Who's who: Cary Middlecoff

  • Photo of Cary Middlecoff
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  • Photo of Cary Middlecoff
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Who's who: Cary Middlecoff

  • Name:

    Emmet Cary Middlecoff
  • Country:

    USA
  • Lived:

    [1921-1998]. Born on Jan 6, 1921 in Halls, Tennessee. Died on Sept 1, 1998 in Memphis, Tennessee, aged 77.
  • Original/Home Club:

  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer, dentist, TV commentator, author of "Advanced Golf" and "The Golf Swing."
  • Turned Pro:

    1947

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (3). Ryder Cup player (1953, '55, '59). Total professional wins (41), including PGA Tour (40). World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 1986).

Did you know?

A graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of Tennessee's College of Dentistry, Cary Middlecoff, often went by the nickname of "The Memphis Dentist." Middlecoff gave up his dental practice to become a professional golfer in 1947, having won a PGA Tour event (the North & South Open) in 1945 as an amateur. Between 1945-61 he accumulated 40 PGA Tour wins. During this period he only missed out on a PGA Tour title in 1946, 1957 and 1960. Middlecoff became one of the best of the early golf commentators on TV, and wrote a popular newspaper column, "The Golf Doctor."

Top tournaments won by Cary Middlecoff

1961
America
Colonial CC, Tenn
266 (-14)
$4,300
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Colonial CC, Tenn

Score

266 (-14)

Prize money

$4,300

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Memphis Open Invitational (June 1-4). Second-placed Mike Souchak (USA) and Gardner Dickinson (USA) finished 5 shots behind Middlecoff (USA). Home-town winner Middlecoff (the "Memphis dentist") recorded the last of his 40 PGA Tour wins. [Colonial CC, White Station, Memphis, TN. Club relocated to Cordova, nr Memphis in 1972].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the St Petersburg Open Invitational.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miller Open Invitational.

1956
America
202 (-14)
$2,500
Bing Crosby

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Score

202 (-14)

Prize money

$2,500

Title sponsor

Bing Crosby

Played as the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am Championship (Jan 13-15; 54-hole event). Second-placed Mike Souchak (USA) finished 5 shots behind defending champion Middlecoff (USA). [Pebble Beach Links, Monterey Peninsula, CA. Earlier rounds also at: Cypress Point Club and Monterey Peninsula CC].

1956
Awards
70.35
n/a
PGA of America

Category

Awards

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

70.35

Prize money

n/a

Title sponsor

PGA of America

Middlecoff (USA) won the PGA of America Vardon Trophy, recording the season's lowest scoring average on the PGA Tour.

1956
America
Phoenix CC, AZ
276 (-8)
$2,400
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Phoenix CC, AZ

Score

276 (-8)

Prize money

$2,400

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Phoenix Open (Feb 2-5). Second-placed Mike Souchak (USA) finished 3 shots behind Middlecoff (USA). [Phoenix CC, Phoenix, AZ].

1956
Majors
281 (+1)
$6,000
USGA

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Score

281 (+1)

Prize money

$6,000

Title sponsor

USGA

The US Open (56th) (Jun 14-16). Second-placed Ben Hogan (USA) and Julius Boros (USA) finished 1 shot behind Middlecoff (USA). [East course, Oak Hill CC, Pittsford, Rochester, NY].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miller High Life Open.

1955
America
272 (-16)
$2,400
WGA

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Score

272 (-16)

Prize money

$2,400

Title sponsor

WGA

Played as the Western Open (June 23-26). Second-placed Mike Souchak (USA) finished 2 shots behind Cary Middlecoff (USA), who shot a final round 63 to clinch his win. [Portland GC, Portland, Oregon].

1955
America
209 (-7)
$2,500
Bing Crosby

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Score

209 (-7)

Prize money

$2,500

Title sponsor

Bing Crosby

Played as the Bing Crosby Pro-Am Invitational (Jan 14-16; 54-hole event). Second-placed Paul Maguire (USA) and Julius Boros (USA) finished 4 shots behind Middlecoff (USA). [Pebble Beach Links, Monterey Peninsula, CA. Earlier rounds also at: Cypress Point Club and Monterey Peninsula CC].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the St Petersburg Open.

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Score

279 (-9)

Prize money

$5,000

Title sponsor

x

The Masters Tournament (19th) (April 7-10). Second-placed Ben Hogan (USA) finished 7 shots behind Middlecoff (USA), which at the time was a record margin of victory in the Masters. [Augusta National GC, Augusta, GA].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Cavalcade of Golf.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Motor City Open.

1953
America
Carling

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

Carling

Played as the Carling Open.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Palm Beach Round Robin.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Score

283 (-5)

Prize money

$4,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Houston Open (Feb 26-Mar 2). In a Monday finish, Cary Middlecoff (USA) beat Shelley Mayfield (USA), Jim Ferrier (Aus/USA), Earl Stewart (USA) and Bill Nary (USA) in the PGA Tour's first 18-hole five-way playoff (Middlecoff 69, Mayfield and Ferrier 71, Stewart 72 and Nary 75). Middlecoff could have won in regulation play, but missed a three-foot par putt at the 72nd hole. [Memorial Park GC, Houston, TX].

