Published: September 28th, 2016 – Billy Casper was in the winners circle once again in late September of 1969 thanks to his phenomenal putting and a epic collapse from Lee Trevino. Casper who was now 38 years of age picked up his third victory and 43rd PGA Tour victory of his undermined career. The tout usually about Casper, is that he did not receive the same recognition players like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player brought to the game but he achieved arguably the same amount of success.
In his peak years from 1964 to 1970, Casper won 27 tournaments on the PGA Tour, two more than Nicklaus and six more than Palmer and Player combined, during that time period. Yet, 1969 proved to be the most trying season for Casper when he experienced the heartbreak of a second place finish at The Masters earlier in the year. That experience granted him the hunger and desire to finally achieve the green jacket the following year in 1970, in a playoff over Gene Littler for a well deserved win.
The 1969 Alcan Open was one of misfortune for Trevino and surprise for Casper
The 1969 Alcan Open or as it was called “Alcan Golfer of the Year Championship” was led by the mighty Mexican Lee Trevino who saw all the glory and the 1st place $55,000 slowly slip away in the final holes of the tournament. The drama started when Casper gained six strokes on Trevino during the last three holes. He bogeyed sixteen and then followed that up with a three-over-par triple bogey. Trevino had one last hope on the 18th green to sink a 15 foot putt to tie Casper which he missed short of the hole. That putt alone cost Trevino a chance at a playoff and putt him in second place, a $40,000 the difference between 1st and 2nd place money. He took home the 1st place check of $55,000 and would become The Master’s champion the next year.