professional in the 16 years of the tournament. MacDonald, Hendrickson, McQuiston, Connelly and Slaw missed the cut. In spite of temperatures in the high 90s the golf fans came out in record numbers to see the big names. On Sunday 23,400 showed up, bringing the total for the week to 84,170. On Friday night Fitz Eugene Dixon hosted a party for the all of the contestants at his Widener Farm, which was a neighbor to Whitemarsh Valley Country Club.
Section President Dick Smith, Sr. had made a commitment to junior golf by setting up a junior golf association. During the summer clinics were scheduled throughout the Delaware Valley. The Outdoor Club and their professional Greg Shreaves hosted a three-day junior golf academy. A finale to the summer was held at the Whitford Country Club and the Downingtown Inn & Country Club in July. The day began with the juniors receiving two hours of instruction on the practice range at Whitford. They were then driven to the Downingtown Inn for lunch and a film on the golf swing and course etiquette. Tom Robertson, Smith and Whitford’s professional Harry Hammond then demonstrated the techniques of chipping, putting and other short game shots. The juniors then played a nine-hole scramble with a golf professional in each group.
The PGA Championship was held at the Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh in the first week of August. John Mahaffey came from seven strokes back with a six under par 66 in the last round to catch the third round leader Tom Watson and Jerry Pate who had posted a 68. That left the three pros tied for the title a 276. A sudden death playoff was held to see whose name would be engraved on the Wanamaker Trophy and Mahaffey won with a birdie three on the second extra hole. Mahaffey’s four tournament rounds were 75, 67, 68 and 66. Tom Weiskopf and Gil Morgan tied for fourth with 280s. First prize was $50,000. The Philadelphia Section’s only representative Dick Smith, Sr. missed the cut and picked up the guaranteed money of $303. Smith was in the tournament as the Philadelphia Section’s champion. It would be the last year that the Section champions received an exemption.
Jay Sigel continued his domination of the region’s pros and amateurs by winning the Pennsylvania Open for a second time. He now held the Pennsylvania Open, Philadelphia Open and Pennsylvania Amateur titles all at the same time. The Philadelphia Country Club hosted the tournament in mid August. Sigel (143) put together two steady rounds with a 72 the first day and a par 71 the second day to win by four strokes. Amateur Dick Von Tacky finished second with a 147. John Carson, Bob Ford, Ron Milanovich and amateur Chris Lange tied for third at 148. The three pros each won $1,300 from the $10,000 purse. The field was cut after the first round to the low 60 and all scores under 80 made it.
The Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship was played at the Berkshire Country Club on the third Monday of August. Tavistock Country Club assistant Jim Meyers shot a two under par 69 to win by one stroke. Waynesborough Country Club assistant Jim Bromley was second with a 70. Philadelphia Country Club assistant Jim Schreiber (71) finished third and Tom Robertson (72) was fourth.
Charley Lepre won the Philadelphia PGA senior championship at the Limekiln Golf Club on the second Friday of September. He posted a one under par 69 to finish two strokes in front of Harvey Smith (71). Henry Williams, Jr. (72) was third and the host professional Joe Chuck (74) finished fourth.
Pete Oakley won the Westlake Plastics Invitation tournament at the Whitford Country Club on the second Monday of September. Oakley (142) came back from a first round 73 that had left him tied for eighth, with a 69 to win by three strokes. First prize was $2,500 from the $10,000 purse. Bob Hibschman and Don Stough tied for second at 145. Don DeAngelis and Dave Collingwood tied for fourth with 147s.
On the second Friday of September North Hills Country Club hosted the 36-hole qualifying for the PGA Club Professional Championship. The Section had eight spots to qualify for. Willie Scholl led the field with a two-under par 140 (67-73). The second spot went to Tom Robertson who posted a 143. George Griffin, III took the next place with a 145 and Jeff Steinberg earned the fourth place with a 147. Dick Hendrickson and Pete Trenham posted 148s and picked up the next two spots. The seventh and eighth places went to Sherm Keeney and Roger Stern who posted 150s. Stern was now the professional at the Northampton Country Club. Mike Nilon also qualified later as the Section champion.
