1955: Doug Ford wins the PGA Championship 4 & 3 over Cary Middlecoff

Doug Ford

Doug Ford wins his 1st major at Meadowbrook

On this day, In 1955 Doug Ford posted a 4 & 3 victory over Cary Middlecoff in the match-play final of the PGA Championship held at Meadowbrook Country Club.  Not only did Ford win the final match, he was also the medalist in the stroke-play qualifying with a 135 (−7), worth $250.  Only four other men have done this in the history of the event: Walter Hagen (1926), Olin Dutra (1932), and Byron Nelson (1945).

In the finals, Ford and Middlecoff were neck and neck for the first 27 holes. Middlecoff took a 1-up lead over Ford in the morning round on the strength of a 67. But in the afternoon, Ford came back and squared the match for the fourth time on the 26th hole with a birdie. He then birdied the 29th, 30th and 32nd holes to go 3-up, and sealed the victory with a par-4 at the 33rd hole.

The papers touted Ford for his pace of play…which was incredibly fast.  He didn’t even stay long after the victory for a trophy ceremony of any sort.  He simply collected his $5,000 winners check after the match and hit the road.


  • Two years later Ford would win his second and final major title in Augusta at the 1957 Masters.
  • This was Ford’s 1st PGA Championship, thus becoming the first person to win in their inaugural try since 1931 when Tom Creavy won.
  • This was second time in three years the PGA Championship was played near Detroit; the 1953 event was played at Birmingham Country Club in Birmingham. The 1947 edition, in which Harbert was runner-up, was also held in the Detroit area.

Josh Morris

Josh Morris is the Editor of Golf History Today. A proud USGA Volunteer and golf enthusiast. In his free time he enjoys being a weekend caddie as well as playing as much as he can.

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July 2020

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