World Championship of Golf (PGA Tour) at Tam O'Shanter

The World Championship of Golf is a former PGA Tour golf tournament played 12 times in the 1940s and 1950s. Although it was played only briefly, it held an important place in tour history as the highest-paying tournament of its time, thanks to its promoter, George S. May, owner of the Tam O'Shanter Country Club. In many years, first prize paid five, six or seven times the amount of the next-biggest first prize on tour. Often, the first-place check alone exceeded the total purse of other events on tour.

In fact, from 1952-57, the first-place check was so large ($50,000 in later years) that this tournament's winner was the PGA Tour money leader all of those years.

The tournament also has the distinction of being the first golf tournament to be nationally televised. ABC broadcast the 1953 event (after May paid the network to do so), which ended with Lew Worsham holing out for an eagle to win on the final hole. The tournament eventually ended when May had a dispute with the PGA Tour and walked away. May also had a standing offer to his winners to play 50, one-day exhibitions around the world for $1,000 each. Among the often offbeat promotional ideas he employed was having a club pro from one of the other clubs in town put on a costume and play the World Championship billed as "the masked marvel."

First played: 1946

Last played: 1957

Also known as: Tam O'Shanter World Championship

Winners of the World Championship of Golf
1957 — Dick Mayer
1956 — Ted Kroll
1955 — Julius Boros
1954 — Bob Toski
1953 — Lew Worsham
1952 — Julius Boros
1951 — Ben Hogan
1950 — Henry Ransom
1949 — Johnny Palmer
1948 — Lloyd Mangrum
1947 — Ben Hogan
1946 — Sam Snead

Golf Courses: Tam O'Shanter Country Club, in Niles, Ill., was the sole venue. In many years, one week prior to the World Championship, Tam O'Shanter was the site of another tournament, the All American Open.

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