At the conclusion of round one of the Canadian PGA Championship at Calgary, Alberta, there developed the usual discussion as to what score would be needed to win. Moe Norman opined that eight-under-par would get it, but Wilf Homenuik disagreed. “Nine under,” said Wilf, and Moe made him a good prophet.
Putting together rounds of 68-69-67, the jolly, redfaced driving range proprietor from Gilford, Ont., matched Homenuik’s prediction with a 265 aggregate at Willow Park G&CC, and continued to dominate the Canadian and continued to dominate the Canadian circuit. He also owns three provincial open titles this year, has placed no worse than second in any event and now has earnings totaling $13,300. His share of the PGA purse was $2,000 in addition to the Seagram Shield.
As it turned out, Moe was not a bad prophet himself, for eight under par would have been sufficient. He finished three strokes in front of Calgary pro Frank Fowler who did 69-67-71– 207 for second money of $1,500. Jack Bissegger was another two strokes back at 209 and Lyle Crawford came fourth with 210.
Defender Homenuik, out of the gates fast with 35-30 –65, faded to 74-72 and a three-way tie with George Knudson and Al Balding at 211.
Cool, crisp Canada was downright chilly from the very outset, and extra clothing was needed in the sub-50 degree temperatures. Homenuik’s opening round was, in view of conditions, amazing. “There’s no way a guy can shoot six under out there today,” said one competitor, but Wilf’s redhot putter made it easy. He needed just 28 putts for the day and a three-shot edge on brother Stan, Frank Whibley and Norman.
Wilf’s putter cooled considerably the next day, however. He used it 41 times this trip and his 74 dropped him three off the pace. New leader was Fowler, with 69-67 —136, one ahead of Norman.
Fowler protected his slim advantage through eight holes the last day, but once Norman took command he never looked back. At the finish he credited his fine scoring to fellow pro Bob Panasuik. “He gave me a tip on my putting,” said Moe. “It was just a little thing about attitude and the way I stroked the ball, but it has paid off.”
Winner of the CPGA Senior title, decided through the first 36 holes, was unperturable Henry Martell of Edmonton. After being nearly hit by a television tower toppled by high winds, Martell went on to score 72-71 — 143 for the $600 first prize. He won by five over Bill Kerr, Gerry Proul and Roy Stone.