Thursday, April 8, 2010

Still More 1964 PGA - Columbus Country Club

double click to enlarge photos

Many colorful performers competed in the '64 PGA. Top: the ultimate stylist Tony Lema. Tony had just ascended to the game's upper echelon with his victory in the British Open the previous month . Middle: Julius Boros, three time major winner. Boros's tempo, much like that of Fred Couples now, was the best on tour. Bottom: genial Lionel Hebert who took time off from his practice putting to chat with me.

Below right is golden-locked Al Besselink, a hard living golf hustler who was good enough to win several tour events including the Tournament of Champions. Al is not smiling- he may have been worn out from sampling Columbus's nightlife, or more likely, he was peeved that I was interrupting his practice.

Lionel Hebert's brother Jay (right), 1960 PGA champ, chips on 13.

Before Jack, the game's longest hitter was George Bayer, a former football player. 6'5" George wedges on to 12 green.

Below , Jack Nicklaus, playing in his hometown, launches one off the second tee. Jack finished tied for second with Palmer behind Bobby Nichols who was on fire with the putter that week.

Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus simul-putt on the par 3 13th at Columbus.

Below, right: Arnold Palmer at the exact instant he holed a long one on the second hole in the practice round. Arnie was coming off a win at the '64 Masters and no doubt believed he could hold off Nicklaus and stay number 1. Alas, he never won another major, and his gradual decline was about to begin.

My Brookside friend Steve Metcalf caddied for Don January. He recalled that January played with Arnold Palmer in Wednesday's practice round. Steve had no photos to commemorate this experience. Now 46 years later, maybe he does! Above: Arnold in his unique knock kneed stance putts on 13. I found confirmation of Steve's recollection as the angular January and his ever-present floppy hat made the far left of this adjusted frame.

I tilted the frame to the right to get a better view of the two caddies. I am betting that the caddy immediately right of Palmer is Steve Metcalf. Steve: let me know.

Mike Fetchick, winner of the Western Open, explodes with Jim Ferrier looking on.

The one and only Chi Chi

Jim Ferree shows classic form teeing off on 11.

Jack Burke, Jr. PGA and Masters champion

In his long career, Burke has experienced a metamorphosis. During his playing career, winding down when this photo was taken, he was described by Bob Hope as the "pro from Boystown," because of his boyish looks. Now he is the revered (though irascible) senior sage of the game.

Johnny Pott, who won the American Golf Classic at Firestone drives. Mason Rudolph watches Pott's tee ball.

Hope you enjoyed this restrospective of the last pro major played in Columbus.

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