The first day started out badly for Hound Dog. Shortly after dawn he was aroused from a sound sleep by an eager and early-rising journalist who telephoned him in his motel room, and proceeded to conduct an impromptu press conference. On the golf course later that day Brewer's problems were of an equally unexpected nature. His tee shots, vastly improved since he acquired a new driver several months ago, were straying into Firestone's heavy rough. But, stoically, Hound Dog hung in there, getting a needed boost with an eight-foot putt that fell for a par at the eighth hole, a fine wedge shot out of the rough and a two-foot putt for par at the ninth. Those two putts were the start of eight one-putt greens over the final 11 holes. Brewer finished with a three-over-par 73, two shots behind Player, but a stroke in front of Trevino's 74 and two strokes ahead of Nicklaus' 75.
Brewer started the final round hopeful of catching Player, who made things easier by bogeying the opening hole. For a change, Gay was driving the ball into the fairway and seemed pleased to make pars on the first few holes. But then he faltered on the long fourth and fifth holes, historically his nemesis at Firestone. Brewer drove into the fourth's fairway bunker and bogeyed and picked up another paralyzing bogey on the par-three fifth when his tee shot went into a trap. He was on his way to another front-nine 38 while Player was getting the ball up and down for pars from everywhere and shooting a 36 to break a four-stroke lead. "I just can't get by the fourth and fifth hole," lamented Brewer.
On the incoming nine Brewer gave a better exhibition of his true ability. He birdied the 10th hole and went on to shoot a 34, one under par, although missing birdie putts of under 12 feet four times. Player had no such misfortune. He one-putted the 11th through 15th and assured himself of victory with a gutty par on the 625-yard 16th hole. Meanwhile Brewer was even with Nicklaus and Trevino on the 17th tee, but when they both dropped birdie putts, he fell to fourth, and the $5,000.
Ah, well, look at it this way. When he turned professional in 1956, it took him two years to earn that much.