Orville Moody

Orville James Moody (December 9, 1933 – August 8, 2008) was an American professional golfer who won numerous tournaments in his career. He won the U.S. Open in 1969, the last champion in the 20th century to win through local and sectional qualifying.[1][2]

Orville Moody
Personal information
Full nameOrville James Moody
Born(1933-12-09)December 9, 1933
Chickasha, Oklahoma
DiedAugust 8, 2008(2008-08-08) (aged 74)
Allen, Texas
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight200 lb (91 kg; 14 st)
Nationality United States
SpouseBeverly Moody
Children1 son, 3 daughters
CollegeOklahoma (briefly)
Turned professional1967
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins29
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour1
PGA Tour Champions11
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentT18: 1970
PGA ChampionshipT7: 1969
U.S. OpenWon: 1969
The Open ChampionshipT11: 1978
Achievements and awards
PGA Player of the Year1969
Orville Moody
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1952–1966

Early lifeEdit

Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, Moody was the youngest of ten children.[3] The son of a golf course superintendent, he began his career at Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City, winning the 1952 state high school golf championship. After attempting college for a few weeks at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Moody joined the U.S. Army. He was able to continue playing golf while in uniform, winning the All-Service championship and three Korea Opens. He spent fourteen years in the Army, heading up maintenance supervision and instruction at all Army golf courses.[4]

Professional golf careerEdit

Moody gave up his military career in favor of a trial run at the PGA Tour in 1967. His nickname on tour was "Sarge" because he rose to the rank of sergeant in the Army.[4][5] Moody had limited success on the PGA Tour prior to 1969. In April of that year, he took part in a four-way playoff at the Greater Greensboro Open won by Gene Littler.[6]

The U.S. Open in 1969 was played in June at the Cypress Creek Course of the Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. Defending champion Lee Trevino picked Moody to win, saying, "He's one helluva player."[7] Moody won by one stroke over Deane Beman, Al Geiberger, and Bob Rosburg with a 72-hole score of 281. He tied for sixteenth at the British Open, tied for seventh at the PGA Championship, and was named PGA Player of the Year for 1969.[8]

The U.S. Open win was Moody's sole tour victory in 266 career events, although he was runner-up five times.[9] He toured Japan, played in a few tournaments and eventually took a club pro job in Sulphur Springs, Texas.[4] Moody was troubled by poor putting during his early pro years.

His career on the Senior PGA Tour (now PGA Tour Champions) was dramatically different. After turning fifty in late 1983, he won two of his first five tournaments in 1984 and finished fifth on the money list. In 1989, he became only the fourth man to win both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Senior Open. Moody went to a long putter after becoming a senior golfer, and this method improved his putting significantly. He had eleven wins on the senior tour, with the last in 1992.

Moody had triple bypass heart surgery prior to the 1995 season, but still managed to play in 29 events.

Later lifeEdit

Moody continued to play in charity and other golf events up until 2007. The following year, he died at age 74 in Allen, Texas, from complications of a stroke he had earlier suffered and/or complications from multiple myeloma.[9] He was survived by his wife, Beverly, their son and three daughters, and eight grandchildren.[3]

Professional wins (29)Edit

PGA Tour wins (1)Edit

Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (0)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
1 Jun 15, 1969 U.S. Open 71-70-68-72=281 +1 1 stroke   Deane Beman,   Al Geiberger,
  Bob Rosburg

PGA Tour playoff record (0–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponents Result
1 1969 Greater Greensboro Open   Julius Boros,   Gene Littler,
  Tom Weiskopf
Littler won with birdie on fifth extra hole
Weiskopf eliminated by par on first hole
2 1973 Bing Crosby Pro-Am   Raymond Floyd,   Jack Nicklaus Nicklaus won with birdie on first extra hole

Asia Golf Circuit wins (1)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
1 Apr 4, 1971 Hong Kong Open 66-66-66-68=266 −14 2 strokes   Haruo Yasuda

