1928: Leo Diegel wins the Canadian Open for a record third time


Diegel wins his third Canadian Open

On this day, In 1928 Leo Diegel won the Canadian Open for the third time with a total score of 282.  He would actually go on to win it for a fourth time the next year giving him the record for most Canadian Open titles in the history of the event.  The new Open Champion, Walter Hagen came in a tie for second at 284 along with Macdonald Smith and Archie Compston.

Rosedale Golf Club…in the winter mind you

Diegel shot rounds of 73, 71, 70 and a brilliant final round of 68 to claim the title.  He was overlooked as the eventual champion as he was three stroke behind Hagen by the end of the third round. His 68 was actually just one off the course record at Rosedale Golf Club in Toronto.  MacDonald Smith was the owner of the lowest round of the event, tying the course record at the time with a 67.  Present day, the course record of 63 is held jointly by Greg Norman and former Rosedale assistant pro, Lorne Rowe.

“Just beating old man par is what did it” Diegel said as he was told he could not be beaten by the player yet to finish. “The Canadian Open seems to be the one title Walter cannot win and the only one I can.”

– Leo Diegel

Diegel was an exceptional ball-striker, but struggled with his putting after joining the tour. After extensive experimentation, he eventually developed an unusual putting style where he pointed both elbows outwards; this was referred to as ‘Diegeling’. He was a tour winner from 1920 to 1934, but dropped out of regular contention when he reached his mid-30s; a playful wrestling incident in Australia in late 1934 with friend Harry Cooper caused nerve damage to his right shoulder and effectively ended his tour career.

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