World Senior Championship Golf Matches

The World Senior Championship was a special event on the golf calendar from the 1950s into the 1970s that can't be called a tournament: Only two golfers competed in it each year.

First played: 1954

Last played: 1978

The World Senior Championship was an event along the lines of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, which gathered the four winners of the year's major championships for a four-man tournament late in the year.

In the case of the World Senior Championship, only two golfers competed: the winner of the Senior PGA Championship in the United States squared off against the winner of the British PGA Seniors Championship. Each year, those two golfers met in a one-day, 36-hole, match-play showdown. The winner was crowned the world's (unofficial) champion of senior golf.

And in those days, long before the creation of the Champions Tour or the European Senior Tour, the World Golf Championship was a big deal. Today, it would be termed a "silly season" event, but that term did not yet exist when the event debuted.

The biggest winner was Sam Snead. Snead made six appearances, winning five times. He lost only in 1967, to John Panton.

Gene Sarazen was the first winner, Joe Jimenez was the last. Aside from Snead, the other multiple winners were Paul Runyan, Kel Nagle and Christy O'Connor Sr., with two wins each.

Nagle appeared in the event three times; his loss was to Snead in the tournament's best match. In 1973, Snead defeated Nagle on the fifth extra hole.

Also known as: The tournament was originally sponsored by a brand of whisky, Teacher's. In those years, unofficially, as a kind of shorthand, the tournament was sometimes referred to as the Teacher's Trophy.

Scores of the World Senior Championship Matches

1978 — Joe Jimenez, United States, def. Paddy Skerritt, Republic of Ireland, 5 and 4
1977 — Christy O'Connor Sr., Ireland, def. Julius Boros, United States, 6 and 5
1976 — Christy O'Connor Sr., Ireland, def. Pete Cooper, United States, 2 and 1
1975 — Kel Nagle, Australia, def. Charlie Sifford, United States, 1-up
1974 — Roberto De Vicenzo, Argentina, def. Eric Lester, England, 5 and 4
1973 — Sam Snead, United States, def. Kel Nagle, Australia, 1-up (41 holes)
1972 — Sam Snead, United States, def. Ken Bousfield, England, 3 and 2
1971 — Kel Nagle, Australia, def. Julius Boros, United States, 4 and 3
1970 — Sam Snead, United States, def. Max Faulkner, England, 3 and 2
1969 — Tommy Bolt, United States, def. John Panton, Scotland, 1-up (39 holes)
1968 — Chandler Harper, United States, def. Max Faulkner, England, 2-up
1967 — John Panton, Scotland, def. Sam Snead, United States, 3 and 2
1966 — Fred Haas, United States, def. Dai Rees, Wales, 3 and 2
1965 — Sam Snead, United States, def. Charlie Ward, England, 1-up (37 holes)
1964 — Sam Snead, United States, def. Syd Scott, England, 7 and 6
1963 — Herman Barron, United States, def. George Evans, England, 3 and 2
1962 — Paul Runyan, United States, def. Sam King, England, 2 and 1
1961 — Paul Runyan, United States, def. Sam King, England, 3 and 1
1960 — Dick Metz, United States, def. Reg Horne, England, 2 and 1
1959 — Willie Goggin, United States, def. Arthur Lees, England, 5 and 3
1958 — Norman Sutton, England, def. Gene Sarazen, United States, 2 and 1
1957 — Al Watrous, United States, def. John Burton, England, 8 and 6
1956 — Bob Kenyon, England, def. Pete Burke, United States, 4 and 3
1955 — Mortie Dutra, United States, def. John Burton, England, 2-up
1954 — Gene Sarazen, United States, def. Percy Alliss, England, 4 and 3

Golf courses: The only course in the U.S. where this event took place was the Bide-A-Wee Golf Course in Portsmouth, Virginia. It was played there six times from 1969. All other times the World Senior Championship was played at golf courses in England or Scotland. Those included Southport & Ainsdale, Gleneagles, Prestwick, Wentworth, Formby, and Whitecraigs, among others.

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