Sahara Invitational

The Sahara Invitational was a PGA Tour event in Nevada from 1958 through 1976, played Las Vegas and sponsored by the Sahara Hotel. In the first four years, it was the Sahara Pro-Am and an unofficial tour event. Paradise Valley Country Club hosted in 1970 and 1971, and Sahara Nevada Country Club from 1972–1976.

Sahara Invitational
Tournament information
LocationLas Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Established1958, 1962
Course(s)Sahara Nevada Country Club (1972–76)
Par71
Length6,800 yards (6,220 m)[1]
Tour(s)PGA Tour
FormatStroke play – 72 holes
Prize fund$150,000 (1976)
Month playedSeptember – October
Final year1976
Final champion
United States George Archer

Jack Nicklaus won Sahara four times in a seven-year span in the 1960s, and three future major champions (Tony Lema,[2] Lanny Wadkins, and John Mahaffey) made Sahara their first tour victory.

A month after the 1976 event,[1] it was announced in early November that the Sahara Invitational was being discontinued. Edward M. Nigro, vice president and general manager of Hotel Sahara, cited rising costs, scheduling conflicts, and a decline in the national promotion benefit as the reasons for the tournament's cancellation.[3]

The Las Vegas Founders returned the PGA Tour to Las Vegas in 1983 with the Panasonic Las Vegas Pro Celebrity Classic; since 2007, it has been organized by the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

WinnersEdit

Sahara Invitational

Year Winner Country Score To par Winner's
share ($)
1976 George Archer   United States 271 −13 27,000
1975 Dave Hill   United States 270 −14 27,000
1974 Al Geiberger   United States 273 −11 27,000
1973 John Mahaffey   United States 271 −13 27,000
1972 Lanny Wadkins   United States 273 −11 27,000
1971 Lee Trevino   United States 280 −8 27,000
1970 Babe Hiskey   United States 276 −12 20,000
1969 Jack Nicklaus (4)   United States 272 −12 20,000
1968 Chi-Chi Rodríguez   Puerto Rico 274 −10 20,000
1967 Jack Nicklaus   United States 270 −14 20,000
1966 Jack Nicklaus   United States 282 −2 20,000
1965 Billy Casper   United States 269 −15 20,000
1964 R. H. Sikes   United States 275 −9 12,000
1963 Jack Nicklaus   United States 276 −8 13,000
1962 Tony Lema   United States 270 −14   2,800

Sahara Pro-Am

Year Winner
1961 Phil Rodgers
1960 Bob Duden
1959 Doug Sanders
1958 Bill Johnston

Tournament highlightsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Sahara victory surprises Archer". The Day. New London, Connecticut). Associated Press. October 4, 1976. p. 29.
  2. ^ a b "Lema victor at Las Vegas with a 270". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. October 1, 1962. p. 12.
  3. ^ "Sahara golf no more". Lakeland Ledger. (Florida). Associated Press. November 5, 1976. p. 1B.
  4. ^ Dick Sikes breaks in with Sahara golf win
  5. ^ Jack Nicklaus wins Sahara golf tourney
  6. ^ Chi Chi wins Sahara
  7. ^ Nicklaus wins Sahara event
  8. ^ Trevino wins Sahara Open
  9. ^ Geiberger ends drought with Sahara Open victory

External linksEdit