- Billy Casper is also the name of the protagonist of A Kestrel for a Knave.
|— Golfer —|
[[File:Billy Casper 2010.jpg#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other|
This page is a soft redirect.border|frameless|upright=1]]
Casper golfing at a Georgian golf course in April 2010
|Full name||William Earl Casper, Jr.|
June 24, 1931|
San Diego, California
February 7, 2015 (aged 83)|
|Height||Script error: No such module "convert".|
|Weight||Script error: No such module "convert".|
|Nationality||23px United States|
|Spouse||Shirley Casper (m. 1952–2015; his death)|
|College||University of Notre Dame|
|Number of wins by tour|
|PGA Tour||51 (7th all time)|
|Best results in major championships|
|Masters Tournament||Won: 1970|
|U.S. Open||Won: 1959, 1966|
|The Open Championship||4th: 1968|
|PGA Championship||2nd/T2: 1958, 1965, 1971|
|Achievements and awards|
|World Golf Hall of Fame||1978 (member page)|
|PGA Player of the Year||1966, 1970|
leading money winner
|Vardon Trophy||1960, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968|
William Earl Casper, Jr. (June 24, 1931 – February 7, 2015) was an American professional golfer who was one of the most prolific tournament winners on the PGA Tour from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s.
Casper started as a caddie in his youth, and emerged from the junior golf hotbed of San Diego, where golf could be played year-round, to rank seventh all-time in career Tour wins with 51, across a 20-year period between 1956 and 1975. Fellow San Diegan great Gene Littler was a friend and rival from teenager to senior. Casper won three major championships, represented the United States on a then-record eight Ryder Cup teams, and holds the U.S. record for career Ryder Cup points won. After reaching age 50, Casper regularly played the Senior PGA Tour and was a winner there until 1989. In his later years, Casper successfully developed businesses in golf course design and management of golf facilities.
Casper served as Ryder Cup captain in 1979, was twice PGA Player of the Year (1966 and 1970), was twice leading money winner, and won five Vardon Trophy awards for the lowest seasonal scoring average on the Tour.
Respected for his extraordinary putting and short-game skills, Casper was a superior strategist who overcame his distance disadvantages against longer-hitting competitors such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus with moxie, creative shot-making, and clever golf-course management abilities. Never a flashy gallery favorite, Casper developed his own self-contained style, relying on solid technique, determination, concentration, and perseverance.
- 1 Early years
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Legacy
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Other ventures
- 6 Professional wins (69)
- 7 Major championships
- 8 Champions Tour major championships
- 9 U.S. national team appearances
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
Casper was born in San Diego, California. His father started him in golf at age five. Casper caddied during his youth at San Diego Country Club to earn money for golf, and spent one semester at the University of Notre Dame on a golf scholarship, after graduating from high school. He returned to San Diego to marry his wife Shirley in 1952. Casper competed frequently as an amateur against fellow San Diegan Gene Littler. He turned professional in 1954.
Casper had 51 PGA Tour wins in his career, with his first coming in 1956. This total places him seventh on the all time list. His victories helped him finish third in McCormack's World Golf Rankings in 1968, 1969 and 1970, the first three years they were published. He won three major championships: the 1959 and 1966 U.S. Opens, and the 1970 Masters Tournament.
He was the PGA Tour Money Winner in 1966 and 1968. He was PGA Player of the Year in 1966 and 1970. Casper won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average five times: 1960, 1963, 1965, 1966, and 1968.
Casper was a member of the United States team in the Ryder Cup eight times: 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, and a non-playing captain in 1979. Casper has scored the most points in the Ryder Cup by an American player.
Casper won at least one PGA Tour event for 16 straight seasons, from 1956 to 1971 inclusive, and this is the third-longest streak, trailing only Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, who each won on Tour in 17 straight years.
Much has been written in the annals of golf that Casper was the most underrated star in golf history, and the best modern golfer who never received the accolades he deserved. He was not considered one of the "Big Three" — Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player — who are widely credited with popularizing and bringing enormous commercial success to the sport around the world; however, between 1964 and 1970, Casper won 27 tournaments on the PGA Tour, two more than Nicklaus and six more than Palmer and Player combined, during that time period. He is considered to have been the best putter of his era by many.
