Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20, 1955: Arnold Palmer Wins His First Game As a Pro

On August 20, 1955, a 25 year old Arnold Palmer won for the first time in his storied PGA career. The first win came at the Canadian Open at the Weston Country Club in Toronto. Palmer nearly shot a four round record for the course with a total of 265. Palmer shot a 64 in the first round, a 67, in the second, a 64 in the third, then finished off the fourth with a 70. The 265 was just two strokes short of the tournament record. Palmer walked away with an eye popping prize of $2,400, I would imagine Tiger Woods' caddy makes that on an off day. Headed into the final round Palmer was four strokes ahead of Jack Burke Jr. and five ahead of Fred Hawkins. Hawkins came out and went birdie-eagle-birdie in the second through fourth holes as he attempted to catch the kid from Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Palmer had a hiccup with a double bogey on the fifth hole and suddenly his lead was just two. He nailed a crucial birdie on the par 5 seventh, then dropped a long distance 40 foot putt on the ninth for another birdie that helped lead him to victory. Palmer would go onto win a grand total of 95 rounds of golf as a professional, he sits 4th on the all time wins list.

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