Doug Sanders

Doug Sanders
Personal information
Full name George Douglas Sanders
Nickname "Peacock of the Fairways"
Born (1933-07-24) July 24, 1933
Cedartown, Georgia
Nationality  United States
Residence Houston, Texas
College University of Florida
Turned professional 1956
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 23
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 20
PGA Tour Champions 1
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T4: 1966
U.S. Open T2: 1961
The Open Championship T2/2nd: 1966, 1970
PGA Championship T2: 1959
U.S. Amateur R64: 1956
British Amateur R256: 1956

George Douglas Sanders (born July 24, 1933) is an American former PGA Tour professional golfer who won 20 PGA Tour events during his career.

Early years

Sanders was born in Cedartown, Georgia,[1] to a poor family and picked cotton as a teenager. He was a self-taught golfer.

College and amateur career

He accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for the Florida Gators men's golf team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition in 1955.[2] In his single year as a Gator golfer, Sanders and the team won a Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship and earned a sixth-place finish at the NCAA championship tournament—the Gators' best national championship finish until that time.[2] Sanders won the 1956 Canadian Open as an amateur—the only amateur ever to do so—and turned professional shortly thereafter.[3]

Professional career

Sanders had 13 top-10 finishes in major championships, including four second-place finishes: 1959 PGA Championship, 1961 U.S. Open, 1966 and 1970 British Opens. In 1966, he became one of the few players in history to finish in the top ten of all four major championships in a single season, despite winning none of them. He earned unfortunate notoriety for taking four shots from just 74 yards as the leader playing the final hole of the 1970 British Open at St Andrews, missing a sidehill 3-foot putt to win, before losing the resulting 18-hole playoff by just a single shot the next day to Jack Nicklaus.[4]

He is remembered for an exceptionally short, flat golf swing—a consequence, it appears, of a painful neck condition that radically restricted his movements.[4]


Sanders has always been known as a stylish, flamboyant dresser on the golf course, which earned him the nickname "Peacock of the Fairways."[4] Esquire magazine named Sanders one of America's Ten Best Dressed Jocks in 1973.

Sanders identified himself as the lead character, a playboy PGA Tour golfer, in the golf novel Dead Solid Perfect, by Dan Jenkins.[5]

Since retiring from competitive golf, Sanders has been active in his own corporate golf entertainment company and has for nearly 20 years, sponsored the Doug Sanders International Junior Golf Championship in Houston, Texas. From 1988 to 1994, he also sponsored the Doug Sanders Celebrity Classic.

He currently resides in Houston.


He is a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame,[6] Georgia Sports Hall of Fame,[3] and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.[1] He was also inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great."[7]

Professional wins (23)

PGA Tour wins (20)

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Jul 8, 1956 Canadian Open
(as an amateur)
−15 (69-67-69-68=273) Playoff United States Dow Finsterwald
2 Jun 1, 1958 Western Open −13 (69-68-70-68=275) 1 stroke United States Dow Finsterwald
3 Dec 6, 1959 Coral Gables Open Invitational −11 (68-71-69-65=273) 3 strokes United States Dow Finsterwald
4 Mar 5, 1961 Greater New Orleans Open Invitational −16 (68-65-69-70=272) 5 strokes United States Gay Brewer, United States Mac Main
5 May 14, 1961 Colonial National Invitation +1 (69-75-67-70=281) 1 stroke Australia Kel Nagle
6 May 21, 1961 Hot Springs Open Invitational −15 (68-68-69-68=273) 1 stroke United States Dave Ragan, United States Jerry Steelsmith
7 Aug 6, 1961 Eastern Open Invitational −13 (72-66-68-69=275) 1 stroke United States Ken Venturi
8 Nov 19, 1961 Cajun Classic Open Invitational −14 (67-67-67-69=270) 6 strokes United States Ken Still
9 Mar 11, 1962 Pensacola Open Invitational −18 (67-67-67-69=270) 1 stroke United States Don Fairfield
10 Aug 19, 1962 St. Paul Open Invitational −19 (66-69-69-65=269) 3 strokes United States Dave Hill
11 Aug 26, 1962 Oklahoma City Open Invitational −8 (70-69-74-67=280) 2 strokes United States Johnny Pott
12 Apr 14, 1963 Greater Greensboro Open −14 (68-65-68-69=270) 4 strokes United States Jimmy Clark
13 Mar 7, 1965 Pensacola Open Invitational −11 (68-71-65-73=277) Playoff United States Jack Nicklaus
14 Mar 14, 1965 Doral Open Invitational −14 (65-71-71-67=274) 1 stroke Australia Bruce Devlin
15 Feb 6, 1966 Bob Hope Desert Classic −11 (70-72-68-73-66=349) Playoff United States Arnold Palmer
16 Mar 27, 1966 Jacksonville Open Invitational −15 (71-65-66-71=273) 1 stroke United States Gay Brewer
17 Apr 3, 1966 Greater Greensboro Open −8 (65-70-71-70=276) Playoff United States Tom Weiskopf
18 Mar 5, 1967 Doral Open Invitational −9 (68-71-66-70=275) 1 stroke South Africa Harold Henning, United States Art Wall, Jr.
19 Dec 13, 1970 Bahama Islands Open −16 (66-70-68-68=272) Playoff United States Chris Blocker
20 Jun 4, 1972 Kemper Open −13 (71-68-68-68=275) 1 stroke United States Lee Trevino

