500 Festival Open Invitation
The 500 Festival Open Invitation was a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour, played during the 1960s in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was sponsored by The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization created in 1957 to organize civic events to promote the Indianapolis 500.
|Course(s)||Speedway Golf Course|
|Format||Stroke play – 72 holes (2018)|
|Month played||June (1968)|
The tournament was played at the Speedway Golf Course, located in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex; the exception was in 1965, when it was played at Greentree Country Club while the Speedway was undergoing renovations.
|1968||Jun 6–9||Billy Casper (3)||70-71-69-70=280||−8||20,000|||
|1967||Jul 6–9||Frank Beard||70-71-69-69=279||−9||20,000|||
|1966||Jul 28–31||Billy Casper||69-70-68-70=277||−11||16,400|||
|1965||May 24–27||Bruce Crampton||71-70-67-71=279||−5||15,200|||
|1964||May 27–31||Gary Player||70-66-70-67=273||−11||12,000|||
|1963||May 31 – Jun 3||Dow Finsterwald||68-68-64-68=268||−16||10,000|||
|1962||May 24–27||Billy Casper||66-67-67-64=264||−18||9,000|||
|1961||May 25–28||Doug Ford (2)||69-69-67-68=273||−12||9,000|||
|1960||May 26–29||Doug Ford||66-68-68-68=270||−14||9,000|||
- 1961: Ford won on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff over Arnold Palmer.
- 1963: The Indianapolis 500 was held Thursday May 30, and the tournament was held over four days from Friday, May 31 to Monday, June 3. Previously the golf tournament was held prior to the running of the race. The one-day turnaround required grounds crews to quickly clean up the nine holes inside the track, used on race day for parking by fans. Considerable attention was given to the fact that several top names on the PGA Tour decided to skip the event. Among the reasons cited was the low purse, and the overall unchallenging nature of the course.
- 1964: The tournament was held Wednesday, May 27 through Friday, May 29, then concluded Sunday May 31. The Indianapolis 500 was held Saturday May 30. Gary Player sank a birdie putt on the final hole to clinch the victory.
- 1965: The 1965 tournament was held at Greentree Country Club. The Speedway Golf Course was undergoing a renovation project.
- 1966: The tournament was moved out of the month of May and away from the activities directly surrounding the Indy 500.
Two players won the tournament more than once:
- "The 500 Festival". Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2007.
- Casper nips Hill for fourth win
- Beard Wins Speedway
- Billy Casper Is Winner at Indianapolis
- Crampton Scores Narrow Victory in 500 Tourney
- Player Plans Brief Vacation
- Finsterwald Wins Golf Tournament
- Casper Grabs First Money in 500 Open
- Ford Gold Playoff Winner
- Doug Ford Wins Speedway Golf
- Speedway Golf Sponsors Angry