For the first time in the 57 years of the Section Championship it was contested over 72 holes of stroke play. The tournament was played in the second week of October at the Philadelphia Cricket Club and the host professional was Bruce MacDonald. The greens were very fast and the scores were high. When the fourth round was concluded on Friday Mike Nilon (72-76-74-73), Tom Robertson (74-76-73-72), Jack Connelly (74-70-75-76) and Jeff Steinberg (73-75-74-73) were tied for the top spot with eleven over par 295s. Also, for the first time in the fifty-seven year history of the championship the tie for first place wasn’t played off over 18 holes. The tournament committee decided, that since counting the Monday pro-am they had been there five days and it was now Friday evening, a three-hole playoff would take place at that time. Because of the layout of the Cricket Club’s course the playoff was held on its first three holes. At the completion of the three holes Nilon and Robertson were still tied at even par and the other two were eliminated. The playoff now became sudden-death and continued on hole number four. Both Nilon and Robertson made pars on the next two holes. With daylight fading Nilon emerged the victor by making a ten-foot putt for a birdie three on the sixth extra hole. Dick Hendrickson, Bob Hibschman, Ed Dougherty and Roger Stern all tied for fifth at 296, missing the playoff for the title by one stroke. Dougherty had led by four strokes after the third round but an 81 in the last round was his undoing. First prize was $4,500 from a purse of $25,000. The winner took possession of the Bulletin Trophy for one year. The entry fee was $52.
The Downingtown Inn & Golf Club hosted the Section’s fall meeting and elections on the last Monday of October. Dick Smith, Sr. was reelected Section president along with the first and second Vice Presidents Tim DeBaufre and Tim Foran. There were two new officers. Jack Connelly was elected secretary and the Philadelphia Country Club’s professional Tom Wilcox was the new treasurer. Sam Penecale host of sixteen IVB Golf Classics and professional at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club for over 20 years was named Section “Golf Professional of the Year”. He was a friend of junior golf and never charged a junior for a golf lesson. The “Player of the Year” was Jack Connelly and he also won the DeBaufre Trophy with a scoring average of 73.10.
Also on the same day as the Section’s fall meeting a golf show was held in the convention center at the Downingtown Inn & Golf Club. Fifty pro-golf salesmen displayed their wares. The show opened at noon.
The Challenge Cup matches were played at the Downingtown Inn & Golf Club on a Tuesday and Wednesday at the beginning of November. At the end of the first day’s better-ball matches Philadelphia led 4 to 2 as they won four of the six matches. The winning teams were Mike Nilon-Tom Robinson, Ted McKenzie-Jeff Steinberg, Dick Hendrickson-Dick Smith, Sr., and Jack Connelly-Pete Oakley. When the singles matches concluded the next day the two teams were tied 9 to 9. The winning players for Philadelphia were Hendrickson, Smith, Don Stough, Bob Hibschman and Charley Lepre. For the fourth time in the nine-year history of these matches a sudden-death playoff was needed to break a tie. As prearranged by the Philadelphia Section’s captain Skee Riegel, now the pro-emeritus at the Hidden Springs Golf & Country Club, and the Middle Atlantic PGA’s captain, the last match off the course would go back out for the sudden-death playoff. Philadelphia’s Steinberg and Middle Atlantic’s Woody Fitzhugh, who had just defeated Steinberg, were last off the course and were sent back out to settle the tie. Fitzhugh won the playoff on the second extra hole, Downingtown’s #17, with a par three. The other member of the Philadelphia team was Henry Williams, Jr. Williams and Lepre were the seniors. The Philadelphia Section’s edge in the series was now reduced to 6 wins versus 4 defeats.
The PGA Club Professional Championship was played in the second week of November. The tournament was on the Callaway Gardens Resort’s three courses for a fourth year. John Gentile (71-69-68-68) from the Metropolitan Section won with a birdie on the second hole of a sudden death playoff with Jim Ferree (69-67-68-72). They had tied at 276. Jay Overton finished third at 278 and Bob Bruno was next at 280. First prize from the $110,000 purse was $17,000. Tom Robertson led the Philadelphia Section pros as he tied for 57th at 288 and won $180.71. Dick Hendrickson and Jeff Steinberg were part of a tie for 69th with 289 scores and they each won $180.70. Willie Scholl (293) tied for 98th and George Griffin III (295) finished 104th. They also each won $180.70. Pete Trenham, Mike Nilon, Sherm Keeney and Roger Stern missed the cut.
