IRVING, TX – MAY 29: Divots are seen at the tee box on the 104 yard par three 14th hole during Round Two of the AT&T Byron Nelson at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas on May 29, 2015 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
If the PGA Tour schedule was played as normal, this would have been the week of the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic. And while the event remains known for its namesake, as it should be, there’s an underlying story that is rarely told about the event.
Nelson’s name was not yet on the tournament, in 1961, when something unlikely happened. The Dallas Open Invitational welcomed a number of the world’s best players to Oak Cliff Country Club.
The field included Arnold Palmer, Gay Brewer and Doug Sanders, among others. But all of those players would be overshadowed by a player that most golf fans probably would have difficulty recognizing.
His name was Earl Stewart, and what he accomplished during the first weekend in September of 1961 is something that was never done before and has never been done since. And he did it in his own backyard.
Stewart fired a 2-under par score over 72 holes that week to beat Palmer, Brewer, Sanders and everyone else in the field. While that may seem unspectacular, it was not, when you know the rest of the story.
Stewart was the club professional at Oak Cliff Country Club, so he was playing on his home course. In winning, he became the first, and to this day the only, club pro to win a PGA Tour tournament at his home course.
This is a feat that’s not likely to ever be matched for a number of reasons. First of all, there are not many PGA professionals who take the time to play in a PGA Tour event. The only real exception are the PGA pros who participate in the PGA Championship every season.
Second, there may or may not be a PGA professional out there who could actually compete with today’s PGA Tour pros. One would think that, if a PGA professional was that good, he would join the tour and try to take advantage of the huge purses on tour.
Finally, the odds that such a professional exists and that he would be able to play in a PGA Tour event on his home course is unlikely. It might seem that such a professional is out there somewhere, but it has been nearly 59 years since Stewart’s feat in Texas happened, and no one has been able to pull the trick since.
Stewart’s accomplishment is literally one for the ages and something that’s not likely to happen again very soon, if ever. That makes what he was able to do in 1961 that much more special. And the facts say that the chances of someone pulling that off again are very low.
Build your custom FanSided Daily email newsletter with news and analysis on All Golf and all your favorite sports teams, TV shows, and more.
Your privacy is safe with us. We’ll never pass along your email address to spammers, scammers, or the like.
World news – US – AT&T Byron Nelson: Earl Stewart’s Feat May Never Be Matched