Orville Moody, who shocked the golf world by winning the 1969 U.S. Open, died Friday from multiple myeloma at his home in Texas. He was 74.
“Sarge’’ edged Deane Beman, Al Geiberger and Bob Rosburg by a single stroke at Champions Golf Club in Houston at the ’69 Open — his only win on the PGA Tour in 250 starts.
Moody was a colorful character who looked a lot like country and western singer Roy Clark. He got his nickname from his 14 years as a sergeant in the U.S. Army, and few people ever knew that the native of Chickasha, Okla., also was part Choctaw Indian.
Moody had most of his success on the PGA Seniors Tour, winning 11 times including the 1979 U.S. Senior Open. But he was perhaps most remembered for his elongated putter, which he helped introduce to the game. He last played in the 2007 Liberty Mutual of Golf’s Demaret Division with his longtime partner Jimmy Powell.
The long putter isn’t Moody’s only claim to fame, however. He was also the last player to win the U.S. Open after qualifying at both the local and sectional levels.
It was perhaps the third-biggest upset in major championship history following Jack Fleck’s stunning victory over Ben Hogan in the 1955 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club, and John Daly’s out of the blue win at the 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick.
EDDIE HOGAN CUP
Arizona will be well represented in this year’s Eddie Hogan Cup Team Matches Friday through Sunday at Riverside Golf & Country Club in Portland, Ore. Scottsdale’s Mike Basco, Evan Markley and Jake Miller will compete for Arizona’s team, along with Phoenix’s Alec Dahlquist.
Team scores are determined by taking the three lowest scores from each round’s four-player scorecard. Medals are awarded to the top three teams as well as the top three individual scores.
The 36-hole matches feature some of the top junior golfers from Canada in head-to-head competition against players from the western United States. Aside from Arizona, other participating teams include British Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Northern California, Oregon, San Diego, Southern California, Utah and Washington.
U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying
Scottsdale’s Noah Yano was among five players to qualify for the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur in qualifying Tuesday at The Pine Canyon Club in Flagstaff.
Yano shot a 1-under 70 to finish in a four-way tie for second, one stroke behind Phoenix’s Jeffrey Fujimoto. Phoenix’s Marc Chandonnet, John Urquhart and Matt Adcock also qualified.
Scottsdale’s Christopher Kessler (71) is the first alternate and Mesa’s William Munden (71) is the second alternate.
The U.S. Mid-Amateur will be played Sept. 6–11 at Milwaukee Country Club in River Hills, Wis.