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1969: The Year in Golf


Tony Jacklin 1969 British Open

Tony Jacklin made his mark in a couple ways on the 1969 golf year.

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Karsten Solheim, founder of Ping, creates the first cavity-backed irons. Their perimeter weighting offers more forgiveness.

JoAnne Carner is the first amateur to win an LPGA Tour event (not including the U.S. Open), taking the Burdine's Invitational.

Raymond Floyd makes a late birdie for a 1-shot win over Gary Player at the PGA Championship. The event was interruped in the third round when anti-apartheid protesters attempted to charge the South African Player.

Joe Dey is named commissioner of the Tournament Players Division of the PGA of America, considered the first PGA Tour commissioner (the PGA Tour at this time was still under the aegis of the PGA).

Graphite shafts are invented by Frank Thomas, later to become the technical director of the USGA.

For the first time in 18 years, a native Briton wins the British Open when Tony Jacklin takes the title.

The U.S. retains the Ryder Cup with a 16-16 tie that Great Britain & Ireland achieves when Jack Nicklaus concedes a putt. Nicklaus made a 4-footer for par on the 18th hole of his match with Tony Jacklin, then conceded Jacklin's 3-foot par putt, thus halving the hole and the match and bringing about the tie.

Born This Year:

Ernie Els, U.S. Open, British Open champ
• Retief Goosen, 2001 U.S. Open champ
• Paul Lawrie, 1999 British Open champion
• Shaun Micheel, 2003 PGA Championship winner
• Michael Campbell, European Tour
• Stephen Leaney, European Tour, PGA Tour
• Pat Hurst, LPGA Tour
• Heather Daly-Donofrio, LPGA Tour
• Shigeki Maruyama, Japan Tour, PGA Tour
• Kelly Robbins, 1995 LPGA Championship winner
• Michelle McGann, LPGA Tour

Died This Year:

Walter Hagen, 11-time major champion

Money Leaders:

PGA: Frank Beard, $164,707.11
LPGA: Carol Mann, $49,152

Scoring Leaders:

PGA (Vardon Trophy): Dave Hill, 70.34
LPGA (Vare Trophy): Kathy Whitworth, 72.38

Men's Major Championship Winners:

The Masters: George Archer
U.S. Open: Orville Moody
British Open: Tony Jacklin
PGA Championship: Raymond Floyd

Women's Major Championship Winners:

LPGA: Betsy Rawls
U.S. Open: Donna Caponi

Amateur Champions:

U.S.: Steve Melnyk
British: Michael Bonallack
U.S. Women's: Catherine Lacoste
British Women's: Catherine Lacoste

Ryder Cup
U.S. 16, Britain 16 (U.S. retains the Cup)

Walker Cup
U.S. 10, Great Britain and Ireland 8

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