Casper's 20-year period of winning on the PGA Tour -- between 1956 and 1975 -- was an era of extraordinary growth in tournament purses, television coverage and depth of competition. Casper faced legends such as Palmer, Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Cary Middlecoff, Gary Player and Lee Trevino when they were all at or near their peaks.
Casper's grandson, Mason Casper, is on the Utah Valley University golf team. Mason qualified for NCAA post-season play in 2012.
Casper died at his home in Springville, Utah of a heart attack on February 7, 2015, aged 83. Casper was survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Shirley Franklin Casper, 11 children, six of whom are adopted, 71 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
Golf course design and management
After his professional career, Casper was a designer for many golf courses, such as The Highlands, The Palm and Eagle Crest in Sun City Summerlin, Nevada. As of 2011[update], his management company, Billy Casper Golf, was the second-largest operator of golf courses in the United States, and managed more than 140 golf facilities.
Casper had a cameo appearance in the movie, Now You See Him, Now You Don't.
Casper was active in charitable work for children and hosted fundraisers, including an annual tournament at San Diego Country Club for "Billy's Kids".
- Casper, Billy; Toski, Bob (1966). Golf Shotmaking. Golf Digest/Doubleday. ASIN B0000CN8TV.
- Casper, Billy; Barkow, Al (1980). The Good Sense of Golf. Prentice-Hall. ISBN 978-0133605112.
- Casper, Billy; Parkinson, James; Benson, Lee (2012). The Big Three And Me. Genesis Press. ISBN 978-1-58571-628-9.
Professional wins (69)
PGA Tour wins (51)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||Jul 15, 1956||Labatt Open||−14 (68-68-67-71=274)||2 strokes||23px Jimmy Demaret|
|2||Feb 3, 1957||Phoenix Open Invitational||−9 (68-71-65-67=271)||3 strokes||23px Cary Middlecoff, 23px Mike Souchak|
|3||Apr 28, 1957||Kentucky Derby Open Invitational||−7 (68-68-71-70=277)||1 stroke||23x15px Peter Thomson|
|4||Jan 12, 1958||Bing Crosby National Pro-Am
|−11 (71-66-69-71=277)||4 strokes||23px Dave Marr|
|5||Mar 11, 1958||Greater New Orleans Open Invitational||−10 (69-70-70-69=278)||Playoff||23px Ken Venturi|
|6||Jun 23, 1958||Buick Open Invitational||−3 (70-73-71-71=285)||1 stroke||23px Ted Kroll, 23px Arnold Palmer|
|7||Jun 13, 1959||U.S. Open||+2 (71-68-69-74=282)||1 stroke||23px Bob Rosburg|
|8||Oct 4, 1959||Portland Centennial Open Invitational||−19 (69-64-67-69=269)||3 strokes||23px Bob Duden, 23px Dave Ragan|
|9||Nov 15, 1959||Lafayette Open Invitational||−11 (69-64-71-69=273)||4 strokes||23px George Bayer|
|10||Nov 22, 1959||Mobile Sertoma Open Invitational||−8 (71-68-68-73=280)||2 strokes||23px Wes Ellis, 23px Dave Ragan|
|11||Sep 25, 1960||Portland Open Invitational||−22 (68-67-66-65=266)||2 strokes||23px Paul Harney|
|12||Oct 3, 1960||Hesperia Open Invitational||−13 (70-68-67-70=275)||5 strokes||23px Bob Rosburg|
|13||Oct 16, 1960||Orange County Open Invitational||−8 (70-68-69-69=276)||1 stroke||23px Charlie Sifford|
|14||Sep 24, 1961||Portland Open Invitational||−15 (68-71-67-67=273)||1 stroke||23px Dave Hill|
|15||Mar 25, 1962||Doral C.C. Open Invitational||−5 (70-67-75-71=283)||1 stroke||23px Pete Bondeson|
|16||Apr 15, 1962||Greater Greensboro Open||−5 (69-70-68-68=275)||1 stroke||23px Mike Souchak|
|17||May 27, 1962||500 Festival Open Invitation||−20 (66-67-67-64=264)||1 stroke||23px George Bayer, 23px Jerry Steelsmith|
|18||Oct 14, 1962||Bakersfield Open Invitational||−16 (69-71-65-67=272)||4 strokes||23px Tony Lema|
|19||Jan 20, 1963||Bing Crosby National Pro-Am||−3 (73-65-73-74=285)||1 stroke||23px Dave Hill, 23px Jack Nicklaus,|
23x15px Gary Player, 23px Bob Rosburg,
23px Art Wall, Jr.
