De Vicenzo wins the Colonial for his 3rd PGA Tour win
By: Claudia Mazzucco
Sixty-one years ago, on May 5, 1957, Argentine golfer Roberto De Vicenzo captured the Colonial Tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, with scores of 72, 74, 68, 70, and a total of 284 (+4).
After two weeks of incessant rains, the sun finally came out in the third round of the tournament. The rains soaked the course at Colonial Country Club, requiring a 36-hole finale on Sunday. De Vicenzo did not appear to be the least bit nervous, and claimed he didn’t even know he was in the hunt until the very end.
A 68 in the third round allowed him to climb from sixth to second. But he was still four strokes behind the leader, Dick Mayer. Roberto shot 34 in the first nine holes of the last round, managing to reach Mayer, and with 36 in the second nine, he won by one. All 48 players invited showed up, and it was heralded the “finest field in golf.”
The winner of the 1967 Open Championship, De Vicenzo won 231 tournaments worldwide, was second in other 127 and third in 82. He got in the top-5 in 490 events, and in the top-10 in 586.
The first prize was $ 5,000. Roberto also received a bonus of $ 600 to be spent at Macy’s. He remembered that we went there, “to make shopping for my wife, Delia. It was perhaps the greatest gift I made her. With that amount of money you could go a long way in the fifties, and buy great quality of clothing and accessories.”
De Vicenzo played the Colonial Tournament for the first time in 1952, when he was the only foreigner invited. In the difficult course of 7000 yards and par 70, he made a total of 295 strokes to finish at 16 strokes of distance from Ben Hogan, the winner, who earned $ 4,000. Roberto won $ 350.
Two years earlier (on May 9, 1955), De Vicenzo has emigrated from his native country settling in Mexico City as head professional at the Country Club of Mexico. He left Buenos Aires with his wife Delia and his sons Roberto and Eduardo. He said, “I arrived in Mexico with my family in search of what I did not have in Argentina: competition. Besides, the ticket to the United States from Mexico was $100, from Buenos Aires, $1,000 with three-day trips from Buenos Aires to Miami.” They returned to Argentina in 1961.
Claudia M. Mazzucco is a researcher at Golf Channel and teacher of History of Golf at the PGA of Argentina, in Buenos Aires. She is the author of Legendary Lessons (2016), El Golf de los Tiempos, A Novel (2002) and The Guide of Golf Courses in Argentina (2003). She received the PGA Award from the PGA of Argentina in 2005