Art Wall won the U.S. National Senior Open in Scottsdale, Arizona in December. Just as the press reported, it was a wall-to-wall victory as Wall took the lead with a first round 65 and never gave it up. The tournament was played on three courses, Orange Tree Golf Resort, Pima Golf Resort and the Scottsdale Golf Club. Wall began with his 65 at Scottsdale and then posted a 68 at Pima and a 67 at Orange Tree to take a four-stroke lead into the final round. Wall finished up with a 68 for an 18 under par 268, which gave him a four-stroke edge on the rest of the field. First prize was $10,000. Former two-time national amateur champion Harvey Ward (272) finished second one stroke ahead of Charlie Sifford (273). Bob Erickson and Jack Fleck tied for fourth with 274s. Ward won $5,000 and Sifford won $3,000. This was two years before the USGA held its first U.S. Senior Open.
The national PGA meeting was hosted by the Georgia Section at Atlanta in the second week of December. Frank Cardi and Joe Black moved up to president and secretary without opposition but it took four ballots to elect the treasurer. At the end of the first ballot Mickey Powell led Mark Kizziar by nine votes with Dow Finsterwald and Bill Strausbaugh close behind. After the second ballot Powell still led but by only five votes over Kizziar. A third ballot was taken and it was now Kizziar with 38 votes to 37 for Powell out of 102 votes cast. Finsterwald and Strausbaugh dropped out and on the fourth ballot Kizziar received a majority of the votes. The delegates voted to give credits to an apprentice who was employed at a club by a Class “A” member of the LPGA Teaching Division. Also clubs were limited to two apprentices per nine holes at their facility. The Philadelphia Section’s delegates to the meeting were Dick Smith, Sr. and Tim DeBaufre.
The leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Tom Watson with $362,429, he won the Vardon Trophy again with a stroke average of 70.16 and he was voted PGA “Player of the Year”. Patty Berg was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame. Ed Dougherty only got into 19 tournaments and won just $9,936. He slipped back into 141st place on the money list. Art Wall played in just nine tournaments and won $1,034.80. Jeff Steinberg played in six tournaments and won $444.
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The Senior PGA Championship was played at the Walt Disney World Resort for the fifth straight year. The tournament was played in the beginning of February. It was the most tightly contested in the history of the event as six players came within one stroke of the title. Just like the year before the tournament ended in a three-way tie. Jack Fleck, Bob Erickson and Bill Johnston tied with 289s. Fleck, won had won the 1955 U.S. Open in a playoff, took the title with a birdie on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff. Fleck’s four tournament rounds were 73, 71, 75 and 70. First prize was $8,000. Julius Boros, Roberto De Vicenzo and Joe Jimenez tied for fourth with 290s. Bob Hendricks shot a 303 and won $153.33 for a tie for 38th. Al Besselink (304), who was getting his game ready for another shot at the PGA Tour, tied for 41st and won $100. Billy Gilbert, (306), who was now the teaching professional at the Somerton Springs Golf Club, tied for 47th and he won $100 also. Ralph Hutchison won the 70-74 year old age group with a 75 and a 70 for 145 and a check for $500.
The Section’s spring meeting was held at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club on the first Monday of April. The tournament chairman Tim DeBaufre and Executive Director Jack Klein presented a tournament schedule made up of tournaments with purses that added up to more than $225,000. That was more than double the amount the Section professionals had competed for just two years before. The Golf Association of Philadelphia announced that only golf professionals who were employed by GAP member clubs would be eligible for the Philadelphia Open. Also the Pennsylvania State Golf Association was only accepting entries for the Pennsylvania Open from professionals who were employed at their member clubs. The Section officers and their attorney Bernard Zbrzeznj were hard at work trying to overturn those new restrictions. Section President, Dick Smith, Sr., announced that the Section was starting a PGA Junior Tour. There were four tournaments scheduled and any junior from age 11 to 17 who played at a Section members club would be eligible. Harry Dee, the PGA of America vice president from District 2, was a guest at the meeting.
At the Masters Tournament in the second week of April Ed Sneed took a five stroke lead into the final round but he made bogeys on the last three holes and ended up in a three-way tie at 280. Joining Sneed in the playoff for the green jacket were Tom Watson (280) and Fuzzy Zoeller (280). For the first time in the history of the Masters a sudden death playoff was held. All three made pars on the first hole, #10. On the second extra hole, #11, Zoeller holed a sizable putt for a birdie and won the largest check in Masters history, $50,000. Jack Nicklaus finished fourth at 281. Art Wall missed the cut.
