Doug Ford defends his title at The 500 Festival Open Invitational
On this day, In 1961 Doug Ford won the Indianapolis 500 Festival Open Golf Tournament in a sudden death playoff over Arnold Palmer. Ford caught his break on the second hole in the playoff when he rolled in a 12 foot birdie putt. Ford was successful in defending his title as this was his first victory since this event last year (1960).
The victory was worth $9,000 for Ford, $4,600 for Palmer out of the tournament purse of $50,000. Palmer made one of his famous late round charges and made an eagle putt to tie Ford on the 72nd hole to force the playoff. Palmer finished his final round with a 66 and Ford with a 68.
The Indianapolis 500 Festival Open Invitational was a golf tournament that was played from 1960 – 1968. The tournament was played at the Speedway Golf Course, located in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex, except in 1965 when it was played at Greentree Country Club while the Speedway was undergoing renovations.