Agua Caliente Open: Former PGA Tour Tournament in Mexico

The Agua Caliente Open was a golf tournament on the PGA Tour that was played in Mexico. It was played over a 30-year span, but with a long hiatus so that only nine tournaments took place in those years.

The Agua Caliente Open was played at Tijuana Country Club, but was named after Agua Caliente Casino and Resort. It opened in 1928, during America's Prohibition period in which alcohol sales were illegal, and at a time when gambling was illegal in California. Tijuana, Mexico, became a major draw for Americans driving south from San Diego, and the resort a major draw for celebrities and the wealthy.

First played: 1930

Last played: 1959

Winners of the Agua Caliente Open

1930 — Gene Sarazen, 295
1931 — Johnny Golden, 293 (def. George Von Elm in 18-hole playoff, 75 to 79)
1932 — Fred Morrison, 284
1933 — Paul Runyan, 287
1934 — Wiffy Cox, 282
1935 — Henry Picard, 286
1936–1955: No tournament
1956 — Mike Souchak, 281
1957 — Ed Furgol, 280
1958 — Dutch Harrison, 280
1959 — Ernie Vossler, 273

The tournament began in 1930 with a $25,000 purse and a winner's share of $10,000, both the highest figures in professional golf to that point. Gene Sarazen won that opener by two strokes over runners-up Horton Smith and Al Espinosa.

The purse and first-place check both fell each successive year; by 1935, Henry Picard's first-place paycheck was only $1,000 (still fair for the era). The 1930s portion of the tournament's history ended after the 1935 tournament when Mexico outlawed gambling, forcing the title-sponsor casino to close.

The tournament returned for four more runs in the 1950s, but ended for good following the 1959 tourney. Ernie Vossler was the last champ.

Also known as: Agua Caliente Open was the name even when the tournament returned in the 1950s — until the final two years (1958-59) when it was played as the Tijuana Open Invitational.

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