Major championships are in bold

PGA Tour playoff record (5–5)

1 1956 Canadian Open
(as an amateur)
United States Dow Finsterwald Won with par on first extra hole
2 1961 Phoenix Open United States Arnold Palmer Lost 18-hole playoff (Palmer:67 Sanders:70)
3 1962 West Palm Beach Open Invitational United States Dave Ragan Lost to birdie on the second extra hole
4 1964 Greater Greensboro Open United States Julius Boros Lost to par on first extra hole
5 1965 Pensacola Open Invitational United States Jack Nicklaus Won with birdie on third extra hole
6 1965 Greater Seattle Open Invitational United States Gay Brewer Lost to par on first extra hole
7 1966 Bob Hope Desert Classic United States Arnold Palmer Won with birdie on first extra hole
8 1966 Greater Greensboro Open United States Tom Weiskopf Won with par on second extra hole
9 1970 British Open United States Jack Nicklaus Lost 18-hole playoff (Nicklaus:72 Sanders:73)
10 1970 Bahama Islands Open United States Chris Blocker Won with par on second extra hole

Other wins (2)

Senior PGA Tour wins (1)

Results in major championships


Tournament 1955 1956
U.S. Amateur R128 R64
The Amateur Championship DNP R256


Tournament 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament T31 DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP T2
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament T29 T11 T33 T28 DNP T11 T4 T16 T12 T36
U.S. Open T46 T2 T11 T21 T32 T11 T8 T34 T37 DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP CUT 11 CUT T2 T18 34 DNP
PGA Championship T3 3 T15 T17 T28 T20 T6 T28 T8 CUT
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship 2 T9 4 T28 DNP DNP T28
PGA Championship T41 CUT T7 DNP DNP DNP DNP

LA = Low Amateur
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

Sources: Masters Tournament,[8] U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur,[9] Open Championship,[10] PGA Championship,[11] 1956 British Amateur[12]


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 1 1 5 11 10
U.S. Open 0 1 0 1 2 5 13 11
The Open Championship 0 2 0 3 4 6 11 9
PGA Championship 0 1 2 3 6 9 14 12
Totals 0 4 2 8 13 25 49 42

See also


  1. 1 2 "Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Member – Doug Sanders". Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  2. 1 2 "Florida Men's Golf 2013 Media Supplement" (PDF). Gainesville, Florida: University Athletic Association. pp. 36–37. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  3. 1 2 "Inductees – Doug Sanders" (PDF). Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 Kelley, Brent. "Doug Sanders". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  5. Sampson, Curt (2000). The Eternal Summer: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Hogan in 1960, Golf's Golden Year. New York: Villard Publishing. ISBN 978-0375753688.
  6. "Inductees – Doug Sanders (1972)". Florida Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  7. "Gator Greats". F Club, Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  8. Past Winners & Results
  9. USGA Championship Database
  10. 1976 Open Championship leaderboard
  11. PGA Championship Media Guide - Doug Sanders
  12. "Defeat of Leading American". The Glasgow Herald. May 29, 1956. p. 4.
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