Tucson Open

The Tucson Open was a golf tournament in Arizona on the PGA Tour from 1945 to 2006, played annually in the winter in Tucson. It was last held at the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort in late February, with a $3 million purse and a $540,000 winner's share.[1]

Tucson Open
Tournament information
LocationTucson, Arizona, U.S.
Course(s)Omni Tucson National Resort,
Catalina Course[1]
Length7,193 yards (6,577 m)[1]
Tour(s)PGA Tour
FormatStroke play
Prize fund$3 million
Month playedFebruary
Final year2006
Final champion
Kirk Triplett
Location in the United States
Location in Arizona


Since the event's inception in 1945, it had been played at a series of courses in Tucson. The first eighteen editions were at El Rio Golf & Country Club, which was purchased by the city in 1968 and is now El Rio Golf Course. In 1963, the event moved to Forty Niner Country Club in 1963 for two years, then began its lengthy relationship with its last location, known at the time as Tucson National Golf Club, which hosted through 1978. It moved to Randolph Park Golf Course in 1979, returned to Tucson National in 1980, then back to Randolph Park for the next six.

From 1984 to 1986, the Tucson Open was contested at match play and was held concurrently with a Senior PGA Tour match play event, the Seiko-Tucson Senior Match Play Championship.

In 1987 and 1988 the event was played at the TPC at Starr Pass but was not held in 1989. When the event resumed in 1990, it was played at two courses each year from that year's event until 1996. One used every year was the TPC at Starr Pass (renamed Starr Pass Golf Club before the 1993 event). The TPC at Starr Pass shared time with Randolph Park in 1990; from 1991–96 the Tucson National GC was the other course used.

In 1997, the event changed to the more traditional format of 72 holes played at only one course, and has been played since that year at the renamed Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa.

In later years, it was an alternate event, opposite the WGC Match Play championship, then held at La Costa in Carlsbad, California. Because the top 64 ranked players in the world are invited to the WGC event, it weakened the field considerably for Tucson. The match play tournament moved to Tucson in 2007 as a "merging" of sorts between the two tournaments, and stayed through 2014.

On the PGA Tour Champions, the Tucson Conquistadores Classic made its debut in 2015, and is held at the Omni Tucson National Resort in mid-March.