In the last week of April a tournament was played in Austin, Texas that set the stage for the PGA Senior Tour that would begin one year later and grow beyond anyone’s imagination. The second annual Legends of Golf Tournament, Sam Snead and Gardner Dickinson had won in 1978, was held at the Onion Creek Country Club. The tournament was played with a better-ball form. With one round to go Dick Mayer and Fred Haas were leading with a score of 128. The teams of Art Wall–Tommy Bolt and Julius Boros-Roberto De Vicenzo were in second place four strokes off the pace. On Sunday Wall toured Onion Creek in 64 strokes on his own ball and when Wall bogied the 18th hole Bolt made a par to help the team a shot for a 63 and a 195 total. Next to finish were the Boros-De Vicenzo team and they birdied three of the last four holes for a 63 and another 195. When the Mayer-Haas team reached the last green they needed a Haas ten-foot birdie putt to make it a three-way tie but the putt hung on the lip of the hole. Next there was a sudden-death playoff that created a problem for NBC-TV as the round and the telecast had been delayed by rain. In the playoff the first hole was halved in pars but then it got interesting. The next four holes were halved with birdies and when De Vicenzo birdied the sixth playoff hole, he and Boros were winners. De Vicenzo had now birdied seven of his last ten holes that day. At NBC in New York the playoff had knocked out Sports World and the NBC Nightly News. Boros and De Vicenzo each picked up checks for $35,000 from the $300,000 purse. The purse was $100,000 less than the year before but the seniors would have probably played for their expense money. Wall and Bolt each won $20,000. George Fazio was also in the field as a partner of Jimmy Demaret who had designed the course and was hosting the event.
On a rainy day the University of Texas golf team’s number two-man, Jim Spagnola, (139) led 62 players at the local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Central Pennsylvania with rounds of 71 and 68. Play was over the Country Club of Harrisburg on the third Monday of May. Cool Creek Country Club professional Sherm Keeney won the second spot with the help of an afternoon 69 that gave him a score of 143 for the day. Brett Upper, the assistant at the Lancaster Country Club, Mike Atkins, professional at Lancaster’s Indian Spring Golf Club, and John Kulhamer, the assistant pro at the Wedgewood Golf Club, tied for third through fifth with 146s. Another college student, Dan Mahoney, took the sixth spot with a 147 and the last opening went to an assistant pro from South Carolina, Ron Frisch, who survived a three-man playoff after posting a 148.
The Springhaven Club and Rolling Green Golf Club hosted the U.S. Open local qualifying for the Philadelphia area on the fourth Tuesday of May. Jimmy Booros who was now the professional at the Allentown Municipal Golf Club and Philmont Country Club assistant Dick Young tied for the medal with 142s. Booros posted a one over par 71 at Springhaven in the morning and came back with an even par 71 at Rolling Green in the afternoon. Young finished his morning round of 71 at Rolling Green eagle-birdie and came back in the afternoon at Springhaven with another 71. Jim Matthias, the assistant at the Overbrook Golf Club, captured the third spot with a 145 and Rick Osberg put together a 146 to win the fourth spot. Ed Dougherty, Tom Robertson and Duke Delcher, the assistant at the Atlantic City Country Club, tied for fifth at 147. Jerry Pitman and Pete Oakley took the last two openings with 148s. The players were shooting for nine spots that would move them on to the sectional qualifying rounds.
On the first Tuesday in June Mike Atkins chipped in on the 36th hole from 60-feet for a birdie to qualify for the U.S. Open. Atkins qualified at the Manor Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. Atkins tied for second with a pair of 71s that included an “out of bounds” penalty on the 15th hole of the second round. He grabbed one of the four places allotted to that site. Scores of 143 played off for the fourth spot. The medalist at Manor was Ken Leber with a 139. There were 25 pros and five amateurs competing there.
The U.S. Open was at the Inverness Club in mid June. Three U.S. Opens had been held at Inverness and no one had been able to finish under the par of 284. George Fazio was brought in to make some alterations to the course so that par would still be a good score. In the first round Lon Hinkle took a shortcut on the 8th hole and other players soon did the same thing. At 5 a.m. the next morning a 24-foot tree was planted to make the shortcut more difficult. Hale Irwin took a three-stroke lead into the last round and he started the last nine four under par for the tournament and leading by six strokes. Irwin played the last five holes four over par but his comfortable lead allowed him to win by two strokes. Irwin’s final total was (74-68-67-75) 284 and the USGA’s par of 280 was still safe. First prize was $50,000 and the total payout was $315,400. Gary Player and Jerry Pate tied for second at 286. Larry Nelson, Bill Rogers and Tom Weiskopf tied for fourth with 288s. Mike Atkins missed the cut and received a check for $600.