|20||Aug 18, 1963||Insurance City Open Invitational||−13 (67-68-71-65=271)||1 stroke||23px George Bayer|
|21||Mar 22, 1964||Doral Open Invitational||−11 (70-70-67-70=277)||1 stroke||23px Jack Nicklaus|
|22||May 10, 1964||Colonial National Invitation||−1 (72-67-70-7=279)||4 strokes||23px Tommy Jacobs|
|23||Sep 27, 1964||Greater Seattle Open Invitational||−15 (68-67-66-64=265)||2 strokes||23px Mason Rudolph|
|24||Nov 1, 1964||Almaden Open Invitational||−9 (68-70-73-68=279)||Playoff||23px Pete Brown, 23px Jerry Steelsmith|
|25||Feb 7, 1965||Bob Hope Desert Classic||−12 (70-70-69-67-72=348)||1 stroke||23px Tommy Aaron, 23px Arnold Palmer|
|26||Jul 4, 1965||Western Open||−14 (70-66-70-64=270)||2 strokes||23px Jack McGowan, 23px Chi Chi Rodriguez|
|27||Jul 25, 1965||Insurance City Open Invitational||−10 (70-72-66-66=274)||Playoff||23px Johnny Pott|
|28||Oct 23, 1965||Sahara Invitational||−15 (66-66-68-69=269)||3 strokes||23px Billy Martindale|
|29||Jan 16, 1966||San Diego Open Invitational||−16 (70-66-68-64=268)||4 strokes||23px Tommy Aaron, 23px Tom Weiskopf|
|30||Jun 20, 1966||U.S. Open||−2 (69-68-73-68=278)||Playoff||23px Arnold Palmer|
|31||Jun 26, 1966||Western Open||−1 (69-72-72-70=283)||3 strokes||23px Gay Brewer|
|32||Jul 31, 1966||500 Festival Open Invitation||−11 (69-70-68-70=277)||3 strokes||23px R. H. Sikes|
|33||Jul 3, 1967||Canadian Open||−5 (69-70-71-69=279)||Playoff||23px Art Wall, Jr.|
|34||Sep 4, 1967||Carling World Open||−3 (74-68-70-69=281)||Playoff||23px Al Geiberger|
|35||Jan 28, 1968||Los Angeles Open||−10 (70-67-68-69=274)||3 strokes||23px Arnold Palmer|
|36||Apr 8, 1968||Greater Greensboro Open||−17 (65-67-69-66=267)||4 strokes||23px George Archer, 23px Gene Littler,|
23px Bobby Nichols
|37||May 19, 1968||Colonial National Invitation||−5 (68-71-68-68=275)||5 strokes||23px Gene Littler|
|38||Jun 9, 1968||500 Festival Open Invitation||−8 (70-71-69-70=280)||1 stroke||23px Frank Beard, 23px Mike Hill|
|39||Sep 8, 1968||Greater Hartford Open Invitational||−18 (68-65-67-66=266)||3 strokes||23x15px Bruce Crampton|
|40||Nov 4, 1968||Lucky International Open||−15 (68-65-70-66=269)||4 strokes||23px Raymond Floyd, 23px Don Massengale|
|41||Feb 9, 1969||Bob Hope Desert Classic||−15 (71-68-71-69-66=345)||3 strokes||23px Dave Hill|
|42||Jun 8, 1969||Western Open||−8 (72-69-68-67=276)||4 strokes||23px Rocky Thompson|
|43||Sep 28, 1969||Alcan Open||−12 (70-68-70-66=274)||1 stroke||23px Lee Trevino|
|44||Jan 11, 1970||Los Angeles Open||−8 (68-68-68-72=276)||Playoff||23px Hale Irwin|
|45||Apr 12, 1970||Masters Tournament||−9 (72-68-68-71-69=279)||Playoff||23px Gene Littler|
|46||Jul 19, 1970||IVB-Philadelphia Golf Classic||−14 (68-67-71-68=274)||3 strokes||23px Terry Wilcox|
|47||Aug 24, 1970||AVCO Golf Classic||−12 (64-70-71-71=276)||1 stroke||23x15px Bruce Crampton, 23px Tom Weiskopf|
|48||Oct 24, 1971||Kaiser International Open Invitational||−19 (67-65-69-68=269)||4 strokes||23px Fred Marti|
|49||Jul 1, 1973||Western Open||−12 (67-69-67-69=272)||1 stroke||23px Larry Hinson, 23px Hale Irwin|
|50||Sep 3, 1973||Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open||−20 (67-65-68-64=264)||1 stroke||23x15px Bruce Devlin|
|51||May 18, 1975||First NBC New Orleans Open||−17 (67-68-66-70=271)||2 strokes||23x15px Peter Oosterhuis|
PGA Tour playoff record (8–8)
|1||1958||Greater New Orleans Open Invitational||23px Ken Venturi||Won with eagle on second extra hole|
|2||1961||Buick Open||23px Jack Burke, Jr., 23px Johnny Pott||Lost an 18-hole playoff (Burke:71, Casper:74, Pott:74)|
