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1961 PGA Championship

The 1961 PGA Championship was the 43rd PGA Championship, played July 27–31 at the North Course of Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois, a suburb south of Chicago. Jerry Barber, age 45, won his only major title in an 18-hole Monday playoff by one stroke over Don January, 67 to 68. It was the fourth edition as a stroke play event and the first playoff.[1]

1961 PGA Championship
Tournament information
DatesJuly 27–31, 1961
LocationOlympia Fields, Illinois
Course(s)Olympia Fields Country Club
North Course
Organized byPGA of America
Tour(s)PGA Tour
FormatStroke play
Statistics
Par70
Length6,722 yards (6,147 m)[1]
Field161 players, 65 after cut
Cut148 (+8)
Prize fund$64,800[2]
Winner's share$11,000
Champion
United States Jerry Barber
277 (−3), playoff
← 1960
1962 →
Olympia Fields is located in the United States
Olympia Fields
Olympia
Fields
Location in the United States
Olympia Fields is located in Illinois
Olympia Fields
Olympia
Fields
Location in Illinois

Rain washed out the second round on Friday afternoon with only about one-third of the field completing their rounds. The scores were scrapped and the second round was replayed on Saturday, with 36 holes on Sunday.[3] Barber led at the midway point with a 136 (−4), two shots ahead of January and Doug Sanders.[4][5][6] A top putter of the era, Barber sank 120 feet (37 m) of putts on the last three holes of the final round to erase a four-stroke deficit to January and force a Monday playoff. At the 72nd hole, January had a two-stroke lead, but put his tee shot into the sand. With Barber on the green but an improbable 60 feet (18 m) away, January played conservatively for the bogey. Barber drained his third lengthy putt in as many holes (eagle-par-birdie) to even it up at the end of regulation.[7]

In the playoff, the two were tied at three-under after 16 holes, following January's birdie. Both had pars at the 17th, which effectively turned the 18th hole into sudden-death. Both tee shots found fairway bunkers, and Barber hit a 3-iron onto the green, 18 feet (5.5 m) from the cup. January found another bunker short of the green and could not save par from 15 feet (4.6 m).[8][9]

At age 45, Barber became the oldest winner of the PGA Championship, whose previous champions were all under age 40, with several at age 39. At the time, the only older major winner was Old Tom Morris at age 46 in 1867. Barber was surpassed in 1968 by Julius Boros at age 48.

It was the third major championship at Olympia Fields Country Club; it previously hosted the PGA Championship in 1925 (Courses 3 & 4) and the U.S. Open in 1928 (Course 4). The four 18-hole courses at Olympia Fields were reduced to two in the 1940s when the club sold half of its property. Course 4 became the North course, and the South course is a composite of holes form the other three.[10] The North Course later hosted the U.S. Open in 2003, won by Jim Furyk.

Past champions in the fieldEdit

Made the cutEdit

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Doug Ford   United States 1955 69 73 74 66 282 +2 T5
Jay Hebert   United States 1960 68 72 72 72 284 +4 13
Walter Burkemo   United States 1953 71 71 73 70 285 +5 14
Bob Rosburg   United States 1959 70 71 73 73 287 +7 T19
Sam Snead   United States 1942, 1949, 1951 72 71 71 75 289 +9 T27
Dow Finsterwald   United States 1958 74 74 71 74 293 +13 T41
Jim Ferrier   Australia 1947 73 73 77 72 295 +15 T45
Jack Burke, Jr.   United States 1956 76 71 72 78 297 +17 T52
Chick Harbert   United States 1954 73 75 73 76 297 +17 T52

Missed the cutEdit

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 Total To par
Lionel Hebert   United States 1957 75 74 149 +9
Vic Ghezzi   United States 1941 78 75 153 +13
Denny Shute   United States 1936, 1937 76 77 153 +13
Jim Turnesa   United States 1952 79 75 154 +14

Source:[2][6]

Round summariesEdit

First roundEdit

Thursday, July 27, 1961

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Art Wall, Jr.   United States 67 −3
T2 Jay Hebert   United States 68 −2
Ernie Vossler   United States
T4 Jerry Barber   United States 69 −1
Doug Ford   United States
Bill Heinlein   United States
T7 Buster Cupit   United States 70 E
Don Fairfield   United States
Jack Fleck   United States
Paul Harney   United States
Shelley Mayfield   United States
Bob Rosburg   United States
Doug Sanders   United States

