On this day, In 1961 Doug Sanders wins the Cajun Classic Open Invitational


Sanders capped off the 1961 season with his 8th win

Doug Sanders earned his eighth win of his career, 55 years ago today at the Cajun Classic in Lafayette, Louisiana.  Sanders used his famous short swing and unorthodox stance along with methodical putting to win with -14.  He beat out the closest competitor, Ken Stills by six strokes at Oakbourne Country Club.  He got the win, but was really on a hunt...a hunt to catch Arnold Palmer on the money list.  Gary Player was the eventual winner but Palmer and Sanders were duking it our week after week stacking the checks up.  Sanders had the edge this week when he took the $2,000 first prize check in the $15,000 Cajun Classic purse.

The Cajun Classic in Lafayette

The Cajun Classic Open Invitational was a golf tournament on the PGA Tour usually played in late November in the late 1950s and 1960s. It was played at the Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette, Louisiana. It was first played as the Lafayette Open Invitational in 1958. For many years it was the last tournament on the PGA Tour schedule and attracted players fighting for position on the money list. It lost the last tournament slot on the 1969 schedule and the resulting smaller field caused monetary problems that resulted in the tournament folding.

The Sad Stories:  Sanders Struggles

Sanders had an ill fate when it came to major occasions.  He was a regular runner up in major championships on four different occasions, the most famous being in 1970. At the 1970 Open Championship at St. Andrews he took 4 strokes within 75 yards then missing a sidehill 3-foot putt to win.  The next day he lost a 18-hole playoff by just a single shot the next day to Jack Nicklaus.

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    • at Selva Marina CC in Atlantic Bch Fl – which is now Atlantic Bch CC – also home of the only regular PGA career “double eagle’ made by Jack Nicklaus in the final round of the 66 GJO on #18 for which we have a plaque commemorating the event

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