Who's who in golf - Gene Littler


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Name: - Gene Alec Littler
Country: - USA
Born : - July 21, 1930 in San Diego, San Diego County, California.
Original Home/Club: - San Diego, California
Occupation: - Professional golfer.
Turned Pro: - 1954

Roll of Honour

Majors (1). US Amateur Champion (1953). Walker Cup player (1953). Ryder Cup player (1961, '63, '65, '67, '69, '71, '75). Total professional wins (50), of which US PGA Tour (29), Japan Tour (2) and Champions Tour (8). World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 1990).


Did you know?

Nicknamed "Gene The Machine" for his smooth, rythmical swing, Littler graduated from San Diego State University. Playing as an amateur, he won his first PGA Tour title, the San Diego Open, in January 1954. Later that year he turned professional and recorded a second-place finish in the U.S. Open, finishing just one shot behind winner Ed Furgol. Four PGA Tour wins followed in 1955 and regularly thereafter until 1977, including the U.S. Open title in 1961. His first win on the Champions Tour came in 1983.


Top tournaments won by Gene Littler

1989Snr AmericaChubb ClassicPelican Bay, Naples209 (-7)$45,000
Played as the Aetna Challenge (Feb 24-26). Second-placed Harold Henning (RSA) finished 2 shots behind Littler (USA), who recorded the last of his eight Senior PGA Tour wins. [The Club Pelican Bay, Naples, FL].
1987Snr AmericaNYNEX CommemorativeSleepy Hollow, NY200 (-10)$37,500
Played as the NYNEX/Golf Digest Commemorative. Second-placed Dale Douglass (USA) finished 1 shot behind Littler (USA). [Sleepy Hollow CC, Scarborough, New York].
1987Snr AmericaRoyal Caribbean ClassicCrandon, Key Biscayne207 (-6)$45,000
Played as the inaugural Gus Machado Senior Classic. Second-placed Orville Moody (USA) finished 3 shots behind Littler (USA). [Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne, nr Miami, FL; at the time known as the Links at Key Biscayne].
1986Snr AmericaBank One ClassicGriffin Gate201 (-12)$30,000
Played as the Bank One Senior Golf Classic. Littler (USA) beat Miller Barber (USA) with a par at the third playoff hole; Bob Goalby (USA) was eliminated at the first playoff hole. [Griffin Gate Resort, Lexington, Kentucky].
1986Snr AmericaCharley Pride Snr ClassicFour Hills CC202 (-14)$37,500
Played as the inaugural Sunwest Bank Charley Pride Senior Classic (May 2-4). Second-placed Don January (USA) finished 2 shots behind Littler (USA). [Canyon Club, Albuquerque, New Mexico; at the time known as Four Hills CC].
1986Snr AmericaLegends of Golf (US)Onion Creek255 (-25)$50,000
Played as the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (unofficial two-man better-ball team event). Second-placed Jim Ferree (USA) and Charlie Sifford (USA) finished 2 shots behind Don January (USA) & Gene Littler (USA). [Onion Creek Club, Austin, Texas].
1985Snr AmericaLegends of Golf (US)Onion Creek257 (-23)$50,000
Played as the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (unofficial two-man better-ball team event). Second-placed Miller Barber (USA) & Gay Brewer (USA), Billy Casper (USA) & Lee Elder (USA) and Bob Goalby (USA) & Sam Snead (USA) finished 1 shot behind Don January (USA) & Gene Littler (USA). [Onion Creek Club, Austin, Texas].
1984Snr AmericaTucson Snr Match PlayRandolph GC1 up$100,000
Played as the inaugural Seiko-Tucson Senior Match Play Championship (Jan 6-8; Snr PGA Tour season opener). Littler (USA) beat Don January (USA) by 1 hole in the 18-hole final. [Randolph GC, Tucson, AZ. at the time known as the North Course at Randolph Park Municipal].
1983Snr AmericaDaytona Beach Snr ClassicPelican Bay, Daytona Bch203 (-13)$25,000
Played as the inaugural Greater Daytona Senior Classic (March 18-20). Second-placed Guy Wolstenholme (Eng) finished 6 shots behind first-time US Snr Tr winner Littler (USA). [North course, Club at Pelican Bay, Daytona Beach, FL].
1983Snr AmericaSyracuse Snr ClassicBellevue CC, NY275 (-9)$25,000
Played as the Greater Syracuse Senior's Pro Classic. Second-placed Don January (USA) finished 2 shots behind Littler (USA). [Bellevue CC, Syracuse, New York].
1983Snr AmericaVintage Invtl.Vintage Club, CA280 (-8)$35,000
Played as the Vintage Invitational (unofficial US Snr Tr event). Second-placed Paul Harney (USA) finished 1 shot behind (USA). [Vintage Club, Palm Desert, California].
1982Snr AmericaHome Depot Invtl.Quail Hollow Club280 (-8)$23,000
