1961 PGA Championship

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1961 PGA Championship
Tournament information
Dates July 27–31, 1961
Location Olympia Fields, Illinois
Course(s) Olympia Fields Country Club
North Course
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Format Stroke play
Statistics
Par 70
Length 6,722 yards (6,147 m)[1]
Field 161 players, 65 after cut
Cut 148 (+8)
Prize fund $64,800[2]
Winner's share $11,000
Champion
United States Jerry Barber
277 (−3), playoff
Olympia Fields Country Club is located in United States
Olympia Fields Country Club
Olympia Fields Country Club
Location in the United States

The 1961 PGA Championship was the 43rd PGA Championship, played July 27–31 at the North Course of Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois, a suburb south of Chicago. Jerry Barber, age 45, won his only major title in an 18-hole Monday playoff by one stroke over Don January, 67 to 68. It was the fourth edition as a stroke play event and the first playoff.[1]

Rain washed out the second round on Friday, the few completed scores were scrapped and replayed on Saturday, with 36 holes on Sunday. Barber led at the midway point with a 136 (−4), two shots ahead of January and Doug Sanders.[3] A top putter of the era, Barber sank 120 feet (37 m) of putts on the last three holes of the final round to erase a four-stroke deficit to January and force a Monday playoff. At the 72nd hole, January had a two-stroke lead, but put his tee shot into the sand. With Barber on the green but an improbable 60 feet (18 m) away, January played conservatively for the bogey. Barber drained his third lengthy putt in as many holes (eagle-par-birdie) to even it up at the end of regulation.[4]

In the playoff, the two were tied at three-under after 16 holes, following January's birdie. Both had pars at the 17th, which effectively turned the 18th hole into sudden-death. Both tee shots found fairway bunkers, and Barber hit a 3-iron onto the green, 18 feet (5.5 m) from the cup. January found another bunker short of the green and could not save par from 15 feet (4.6 m).[5][6]

At age 45, Barber became the oldest winner of the PGA Championship, whose previous champions were all under age 40, with several at age 39. At the time, the only older major winner was Old Tom Morris at age 46 in 1867. Barber was surpassed in 1968 by Julius Boros at age 48.

It was the third major championship at Olympia Fields Country Club; it previously hosted the PGA Championship in 1925 (Courses 3 & 4) and the U.S. Open in 1928 (Course 4). The four 18-hole courses at Olympia Fields were reduced to two in the 1940s when the club sold half of its property. Formerly named numerically, the remaining courses were North and South. The North Course later hosted the U.S. Open in 2003, won by Jim Furyk.

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Doug Ford  United States 1955 69 73 74 66 282 +2 5
Jay Hebert  United States 1960 68 72 72 72 284 +4 13
Walter Burkemo  United States 1953 71 71 73 70 285 +5 14
Bob Rosburg  United States 1959 70 71 73 73 287 +7 T19
Sam Snead  United States 1942, 1949, 1951 72 71 71 75 289 +9 T27
Dow Finsterwald  United States 1958 74 74 71 74 293 +13 T41
Jim Ferrier  Australia 1947 73 73 77 72 295 +15 T45
Jack Burke, Jr.  United States 1956 76 71 72 78 297 +17 T52
Chick Harbert  United States 1954 73 75 73 76 297 +17 T52

Missed the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 Total To par
Lionel Hebert  United States 1957 75 74 149 +9
Vic Ghezzi  United States 1941 78 75 153 +13
Denny Shute  United States 1936, 1937 76 77 153 +13
Jim Turnesa  United States 1952 79 75 154 +14

Source:[2]

Final round[edit]

Sunday, July 30, 1961

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
T1 Jerry Barber  United States 69-67-71-70=277 −3 Playoff
Don January  United States 72-66-67-72=277
3 Doug Sanders  United States 70-68-74-68=280 E 3,600
4 Ted Kroll  United States 72-68-70-71=281 +1 3,100
T5 Wes Ellis  United States 71-71-68-72=282 +2 2,209
Doug Ford  United States 69-73-74-66=282
Gene Littler  United States 71-70-72-69=282
Arnold Palmer  United States 73-72-69-68=282
Johnny Pott  United States 71-73-67-71=282
Art Wall, Jr.  United States 67-72-73-70=282

Playoff[edit]

Monday, July 31, 1961

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
1 Jerry Barber  United States 35-32=67 −3 11,000
2 Don January  United States 34-34=68 −2 5,500

Scorecard[edit]

Hole  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Par 5 4 4 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 3 4 5 3 4 4 4 4
United States Barber −1 −1 −1 E E E E E E E E −1 −1 −2 −3 −3 −3 −3
United States January E −1 −1 −1 −2 −2 E E −1 −1 −2 −2 −2 −2 −2 −3 −3 −2

Source:[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Barber Small and Old but Champion". The Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). Associated Press. August 1, 1961. p. 16. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Tournament Info for: 1961 PGA Championship". PGA.com. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Barber (136) Leads PGA Test". Milwaukee Sentinel (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). United Press International. July 31, 1961. p. 4, part 2. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ Nichols, Bill (June 11, 2003). "January lives with that sinking feeling". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. (Dallas Morning News). p. D-2. 
  5. ^ Wright, Alfred (August 7, 1961). "Rain, Strain And A Win". Sports Illustrated: 10. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Barber Defeats January by 1 Stroke To Win PGA Championship in Playoff". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Associated Press. August 1, 1961. p. 16. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1961 Open Championship
Major Championships Succeeded by
1962 Masters

Coordinates: 41°31′16″N 87°41′13″W / 41.521°N 87.687°W / 41.521; -87.687