Middlecoff survives the pack, wins Colonial Invitational
On this day, In 1951 Dr. Cary Middlecoff, the former “dentist from Memphis”, coasted to victory in the sixth annual Colonial National Invitation golf tournament with a 2-overpar 282. (Not usually do we have an over par winner, but we’ll take it!) Middlecoff scrambled to a three over par 73 on the final day, which was good enough to win the first prize of $3,000. This was the first time in the tournaments history which the winner’s score was over par. In fact, over the events next 10 years the winners score was Even or above par 7 out of 10 times.
Many familiar names were at the top of the leaderboard on the final day, including Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, and Ed (Porky) Oliver. They all missed the mark during the final round which led them all to a tie for fourth place. Lloyd Mangrum shot a 70, par for the 7,035 yard Colonial Country Club course which landed him in solo third place.
Jack Burke Jr. had a spectacular final round as he shot a three under par, 34–33 = 67 to launch into second place. Many of the players had a tough time with the long 7,000 plus yard layout and it showed in the final round. Middlecoff only survived due to a rally he had on the on the front nine after hearing Hogan had lost the lead. Hogan had bogey’d three out of five holes starting his back nine which let some pressure off Middlecoff. Middlecoff was even able to three putt his final hole for a safe and sound win.