|3||1964||Almaden Open Invitational||23px Pete Brown, 23px Jerry Steelsmith||Won with birdie on third sudden death playoff hole|
Steelsmith eliminated in 18-hole playoff (Casper:68, Brown:68, Steelsmith:73)
|4||1965||San Diego Open Invitational||23px Wes Ellis||Lost on first extra hole|
|5||1965||Insurance City Open Invitational||23px Johnny Pott||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
|6||1966||U.S. Open||23px Arnold Palmer||Won an 18-hole playoff (Casper:69, Palmer:73)|
|7||1967||Canadian Open||23px Art Wall, Jr.||Won an 18-hole playoff (Casper:65, Wall, Jr.:69)|
|8||1967||Carling World Open||23px Al Geiberger||Won with par on first extra hole|
|9||1967||Hawaiian Open||23px Dudley Wysong||Lost to par on first extra hole|
|10||1968||Bing Crosby National Pro-Am||23x15px Bruce Devlin, 23px Johnny Pott||Pott won with birdie on first extra hole|
|11||1969||Kaiser International Open Invitational||23px George Archer, 23px Don January, 23px Jack Nicklaus||Nicklaus won with birdie on second extra hole|
January eliminated with par on first hole
|12||1970||Los Angeles Open||23px Hale Irwin||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
|13||1970||Masters Tournament||23px Gene Littler||Won an 18-hole playoff (Casper:69, Littler:74)|
|14||1971||Glen Campbell-Los Angeles Open||23px Bob Lunn||Lost to birdie on fourth extra hole|
|15||1972||Byron Nelson Golf Classic||23px Chi Chi Rodriguez||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
|16||1975||World Open Golf Championship||23px Jack Nicklaus||Lost to par on first extra hole|
European Tour wins (1)
- 1975 Italian Open
Other wins (7)
- This list is incomplete.
- 1958 Brazil Open
- 1959 Brazil Open
- 1971 Miki Gold Cup (tie with Masashi Ozaki)
- 1973 Hassan II Golf Trophy
- 1974 Trophée Lancôme (France, unofficial European Tour event)
- 1975 Hassan II Golf Trophy
- 1977 Mexican Open
Senior PGA Tour wins (9)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||Aug 28, 1982||Shootout at Jeremy Ranch||−9 (74-71-69-65=279)||1 stroke||23px Miller Barber, 23px Don January|
|2||Sep 19, 1982||Merrill Lynch/Golf Digest Commemorative Pro-Am||−10 (68-7-68=206)||Playoff||23px Bob Toski|
|3||Jul 25, 1983||U.S. Senior Open||+4 (73-73-69-73=288)||Playoff||23px Rod Funseth|
|4||Apr 22, 1984||Senior PGA Tour Roundup||−14 (68-69-65=202)||2 strokes||23px Bob Stone|
|5||Mar 15, 1987||Del E. Webb Arizona Classic||−15 (68-65-68=201)||5 strokes||23x15px Bob Charles, 23px Dale Douglass|
|6||Jun 28, 1987||Greater Grand Rapids Open||−13 (69-68-63=200)||3 strokes||23px Miller Barber|
|7||May 8, 1988||Vantage at The Dominion||−14 (70-68-67=205)||1 stroke||23px Chi-Chi Rodríguez|
|8||Jun 12, 1988||Mazda Senior Tournament Players Championship||−10 (69-68-74-67=278)||2 strokes||23px Al Geiberger|
|9||Oct 22, 1989||Transamerica Senior Golf Championship||−9 (69-70-68=207)||3 strokes||23px Al Geiberger|
Senior PGA Tour playoff record (2–3)
|1||1981||U.S. Senior Open||23px Arnold Palmer, 23px Bob Stone||Lost 18-hole playoff (Palmer 70, Stone:74, Casper:77)|
|2||1982||Merrill Lynch/Golf Digest Commemorative Pro-Am||23px Bob Toski||Won with birdie on fourth extra hole|
|3||1983||Gatlin Brothers Seniors Golf Classic||23px Don January||Lost to par on fifth extra hole|
|4||1983||U.S. Senior Open||23px Rod Funseth||Won with birdie on first extra hole after 18-hole playoff (Casper:75, Funseth:75)|
|5||1988||United Hospitals Classic||23x15px Bruce Crampton||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
Senior major championships are shown in bold.
