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Forrest Oliver Fezler (September 23, 1949 – December 21, 2018) was an American golf course design consultant and PGA Tour professional golfer. His most prosperous year as a professional came in 1974, when he won the Southern Open and finished in second place to Hale Irwin at the U.S. Open, his best finish at a major.
|Full name||Forrest Oliver Fezler|
|Born||September 23, 1949|
|Died||December 21, 2018 (aged 69)|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)|
|College||San Jose City College|
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour|
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in major championships|
|Masters Tournament||T30: 1975|
|PGA Championship||T32: 1974|
|U.S. Open||2nd: 1974|
|The Open Championship||WD: 1974|
Fezler was born in Hayward, California. He first showed an interest in the game of golf as a 7-year-old boy growing up in San Jose, California by drawing golf holes. As a youth, he would sneak onto the course at the San Jose Country Club to practice. He attended James Lick High School and was a member of the golf team; and a teammate of future fellow PGA Tour player Roger Maltbie. Fezler attended San Jose City College from 1968–1969. Fezler won the California State Amateur, Santa Clara County Championship and the California State Community College Championship in 1969.
Fezler played on the PGA Tour from 1972 to 1983, and won one event. He had 30 top-10 finishes including eight runner-up finishes. He won the PGA Rookie of the Year award in 1973. His career year was 1974 when he won the Southern Open and finished in 2nd place to Hale Irwin at the U.S. Open. This was his best finish in a major championship. In 1976, Fezler tore the tendons in his left wrist and was forced to make major adjustments in his game – both in the number of tournaments he played and in his swing. He would limit his full-time professional play in 1983, and in 1984 took the head club pro job at Blackhawk Country Club in the East Bay region of California. He earned $527,000 in career winnings.
Dress code protestEdit
Fezler was unhappy with the PGA Tour's dress code that required players to wear slacks. At the 1983 U.S. Open, which is run by the USGA, Fezler was goaded by a reporter to wear shorts in protest the next day during the tournament. Before playing the last hole of the last round, he stepped into a portable toilet and changed into shorts, then left the course to avoid possible admonishment by the USGA.
Golf course designEdit
In 1994, Fezler changed careers and got into the golf course design and construction business as a partner with South Carolina-based Mike Strantz, an award-winning former associate of Tom Fazio. He developed his own golf course, which he called Golden Eagle, in Tallahassee, Florida.
Amateur wins (3)Edit
- 1969 Santa Clara County Championship, California State Amateur, California Community College Championship
Professional wins (2)Edit
PGA Tour wins (1)Edit
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||Sep 8, 1974||Southern Open||−9 (70-68-68-65=271)||1 stroke||Bruce Crampton, J. C. Snead|
PGA Tour playoff record (0–1)
|1||1974||American Golf Classic||Gay Brewer, Jim Colbert, Raymond Floyd||Colbert won with par on second extra hole|
Brewer and Fezler eliminated with par on first extra hole
Other wins (1)Edit
- 1975 Confidence Open
Results in major championshipsEdit
|The Open Championship||WD|
CUT = missed the half-way cut
WD = withdrew
"T" = tied
- "People in the Game: Fezler". Golf Today. October 2002.
- Strege, John (December 21, 2018). "Forrest Fezler, remembered for protesting USGA by playing 18th hole of 1983 U.S. Open wearing shorts, has died". Golf Digest. Retrieved December 21, 2018.