The British Open was played in the third week of July in Lytham St. Annes, England at the Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s course. Seve Ballesteros won with a one under par 283. His rounds were 73, 65, 75, 70. Jack Nicklaus and Ben Crenshaw finished three strokes back at 286. Mark James finished fourth at 287. Prize money totaled $325,000 and first prize was $31,500.
The IVB Golf Classic was scheduled for the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in late July. Ten days before the tournament began there was a qualifying round for the Philadelphia PGA club pros at the Sunnybrook Golf Club. Ted Lavino, who also sponsored the Lavino Shipping Open at Sunnybrook, had put up $500 for the Section’s members to play for. In the morning there was an 18-hole qualifying round for Philadelphia Section members that offered four spots. Dick Hendrickson, who was now the head professional at the Loch Nairn Golf Club, led the scoring with a one under par 71 and picked up a check for $150. Ken Peyre-Ferry now the head professional at the Little Mill Country Club took the second spot with a 72. The other two places went to Dave Collingwood and Tim Foran who had to survive a sudden death playoff with Jack Connelly and Jim Schreiber, the new head professional at the Doylestown Country Club. The four pros had finished in a four-way tie at 73. In the afternoon there was another qualifying round for two spots that was open to other pros and amateurs. Some of the pros that played in the morning qualifier paid another entry fee and entered the afternoon qualifier. Craig Dear, the head professional at the Beckett Golf Club, earned one of the spots with a 70 and 16-year-old amateur Doug Beecher defeated Wilmington Country Club assistant Roger Simpkins in sudden death for the second spot. They had tied with 72s. Dick Smith, Sr. had an exemption for having finished in the top 25 at the IVB the year before. In order to exercise the exemption he had to pay the Tournament Players Division dues for one year. For the first time the host professionals of the clubs holding the tournaments on the PGA Tour were not exempt.
Jack Kiefer, who was now in the New Jersey Section, led the qualifying for the IVB Golf Classic on the fourth Monday of July with a five under par 66. Qualifying was at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. There were 8 spots in the IVB up for grabs at the Cricket Club and it took a 69 to make it. There were ten Section members in the starting field.Philadelphia Section champion Pete Oakley, Dick Smith, Sr., Bruce MacDonald and Art Wall were in the field on sponsor exemptions. Mike Nilon was in as the Philadelphia Section champion. Dick Hendrickson, Ken Peyre-Ferry, Dave Collingwood, Tim Foran and Craig Dear had gained entry through an earlier event for Philadelphia Section pros. The host professional was Sam Penecale. When the tournament began on Thursday at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club only half of the field was able to complete the round before rain came, making the course unplayable. On Friday the uncompleted rounds were finished and the second round was played. J.C. Snead tied the course record in the second round with a 64 and took a two-stroke lead at 132. After the third round Bobby Watkins led with a ten under par 203. On Sunday Watkins played steady golf but he bogied the last hole and posted a 70 while Lou Graham was passing twelve players with a 64. Graham (68-70-71-64) and Watkins were now even at 273. Graham had the momentum and it carried him to victory as he knocked in a 3½-foot birdie putt on Whitemarsh Valley’s 1st hole to grab the first prize was $45,000. Jack Nicklaus made a move in the last round with eight birdies but his 65 left him one shot out of the playoff and tied for third with Snead and Mark Hayes at 274. Wall (288) made the cut but he finished near the bottom of the money list in a tie for 64th, winning $525. In the final round Sam Trahan set a PGA Tour record playing the 18 holes in 18 putts with the help of three chip shots that he holed out. Smith, Nilon, who was now playing the PGA Tour, Hendrickson, Collingwood, Dear, Peyre-Ferry, Tim Foran, MacDonald and Oakley, missed the cut.
