Who's who: Doug Sanders

  • Photo of Doug Sanders
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  • Photo of Doug Sanders
  • usa.png

Who's who: Doug Sanders

  • Name:

    George Douglas Sanders
  • Country:

    USA
  • Lived:

    [1933-2020]. Born on July 24, 1933 in Cedartown, Georgia. Died on April 12, 2020 in Houston, Texas, aged 86.
  • Original/Home Club:

    Cedartown, GA.
  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer; golf writer.
  • Turned Pro:

    1956

Roll of Honour

Ryder Cup player (1967). Total professional wins (24), including PGA Tour wins (20, and Senior PGA Tour wins (1).

Did you know?

Born into a poor family in Cedartown, Georgia, Sanders lived adjacent to a nine-hole golf course while he was growing-up. It was here he spent much of his spare time, developing a relatively compact self-taught swing.

After honing his swing as a "Gator" at the University of Florida in Gainsville, Sanders turned professional in 1956, but not before winning the prestigious Canadian Open championship in July of that year ... as an amateur. He beat Dow Finsterwald in a playoff to record his maiden PGA Tour win, and then beat Finsterwald into second-place to clinch his next two Tour wins in 1958 and 1959 ... as a professional.

Renowned for his flambourant dressing and easy-going manner, the affable Georgian went on to record a total of 20 PGA Tour, but missed out on a major championship, coming second on four occasions. Perhaps most heart-breaking was his playoff defeat by Jack Nicklaus in the 1970 Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews. Leading the field, Sanders took four shots from just 74 yards at the final hole, including a missed 30-inch putt to win in regulation play. Nicklaus won the 18-hole playoff with a 72 to Sanders 73.

Top tournaments won by Doug Sanders

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

283 (-5)

Prize money

$25,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the World Seniors Invitational. Second-placed Miller Barber (USA) finished 1 shot behind Sanders (USA). [Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina].

1972
America
275 (-13)
$35,000
Kemper Insurance

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

275 (-13)

Prize money

$35,000

Title sponsor

Kemper Insurance

Played as the Kemper Open (June 1-4). Second-placed Lee Trevino (USA) finished 1 shot behind Doug Sanders (USA), who recorded the last of his 20 PGA Tour wins. [Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, NC].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

275 (-9)

Prize money

$20,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Doral Open (March 2-5). Second-placed Harold Henning (RSA) and Art Wall Jr (USA) finished 1 shot behind Doug Sanders (USA), who recorded his second win in three years in this event. Course was controversially shortened for this event to play as a par-71, versus its usual length and par of 72. [Blue Monster course, Doral Resort, Miami, FL].

1966
America
276 (-8)
$20,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

276 (-8)

Prize money

$20,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Greater Greensboro Open (Mar 31-Apr 3). Sanders (USA) beat Tom Weiskopf (USA) with a par at the second playoff hole, to record his second win in this event. [Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, NC].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

349 (-11)

Prize money

$15,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Bob Hope Desert Classic (Feb 2-6). Sanders (USA) beat Arnold Palmer (USA) with a birdie at the first playoff hole, to post his 15th PGA Tour win. [Indian Wells CC, Coachella Valley, CA. Earlier rounds also at: Bermuda Dunes CC; Eldorado CC; La Quinta CC].

1966
America
Atlantic Beach CC
273 (-15)
$13,500
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Venue

Atlantic Beach CC

Score

273 (-15)

Prize money

$13,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Greater Jacksonville Open (March 24-27). Second-placed Gay Brewer (USA) finished 1 shot behind Sanders (USA). During the final round of this tournament on the 18th hole (492-yard par-5), Jack Nicklaus (USA) holed-out with a four iron from 208 yards to record his first ever double-eagle (albatross). Nicklaus finished in 11th place. [Atlantic Beach CC, nr Jacksonville, FL; at the time called Selva Marina CC].

1965
America
Pensacola CC
277 (-11)
$10,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Venue

Pensacola CC

Score

277 (-11)

Prize money

$10,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Pensacola Open (March 4-7). Sanders (USA) beat Jack Nicklaus (USA) with a birdie at the third playoff hole. [Pensacola CC, Pensacola, FL].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

274 (-14)

Prize money

$11,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Doral Open (March 11-14). Second-placed Bruce Devlin (Aus) finished 1 shot behind Doug Sanders (USA). [Blue Monster course, Doral Resort, Miami, FL].

