Tucson's pro golf history

Palmer to Tiger: Big names leave imprint

Trevino, Miller, Watson, Mickelson among champs, too
2011-02-20T00:00:00Z 2014-09-15T09:44:13Z Palmer to Tiger: Big names leave imprintRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 20, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Tucson's professional golf tournament has gone by many names, has been played at many sites, and has had different formats since Ray Mangrum won the inaugural Tucson Open in 1945.

Southern Arizona's passion for golf hasn't changed.

As we prepare for the fifth WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, here are some highlights of pro golf in Tucson over the last 66 years:

Tucson Open (1945-55)

• 1945 - Ray Mangrum shoots a final-round 64 to win the first Tucson Open at historic El Rio Country Club. Mangrum edged the legendary Byron Nelson for the $1,000 first-place prize.

• 1949 - Lloyd Mangrum, Ray's younger brother, sets a record with his 17-under-par 263 to win the tournament.

• 1950 - Chandler Harper holds off the legendary Sam Snead and fan favorite Manuel de la Torre for the Open title.

Tucson Open Invitational (1956-60)

• 1957 - Dow Finsterwald defeats Don Whitt in an 18-hole playoff, the first in Tucson tournament history. "We had an 18-hole playoff on Monday," Finsterwald told the Star. "The PGA staff went on ahead to the next tournament. The guy that ran the playoff, Ed Keating, carried a holstered gun. … That was the last time I ever had an armed official at a match."

Home of the Sun Open (1961)

• 1961 - Dave Hill beats Tommy Bolt in the Open's first sudden-death playoff. The tournament is held at El Rio.

Tucson Open Invitational (1962-71)

• 1963 - Don January wins the tournament at Forty Niner Country Club and takes home $3,500 - the most to date in tournament history.

• 1966 - With the support of the Tucson Conquistadores, the Tucson Open makes its first appearance on national television. Joe Campbell wins the tournament at Tucson National, which became the host course in 1965.

• 1967 - Arnold Palmer, backed by "Arnie's Army," wins to take home $12,500, the first five-figure winner's check in the tournament's history.

• 1969 - Lee Trevino wins with a 17-under 271, the largest margin of victory since 1963. Trevino repeats as champion a year later.

Dean Martin Tucson Open (1972-75)

• 1972 - Dean Martin's sponsorship brings celebrities - and NBC's television cameras - to Tucson. Miller Barber defeats George Archer after an 18-hole playoff and three additional playoff holes on Monday. More than 100,000 fans - an Open record - watch the tournament at Tucson National.

• 1975 - Johnny Miller shoots a tournament-record 61 to finish with a 263 - 25 strokes under par. Years later, Miller told the Star the performance at Tucson National was the second-best round of his career.

NBC Tucson Open (1976)

• Johnny Miller wins his third consecutive Tucson title at Tucson National.

Joe Garagiola Tucson Open (1977-83)

• 1979 - Bruce Lietzke wins his second Open title and $45,000 at Randolph North.

Seiko-Tucson Match Play Championship (1984-86)

• 1984 - Match Play makes its professional debut in Tucson, bringing PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour players to town for the event. Tom Watson wins the first Match Play title; Jim Thorpe wins the next two.

Seiko Tucson Open (1987)

• 1987 - Mike Reid wins the Tucson Open, which has an old format - stroke play - and a new home, TPC at Starr Pass.

Northern Telecom Tucson Open (1988, 1990)

• 1988 - David Frost takes the winner's share of the $1 million purse.

• 1990 - Former Arizona Wildcat Robert Gamez wins in his first tournament as a member of the PGA Tour. The tournament is played at Starr Pass and Randolph North.

Northern Telecom Open (1991-95)

• 1991 - Phil Mickelson, an ASU junior, enters on a sponsor's exemption and wins. As an amateur, Mickelson forfeits the $180,000 prize.

Nortel Open (1996)

• 1996 - Phil Mickelson wins his third Tucson title. This time, he is allowed to keep the $225,000 winner's check.

Tucson Chrysler Classic (1997-98)

• 1998 - David Duval completes a 19-under-par 269 for a four-stroke victory at Tucson National. Duval closed with a 1-over 73 but easily held off Justin Leonard and David Toms.

Touchstone Energy Tucson Open (1999-2002)

• 1999 - Gabriel Hjertstedt wins his share of the then-record $2.75 million purse in a playoff.

• 2000 - Jim Carter earns his first PGA Tour victory.

Chrysler Classic of Tucson (2003-06)

• 2004 - Heath Slocum pars the 18th hole to hold off Aaron Baddeley, who bogeys the final hole.

• 2005 - Geoff Ogilvy earns his first PGA Tour victory, but he has to work for it. Ogilvy, Mark Calcavecchia and Kevin Na enter a three-way playoff after the final round. Na and Ogilvy advance past the first playoff hole, and Ogilvy wins the tournament on the second.

• 2006 - Kirk Triplett shoots a final-round 63 to become the final player to hoist the conquistador trophy. The gold-plated helmet was mothballed when Match Play came to town. "It's kind of got a bucket look to it," he said.

WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (2007-present)

• 2007 - Henrik Stenson edges Geoff Ogilvy 2 and 1 in the final to win the first WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson. The tournament is held at The Gallery Golf Club, South Course.

• 2008 - Tiger Woods routs Stewart Cink 8 and 7 for the Match Play title. The world's best golfer takes home $1.3 million.

• 2010 - Brit Ian Poulter wins his first-ever stateside tournament, defeating Paul Casey 4 and 2 at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson both miss the tournament for personal reasons.

WGC-ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY WINNERS

YEAR WINNER SCORE LOCATION

1999 Jeff Maggert 38 holes over Andrew Magee La Costa Resort and Spa (Carlsbad, Calif.)

2000 Darren Clarke 4 and 3 over Tiger Woods La Costa Resort and Spa

2001 Steve Stricker 2 and 1 over Pierre Fulke The Metropolitan Club (South Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia)

2002 Kevin Sutherland 1-up over Scott McCarron La Costa Resort and Spa

2003 Tiger Woods 2 and 1 over David Toms La Costa Resort and Spa

2004 Tiger Woods 3 and 2 over Davis Love III La Costa Resort and Spa

2005 David Toms 6 and 5 over Chris DiMarco La Costa Resort and Spa

2006 Geoff Ogilvy 3 and 2 over Davis Love III La Costa Resort and Spa

2007 Henrik Stenson 2 and 1 over Geoff Ogilvy The Gallery Golf Club (Marana)

2008 Tiger Woods 8 and 7 over Stewart Cink The Gallery Golf Club

2009 Geoff Ogilvy 4 and 3 over Paul Casey The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain (Marana)

2010 Ian Poulter 4 and 2 over Paul Casey The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain

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