1949 U.S. Open
1956 U.S. Open
Awards and Honors:
Member, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
Vardon Trophy, 1956
Named to three U.S. Ryder Cup teams
Cary Middlecoff: "Anyone who hasn't been nervous, or hasn't choked somewhere down the line, is an idiot."
Bobby Jones on Middlecoff: "I'd give the world to have a swing like that."
Cary Middlecoff Biography:
But following success as an amateur in a few big tournaments - winning the North and South Open in 1945, for example, playing in the final group with Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen - he decided to trade in filling cavities for filling cups.
And fill cups Cary Middlecoff did, winning 40 times on the PGA Tour. Middlecoff is one of only nine golfers in history to win 40 or more PGA Tour events. Among those 40 wins are two U.S. Opens and one Masters championship. Middlecoff claimed his first victory as a pro in 1947, and won at least one event every year until he retired in 1961. He led the tour in wins three seasons, winning 7 times in 1949, 6 in 1951 and 6 in 1955.
He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1986.
Middlecoff was known for two things on tour: big drives and an agonizingly slow pace of play. In fact, his slow play might have cost him another major, in a roundabout way. Quoting from the World Golf Hall of Fame profile of Middlecoff:
"At the 1957 U.S. Open, Middlecoff shot back-to-back 68s to make up eight strokes and force a playoff with Dick Mayer, but it was memorable for other reasons. Mayer showed up for the playoff with a camping stool, an unsubtle comment on Middlecoff's slow play, which stemmed from an unnatural fastidiousness about his alignment. ... How much Mayer's stunt perturbed Middlecoff is unknown, but he shot a woeful 79 to lose the Open by seven strokes."
Middlecoff's swing was also deliberate, and he came to a visible stop at the top of the backswing.
After leaving the PGA Tour, Middlecoff did some broadcasting and wrote what is regarded as an exceptional instructional book, "The Golf Swing."