1952
America
Milburn G&CC
276 (-12)
$2,400
KCGA

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Milburn G&CC

Score

276 (-12)

Prize money

$2,400

Title sponsor

KCGA

Played as the Kansas City Open (Aug 14-17). Defending champion Middlecoff (USA) beat Jack Burke Jr (USA) in an 18-hole playoff. Playoff scores: Middlecoff 66; Burke 72. [Milburn G&CC, nr Kansas City, KS].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the St Paul Open.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Motor City Open.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the El Paso Open

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the St Louis Open.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Lakewood Park Open.

1951
America
Milburn G&CC
278 (-10)
$2,400
KCGA

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Milburn G&CC

Score

278 (-10)

Prize money

$2,400

Title sponsor

KCGA

Played as the Kansas City Open (Oct 4-8). Middlecoff (USA) beat Doug Ford (USA) and Dave Douglas (USA) in an 18-hole playoff. Playoff scores: Middlecoff 68; Ford and Douglas 72. [Milburn G&CC, nr Kansas City, KS].

1951
America
Tam O'Shanter CC
274 (-14)
$2,250
George S. May

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Tam O'Shanter CC

Score

274 (-14)

Prize money

$2,250

Title sponsor

George S. May

Played as the All American Open (Aug 2-5; aka the Tam O'Shanter). Second-placed Fred Hawkins (USA) finished 2 shots behind Cary Middlecoff (USA). [Tam O'Shanter CC, Niles, nr Chicago, IL; now the municipal Tam O'Shanter Golf Course].

1951
America
Mt Pleasant GC
279 (-9)
$2,400
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Mt Pleasant GC

Score

279 (-9)

Prize money

$2,400

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Eastern Open (Sept 13-16). Second-placed Jerry Barber (USA) finished 1 shot behind Cary Middlecoff (USA). [Mt Pleasant Municipal GC, Baltimore, MD].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Score

282 (+2)

Prize money

$3,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Colonial National Invitation (May 24-27). Second-placed Jack Burke Jr (USA) finished 1 shot behind Cary Middlecoff (USA). [Colonial CC, Ft Worth, TX].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Score

279 (-9)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Jacksonville Open (March 17-20). Second-placed George Fazio (USA) finished 2 shots behind defending champion Middlecoff (USA). [Hyde Park GC, Jacksonville, FL].

1950
America
BraeBurn CC, TX
277 (-11)
$2,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

BraeBurn CC, TX

Score

277 (-11)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Houston Open (Feb 23-26). Second-placed Pete Cooper (USA) finished 3 shots behind Cary Middlecoff (USA). [BraeBurn CC, Houston, TX].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the St Louis Open.

1949
Majors
286 (+2)
$2,000
USGA

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Medinah

Score

286 (+2)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

USGA

The US Open (49th) (Jun 9-11). Second-placed Sam Snead (USA) and Clayton Heafner (USA) finished 1 shot behind Middlecoff (USA). [No.3 course, Medinah CC, Bloomingdale, nr Chicago, IL].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Motor City Open.

1949
America
Reading CC
266 (-14)
$2,600
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Reading CC

Score

266 (-14)

Prize money

$2,600

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Reading Open (July 7-10). Second-placed Sam Snead (USA) finished 1 shot behind Middlecoff (USA). [Reading CC, Reading, Pennsylvania].

1949
America
Harlingen GC
267 (-17)
$2,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Harlingen GC

Score

267 (-17)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Rio Grande Valley Open (Feb 24-27). Second-placed Bob Hamilton (USA) finished 2 shots behind Middlecoff (USA). [Harlingen GC, Harlingen, TX; now called Tony Butler GC].

1949
America
Brentwood GC, FL
274 (-14)
$2,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Brentwood GC, FL

Score

274 (-14)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Jacksonville Open (March 18-21). Second-placed Jerry Barber (USA) finished 2 shots behind Middlecoff (USA). [Brentwood GC, Jacksonville, FL].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miami International Four-Ball.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Miami International Four-Ball.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Score

274 (-10)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Hawaiian Open (Nov 4-7). Second-placed Johnny Bulla (USA) finished 3 shots behind Cary Middlecoff (USA). Bulla came second for the second straight year. [Waialae CC, Honolulu, Hawaii].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Venue

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Charlotte Open.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Middlecoff, Cary

Score

280 (-8)

Prize money

amateur

Title sponsor

x

Played as the North & South Open (Nov 6-8). Second-placed Densmore "Denny" Shute (USA) finished 5 shots behind 24-year-old Cary Middlecoff (USA, amateur), who recorded the first of his 39 PGA Tour wins. Army dentist Middlecoff became the first (and only) amateur to win this prestigious event. The first place prize money of $1,000 went to Shute. [No.2 Course, Pinehurst Resort, North Carolina].

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