Profile of Pro Golfer Mason Rudolph

Mason Rudolph was a junior golf champion who grew into a longtime, solid PGA Tour player. Two of his pro victories were by one stroke over second-place Jack Nicklaus.

Full name: Edgar Mason Rudolph

Date and place of birth: May 23, 1934, in Clarksville, Tennessee

Date and place of death: April 18, 2011, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Significant Wins
1959 Golden Gate Championship
1963 Fig Garden Village Open
1964 Greater New Orleans Open
1966 Thunderbird Classic
1970 Green Island Open Invitational

These five victories are Randolph's total on the PGA Tour. He also won the Tennessee Open (not a PGA Tour event) six times.

In the Majors
Mason Rudolph never won a major. His best finishes were third in the 1973 PGA Championship and fourth in the 1965 Masters. He had six Top 10 finishes in majors over the course of his career.

Notable Notes: Mason Rudolph first made a name for himself by winning the 1950 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. Six years later he won the Tennessee Open as an amateur, and played for Team USA in the 1957 Walker Cup.

By 1959, Rudolph had turned pro. He won the first of his five PGA Tour titles that year, finished 30th on the money list, and earned the Rookie of the Year award. Rudolph was a solid, if unspectacular, player for many years after that. He finished in the Top 60 on the money list (very important in those day to avoid weekly qualifying) until 1968, and made it back several times afterward. Rudolph made the Top 10 in earnings in 1963 and 1964.

Rudolph played for Team USA in the 1971 Ryder Cup. ... Mason Rudolph Golf Course in his hometown of Clarksville, Tenn., is named in his honor. ... He is a member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. ... He was head coach of the men's golf team at Vanderbilt University for five years, and later Director of Golf. ... the Vanderbilt golf teams still host the NCAA Mason Rudolph Championship tournament every year. ... Rudolph shares the Champions Tour record for worst score ever on a single hole.

Rudolph's exploits as a junior golfer — which included qualifying for the 1950 U.S. Open at age 16 — earned him a spot on Golf World magazine's "Top 10 Best Junior Boys of the 20th Century" list.

In 1968, Rudolph was among the passengers on a plane that was hijacked and taken to Cuba. No passengers were harmed.

Rudolph was noted for his short-iron play and, in 1965, he authored an instructional book entitled, appropriately, The Short Irons.

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