Source:[11][12]

Second roundEdit

Friday, July 28, 1961
Saturday, July 29, 1961

Play in the second round on Friday was ended by heavy rain in the early afternoon, with 54 of the 166 rounds completed. All scores were scrapped and the round was replayed on Saturday.[3]

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Jerry Barber   United States 69-67=136 −4
T2 Don January   United States 72-66=138 −2
Doug Sanders   United States 70-68=138
4 Art Wall, Jr.   United States 67-72=139 −1
T5 Jay Hebert   United States 68-72=140 E
Ted Kroll   United States 72-68=140
Ernie Vossler   United States 68-72=140
T8 Don Fairfield   United States 70-71=141 +1
Gene Littler   United States 71-70=141
Bob Rosburg   United States 70-71=141

Source:[5][6]

Third roundEdit

Sunday, July 30, 1961 (morning)

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Don January   United States 72-66-67=205 −5
2 Jerry Barber   United States 69-67-71=207 −3
T3 Wes Ellis   United States 71-71-68=210 E
Ted Kroll   United States 72-68-70=210
5 Johnny Pott   United States 71-73-67=211 +1
T6 Paul Harney   United States 70-73-69=212 +2
Jay Hebert   United States 68-72-72=212
Doug Sanders   United States 70-68-74=212
Art Wall, Jr.   United States 67-72-73=212
T10 Gardner Dickinson   United States 71-71-71=213 +3
Bob Goalby   United States 73-72-68=213

Final roundEdit

Sunday, July 30, 1961 (afternoon)

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
T1 Jerry Barber   United States 69-67-71-70=277 −3 Playoff
Don January   United States 72-66-67-72=277
3 Doug Sanders   United States 70-68-74-68=280 E 3,600
4 Ted Kroll   United States 72-68-70-71=281 +1 3,100
T5 Wes Ellis   United States 71-71-68-72=282 +2 2,209
Doug Ford   United States 69-73-74-66=282
Gene Littler   United States 71-70-72-69=282
Arnold Palmer   United States 73-72-69-68=282
Johnny Pott   United States 71-73-67-71=282
Art Wall, Jr.   United States 67-72-73-70=282

PlayoffEdit

Monday, July 31, 1961

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
1 Jerry Barber   United States 35-32=67 −3 11,000
2 Don January   United States 34-34=68 −2 5,500

ScorecardEdit

Hole  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Par 5 4 4 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 3 4 5 3 4 4 4 4
  Barber −1 −1 −1 E E E E E E E E −1 −1 −2 −3 −3 −3 −3
  January E −1 −1 −1 −2 −2 E E −1 −1 −2 −2 −2 −2 −2 −3 −3 −2
Birdie Bogey Double bogey

Source:[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Barber Small and Old but Champion". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. August 1, 1961. p. 16.
  2. ^ a b "Tournament Info for: 1961 PGA Championship". PGA.com. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Downpour washes out second round of PGA". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. July 29, 1961. p. 8.
  4. ^ "Barber (136) Leads PGA Test". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. July 31, 1961. p. 4, part 2.
  5. ^ a b "Barber clips par for 67, leads PGA". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. July 30, 1961. p. 1, section 4.
  6. ^ a b c "PGA Tournament scoreboard". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. July 30, 1961. p. 4, section 4.
  7. ^ Nichols, Bill (June 11, 2003). "January lives with that sinking feeling". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (Dallas Morning News). p. D-2.
  8. ^ Wright, Alfred (August 7, 1961). "Rain, strain and a win". Sports Illustrated. p. 10.
  9. ^ a b "Barber defeats January by 1 stroke to win PGA Championship in playoff". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. August 1, 1961. p. 16.
  10. ^ Chase, Al (June 23, 1946). "Olympia Fields acres expected to be homesites". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. B, part 3.
  11. ^ "Wall grabs PGA lead; Palmer fumes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. July 28, 1961. p. 16.
  12. ^ "PGA tournament scoreboard". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. July 28, 1961. p. 18.

External linksEdit