Piccadilly Medal

The Piccadilly Medal was a men's professional golf tournament on the British PGA tournament circuit that was played in 1962 and from 1964 to 1976. Since the circuit later evolved into the European Tour, the tournament is recognised as an official European Tour event from 1972. It was played in a variety of formats. From 1962 to 1967 it was a 72-hole stroke-play event, in 1968 it was a four-ball better-ball match play event, from 1969 to 1975 it was a knockout stroke-play event while in 1976 it reverted to the 72-hole stroke-play format. From 1964 to 1968 the event was played on the East course at Wentworth, just before the Piccadilly World Match Play Championship which was played on the West Course there. Carreras withdrew their golf sponsorship after the 1976 season.

Piccadilly Medal
Tournament information
Established1962
Tour(s)European Tour (1972–1976)
Final year1976
Final champion
Sam Torrance
Piccadilly Medal is located in England
Hillside Golf Club
Hillside Golf Club
Wentworth Club
Wentworth Club
Prince's Golf Club
Prince's Golf Club
Southerndown Golf Club
Southerndown Golf Club
Coventry Golf Club
Coventry Golf Club
Locations of the venues in England and Wales

HistoryEdit

The event started in 1962 as the Piccadilly Number One tournament. Total prize money was £8,000 with a first prize of £2,000. The £2,000 first prize was the largest ever for a British event, although the total prize was exceeded by the Open Championship's £8,500.[1] The first two rounds were split between Hillside Golf Club and Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club, with one round played on each course. It was the first important professional tournament in Britain with a planned Sunday finish. The event marked the first British professional appearance of Jack Nicklaus.[2] Nicklaus had a 79 in the first round and, although he made the cut, finished 15 strokes behind the winner.

The event planned for May 1963 was cancelled[3] and replaced by the new Gevacolor Tournament with total prize money of £3,500.[4]

In 1964 the Piccadilly World Match Play Championship was started on the West Course at Wentworth. From 1964 to 1968 another tournament was played on the East Course immediately before the World Match Play Championship. From 1964 to 1967 this was a 72-hole stroke-play event while in 1968 it was a four-ball better-ball match play tournament. The first tournament was played from 5 to 7 October 1964. The winner was Jimmy Martin who took home £750 of the total prize fund of £4,000.[5] The 1965 event was played on 11 and 12 October and was won by Peter Butler.[6] The 1966 event was played on 4 and 5 October and was won by Bernard Hunt.[7] The 1967 event was played on 10 and 11 October. The winner was Peter Butler who won for the second time.[8] Because there were no British golfers in the main event, there had been talk of a boycott of this event by some of the British golfers. In the end the PGA issued a statement and the boycott came to nothing.[9][10]

The 72-hole stroke play competition which had been played on the East Course prior to the World Match Play Championship was replaced by a four-ball better-ball match play tournament. 32 pairs competed in the knock-out competition, each round over 18 holes of the East Course. The plan was to play the first round on Monday 7 October, followed by two rounds on each of the following two days. However, heavy rain on the second day meant that the third round could not be played that day and the final was delayed until Thursday 10 October, the same day as the opening round of the 1968 Piccadilly World Match Play Championship.[11] The winners were Richard Emery and Hugh Jackson who beat Neil Coles and Bryon Hutchinson 2&1 in the final. The winners won £500 each out of the total prize money was £4,000.[12]

In 1969 the event moved from Wentworth and became the Piccadilly Medal. This was a knockout stroke-play event with 64 players. The first round was on 16 July with two rounds on 17 and 18 July and a 36-hole final on 19 July. The same format was used in 1970 and 1971. In 1972 there was an 18-hole qualifying round at Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club prior to the knockout stage although three players (Jacklin, Coles and Oosterhuis) were given an exemption from qualifying.[13] In 1973 qualifying was dropped and field increased to 128 with both the semi-finals and final played on the Saturday. The final event, in 1976, was a 72-hole stroke-play event. Total prize money was increased from £15,000 to £40,000.

