The Big Three: Palmer, Player, Nicklaus finished 1,2,3
On this day, Arnold Palmer captured the $35,000 Phoenix Open Golf tournament for the third consecutive time, but first had to sweat out a ruling when his golf ball was moved by a bee. The final round of the 72-hole event had been delayed two days by rain. Leading by three shots with nine holes to play, Palmer saw his advantage fade under a birdie barrage by Gary Player. After 15 holes they were tied at 14 under par for the tournament.
Palmer shot a two under par 70 on the rain soaked Arizona Country Club course for a total of 273. Player also shot a 70 for 274. Jack Nicklaus finished with a 71 on the final day and of course finished third with 275. He collected $2,200 for his efforts.
“The Bee Incident”
The bee incident occurred on the sixth green. As Arnie went to putt a bee landed on his ball. Palmer walked away and then returned. As he prepared to address the ball, the bee flew off and the ball moved. The Latrobe, PA pro immediate called for a ruling. The PGA tournament officials worked with the USGA to come up with a official call. The decision was to not penalize Palmer after the tournament…Thank God.