On the fifth Monday of June, which was the day after the IVB Golf Classic ended, Mike Atkins ran a one-day tournament at the Indian Springs Golf Club. The tournament attracted a strong field as 12 touring professionals who had played in the IVB were entered. The tournament ended in a four-way tie as Ken Peyre-Ferry, Bill Bishop, Brad Bryant and Bob Gilder tied with five-under-par 65s. Gilder had to leave before a playoff could be held as he had to catch a plane to Detroit where he was entered in the PGA Championship. Bishop lost out in the sudden-death playoff with a bogey on the first hole. Peyre-Ferry almost ended the playoff on the first hole when his chipshot hit the flagstick and stopped one inch from the hole. Peyre-Ferry and Bryant tied the next two holes as they each made a par and a bogey. Bryant won on the fourth extra hole with a two-putt birdie four. First prize was $1,000 from a purse of $8,000. Peyre-Ferry won $700 and Bishop won $600. Jim Schreiber (66) finished fifth. Larry Nelson (67) and Doug Tewell (67) tied for sixth. The course measured 6,172 yards.
After many near misses Jack Connelly picked up a win in a local major at the Philadelphia Open on the first Tuesday of August. The Philadelphia Country Club was the host club. Connelly posted a three over par 74 in the morning and came back with a 71 in the afternoon for 145. He had been one of the early starters and had to wait a couple of hours after he finished before the win was secure. Bruce MacDonald (146) and amateur Jimmy Robertson (146) tied for second one stroke off the winning pace. Sandy Run Golf Club assistant Bob Sheppard and Jim Bromley tied for fourth with 148s. The purse was $3,500 and Connelly’s winning share came to $1,000.
The PGA Championship was played at the Oakland Hills Country Club in the first week of August. In spite of a double-bogey on the last hole Australia’s David Graham shot a last round 65 to catch Ben Crenshaw at 272. A sudden-death playoff was held that day. Graham holed an 18-foot putt for a par on the first hole to stay alive in the playoff. He holed a ten-foot birdie putt to halve the next hole and won with a birdie on the third extra hole. First prize was $60,000. Graham’s rounds were 69, 68, 70 and 65. Rex Caldwell finished third at 274 and Ron Streck was next with a 276. Mike Nilon missed the cut. He was exempt as the Philadelphia Section champion. The purse was now $350,600.
The Pennsylvania Open was played at the Butler Country Club in mid August. The pros from the western part of the state picked up most of the prize money. Ron Milanovich defeated Bob Ford with a par 4 on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff after they had finished tied with 137 totals. Milanovich posted a 68 on Monday and came back with a 69 on Tuesday. Ford had a last round six under par 64 to come from behind and get the tie. First prize was $1,800 and Ford won $1,200. Herky Smith finished third with a 141. Tony Perla who was back in the Section as the teaching pro at the Hi-Point Golf Club tied for fourth at 143 along with Mike Evans and Dave McMahon. There were 158 entries.
In mid August Mike Nilon challenged the Philadelphia Section in court over a rule that limited the participation of members of the PGA Tour in the Section’s tournaments. The rule stated that a member of the PGA Tour who had played in 12 or more PGA Tour tournaments in the previous 12 months would only be ineligible for the Section’s championships and none of the other events. Nilon was alleging damages in excess of $25,000 and sought triple damages under the Sherman anti-trust act. In October a judge ruled against Nilon. To defend the case the Section incurred extra expenses, as it had to hire lawyers who had expertise in anti-trust law. All the Section members including Nilon paid an assessment to help with the cost and the PGA of America contributed some money as well. It took a selling job by Dick Smith, Sr. and the other Section officers at the national meeting to convince the national officers that the PGA should help with the cost. The rule that Nilon was contesting was also used by the national PGA for eligibility into the PGA Club Professional Championship.
Duke Delcher won the Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship on the first Monday of September. Because it was now qualifying for a PGA of America Assistant Championship it was a 36 hole event. In the morning round Delcher was around in 71 strokes which put him in third place. In the afternoon he made five birdies while shooting a 67. His two under par 138 total was good for a five stroke victory. Pete Oakley finished second with a 143. Meadia Heights Golf Club assistant Jerry Janeski (144) was third and Tom Robertson (146) was fourth.
On the first Friday of September the Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship was held at the Oak Terrace Country Club. Harvey Smith and Sam Penecale ended up tied for the title with two under par 69s. A sudden death playoff was held which Smith, who had been a member at Oak Terrace for many years while working as a fireman for the city of Philadelphia, won with a par four on the second extra hole.
Qualifying for the PGA Club Professional Championship was held at the Lehigh Country Club on the second Friday of September. There were seven spots to qualify for. Jack Connelly took the first spot with rounds of 75 and 69 for a four over par 144. Don DeAngelis, John Kennedy and Tom Kowalski, the assistant at the Atlantis Country Club, all turned in 146s to win the next three spots. Craig Dear (147) won the fifth spot and Dick Hendrickson (148) won the sixth spot. Larry Dornisch (149) the head professional at the Sunnybrook Golf Club, won a four man sudden death playoff for the seventh and last place.
