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1968: The Year in Golf


Gary Player 1968 British Open

Gary Player prepares to plant a kiss on the Claret Jug after winning the 1968 British Open.

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The Ramlon, produced by Ram, is the first golf ball with a Surlyn cover. Surlyn, invented by DuPont, is a plastic whose hardness helps balls last much longer than those with balata covers.

The Spalding Executive is the first two-piece golf ball.

The USGA outlaws croquet-style putting (which Sam Snead had been using).

Lee Trevino wins his first major, the U.S. Open, becoming the first player to break 70 in all four rounds of the tournament.

The Dallas Open is renamed the Byron Nelson Golf Classic. Nelson is the first golfer to have a PGA Tour event named after him.

Bob Goalby wins The Masters when Roberto De Vicenzo - with whom Goalby would have been in a playoff - signs an incorrect scorecard. De Vicenzo's playing partner, Tommy Aaron, marks an incorrect score on one hole for De Vicenzo, who signs the card without noticing the error. The disaster happens on De Vicenzo's 45 birthday. The episode leads to the creation of scoring tents off the 18th green during tournaments.

Tom Weiskopf's first career PGA Tour victory comes at the Andy Williams San Diego Open when he eagles the final hole to beat Al Geiberger by one shot.

The British Open introduces a second cut, this one after 54 holes, which remains in effect until 1985.

At age 48, Julius Boros wins the PGA Championship, becoming the oldest player to win a major.

JoAnne Carner (formerly JoAnne Gunderson) wins her fifth U.S. Women's Amateur.

Arnold Palmer becomes the first player to surpass $1 million in career earnings.

Billy Casper finishes the PGA Tour season with winnings of $205,169, becoming the first player to surpass $200,000 in a single season. Casper wins six tournaments during the year and his fifth scoring title.

Kathy Whitworth and Carol Mann both record 10 wins on the LPGA Tour.

Born This Year:

• Darren Clarke, European Tour
• Robert Gamez, PGA Tour
• Amy Fruhwirth, LPGA Tour
• Chris DiMarco, PGA Tour
• Bob May, PGA Tour

Died This Year:

Lawson Little, 2-time U.S. Amateur, 2-time British Amateur, 1-time U.S. Open winner
• Craig Wood, 2-time major winner and first player to lose all four majors in playoffs
Tommy Armour, 3-time major champion

Money Leaders:

PGA: Billy Casper, $205,168.67
LPGA: Kathy Whitworth, $48,379

Scoring Leaders:

PGA (Vardon Trophy): Billy Casper, 69.82
LPGA (Vare Trophy): Carol Mann, 72.04

Men's Major Championship Winners
The Masters: Bob Goalby
U.S. Open: Lee Trevino
British Open: Gary Player
PGA Championship: Julius Boros

Women's Major Championship Winners
LPGA: Sandra Post
U.S. Open: Susie Maxwell Berning

Amateur Champions
U.S.: Bruce Fleisher
British: Michael Bonallack
U.S. Women's: JoAnne Carner
British Women's: Brigitte Varangot

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