Palmer wins his 60th PGA title
By: Josh Morris – On July 25th, 1971 Arnold Palmer won his 60th PGA Tour event at the Westchester Classic held at Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York. The 41 year old Palmer posted a record breaking score at the time, a 270 total -18 under par.
Palmer started the 1971 Westchester Classic with a blistering eight under par, 64. This was the King’s lowest round of the year and put him a stroke better than Larry Wood, a club pro & native of Salem, Ill. Palmer would keep his lead in the second round as well posting a pair of 35’s for a 70.
Lee Trevino, then the current United States, Canadian and British Open champion was the easy favorite coming into the event. He played his way out of the tournament trailing Palmer by ten after 36 holes. Trevino was quoted after the first round, “I’m making mistakes out here that my wife wouldn’t make, and she’s a 12 handicap.”
In the third round Arnie carded a 68, as he brought his 54‐hole aggregate to 202, 14 below par. During the round he complained about slow play but remained consistent as ever.
The final round was a cruise to the finish line for Palmer. He sat at a five stroke advantage over Ray Floyd and Hale Irwin before the round. Arnie, went on a closing charge on the back nine carding birdies at the 10th, 12th, 13th and 17th holes. This fine play secured the victory for the Latrobe native and was awarded $50,000 for the win.
“Palmer said he had selected an old putter from the bin in the basement of his home in Latrobe, Pa., (it contains a hundred or more) to use here. It worked so well to his touch that he had enjoyed a three‐ stroke edge over Gilbert going into final round and five over Floyd and Irwin.”
Josh Morris is the Editor of Golf History Today. A proud USGA Volunteer and golf enthusiast. In his free time he enjoys being a weekend caddie as well as playing as much as he can.