Billy Casper - June 17, 2012


Billy Casper won the 1959 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club and the 1966 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club. When he made the turn in the final round in 1966, he was 7 shots down to Palmer although he was two ahead of Jack Nicklaus and Tony Lema. Casper said that he told Palmer he wanted to finish second and Palmer said that he would do all he could to help make that happen. He knew that he would try to make a back nine charge in the final round in 1966 by making pars and birdies and he did exactly what he planned to do while Palmer struggled to a 39.

He has a great appreciation for all of the attention and complements he has received over recent years and said that he would not appreciate them as much had he not been overlooked to a certain extent when he was in his playing career on the PGA TOUR. During his career, he understood the order of things and a good example of this is when he immediately handed his winner’s check to his wife during the trophy presentation at the 1966 U.S. Open. He joked that he earned the money and his wife would spend it.

When asked about Beau Hossler, Casper said that Beau has already established a name for himself that will live forever no matter what he does in the final round. What is so wonderful about Beau and his accomplishments is that it is a great example of the health of the game of golf and proof that it is has a bright future in its youth.

Since he won the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in 1966, the course has been lengthened, holes have been changed, bunkers have been altered, trees have been removed, and the only thing that has remained the same may well be the grass on the fairways. He has a great love for The Olympic Club and for everyone involved and he said that he was very excited about the final round.