Palmer takes Los Angeles in the 63′ season opener
On this day, In 1963 Arnold Palmer, golf’s perpetual iceman, shot a nerveless final round of 66 to win the Los Angeles Open. Palmer’s 72-hole total of 274 was ten under par and three strokes under his nearest competitors.
Gary Player of South Africa and Al Balding tied for second at 277. Palmer, golf’s leading money winner in 1962, fired a half dozen birdies on his par-breaking final round. He had started the day three strokes behind the third round leader, Art Wall Jr. Wall Jr. faded to a 74 on the final day and wound up with a 279, which gave him a tie for ninth place.
The $50,000 breakdown
The victory in the first event of the 1963 season was worth $9,000 out of the $50,000 purse. Player and Balding each came away with $3,800 for the second place tie. Tommy Jacobs, Bob Rosburg, Phil Rodgers, Don Fairfield and Gene Littler all received $2,120 for a five-way tie for fourth place. Mike Souchak, Al Giegberger, Dutch Harrison, Billy Casper, Art Wall Jr., and Fred Hawkins received $1,358.22 for their finish at T-9 at 279. Rodgers was the defending Champion from 1962, where Jack Nicklaus played his first rounds as a professional.
Arnies 50 footer
With Palmer winning by only one stroke he flew the green on the 234 yard par 3, 17th hole. From distance he sunk a 50 foot shot with his putter to send the gallery roaring. Palmer came away with a 66 despite a double bogey on the 11th. With his usual crowd behind him, Palmer finished strong for his 36th PGA Tour victory of his career.