Other senior wins (1)
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|1959||U.S. Open||3 shot lead||−2 (71-68-69-74=282)||1 stroke||23px Bob Rosburg|
|1966||U.S. Open (2)||3 shot deficit||−2 (69-68-73-68=278)||Playoff 1||23px Arnold Palmer|
|1970||Masters Tournament||1 shot lead||−9 (72-68-68-71=279)||Playoff 2||23px Gene Littler|
1 Defeated Palmer in an 18-hole playoff: Casper 69 (−1), Palmer 73 (+3).
2 Defeated Littler in an 18-hole playoff: Casper 69 (−3), Littler 74 (+2).
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||4||T25|
|The Open Championship||T17||T7||T40||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||1||2||4||5||5|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 27 (1962 PGA – 1971 Masters)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 4 (twice)
Champions Tour major championships
|1983||United States Senior Open||+4 (73-69-73-73=288)||Playoff1||23px Rod Funseth|
|1988||Mazda Senior Tournament Players Championship||−10 (69-68-74-67=278)||2 strokes||23px Al Geiberger|
1 18-hole playoff finished in a tie, Casper (75) to Funseth (75), Casper won with a birdie on the first sudden-death hole.
U.S. national team appearances
- Ryder Cup: 1961 (winners), 1963 (winners), 1965 (winners), 1967 (winners), 1969 (winners), 1971 (winners), 1973 (winners), 1975 (winners), 1979 (winners, non-playing captain)
- List of golfers with most PGA Tour wins
- List of men's major championships winning golfers
- List of longest PGA Tour win streaks
- Diaz, Jaime (June 2012). "Out Of The Darkness". Golf Digest.
- "PGA Tour profile – Billy Casper". PGA Tour. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- "PGA Tour Media Guide – Billy Casper". Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- Peery, Paul D. (1969). Billy Casper: Winner. Prentice-Hall. ISBN 978-0130762818.
- "Casper Tops Million Mark". The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). UPI. January 12, 1970. p. 62. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- "Billy Casper profile". World Golf Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- Yocom, Guy (July 2000). "50 Greatest Golfers of All Time: And What They Taught Us". Golf Digest. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
- "Golf: Utah Valley golfer receives NCAA Tournament bid". The Salt Lake Tribune. May 7, 2012.
- Haws, J. B. (2013). The Mormon Image in the American Mind: Fifty Years of Public Perception. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-19-989764-3.
- "Billy Casper passes away at age 83". PGA Tour. February 8, 2015.
- Goldstein, Richard (February 7, 2015). "Billy Casper, Overlooked Titan of Golf, Dies at 83". The New York Times.
- "Billy Casper Golf". Retrieved August 15, 2011.
- Barkow, Al (1989). The History of the PGA TOUR. Doubleday. pp. 262–3. ISBN 0-385-26145-4.
- Ward, Brooke; Spencer, Jenny (September 18, 2014). "Johnny Lingo Cast, The Jets, and Other Mormon Celebs: Where They Are Now". LDS Living.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Billy Casper.|
- Official website
- Billy Casper Golf Academy
- Billy Casper at the PGA Tour official site
- Billy Casper at the European Tour official site
- World Golf Hall of Fame profile
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