Played as the World Seniors Invitational. Second-placed and defending champion Miller Barber (USA) finished 5 shots behind Littler (USA). [Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina].
1981Snr AmericaLegends of Golf (US)Onion Creek257 (-23)$35,000
Played as the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (unofficial two-man better-ball team event; first time over 72 holes). Second-placed Peter Thomson (Aus) and Kel Nagle (Aus) finished 1 shot behind Gene Littler (USA) & Bob Rosburg (USA). [Onion Creek Club, Austin, Texas].
1981Snr AmericaVintage Invtl.Vintage Club, CA271 (-17)$50,000
Played as the inaugural Vintage Invitational (unofficial US Snr Tr event). Second-placed Bob Goalby (USA) finished 9 shots behind Littler (USA). [Vintage Club, Palm Desert, California].
1980Men Aus/NZAustralian MastersHuntingdale288x
Played as the Australian Masters. Rodger Davis (Aus) finished in second place behind Littler (USA).
1980Snr AmericaHome Depot Invtl.Quail Hollow Club211 (-5)$20,000
Played as the inaugural World Seniors Invitational. Second-placed Arnold Palmer (USA) finished 2 shots behind Littler (USA). [Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina].
1977Men AmericaHouston OpenWoodlands CC, TX276 (-12)$40,000
Played as the Houston Open. Second-placed Lanny Wadkins (USA) finished 3 shots behind Littler (USA), who recorded the last of his 29 PGA Tour wins. [The Woodlands CC, nr Houston, TX. Course used was based on the current back-nine of the Tournament course and part of the neighbouring Panther Trail course].
1975Men AmericaNorthern Trust, TheWestchester CC271 (-17)$50,000
Played as the Westchester Classic. Littler (USA) beat Julius Boros (USA) with a par at the first playoff hole. [West course, Westchester CC, Rye, NY].
1975Men AmericaPebble Beach Pro-AmPebble Beach280 (-8)$37,000
Played as the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am (Jan 23-26). Second-placed Hubert Green (USA) finished 4 shots behind Littler (USA). [Pebble Beach Links, Monterey Peninsula, CA. Earlier rounds also at: Cypress Point Club and Spyglass Hill GC].
1975Men AmericaSt Jude ClassicColonial CC, Tenn270 (-18)$35,000
Played as the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic. Second-placed John Mahaffey (USA) finished 5 shots behind Littler (USA). [South course, Colonial CC, Cordova, nr Memphis, TN].
1975Men JapanTaiheiyo MastersSobu CC278 (-6)US$65,000
Played as the Taiheiyo Club Pacific Masters (Oct 9-12; Japan Tr event). Second-placed Lee Elder (USA) and Hubert Green (USA) finished 1 shot behind defending champion Littler (USA), who recorded his second Japan Tour win. [Sobu course, Sobu CC, Inzai, Chiba, Japan].
1974Men JapanTaiheiyo MastersSobu CC279 (-5)US$65,000
Played as the Taiheiyo Club Pacific Masters (Oct 10-14; Japan Tr event). Second-placed Yancey (USA) finished 5 shots behind first-time Japan Tour winner Littler (USA). [Sobu course, Sobu CC, Inzai, Chiba, Japan].
1973Men AmericaSt Louis ClassicNorwood Hills CC268 (-12)$42,000
Played as the St Louis Golf Classic (July 19-22). Second-placed Bruce Crampton (Aus) finished 1 shot behind Littler (USA), who recorded his 25th PGA Tour win, and first following cancer surgery 16 months earlier. [West course, Norwood Hills CC, St Louis, Missouri; originally North Hills CC].
1971Men AmericaColonial InvitationalColonial CC, Tex283 (+3)$25,000
Played as the Colonial National Invitation. Second-placed Bert Yancey (USA) finished 1 shot behind Littler (USA). [Colonial CC, Ft Worth, TX].
1971Men AmericaMonsanto Openxx
Played as the Monsanto Open Invitational.
1969Men AmericaPhoenix OpenArizona CC263 (-21)$30,000
Played as the Phoenix Open Invitational (Feb 13-16). Second-placed Don January (USA), Billy Maxwell (USA) and Miller Barber (USA) finished 2 shots behind Littler (USA), who won this event for the third time. [Arizona CC, Phoenix, AZ].
1969Men AmericaWyndham Ch'shipSedgefield CC274 (-10)$32,000
Played as the Greater Greensboro Open (April 3-6). Littler (USA) beat Julius Boros (USA) and Orville Moody (USA) with a birdie at the fifth playoff hole. Tom Weiskopf (USA) was eliminated at the first playoff hole. [Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, NC].
1966Men AmericaWorld Series of GolfFirestone CC143x
Played as the World Series of Golf; a 36-hole exhibition event. Won by Gene Littler (USA). [South course, Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio].
1965Men AmericaCanadian OpenMississaugua G&CC273 (-7)$20,000