(a) denotes amateur

YearPlayerCountryScoreTo parMargin
of victory
Chrysler Classic of Tucson
2006Kirk Triplett United States266−221 stroke Jerry Kelly
2005Geoff Ogilvy Australia269−19Playoff Mark Calcavecchia
Kevin Na
2004Heath Slocum United States266−221 stroke Aaron Baddeley
2003Frank Lickliter United States269−192 strokes Chad Campbell
Touchstone Energy Tucson Open
2002Ian Leggatt Canada268−202 strokes David Peoples
Loren Roberts
2001Garrett Willis United States273−151 stroke Kevin Sutherland
2000Jim Carter United States269−192 strokes Chris DiMarco
Tom Scherrer
Jean van de Velde
1999Gabriel Hjertstedt Sweden276−12Playoff Tommy Armour III
Tucson Chrysler Classic
1998David Duval United States269−194 strokes Justin Leonard
David Toms
1997Jeff Sluman United States275−131 stroke Steve Jones
Nortel Open
1996Phil Mickelson (3) United States273−142 strokes Bob Tway
Northern Telecom Open
1995Phil Mickelson (2) United States269−191 stroke Jim Gallagher, Jr.
Scott Simpson
1994Andrew Magee United States270−182 strokes Jay Don Blake
Loren Roberts
Vijay Singh
Steve Stricker
1993Larry Mize United States271−172 strokes Jeff Maggert
1992Lee Janzen United States270−181 stroke Bill Britton
1991Phil Mickelson (a) United States272−161 stroke Tom Purtzer
Bob Tway
Northern Telecom Tucson Open
1990Robert Gamez United States270−184 strokes Mark Calcavecchia
Jay Haas
1989No tournament
1988David Frost South Africa266−225 strokes Mark Calcavecchia
Mark O'Meara
Seiko Tucson Open
1987Mike Reid United States268−204 strokes Chip Beck
Mark Calcavecchia
Hal Sutton
Fuzzy Zoeller
Seiko-Tucson Match Play Championship
1986Jim Thorpe (2) United States4 strokes Scott Simpson
1985Jim Thorpe United States4 & 3 Jack Renner
1984Tom Watson (2) United States2 & 1 Gil Morgan
Joe Garagiola-Tucson Open
1983Gil Morgan United States271−9Playoff Curtis Strange
Lanny Wadkins
1982Craig Stadler United States266−143 strokes Vance Heafner
John Mahaffey
1981Johnny Miller (4) United States265−152 strokes Lon Hinkle
1980Jim Colbert United States270−224 strokes Dan Halldorson
1979Bruce Lietzke (2) United States265−152 strokes Buddy Gardner
Jim Thorpe
Tom Watson
1978Tom Watson United States274−143 strokes Bobby Wadkins
1977Bruce Lietzke United States275−13Playoff Gene Littler
NBC Tucson Open
1976Johnny Miller (3) United States274−143 strokes Howard Twitty
Dean Martin Tucson Open
1975Johnny Miller (2) United States263−259 strokes John Mahaffey
1974Johnny Miller United States272−163 strokes Ben Crenshaw
1973Bruce Crampton Australia277−115 strokes George Archer
Gay Brewer
Labron Harris, Jr.
Bobby Nichols
1972Miller Barber United States273−15Playoff George Archer
Tucson Open Invitational
1971J. C. Snead United States273−151 stroke Dale Douglass
1970Lee Trevino (2) United States275−13Playoff Bob Murphy
1969Lee Trevino United States271−177 strokes Miller Barber
1968George Knudson Canada273−151 stroke Frank Beard
Frank Boynton
1967Arnold Palmer United States273−151 stroke Chuck Courtney
1966Joe Campbell United States278−10Playoff Gene Littler
1965Bob Charles New Zealand271−174 strokes Al Geiberger
1964Jacky Cupit United States274−142 strokes Rex Baxter
1963Don January United States266−2211 strokes Gene Littler
Phil Rodgers
1962Phil Rodgers United States263−173 strokes Jim Ferrier
Home of the Sun Open
1961Dave Hill United States269−11Playoff Tommy Bolt
Bud Sullivan
Tucson Open Invitational
1960Don January United States271−93 strokes Bob Harris
1959Gene Littler United States266−141 stroke Joe Campbell
Art Wall, Jr.
1958Lionel Hebert United States265−152 strokes Don January
1957Dow Finsterwald United States269−11Playoff Don Whitt
1956Ted Kroll United States264−163 strokes Dow Finsterwald
Tucson Open
1955Tommy Bolt (2) United States266−143 strokes Bud Holscher
Art Wall, Jr.
1954No tournament
1953Tommy Bolt United States265−151 stroke Chandler Harper
1952Henry Williams, Jr. United States274−62 strokes Cary Middlecoff
1951Lloyd Mangrum (2) United States269−112 strokes Jack Burke, Jr.
Jim Turnesa
Lew Worsham
1950Chandler Harper United States267−132 strokes Sam Snead
1949Lloyd Mangrum United States263−175 strokes Al Smith
1948Skip Alexander United States264−161 stroke Johnny Palmer
1947Jimmy Demaret (2) United States264−163 strokes Ben Hogan
1946Jimmy Demaret United States268−124 strokes Herman Barron
1945Ray Mangrum United States268−121 stroke Byron Nelson

Multiple winners

Nine men won this tournament more than once.

