This year’s PNC West Penn Open will be played at Fox Chapel Golf Club for the first time since 1957. The ’57 winner was Latrobe’s Arnold Palmer, who took a week off from his PGA Tour schedule returning home to win his only Open title.
Palmer, who joined the Tour in 1955, had already established himself as a top player with five tour wins prior to winning the West Penn Open. His most significant victory at the time was his first, the 1955 Canadian Open. After winning once more in 1957 after the Open, Palmer broke through with his first major championship the following year–the 1958 Masters title. He won the green jacket in even numbered years for the next three–1960, 1962, and 1964. His two British Opens and the 1960 US Open at Cherry Hills in Denver, site of this year’s US Amateur, another title Palmer won in 1954, gave him a total of seven major titles in his 62 wins on the PGA Tour.
Prior to the Centennial dinner in the Fall of 1998, Palmer returned to play Fox Chapel, teeing it up with Carol Semple Thompson and the late Judy Oliver, the best two women golfers of this area.