Finsterwald in 1960
|Full name||Dow Henry Finsterwald|
September 6, 1929|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||160 lb (73 kg; 11 st)|
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Senior PGA Tour
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in major championships|
|Masters Tournament||3rd: 1960, 1962|
|U.S. Open||T3: 1960|
|The Open Championship||DNP|
|PGA Championship||Won: 1958|
|Achievements and awards|
|PGA Player of the Year||1958|
Dow Henry Finsterwald, Sr. (born September 6, 1929) is a retired American professional golfer who is best known for winning the 1958 PGA Championship. He won 11 Tour titles between 1955 and 1963, played on four Ryder Cup teams, and served as non-playing captain for the 1977 U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Finsterwald was born and raised in Athens, Ohio. He attended Ohio University in his hometown, where he played on the golf team and graduated in the Class of 1952. In 1969, he was inducted into the Ohio University Athletics Hall of Fame joining his father, Russ Finsterwald, who was in the first class of inductees as a football player, and later basketball and football head coach. He turned professional in 1951.
Finsterwald won 11 times on the PGA Tour during his career. He was known for his superb short game. He was one of the most consistent players on the Tour in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He finished fifth or better more than 50 times in his career. Finsterwald was a close friend of Arnold Palmer, who was also one of the dominant players on the Tour during this same time period.
Finsterwald played on four Ryder Cup Teams (1957, 1959, 1961, 1963) and was the non-playing captain of the 1977 team. He won the Vardon Trophy in 1957, which is awarded to the tour professional with the lowest scoring average. In 1958, he was honored as PGA Player of the Year. Finsterwald finished in the money in 72 consecutive tournaments – second only to Byron Nelson's 113 consecutive cuts. This record stood for many years until eclipsed by Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin and Tiger Woods; however, he is still fifth on the list today.
The 1958 PGA Championship was held at Llanerch Country Club in Havertown, Pennsylvania. This was the first PGA Championship held after the format was switched from match play to stroke play. Finsterwald finished the tournament with a two-stroke victory over Billy Casper. Four years later, Finsterwald and Gary Player lost one of the most epic battles in golf history – the 1962 Masters – in a playoff to Arnold Palmer.
Finsterwald was once involved in litigation in which a plaintiff claimed she lost the sight in her right eye as a result of an errant tee shot he hit at the 18th hole at the 1973 Western Open. A jury found Finsterwald not liable; however, Midlothian (Illinois) Country Club's insurers had to pay the woman about $450,000.
Finsterwald served as director of golf at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado for 28 years. He simultaneously served as PGA of America vice-president from 1976–1978; and on the USGA Rules of Golf committee from 1979-1981. He is also the Pro Emeritus of the Pikewood National Golf Club, based in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Finsterwald lives in Orlando, Florida during the winter and Colorado Springs during the summer. His wife Linda died in 2015. They have three sons and a daughter. His middle son, Dow Jr., is head pro at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, site of the Fort Worth Invitational.
Professional wins (13)
PGA Tour wins (11)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of victory||Runner(s)-up|
|1||May 29, 1955||Fort Wayne Invitational||−19 (65-66-71-67=269)||3 strokes||Doug Ford|
|2||May 13, 1956||Carling Open Invitational||−14 (65-71-69-69=274)||3 strokes|| Jack Burke, Jr., Billy Casper,|
|3||Feb 11, 1957||Tucson Open Invitational||−11 (68-67-66-68=269)||Playoff||Don Whitt|
|4||Jul 20, 1958||PGA Championship||−4 (67-72-70-67=276)||2 strokes||Billy Casper|
|5||Sep 8, 1958||Utah Open||−17 (69-65-67-66=267)||1 stroke||Fred Hawkins, Arnold Palmer|
|6||Apr 12, 1959||Greater Greensboro Open||−6 (68-68-65-77=278)||2 strokes||Art Wall, Jr.|
|7||Aug 9, 1959||Carling Open Invitational||−8 (74-68-66-68=276)||1 stroke||Gene Littler, Mike Souchak|
|8||Sep 7, 1959||Kansas City Open Invitational||−5 (68-69-69-69=275)||Playoff||Don Fairfield|
|9||Jan 11, 1960||Los Angeles Open||−4 (70-68-71-71=280)||3 strokes|| Bill Collins, Jay Hebert,|
|10||Apr 24, 1960||Greater New Orleans Open Invitational||−18 (69-66-66-69=270)||6 strokes||Al Besselink|
|11||Jun 3, 1963||500 Festival Open Invitation||−16 (68-68-64-68=268)||2 strokes|| Tommy Aaron, Julius Boros,|
Tony Lema, Bobby Nichols
Major championship is shown in bold.
PGA Tour playoff record (2–4)
|1||1956||Canadian Open||Doug Sanders||Lost to par on first extra hole|
|2||1957||Tucson Open Invitational||Don Whitt||Won 18 hole playoff (Finsterwald:65, Whitt:69)|
|3||1958||Rubber City Open Invitational||Art Wall, Jr.||Lost to birdie on second extra hole|
|4||1959||Buick Open Invitational||Art Wall, Jr.||Lost 18 hole playoff (Wall:71, Finsterwald:73)|
|5||1959||Kansas City Open Invitational||Don Fairfield||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
|6||1962||Masters Tournament||Arnold Palmer, Gary Player||Palmer won 18-hole playoff (Palmer:68, Player:71, Finsterwald:77)|
Other wins (2)
this list may be incomplete
- 1954 Carolinas Open
- 1955 British Columbia Open (Canada)
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|1958||PGA Championship||2 shot deficit||−4 (67-72-70-67=276)||2 strokes||Billy Casper|
Note: Finsterwald never played in The Open Championship.
CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place.
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 13 (1955 U.S. Open – 1960 PGA)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (twice)
- "Ohio University Athletics Hall of Fame site". Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- Baines, Gary (February 28, 2008). "Dow Getting His Due". Colorado Golf Journal. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
- "Year by Year History of the PGA Championship – 1958: Bolt was an angel, Dow was a terror". PGA of America. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- Clifford, Robert A. (May 1, 1996). "Getting Teed off Over Golf Balls". Retrieved November 21, 2013.