Jack Connelly won the $10,000 Westlake Plastics Invitational for the third time in four years. The Whitford Country Club hosted the tournament in the second week of September. Connelly (144) posted rounds of 73 and 71 to finish two strokes in front of Bill Johnstone (146), the professional at the Radnor Valley Country Club, Bob Hibschman (146) and Dick Hendrickson (146).
Ted McKenzie won the Section Championship at the North Hills Country Club at the end of October. It was McKenzie’s second victory in a local major. Jack Connelly led the first day with a three under par 68 and McKenzie took over the top spot after the second day with a 72 to go with his opening round of 69. When none of the leaders were able to mount a charge in the final round McKenzie (215) played a conservative round in 74 strokes to seal a two-stroke win. The win qualified McKenzie for the PGA Club Professional Championship and earned him a $3,000 check from the $18,000 purse. The entry fee was $53. William Packer and his company Seaview Petroleum added substantially to the purse as a major sponsor. Connelly shot a 75 and finished second alone at 217, winning $2,000. Don DeAngelis finished third at 218 as Ed Dougherty and Jack Anrico, the assistant at the Doylestown Country Club, tied for fourth with 220 totals. The host professional was Ron Rolfe.
On the first Friday in November the Philadelphia Section PGA defeated the Middle Atlantic PGA in the Challenge Cup matches by a score of 9 ½ to 8 ½. That gave the Philadelphia Section a seven to four lead in the eleven-year history of the matches. Two players from each team were paired together with two singles matches and a better-ball match being played at the same time. In the better-ball the teams of Ken Peyre-Ferry-Bob Hibschman, Ted McKenzie-Tom Robertson, Dick Smith, Sr.,–Willie Scholl won their matches and the team of Jack Connelly-Bruce MacDonald halved theirs. In the singles matches victories by Robertson, McKenzie, Smith, Scholl and Bill Bishop along with halves by Connelly and Peyre-Ferry gave Philadelphia a one point win. The other members of the team were Bucky Jones, Don DeAngelis and Joe Chuck the professional at the Limekiln Golf Club. The two seniors were Bishop and Chuck. The matches were played at the Hunt Valley Country Club in Maryland.
Section President Dick Smith, Sr. and the other officers were reelected at the Section’s annual meeting at the Downingtown Inn & Country Club on the second Monday of November. Tim DeBaufre and Tim Foran were held over, as the first and second vice presidents along with Jack Connelly and Tom Wilcox who were reelected secretary and treasurer. The “Golf Professional of the Year” was Pete Trenham. He had been the Section treasurer for four years and a member of the tournament committee for more than ten years. As a member of the tournament committee he and Bill Kittleman had completely rewritten the Section’s tournament regulations, which had then been copied by a number of the other PGA Sections. The “Player of the Year” for a third time was Jack Connelly and he won the DeBaufre Trophy for a third time as well. His DeBaufre Trophy scoring average was 71.80.
The PGA Club Professional Championship was at the Callaway Gardens Resort for the fifth straight year. It was played in the second week of November. There was another tie for first and a sudden-death playoff. Michigan professional Buddy Whitten defeated Jack Lewis with a birdie on the second hole after they had tied at 278 and halved the first playoff hole in birdies. Whitten’s rounds were 70, 68, 70 and 70. Tommy Aycock and David Barber tied for third with 279s. Dick Hendrickson finished with a 288 and won $337.27 as he tied for 48th. Ted McKenzie, Jack Connelly, Larry Dornisch, Tom Kowalski, Don DeAngelis, Craig Dear and John Kennedy missed the cut. The Section champions were no longer exempt for the PGA Championship, but the top 40 instead of 25 were now exempt. This change kept McKenzie out of the PGA Championship.
