Homero Blancas, Golf's Mr. 55

Homero Blancas was a winner on the PGA Tour in the 1960s and 1970s, and on the Champions Tour in the 1980s. And he also once carded a round in competition of 55.

Full name: Homero Blancas Jr.

Nickname: Mr. 55

Date and place of birth: March 7, 1938 in Houston, Texas

Significant Wins by Homero Blancas

Blancas won four PGA Tour tournaments:
  • 1966 Greater Seattle-Everett Classic
  • 1970 Colonial National Invitation
  • 1972 Phoenix Open
  • 1973 Monsanto Open
Three of those wins were by one stroke (at the Colonial, one stroke over Lee Trevino and Gene Littler), and in his other win Blancas beat Lanny Wadkins in a playoff at Phoenix.

Blancas also won the 1965 Mexican Open, which at the time was played by many PGA Tour pros but was an unofficial money stop for them.

Blancas had one victory on the Champions Tour:

  • 1989 Doug Sanders Kingwood Celebrity Classic

In the Majors

Blacas had two Top 5 finishes in 1972 — fifth place at The Masters and fourth place in the U.S. Open. Those were his only top 10 finishes in majors, however.

Blancas' Round of 55

The thing Blancas is most famous for is being the only known golfer to card a round of 55 on a regulation-par (meaning par-70, 71, or 72) golf course. However, the course he did it on was not a regulation length. In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records, which for years had included Blancas' 55, eventually dropped it when the keepers of the Guinness records instituted a rule that only golf scores achieved on courses measuring at least 6,500 yards would be recognized.

The round happened on August 19, 1962, in Longview, Texas. It was an amateur tournament called the Premier Invitational, part of a loosely organized East Texas circuit in which small towns went all-out to put on top tournaments.

The golf course was Premier Golf Club (which no longer exists). It was a par-70, but only 5,002 yards long. It was only a 9-holer and golfers played a different set of tees the second time around. The course was known for being very tight with out-of-bounds and various creek-fed water features very much in play. It was also known for tiny, domed greens. Another future PGA Tour pro, Jacky Cupit, held the course record of 60 before Blancas' 55.

Blancas made 13 birdies and one eagle during the round, shooting 27 on his front nine and 28 on the back nine. He hit 17 greens and needed only 20 putts.

It was Blancas' second round of the day. He shot 62 in his morning round, for a 36-hole total of 117 — as far as we know, the only back-to-back rounds below 120 in golf history.

More Facts and Figures About Homero Blancas

Blancas played college golf at the University of Houston and was a two-time All-America selection. ... He turned pro in 1965.

In his first year as a PGA Tour player, Blancas finished 38th on the money list and won the 1965 Rookie of the Year Award.

In Blancas' primary tour years, finishing inside the Top 60 on the money list was the primary metric that determined playing opportunities. Blancas finished inside the Top 60 in each of the first 10 years of his career, from 1965 through 1974.

Only after undergoing knee surgery following the 1974 season did Blancas drop out of the Top 60. (His later years on tour were routinely interrupted by injury.) ... His best finish on the money list was 15th in 1973.

Blancas was a member of the 1973 Team USA Ryder Cup squad, going 2-1-1 in the matches. ... At the 1973 Phoenix Open, Blancas posted a round of 61 — it wound up being the lowest score on the PGA Tour all year.

Blancas is a member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. ... He was known for his short, fast backswing. ... In his later years on the PGA Tour, he also served for 18 years as club pro at Randolph Park in Tucson, Arizona, where the PGA Tour Tucson Open was sometimes played.

On the Champions Tour, Blancas won once. ... He is also one of only five golfers in Champions Tour history to have both an eagle and double eagle in the same round. Blancas did it during the 1996 Hyatt Regency Maui Kaanapali Classic.

He is a member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. ... After retirement from tournament he golf became a golf instructor in Houston.

According to Peter Alliss, Blancas inadvertantly played a role in changing the way television golf analysts talked about players' shots. During a particular broadcast (which Alliss did not identify), Blancas topped an iron shot, leading commentator Henry Longhurst to blurt out, "What a terrible shot."

"Longhurst later claimed to have unwittingly started a new trend in US TV commentary," Alliss wrote, "for such frank language had seldom previously been used and 'he hit that one a little low on the club' would have been the norm."

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