1963: Dow Finsterwald wins the Indianapolis 500 Festival Golf Tournament

Dow Finsterwald

Dow Finsterwald takes the Indianapolis 500 Festival Golf Tournament

On this day, In 1963 Dow Finsterwald won the Indianapolis 500 Festival Golf Tournament by two strokes.  It was his first victory in more than three years as he also earned $10,000 for the -16, 268.  Four tied for second place at-14, 270: Bobby Nichols, Julius Boros, Tony Lema, and Tommy Aaron. Finsterwald’s last win came at the 1960 New Orleans Open, where he won by six strokes.  This would be his last win of his 11 during his PGA Tour career.  He was known for his superb short game. He was one of the most consistent players on the Tour in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Vintage Aerial view of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The 1963 Indy 500 Festival

The Indianapolis 500 was held Thursday May 30, and the tournament was held over four days from Friday, May 31 to Monday, June 3. Previously the golf tournament was held prior to the running of the race. The one-day turnaround required grounds crews to quickly clean up the nine holes inside the track, used on race day for parking by fans. Considerable attention was given to the fact that several top names on the PGA Tour decided to skip the event. Among the reasons cited was the low purse, and the overall unchallenging nature of the course.  In 1962, Billy Casper won with a score of 264,  -18 under par.

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