1963
America
270 (-14)
$5,500
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

270 (-14)

Prize money

$5,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Greater Greensboro Open (April 11-14). Second-placed Jimmy Clark (USA) finished 4 shots behind Sanders (USA). [Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, NC].

1962
America
Pensacola CC
270 (-18)
$2,800
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Venue

Pensacola CC

Score

270 (-18)

Prize money

$2,800

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Pensacola Open (March 8-11). Second-placed Don Fairfield (USA) finished 1 shot behind Sanders (USA). [Pensacola CC, Pensacola, FL].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

273 (-15)

Prize money

$2,800

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Hot Springs Open (May 18-21). Second-placed Dave Ragan (USA) and Jerry Steelsmith (USA) finished 1 shot behind Doug Sanders (USA). [Arlington course, Hot Springs CC, Hot Springs, AR].

1961
America
Oakbourne CC
270 (-14)
$2,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Venue

Oakbourne CC

Score

270 (-14)

Prize money

$2,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Cajun Classic (Nov 16-19). Second-placed Ken Still (USA) finished 6 shots behind Sanders (USA). [Oakbourne CC, Lafayette, Louisiana].

1961
America
Pine Ridge, MD
275 (-13)
$5,300
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Venue

Pine Ridge, MD

Score

275 (-13)

Prize money

$5,300

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Eastern Open (Aug 3-6). Second-placed Ken Venturi (USA) finished 1 shot behind Doug Sanders (USA). [Pine Ridge GC, Lutherville, Maryland].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

272 (-16)

Prize money

$4,300

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Greater New Orleans Open Invitational (March 2-5). Second-placed Gay Brewer Jr (USA) and Mac Main (USA) finished 5 shots behind Doug Sanders (USA). [Bayou Oaks at City Park, New Orleans, LA. Played on what was known as City Park's No.1 (East) course; now part of the South course).

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

281 (+1)

Prize money

$7,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Colonial National Invitation (May 11-14). Second-placed Kel Nagle (Aus) finished 1 shot behind Doug Sanders (USA). [Colonial CC, Ft Worth, TX].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Score

273 (-11)

Prize money

$2,800

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Coral Gables Open (Dec 3-6; last played in 1937 as the Miami Biltmore Open). Second-placed Dow Finsterwald (USA) finished 3 shots behind Doug Sanders (USA). This was Sanders' third PGA Tour win, in each of which Finsterwald was runner-up. [The Biltmore, Coral Gables, Miami, FL].

1959
America
Las Vegas GC
219 (+3)
$750
Sahara Hotel

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Venue

Las Vegas GC

Score

219 (+3)

Prize money

$750

Title sponsor

Sahara Hotel

Played as the Sahara Pro-Am (Oct 28/29; 54-hole unofficial PGA Tour event). Second-placed Ed "Porkey" Oliver finished 4 shots behind Doug Sanders (USA). [Las Vegas GC Municipal course, Las Vegas, NV].

1958
America
Red Run
275 (-13)
$5,000
WGA

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Venue

Red Run

Score

275 (-13)

Prize money

$5,000

Title sponsor

WGA

Played as the Western Open (May 29-June 1). Second-placed Dow Finsterwald (USA) finished 1 shot behind Doug Sanders (USA), who recorded his second PGA Tour wins. [Red Run GC, Royal Oak, nr Detroit, Mich].

1957
America
San Andres, Col
269
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Venue

San Andres, Col

Score

269

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Colombian Open (Abierto de Colombia). Won by Sanders (USA). [San Andrés GC, Funza, nr Bogotá, Colombia].

1956
America
Beaconsfield GC, Que.
273 (-11)
amateur
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Sanders, Doug

Venue

Beaconsfield GC, Que.

Score

273 (-11)

Prize money

amateur

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Canadian Open (July 5-8; first Canadian Open to be televised). 22-year-old Doug Sanders (USA, amateur) beat Dow Finsterwald (USA) with a par at the first playoff hole (par-4 16th). Sanders recorded his first PGA Tour win, and became the only amateur ever to win this prestigious event. Sanders turned pro shortly after this win. [Beaconsfield GC, Pointe-Claire, Québec].

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