Played as the Canadian Open. Second-placed Jack Nicklaus (USA) finished 1 shot behind Littler (USA). [Mississaugua G&CC, Mississauga, Ont.].
1962Men AmericaLucky Intl. Openxx
Played as the Lucky International Open.
1962Men AmericaThunderbird ClassicUpper Montclair CC275 (-9)x
Played as the inaugural Thunderbird Classic Invitational. Second-placed Jack Nicklaus (USA) finished 2 shots behind Littler (USA). [Upper Montclair CC, Clifton, NJ].
1961Men MajorsUS OpenOakland Hills281 (+1)$14,000
The US Open (61st) (Jun 15-17). Second-placed Doug Sanders (USA) and Bob Goalby (USA) finished 1 shot behind Littler (USA). [South course, Oakland Hills CC, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan].
1960Men AmericaEastern Openxx
Played as the Eastern Open Invitational.
1960Men AmericaOklahoma City Openxx
Played as the Oklahoma City Open Invitational.
1959Men AmericaArlington Hotel Openxx
Played as the Arlington Hotel Open.
1959Men AmericaMiller Openxx
Played as the Miller Open Invitational.
1959Men AmericaPhoenix OpenArizona CC268 (-12)$2,400
Played as the Phoenix Open Invitational (Feb 5-8). Second-placed Art Wall Jr (USA) finished 1 shot behind Littler (USA), who recorded his tenth PGA Tour win. [Arizona CC, Phoenix, AZ].
1959Men AmericaTravelers Ch'shipWethersfield CC272 (-12)$3,500
Played as the Insurance City Open Invitational. Second-placed Tom Nieporte (USA) finished 1 shot behind Littler (USA). [Wethersfield CC, nr Hartford, CT].
1959Men AmericaTucson OpenEl Rio, AZ266 (-14)$2,000
Played as the Tucson Open Invitational. Second-placed Joe Campbell (USA) and Art Wall Jr (USA) finished 1 shot behind Littler (USA), who won for the second straight week on the PGA Tour. [El Rio G&CC, Tucson, AZ. Now known as El Rio GC].
1957Men AmericaTourmnt of Chmpns (PGA Tr)Desert Inn CC285 (-3)$10,000
Played as the Tournament of Champions (April 18-21). Second-placed Billy Casper (USA), Jimmy Demaret (USA), Dow Finsterwald (USA) and Billy Maxwell (USA) finished 3 shots behind Littler (USA), who recorded the last of his three straight wins in this event. [Desert Inn CC, Las Vegas, NV; now known as Wynn Las Vegas].
1956Men AmericaPalm Beach Invtl.xx
Played as the Palm Beach Invitational.
1956Men AmericaTexas OpenFt Sam Houston276 (-12)$3,750
Played as the Texas Open Invitational. Second-placed Mike Fetchick (USA), Frank Stranahan (USA) and Ernie Vossler (USA) finished 2 shots behind Littler (USA). [Ft Sam Houston GC, San Antonio, TX].
1956Men AmericaTourmnt of Chmpns (PGA Tr)Desert Inn CC281 (-7)$10,000
Played as the Tournament of Champions (April 26-29). Second-placed Cary Middlecoff (USA) finished 4 shots behind defending champion Littler (USA), who recorded the second of his three straight wins in this event. [Desert Inn CC, Las Vegas, NV; now known as Wynn Las Vegas].
1955Men AmericaLabatt OpenSummerlea G&CC272 (-8)$5,000
Played as the Labatt Open. Littler (USA) beat Stan Leonard (Can) with a par at the first playoff hole, to win his fifth PGA Tour title. [Summerlea G&CC, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Québec].
1955Men AmericaLos Angeles OpenInglewood CC276 (-8)$5,000
Played as the Los Angeles Open (Jan 7-10). Second-placed Ted Kroll (USA) finished 2 shots behind Littler (USA), who recorded his first PGA Tour win as a pofessional. [Inglewood CC, Inglewood, Los Angeles, CA. Course is believed to have closed].
1955Men AmericaPhoenix OpenArizona CC275 (-5)$2,400
Played as the Phoenix Open (Feb 3-6). Second-placed Billy Maxwell (USA) and Johnny Palmer (USA) finished 1 shot behind Littler (USA). [Arizona CC, Phoenix, AZ].
1955Men AmericaTourmnt of Chmpns (PGA Tr)Desert Inn CC280 (-8)$10,000
Played as the Tournament of Champions (Apr 28-May 1). Second-placed Jerry Barber (USA), Pete Cooper (USA) and Bob Toski (USA) finished 13 shots behind Littler (USA), who recorded the first of his three straight wins in this event. [Desert Inn CC, Las Vegas, NV; now known as Wynn Las Vegas].
1954Men AmericaFarmers Insurance OpenRancho Santa Fe274 (-14)amateur
Played as the San Diego Open (Jan 21-24). E.J. "Dutch" Harrison (USA) finished 4 shots behind first-time PGA Tour winner Littler (US, amateur). Harrison collected the $2,400 top money prize. [Rancho Sante Fe GC, nr San Diego, CA].
1953Men AmateurUS AmateurOklahoma City G&CC1 holen/a
The US Amateur Championship (53rd). Littler (USA) beat Dale Morey (USA) by 1 hole in the final. [Oklahoma City G&CC, Nichols Hill, OK].

 

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