November 4th, 1973: Ben Crenshaw made history by winning his 1st ever PGA Tour event


In 1973 Ben Crenshaw burst onto the scene winning his 1st event

It didn’t take Ben Crenshaw long to prove himself as a professional golfer. Crenshaw overcame two bogeys that could’ve been disastrous and extreme pressure from veterans George Archer and Orville Moody, Sunday to take it to a two-stroke victory in his first tournament as a tour regular. The 21 year old former University of Texas star collected the $25,000 first prize of the Texas Open for his effort. Crenshaw wound up with a 14 under par, 270 aggregate score… 2 strokes ahead of Moody and three in front of Archer for the victory. The event was played over the 6990 yard par 71 Woodlake golf course, one Crenshaw knew.

Rod Funseth finished fourth with a 276 while Jack Ewing fired the final day’s best round…a 66 and won a fifth place tie with Dave Eichelberger. Defending champion Mike Hill finished at 280 and a tie with Charles Coody, Bruce Fleischer, and Tom Kite… Crenshaw’s former teammate a Texas.  Both Moody and Archer were tied for the lead of the tournament at one time or another during the day. But Crenshaw who never relinquished his lead after firing open round -6 under par 65.

Crenshaw, Moody, Archer the final stretch

He had his tee shot in the water on the 439 yard par 4 No. 9 hole and wound up with a bogey made  a sensational approach shot after dropping a ball for a one-stroke penalty.  Moody, playing in the same threesome with Crenshaw also bogeyed the hole.  Then on the 468 yard par 4 No. 14th hole which had given golfers fits all week Crenshaw “skied” his tee shot and wound up with another bogey while Moody birdied.  Moody was only a stroke back entering the 583 yard par 5 No. 18 finishing hole and in turn the officials started laying plans in the event of a sudden-death playoff would be necessary. But Crenshaw hit his approach at 3 feet from the pin and dropped in a putt for birdie while Moody settled for par and second place.  Both players wound up with a final round of 4 under 67 for the day.

Josh Morris

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.

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