PGA Tour Lucky International Open Golf Tournament

The Lucky International Open was a 72-hole golf tournament on the PGA Tour for much of the 1960s, with an impressive roster of champions. It was played at Harding Park Golf Club, a municipal golf course in San Francisco, California.

First played: 1961

Last played: 1969

In all but the Lucky International's final year, the winner was a "name" player — in fact, six of the eight winners also won at least one major championship.

Those included two San Francisco natives, Ken Venturi and George Archer. Archer made his PGA Tour debut as an amateur in the 1961 tournament, in 1963 earned low amateur honors, and in the 1965 Lucky International recorded his first career victory.

For Venturi, his career wasn't winding up, but winding down. Hand problems had all but ended his PGA Tour career. But after successful surgery, Venturi won his 14th and final PGA Tour title in the 1966 Lucky International.

A couple of childhood friends from Southern California, Billy Casper and Gene Littler, were also among the champions.

The lowest winning score was 269, recorded by each of the tournament's final two winners, Casper and Steve Spray. The largest margin of victory was four strokes by Casper in 1968 over Raymond Floyd and Don Massengale.

The tournament was discontinued due to poor maintenance of the golf course at Harding Park. (The course underwent a costly renovation in the early 2000s and resumed being used for major events, including PGA Tour tournaments.) The tournament sponsor, Lucky Lager Brewing Company, also departed one year before the tournament ended.

Also known as: In its final year, the name changed from Lucky International Open to San Francisco Open Invitational. An earlier San Francisco Open (also called San Francisco National Match Play Open) took place in the 1930s/40s.

Winners of the Lucky International Open

1961 — Gary Player, 272
1962 — Gene Littler, 274
1963 — Jack Burke Jr., 276
1964 — Chi Chi Rodriguez, 272 (def. Don January in playoff)
1965 — George Archer, 278 (def. Bob Charles in playoff)
1966 — Ken Venturi, 273
1967 — Not played
1968 — Billy Casper, 269
1969 — Steve Spray, 269

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