Azalea Open Invitational

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Azalea Open Invitational
Tournament information
Location Wilmington, North Carolina
Established 1945 (Mobile, Alabama)
Course(s) Cape Fear Country Club
Par 71
Length 6,575 yards (6,012 m)[1]
Tour(s) PGA Tour
(1945, 1949–1970)
Format Stroke play - 72 holes
Prize fund $35,000 (1971)
$60,000 (1970)
Month played November (1971)
(primarily in early spring)
Final year 1971
Final champion
United States George Johnson
Wilmington  is located in the US
Wilmington 
Wilmington 
Location in the United States
Wilmington     is located in North Carolina
Wilmington    
Wilmington    
Location in North Carolina

The Azalea Open Invitational was a golf tournament in North Carolina on the PGA Tour, held at Cape Fear Country Club in Wilmington. Last played in November 1971 as an unofficial event;[1][2] it was an official PGA Tour event in 1945 and from 1949 through 1970. The Heritage in South Carolina debuted in 1969 and soon displaced it on the schedule.[3]

It was also played under the names of the Azalea Open and the Wilmington Azalea Open; all were centerpieces of the city's Azalea Festival. Cape Fear was designed by noted course architect Donald Ross.[3]

From 1950 through 1965, the Azalea Open was a tune-up event for the first major of the year, The Masters in Augusta, Georgia. Jerry Barber, the winner of the PGA Championship in 1961, won the Wilmington event three times (1953, 1961, 1963). Arnold Palmer won in 1957 and nearly repeated,[4] falling by a stroke in an 18-hole playoff in 1958; the difference was a penalty stroke he called on himself.[5][6]

Tournament hosts[edit]

  • 1946–1971 – Cape Fear Country Club, Wilmington, North Carolina
  • 1945 – Mobile Country Club, Mobile, Alabama

Winners[edit]

Year Date Player Winner's
share ($)
Purse ($) Notes
Azalea Open Invitational
1971 Nov 21 George Johnson 7,000 35,000 [1][2]
1970 Oct 4 Cesar Sanudo 12,000   60,000 [7]
1969 Apr 20 Dale Douglass 5,000 35,000 [8]
1968 Apr 21 Steve Reid 5,000 35,000 [9]
1967 Apr 16 Randy Glover 5,000 35,000 [10]
1966 Apr 17 Bert Yancey 3,200 22,800 [11]
1965 Mar 28 Dick Hart 3,850 28,750 [12]
Azalea Open
1964 Mar 30 Al Besselink 2,700 20,000 [13]
1963 Mar 31 Jerry Barber (3) 2,800 20,000 [14]
1962 Apr 1 Dave Marr 2,800 20,000 [15]
1961 Apr 2 Jerry Barber (2) 1,200 12,000 [16]
1960 Apr 3 Tom Nieporte 2,000 15,000 [17]
1959 Mar 31 Art Wall 2,000 15,000 [18]
1958 Mar 31 Howie Johnson 2,000 15,000 [5][6]
1957 Mar 31 Arnold Palmer 1,700 12,500 [4]
1956 Apr 1 Mike Souchak 2,200 12,500 [19]
1955 Apr 3 Billy Maxwell 2,200 12,500 [20]
1954 Mar 28 Bob Toski 2,000 10,000 [21]
1953 Apr 5 Jerry Barber (1) 2,000 10,000 [22]
1952 Mar 30 Jimmy Clark 2,000 10,000 [23][24]
Wilmington Azalea Open
1951 Apr 1 Lloyd Mangrum 2,000 10,000 [25]
1950 Apr 2 Dutch Harrison 2,000 10,000 [26]
Wilmington Open
1949 Apr 24 Henry Ransom 2,000 10,000 [27]
Azalea Open
1946 Al Besselink (amateur; non-PGA Tour event)
1945 Nov 19 Sam Byrd 2,000 10,000 [28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "George Johnson grabs Azalea golf tourney". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. (Florida). Associated Press. November 22, 1971. p. 31. 
  2. ^ a b Collins, Corky (November 22, 1971). "Johnson wins Azalea in playoff". Wilmington Morning Star. (North Carolina). p. 1D. 
  3. ^ a b Blondin, Alan (May 4, 2017). "Wilmington used to be home to star-studded PGA Tour event". PGA of America. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Palmer captures Azalea by stroke". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. April 1, 1957. p. 1C. 
  5. ^ a b "Johnson wins Azalea Open". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. April 1, 1958. p. 1C. 
  6. ^ a b "Howie Johnson takes Azalea; penalty helps". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. April 1, 1958. p. 3, sec. 3. 
  7. ^ "Sanudo by one". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. (Florida). Associated Press. October 5, 1970. 
  8. ^ "Douglass gets 1st win". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. April 21, 1969. p. 11. 
  9. ^ "Reid wins Azalea Open in sudden-death final". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. April 22, 1968. p. 6C. 
  10. ^ "Glover tops Campbell to take Azalea play". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. (Florida). Associated Press. April 17, 1967. p. 12. 
  11. ^ "Azalea win goes to Yancey". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. (Florida). Associated Press. April 18, 1966. p. 12. 
  12. ^ "Hart captures Azalea playoff from Rodgers". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. (Florida). Associated Press. March 29, 1965. p. 12. 
  13. ^ "Triple bogey doesn't keep Al Besselink from victory". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Florida). Associated Press. March 31, 1964. p. 8. 
  14. ^ "Golf event win taken by Barber". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Florida). Associated Press. April 1, 1963. p. 20. 
  15. ^ "Playoff won by Dave Marr". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Florida). Associated Press. April 2, 1962. p. 17. 
  16. ^ "It's sudden-death...and Barber is killer". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. April 3, 1961. p. 1C. 
  17. ^ "Tom Nieporte golf victor". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Florida). Associated Press. April 4, 1960. p. 26. 
  18. ^ "Azalea Open won by Wall; Souchak 2d". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. March 31, 1959. p. 2B. 
  19. ^ "Souchak takes Azalea Open". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. April 1, 1956. p. 16. 
  20. ^ "Billy Maxwell rallies to win Azalea golf". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. April 4, 1955. p. 19. 
  21. ^ "Toski's 273 takes first place Azalea Open money". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. March 30, 1954. p. 14. 
  22. ^ "Barber wins Azalea Open". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). United Press. April 6, 1953. p. 2B. 
  23. ^ Williams, John (March 31, 1952). "Clark wins Azalea Open, breaks record with 272". Wilmington Morning Star. (North Carolina). p. 1. 
  24. ^ "Clark cards 272 to take Azalea Open". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. March 31, 1952. p. 20. 
  25. ^ "Mangrum wins Azalea tournament". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Florida). Associated Press. April 2, 1951. p. 9. 
  26. ^ "Dutch Harrison wins Azalea Open". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Florida). Associated Press. April 3, 1950. p. 10. 
  27. ^ "Wilmington Open taken by Ransom". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. April 25, 1949. p. 1, sec.4. 
  28. ^ "Sam Byrd wins Azalea playoff". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. November 20, 1945. p. 1, sec. 2. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°13′12″N 77°55′05″W / 34.22°N 77.918°W / 34.22; -77.918