1975: Billy Casper wins his 51st and final PGA Tour title at The New Orleans Open

New Orleans

Caspers Final Triumph in New Orleans

On this day, In 1975 Billy Casper won his final PGA tour victory at the age of 44.  This win came at The New Orleans Open, at Lakewood Country Club, a place he had won 17 years prior in 1958. For a while it looked as if  Casper was in trouble, but he hit three consecutive birdies and successfully backhanded a 9‐iron today to win.

Casper’s 70 gave him a 72‐hole total of 271, or 17 under par and a two‐stroke lead over Peter Oosterhuis, who had finished runner up in The Open Championship a year before. Oosterhuis had started today’s final round four shots behind, and he scored a 63 to narrow the gap.

For Casper,  this was the 51st victory in 20 years on the tour, a string that includes two US Opens and a Masters. When he won here in 1958 on a municipal course, the first prize was $2,800. Picking up today’s $30,000 check for first place, Casper said,

“We’ve come a long way, baby.”

Casper not only won a tournament for the first time in two years, he rescued this one from near disaster. There were no big names there except Lee Trevino, the defender, and Casper. And Casper was so sick with intestinal flu from a week before that he phoned here to cancel. A tournament official, pleading “poor field,” persuaded Casper to come,

Casper’s run of 67, 68, 66, 70—271 was his best in a couple of years. He would win the Mexican Open in 1977 before venturing on a successful Senior PGA career including 9 more wins. New Orleans New Orleans

 

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