Tournament highlights

  • 1945: Ray Mangrum shoots a final round 64 to win the inaugural version of the tournament.[2]
  • 1947: Jimmy Demaret becomes the first Tucson champion to successfully defend a title. A final round 65 allows him to finish three shots ahead of Ben Hogan.[3]
  • 1949: Lloyd Mangrum shoots a tournament record 263. He wins by five shots over Al Smith.[4]
  • 1955: Tommy Bolt eagles the 72nd hole to successfully defend his Tucson Open title.[5]
  • 1959: Gene Littler wins for the second consecutive week on the PGA Tour. He finishes one shot ahead of Joe Campbell and Art Wall, Jr.[6]
  • 1961: Controversial pro golfer Dave Hill wins for the first time on the PGA Tour. He defeats Tommy Bolt and Bud Sullivan on the third hole of a sudden death playoff.[7]
  • 1962: Phil Rodgers holes a wedge shot from 65-feet for eagle on the 72nd hole to edge Bud Sullivan by one shot.[8]
  • 1965: Only after deciding to play the tournament five minutes before its deadline for entries, New Zealand born Bob Charles makes Tucson his second ever win in the United States. He beats Al Geiberger by four shots.[9]
  • 1968: George Knudson wins for the second consecutive week on the PGA Tour. He finishes one shot ahead of Frank Beard and Frank Boynton.[10]
  • 1970: Lee Trevino successfully defends his Tucson Open title. He birdies the first hole of a sudden death playoff to defeat Bob Murphy.[11]
  • 1974: Johnny Miller becomes the first ever golfer in PGA Tour history to win three consecutive tournaments to start the season. He shoots a first round 62 on his way to a three shot triumph over Ben Crenshaw.[12]
  • 1975: Tom Weiskopf misses the 36 hole cut with scores of 70 and 78. Afterwards tournament director Biff Baker made a telephone complaint to PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman accusing Weiskopf of backhanding putts and not playing in a professional manner.[13] Weiskopf denied the allegations by saying "All they have to do is ask my playing partners."[14]
  • 1976: Johnny Miller wins at Tucson for the third consecutive year. He finishes three shots ahead of Howard Twitty.[15]
  • 1977: Bruce Lietzke earns the first of his thirteen career PGA Tour wins by defeating Gene Littler on the fourth hole of a sudden death playoff.[16]
  • 1980: Poor weather causes the tournament to finish on a Tuesday. Jim Colbert is the winner by four shots over Dan Halldorson.[17]
  • 1981: Johnny Miller wins Tucson for the fourth time. He shoots a final round 65 to finish two shots ahead of Lon Hinkle.[18]
  • 1984: For the first of three consecutive years, Tucson is conducted as a match play event. Tom Watson wins by defeating defending champion Gil Morgan in the finals by the score of 2 and 1.[19]
  • 1986: Defending champion Jim Thorpe wins the last match play edition of Tucson. He defeats Scott Simpson 67 to 71 in the finals.[20]
  • 1990: Robert Gamez wins on the PGA Tour in his first ever event. He finishes four shots ahead of Mark Calcavecchia and Jay Haas.[21] During the tournament's second round, 1988 Tucson champion David Frost, becomes the first PGA Tour player in 33 years to shoot a 60.[22]
  • 1991: Twenty-year-old amateur Phil Mickelson birdies the 72nd hole to win by one shot over Bob Tway and Tom Purtzer. Purtzer made double bogey on the tournament's final hole.[23] Hal Sutton hits a six-iron for his second shot on the 9th hole directly at the green. The ball slammed into the cup without touching the green and embedded itself in the lip of the hole. Since part of the ball remained above the level of the hole, it was ruled that Sutton had not holed out. He had to replace the ball and putt it in for a birdie.[24]
  • 1992: Future two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen collects his first ever PGA Tour title. He edges Bill Britton by one shot.[25]
  • 1995: Phil Mickelson wins his second Tucson title by one shot over Jim Gallagher, Jr. and Scott Simpson after Gallagher three putts the 72nd hole.[26]
  • 1997: Jeff Sluman earns his first PGA Tour title since the 1988 PGA Championship. He wins by one shot over Steve Jones.[27]
  • 2000: After playing in 292 PGA Tour events, Jim Carter finally reaches the winner's circle. He finishes two shots ahead of Jean van de Velde, Chris DiMarco, and Tom Scherrer.[28]
  • 2001: Like Robert Gamez did at the 1990 Tucson, Garrett Willis wins on the PGA Tour in his first ever event. He wins by one shot over Kevin Sutherland.[29]
  • 2005: Future U.S. Open winner Geoff Ogilvy notches his first ever PGA Tour win. He defeats Mark Calcavecchia and Kevin Na in a sudden death playoff.[30]


