SI Vault
Gwilym S. Brown
October 16, 1967
Abandoning its royal and ancient ways, the Old Course hosts the biggest golf promotion ever, and Gay Brewer wins $55,000
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October 16, 1967

Mod Golf Strikes At Old St. Andrews

Abandoning its royal and ancient ways, the Old Course hosts the biggest golf promotion ever, and Gay Brewer wins $55,000

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Amid all this frantic promotional hoopla the golf tournament seemed almost incidental. Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus had qualified but sent their regrets. So, too, at the last moment, did top U.S. money winners Dan Sikes and Julius Boros. For big-name attractions the tournament had to rely on Casper, Brewer and Doug Sanders. Pretty good, to be sure, but not exactly the kind of star material that would prompt a sponsor—especially a million-dollar sponsor—to whoop with delight.

The U.S. stars did their best. Sanders, after a good first round, fell back when the wind began to blow. But Casper and Brewer played fine golf, even through gales that churned up whitecaps in St. Andrews Bay and threatened to rip the flags off the flag sticks. After three rounds they were tied with England's 22-year-old Brian Barnes at four under par, and Casper was playing so well that he might have made a runaway of the tournament had he not missed several short putts during the third round.

Sunday's fourth round was played in high wind, but the conditions did not bother the Americans. While Barnes faded, Casper and Brewer dueled stroke for stroke all the way around to where the R&A's fortress overlooks the 18th. There Brewer made a brilliant birdie, and when Casper, finishing later, could only manage a par the two of them were tied at 283. There was still no Golfer of the Year. Alcan needed St. Andrews for another day and the price of aluminum edged up. The playoff went the traditional 18 holes, the week's first traditional move at St. Andrews. One could only imagine on Monday night, as Alcan struck its tent, what Old Tom Morris would have thought about a twosome match at his links in which $55,000 went to the winner.

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