American Golf Classic

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American Golf Classic
Tournament information
Location Akron, Ohio
Established 1961
Course(s) Firestone Country Club
South Course
North Course (1976)
Par 70   (72: North, 1976)
Length 7,180 yd (6,565 m) (1974)[1]
7,105 yd (6,497 m) (1976)[2]
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Format Stroke play
Month played August (1976), June (1974)
Final year 1976
Final champion
Australia David Graham
Firestone CC  is located in the US
Firestone CC 
Firestone CC 
Location in the United States
Firestone CC  is located in Ohio
Firestone CC 
Firestone CC 
Location in Ohio

The American Golf Classic was a tournament on the PGA Tour from 1961 to 1976 at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. It was the third event at the storied South course, after the Rubber City Open Invitational (1954–1959) and the PGA Championship in 1960.[3]

The final edition in 1976 was played on the North course, with the World Series of Golf held the following week on the South course.[2][4] The World Series of Golf was succeeded by the current WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, held on the South course.


Year Winner Country Score
1976 David Graham  Australia 274 (−14)
1975 No tournament – hosted PGA Championship
1974 Jim Colbert  United States 281 (+1)
1973 Bruce Crampton  Australia 273 (−7)
1972 Bert Yancey  United States 276 (−4)
1971 Jerry Heard  United States 275 (−5)
1970 Frank Beard  United States 276 (−4)
1969 Raymond Floyd  United States 268 (−12)
1968 Jack Nicklaus  United States 280 (E)
1967 Arnold Palmer  United States 276 (−4)
1966 No tournament – hosted PGA Championship
1965 Al Geiberger  United States 280 (E)
1964 Ken Venturi  United States 275 (−5)
1963 Johnny Pott  United States 276 (−4)
1962 Arnold Palmer  United States 276 (−4)
1961 Jay Hebert  United States 278 (−2)

Tournament highlights[edit]

  • 1961: Jay Hebert wins the inaugural version of the tournament by defeating Gary Player on the second hole of a sudden death playoff. To get in the playoff, Hebert had to make a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole.[5]
  • 1963: Johnny Pott leads the second AGC wire to wire. He wins by four shots over Arnold Palmer.[6]
  • 1964: Ken Venturi makes the AGC his third triumph for 1964. He finishes five shots ahead of Mason Rudolph.[7]
  • 1965: Al Geiberger wins for the 3rd time ever on the PGA Tour. He finishes four shots ahead of Arnold Palmer. One year later, Geiberger would also win the PGA Championship at the Firestone Country Club.[8]
  • 1967: Arnold Palmer becomes the first and only multiple winner of the AGC. He finishes three shots ahead of Doug Sanders.[9]
  • 1968: Jack Nicklaus wins in a sudden death playoff over Lee Elder and Frank Beard.[10] Elder, a tour rookie at the time, matched Nicklaus shot for shot for four extra holes before losing on the fifth. The finish of the 1968 American Golf Classic has been called one of the most exciting in televised golf history.[11]
  • 1969: Raymond Floyd shoots a final round 65 to win by four shots over Bobby Nichols.[12]
  • 1973: Bruce Crampton wins by three shots over Lanny Wadkins, Gay Brewer, and Bob Murphy. It is Crampton's 4th win of the year and at the time vaults him to #1 on the money list for the year.[13]
  • 1974: Jim Colbert wins the AGC in a four-way playoff.[1] He defeats Raymond Floyd, Gay Brewer, and Forrest Fezler.[14]
  • 1976: David Graham wins the last edition of the tournament, the only one played on the North course.[2] He finishes four shots ahead of Lou Graham.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Colbert wins American Classic in playoff". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 24, 1974. p. 16. 
  2. ^ a b c "Akron ready to play host to 2 in a row". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. August 25, 1976. p. 45. 
  3. ^ "A Championship Legacy". Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  4. ^ "Jack 'salvages' season". Toledo Blade. Ohio. Associated Press. September 6, 1976. p. 34. 
  5. ^ Jay Hebert wins Golf Classic in playoff with Gary Player
  6. ^ Johnny Pott wins Golf Classic title
  7. ^ American Golf Title won by Ken Venturi
  8. ^ Al Geiberger pockets 20,000 for American Golf Classic win
  9. ^ McGowan falters; Palmer wins Classic
  10. ^ Nicklaus wins dramatic playoff with Lee Elder
  11. ^ Nicklaus, Jack; Wind, Herbert Warren (1969). The Greatest Game of All: My Life in Golf. Simon & Schuster. 
  12. ^ Ray Floyd proves point
  13. ^ Bruce Crampton triumphs in American Golf Classic
  14. ^ Jim Colbert gets it all in Golf Classic
  15. ^ Harris, Mike (August 30, 1976). "Australian David Graham wins American Golf Classic". Argus-Press. Owosso, Michigan. Associated Press. p. 10. 

External links[edit]