1974: Gary Player wins the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic with a final round of 67

Gary Player

Gary Player wins in Memphis for his 20th career victory

On this day, May 26th in 1974, Gary Player won the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic with a final round of 67 for a 2 stroke victory.  It was the 20th PGA victory of Player’s career & his only win in between the 1974 Masters and Open Championship, which he won also.  Hubert Green lead most of the tournament after opening with a pair of 66’s but eventually fluttered himself out of contention.

The final round started with Player four shots off the lead and in drizzling rains. Over the course of the final 18 holes, the weather changed drastically forcing the players to play two hours in cold and two hours in the heat.  Green, simply couldn’t get it together while playing in the cold, which led to his 73.

Thanks to a big birdie surge on the back nine, Player walked away with the title.  He birdied hole #10 and again on #11, then miraculously holed out from a green side bunker to make another on #12.  Controversy came about when Green and Player reached the par 5 16th hole, where they both misjudged their approach shots.  Player’s ball was lying in a white lined area denoting ground was sunder repair.  H was able to take two drops from a pretty generous spot, which made Green furious.  Player hit the flagstick and made par while Green did the same.  Player held on to win and capture the $35,000 of the $175,000 purse.

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