Carling Open Golf Tournament on the PGA Tour

The Carling Open was a 72-hole, stroke play golf tournament on the PGA Tour from the early 1950s through the mid-1960s. The tournament went by multiple names during that run, starting with Carling Open, then Carling Golf Classic, Carling Open Invitational and, finally, Carling World Open.

First played: 1953

Last played: 1967

At the first tournament in 1953, Cary Middlecoff defeated Ted Kroll in a playoff to win the trophy. And that set the stage for a remarkable run at this tournament: In all but three years it was played, the margin of victory was one stroke — or less (playoff).

There was a playoff in Year 2, too, when Julius Boros beat George Fazio. And the Carling World Open ended on a playoff, too, with Billy Casper beating Al Geiberger in 1967.

Dow Finsterwald was the only multiple champion, winning twice, and he also finished runner-up once. Arnold Palmer never won, but was twice the second-place finisher. Gay Brewer achieved his first career PGA Tour win in this tournament in 1961. The lowest winning score was 272 by Ernie Vossler in 1960.

The tournament sponsor was the Carling Brewing Company, which moved the event around North America throughout its run and even to England one year. Also note that the Lady Carling Open was played for a time on the LPGA Tour.

Winners of the PGA Tour Carling Open

1953 — Cary Middlecoff, 275
1954 — Julius Boros, 280
1955 — Doug Ford, 276
1956 — Dow Finsterwald, 276
1957 — Paul Harney, 275
1958 — Julius Boros, 284
1959 — Dow Finsterwald, 276
1960 — Ernie Vossler, 272
1961 — Gay Brewer, 277
1962 — Bo Wininger, 274
1963 — No tournament
1964 — Bobby Nichols, 278
1965 — Tony Lema, 279
1966 — Bruce Devlin, 286
1967 — Billy Casper, 281

Golf courses: As noted above, the PGA Tour Carling Open moved around quite a bit during its time as a tour event. Its first two years it took place at Manakiki Country Club in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, but that was the only time it was played in the same place in back-to-back years. In fact, it never again took place at the same club more than once. The most well-known clubs where it was played included Rio Pinar Country Club in Orlando, Florida; Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts; and Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.

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