  1. Korte, Tim (February 27, 2006). "Chrysler surprise". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. C2.
  2. "Mangrum Winner Of Tucson Golf". The Pittsburgh Press. Pennsylvania. UP. January 22, 1945. p. 17.
  3. "Tucson Open Won By Jimmy Demaret". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. UP. February 3, 1947. p. 5.
  4. "Mangrum Breaks Tucson Record". The Pittsburgh Press. Pennsylvania. UP. February 7, 1949. p. 21.
  5. "Tommy Bolt Wins Tucson Open Golf". Lodi News-Sentinel. California. UP. February 14, 1955. p. 8.
  6. "Gene Littler Wins Tucson Open". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pennsylvania. AP. February 16, 1959. p. 18.
  7. "Tucson Won By Dave Hill". Middlesboro Daily News. Kentucky. UPI. February 20, 1961. p. 14.
  8. Sinclair, Murray (February 19, 1962). "Phil Rodgers Wins Tucson". The Gettysburg Times. Pennsylvania. AP. p. 4.
  9. Eger, Bob (February 22, 1965). "Charles Tops Field At Tucson". Ellensburg Daily Record. Washington. AP. p. 5.
  10. "Knudson In Charge To Tucson Win". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Florida. AP. February 26, 1968. p. 17.
  11. "Murphy Second In Tucson Open". The News-Dispatch. Jeannette, Pennsylvania. UPI. February 16, 1970. p. 10.
  12. "Miller Wins At Tucson With Ben Crenshaw Second". The Bonham Daily Favorite. Texas. UPI. January 21, 1974. p. 6.
  13. "Tucson golf director unhappy with Weiskopf". The Gadsden Times. Alabama. AP. January 19, 1975. p. 40.
  14. "Weiskopf Denies Not Trying Best". The Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. AP. January 20, 1975. p. 2-C.
  15. "Miller Wins Tucson Open For 3rd Time". Ludington Daily News. Michigan. UPI. January 12, 1976. p. 6.
  16. Sargis, Joe (January 17, 1977). "First tour win for Bruce Lietzke". Beaver County Times. Pennsylvania. UPI. p. B-2.
  17. "Colbert Wins At Tucson". The Times-News. Hendersonville, North Carolina. AP. February 20, 1980. p. 15.
  18. "Johnny Miller Wins Tucson". Waycross Journal-Herald. Georgia. AP. January 12, 1981. p. P-7.
  19. "In a 'dull match', Watson takestitle". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. AP. January 9, 1984. p. 2B.
  20. "Thorpe Captures Match-Play Event". The New York Times. AP. November 3, 1986.
  21. "Rookie Robert Gamez Tucson Open winner". The Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. AP. January 15, 1990. p. 14.
  22. "Super 12-under puts Frost on par". New Sunday Times. Malaysia. January 14, 1990. p. 18.
  23. Green, Bob (January 14, 1991). "Mickelson wins as amateur in Tucson Open". The Prescott Courier. Arizona. AP. p. 6A.
  24. Zullo, Allan (2001). Astonishing but True Golf Facts. Andrew McMeel Publishing. ISBN 9780740714269.
  25. "Janzen stays cool in Tucson". The Milwaukee Journal. Wisconsin. AP. February 17, 1992. p. C6.
  26. "Mickelson captures Tucson Open by one". Manila Standard. Philippines. January 22, 1995. p. 25.
  27. "Despite bogey on 18th, Jeff Sluman captures Tucson Open". Kingman Daily Miner. Arizona. AP. February 24, 1997. p. 6.
  28. "First-time winner takes Tucson Open". Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, South Carolina. AP. February 28, 2000. p. B2.
  29. "Willis comes of age in Tucson". BBC Sport. January 16, 2001.
  30. Clayton, Michael (March 1, 2005). "Ogilvy wins US playoff". The Age. Melbourne, Australia.

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