The PGA of America’s annual meeting was held in late November at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The meeting was in New York for the first time since 1926. President Frank Cardi along with officers Joe Black and Mark Kizziar were reelected without opposition. The Philadelphia Section’s delegates to the meeting were Dick Smith, Sr. and Tim DeBaufre. The Section’s two delegates spoke to the convention concerning the Section’s difficulties with the Mike Nilon lawsuit, which the Section had won. The Section had applied the same rule that the national used to determine eligibility in the PGA Club Professional Championship. The Section was going to have to have each member pay an assessment to cover the costs of the lawsuit and Smith and DeBaufre were asking the national organization to help with the cost. After much politicking from the floor of the meeting and behind the scenes the PGA of America agreed to pay a part of the expense. At the same time the national officers put every PGA Section on notice that this would not happen again. Also the delegates redefined an assistant pro as someone who worked at least 40 hours a week for a golf professional and was paid by either the golf professional or the facility. The Section’s oral interview, the final step for membership in the PGA, was eliminated and replaced by a standard interview to be created by the PGA of America. A clarification was made concerning PGA Tour players. A person could earn one-half credit for each tournament that they played in but no person could earn more than twelve credits in any 12-month period.
A second Senior PGA Championship was played that year in mid December. The tournament was scheduled as a beginning for the new Senior PGA Tour. The tournament was played at the Turnberry Isle Country Club’s South Course, which was near Miami. The purse was doubled from February’s tournament to $100,000 and the first prize of $15,000 was almost twice as much also. Fifty-eight players were given exemptions as former winners of the Senior PGA Championship or for having been multiple winners on the PGA Tour. The low 15 from the previous Senior Championship were also exempt. Don January, who had just turned 50, won by eight strokes with rounds of 68, 68, 67 and 67 for a score of 270. George Bayer (278) finished second four strokes in front of Dan Sikes (282) and Bill Johnston (282) who tied for third. Art Wall tied for sixth with a 287 and won $3,200. One stroke farther back, Al Besselink (288) finished ninth and won $2,300. Wall and Besselink were in the field as former multiple winners on the PGA Tour. Bob Hendricks and Billy Gilbert who had qualified locally in the Philadelphia Section, missed the cut.
Tom Watson finished the year as the leading money winner on the PGA Tour for a third straight year and became the first to earn $400,000 as he took home $462,636. Watson also won the Vardon Trophy for a third consecutive year with an average of 70.27 and he was voted PGA “Player of the Year” for the third year in a row. Roberto De Vicenzo was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame. Ed Dougherty bounced back with a decent year by winning $24,802.35 in 25 tournaments. That put him in 115th place on the money list. Art Wall played in ten tournaments winning $4,681.17.
There were many changes during the 1970s. The Golf City lawsuit, even though the PGA had been dismissed, brought an end to “Pro Only” merchandise and now the golf professionals had new competition from off course golf stores. In order to become a PGA member the professional had to pass a 36-hole playing ability test by shooting a score of no more than 15 strokes above the course rating of the golf course where the qualifying test was being played, multiplied by 2. Women were allowed to join the PGA. The first female member of the PGA was Barrie Naismith. In 1979 she sued the PGA over its male only policy and won. The ladies had to work under a Class “A” PGA member, attend the same business schools that the men attended and pass a playing ability test. The golf cart had become a big business and almost every golf course had a fleet of carts. The golf cart was becoming a revenue producer, so most clubs were taking the carts from the golf professional, who had usually been the one that introduced them. At best the golf professional was left with a percentage of the cart revenue for managing them. The government had introduced wage and hour rules to the golf business. An assistant or caddy master was no longer allowed to work 60 or 70 hours a week without being paid overtime so most facilities began hiring a second assistant to cover what had been the overtime hours. The country club caddy was beginning to disappear and with the increase in the purses there were more full time caddies on the PGA Tour. In 1978 the PGA allowed the golf professionals to use their own caddy in the PGA Championship for the first time, because the host club couldn’t supply enough qualified caddies. The graphite shaft that made the golf club much lighter was introduced. Even though it was only the beginning the door had been opened to new technology that would result in most of the golf courses being too short for the world-class tournament players. Because of the money there were now more aspiring PGA Tour players than ever and it had become very difficult to get on the Tour. Many young pros failed to qualify for the Tour so mini-tours were cropping up everywhere. A young player usually played those tours until he could get another crack at the Tour School rather than work at a golf facility as an assistant where he might play very little and have few tournaments available to him. More and more there was a greater difference between the tournament player and the club professional. When the decade came to an end Ed Dougherty was the only Section member playing the PGA Tour and he was on and off the tour. In two of the last three years of the decade the Philadelphia Section didn’t have even one of their Section members playing in their own national PGA Championship. There were club professionals and there were touring professionals and now it was rare that any golf professional was both.