The Full Wiki

More info on World Championship of Golf

World Championship of Golf: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The World Championship of Golf was a championship played on the PGA Tour in the 1940s and 1950s that, in its latter years, boasted a purse that dwarfed every other event on the tour, including even the U.S. Open. It was the brainchild of George S. May, and was played in August of each year at the Tam O'Shanter Country Club, Chicago, Illinois. It was played after May's All American Open each year. In 1953, the championship was the first golf tournament to be shown live on national television, and happily for the promoters, ended in incredible fashion, with Lew Worsham holing a wedge shot from the fairway for eagle and victory.

From 1946 to 1948, the event was a 36-hole, winner-take-all exhibition event, with fields of four, eight, and twelve golfers, respectively. The winner took home prizes of $10,000, $5,000, and $10,000, respectively, and the losers were given generous travel expenses.

Beginning in 1949, however, the event grew to a fully-fledged 72-hole championship with a large invited field, became part of the main tour, and with its huge prize fund, became undoubtedly one of the most important tournaments for the professionals. From 1949 to 1951, its winner would go home with a check for over $10,000 - this in the days when most tour events had a first prize of $2,000 - but it was from 1952 to 1957 that the purse grew to astronomical levels. The winner took home $25,000 in 1952 and 1953, and startng in 1954, $50,000 with an additional $50,000 available in the form of a contract with May for 50 worldwide exhibition events.

In each of those years (1952-1957), the winner of the Championship topped the tour's money list by some distance - in 1954, for example, Bob Toski led the season's money earnings with $64,000, while Jack Burke, Jr. was second with just $20,000. Without the $50,000 from his one victory at Tam O'Shanter, he would have finished just tenth in earnings, despite winning three other tournaments. In 1957, Dick Mayer won both the U.S. Open - and a check for $7,200 - and this championship, and a check for $50,000.

The event provided one of the few showcases of its time for leading international players to compete against the best U.S. professionals, who rarely travelled outside of their country to play. Although none would win the title, players like Bobby Locke, Norman Von Nida, Roberto DeVicenzo, and Peter Thomson would all enjoy high finishes in the tournament, DeVicenzo and Thomson in particular regularly collecting big checks.

In 1958, May decided to pull the plug on the event in a dispute with the PGA over player entrance fees, and it disappeared from the tour. The leading money winner for 1958, Arnold Palmer, won less money during the entire season than Dick Mayer had won at Tam O'Shanter in 1957.

Winners

Year Winner Runners-up
1957 Dick Mayer Sam Snead, Al Balding
1956 Ted Kroll Fred Hawkins
1955 Julius Boros Fred Haas
1954 Bob Toski Jack Burke, Jr., Earl Stewart
1953 Lew Worsham Chandler Harper
1952 Julius Boros Cary Middlecoff
1951 Ben Hogan Jimmy Demaret
1950 Henry Ransom Chick Harbert
1949 Johnny Palmer Jimmy Demaret
1948 Lloyd Mangrum Sam Snead
1947 Ben Hogan Bobby Locke
1946 Sam Snead Byron Nelson, Lloyd Mangrum

References

Barkow, Al. The History of the PGA TOUR. Doubleday. pp. 86–92. ISBN 0-385-26145-4.  

Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message