WinnersEdit

Year Winner Country Venue Score Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share (£)
Ref
Piccadilly Medal
1976 Sam Torrance   Scotland Coventry Golf Club 277 2 strokes   Bob Shearer 6,000 [14]
1975 Bob Shearer   Australia Coventry Golf Club 70 19 holes   Andries Oosthuizen 2,500 [15]
1974 Maurice Bembridge   England Coventry Golf Club 65 5 strokes   Peter Oosterhuis 2,500 [16]
1973 Peter Oosterhuis   England Coventry Golf Club 67 6 strokes   Terry Westbrook 2,500 [17]
1972 Tommy Horton   England Hillside Golf Club 157 1 stroke   Guy Hunt 2,500 [18]
1971 Peter Oosterhuis   England Southerndown Golf Club Walk-over   Eric Brown 1,500 [19]
1970 John Lister   New Zealand Southerndown Golf Club 134 3 strokes   Tommy Horton 1,500 [20]
1969 Peter Alliss   England Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich 149 37 holes   George Will 1,500 [21]
Piccadilly Fourball Match Play
1968 Richard Emery &
Hugh Jackson
  England
  Northern Ireland
Wentworth Club 2&1   Neil Coles &
  Bryon Hutchinson
500
(each)
[12]
Piccadilly Tournament
1967 Peter Butler   England Wentworth Club 263 2 strokes   Brian Huggett 750 [8]
1966 Bernard Hunt   England Wentworth Club 262 2 strokes   Peter Green 750 [7]
1965 Peter Butler   England Wentworth Club 267 2 strokes   Dai Rees 750 [6]
1964 Jimmy Martin   Ireland Wentworth Club 268 2 strokes   Bernard Hunt 750 [5]
Piccadilly No. 1 Tournament
1963: No tournament
1962 Peter Thomson   Australia Hillside Golf Club
(and Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club)
283 3 strokes   Christy O'Connor Snr 2,000 [22]

In 1969 Alliss beat Will with a 4 at the 37th hole. In 1971 Brown retired at the 34th hole with a damaged wrist. In 1975 Shearer beat Oosthuizen with a 4 at the 19th hole.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Record £2,000 Golf Prize". The Times. 9 February 1962. p. 4.
  2. ^ "Nicklaus No. ! Attraction". The Times. 17 May 1962. p. 3.
  3. ^ "Piccadilly event called off". The Times. 12 December 1962. p. 4.
  4. ^ "Gevacolor Tournament". The Times. 8 January 1963. p. 4.
  5. ^ a b "Martin Welcomes Rain And First Prize". The Times. 8 October 1964. p. 3.
  6. ^ a b "Rees Fails By Two Strokes To Catch Butler". The Times. 13 October 1965. p. 3.
  7. ^ a b "Hunt sets record to win Piccadilly event". The Times. 6 October 1966. p. 5.
  8. ^ a b "Butler sweeps to Victory". The Times. 12 October 1967. p. 13.
  9. ^ "Boycott would be unwise". The Times. 25 September 1967. p. 13.
  10. ^ "Statement Ends Golf Dispute". The Times. 27 September 1967. p. 11.
  11. ^ "Wentworth waterlogged". The Times. 9 October 1968. p. 16.
  12. ^ a b "4-ball title". The Times. 11 October 1968. p. 13.
  13. ^ "Four Ryder Cup men fail". The Times. 25 April 1972. p. 11.
  14. ^ "Torrance has right approach". The Glasgow Herald. 17 May 1976. p. 17.
  15. ^ "British golf prestige takes another knock". The Glasgow Herald. 12 May 1975. p. 19.
  16. ^ "Bembridge finds magic touch again". The Glasgow Herald. 27 May 1974. p. 4.
  17. ^ "Oosterhuis wins Piccadilly for second time". The Glasgow Herald. 30 April 1973. p. 5.
  18. ^ "Horton beats Hunt in undistinguished final of Piccadilly". The Glasgow Herald. 1 May 1972. p. 6.
  19. ^ "Brown admires Oosterhuis's play". The Glasgow Herald. 16 August 1971. p. 5.
  20. ^ "Fates conspire against Horton". The Glasgow Herald. 3 August 1970. p. 5.
  21. ^ "Alliss preferred to Horton". The Times. 21 July 1969. p. 6.
  22. ^ "Three-stroke win for Thomson". The Glasgow Herald. 21 May 1962. p. 10.

External linksEdit