Korean wins (5)Edit

Other wins (3)Edit

This list is incomplete

Senior PGA Tour wins (11)Edit

Senior PGA Tour major championships (2)
Other Senior PGA Tour (9)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
1 Apr 8, 1984 Daytona Beach Seniors Golf Classic 70-74-69=213 −3 Playoff   Arnold Palmer,   Dan Sikes
2 May 6, 1984 MONY Senior Tournament of Champions 71-75-70-72=288 E 7 strokes   Dan Sikes
3 Aug 16, 1987 Rancho Murieta Senior Gold Rush 69-67-69=205 −11 2 strokes   Butch Baird
4 Dec 13, 1987 GTE Kaanapali Classic 65-67=132* −12 3 strokes   John Brodie
5 Mar 6, 1988 Vintage Chrysler Invitational 66-64-70-63=263 −25 11 strokes   Al Geiberger,   Harold Henning
6 Jun 5 1988 Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am 70-70-66=206 −10 Playoff   Bob Charles,   Don Massengale,
  Bobby Nichols
7 Aug 21, 1988 Greater Grand Rapids Open 68-65-70=203 −7 1 stroke   Chick Evans,   Gary Player,
  Chi-Chi Rodríguez
8 Jun 11, 1989 Mazda Senior Tournament Players Championship 67-69-64-71=271 −17 2 strokes   Charles Coody
9 Jul 2, 1989 U.S. Senior Open 72-73-64-70=279 −9 2 strokes   Frank Beard
10 Jun 23, 1991 PaineWebber Invitational 69-68-70=207 −9 1 stroke   Dick Hendrickson
11 Aug 30, 1992 Franklin Showdown Classic 70-67=137* −7 Playoff   Bob Betley

*Note: Tournament shortened to 36 holes due to weather.

Senior PGA Tour playoff record (3–4)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1984 Daytona Beach Seniors Golf Classic   Arnold Palmer,   Dan Sikes Won with birdie on second extra hole
2 1985 Citizens Union Senior Golf Classic   Lee Elder,   Dan Sikes,
  Walt Zembriski
Elder won with birdie on third extra hole
Moody eliminated by birdie on second hole
3 1988 Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am   Bob Charles,   Don Massengale,
  Bobby Nichols
Won with birdie on first extra hole
4 1989 Southwestern Bell Classic   Bobby Nichols Lost to birdie on third extra hole
5 1989 Northville Long Island Classic   Butch Baird,   Frank Beard,
  Don Bies
Baird won with birdie on first extra hole
6 1989 Gatlin Brothers Southwest Senior Classic   George Archer,   Jimmy Powell Archer won with par on second extra hole
7 1992 Franklin Showdown Classic   Bob Betley Won with birdie on eighth extra hole

Other senior wins (10)Edit

Major championshipsEdit

Wins (1)Edit

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runners-up
1969 U.S. Open 3 shot deficit +1 (71-70-68-72=281) 1 stroke   Deane Beman,   Al Geiberger,
  Bob Rosburg

Results timelineEdit

Tournament 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open CUT 1
The Open Championship T16
PGA Championship T7
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
Masters Tournament T18 T20 CUT CUT 44
U.S. Open CUT T27 T15 CUT CUT
The Open Championship CUT T11 T19 CUT
PGA Championship T41 CUT WD T30 CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1970 and 1980 Open Championships)
WD = withdrew
"T" = tied


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 3
U.S. Open 1 0 0 1 1 2 7 3
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 3
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 3
Totals 1 0 0 1 2 8 23 12
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 4 (1969 U.S. Open – 1970 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (twice)

Champions Tour major championshipsEdit

Wins (2)Edit

Year Championship Winning Score Margin Runner-up
1989 Mazda Senior Tournament Players Championship −17 (67−69−64−71=271) 2 strokes   Charles Coody
1989 U.S. Senior Open −9 (72−73−64−70=279) 2 strokes   Frank Beard

U.S. national team appearancesEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "For the Record". Sports Illustrated. August 18, 2008. p. 22.
  2. ^ "U.S. Open Records - The Last Time It Happened". USGA. Archived from the original on November 15, 2015. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Goldstein, Richard (August 11, 2008). "Orville Moody, 74, Winner of the U.S. Open, Dies". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c "Orville Moody bio". Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  5. ^ "Open champ likes patriotic colors". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. June 16, 1970. p. 2B.
  6. ^ "Littler gets prize in golf playoff". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. April 7, 1969. p. 11.
  7. ^ Jenkins, Dan (June 23, 1969). "Old Sarge cools it". Sports Illustrated.
  8. ^ "U.S. Open History – Past Champions – 1969". USGA. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "1969 U.S. Open champion Orville Moody dies". Golf.com. August 8, 2008.
  10. ^ a b "Australian PGA Seniors Championship Winners List" (PDF). PGA Australia.

External linksEdit