Played February 1-4, 1951 at El Rio Golf and Country Club
The 1951 event was dubbed "The Leo Diegel Open". The former head pro at El Rio and founder of the Tucson Open was suffering from cancer. He was honored at this year's tournament.
Rain on Tuesday put a damper on practice rounds. Scores were high in the qualifying round at Randolph. Only 4 players broke par. 130 played for 70-75 slots. The cutoff was high at 81.
A golf clinic was held at El Rio on Wednesday. Taking part were Jimmy Demaret, Chandler Harper, Ed "Porky" Oliver, Chick Harbert, Bob Toski, Lawson Little, Cary Middlecoff, Joe Kirkwood Jr., Bill Nary, Jack Burke Jr., Johnny Palmer, Julius Boros, Dave Douglas, Jimmy Thomson, George Fazio, Ed Furgol and Henry Ransom. It included a long-drive contest with a top prize of $50. Jimmy Thomson was the winner with a drive of 291 yards on a wet course.
There was no rain on Wednesday, but the high temperature was just 50 degrees. Johnny Revolta shot a 63 in the pro-am to win the individual low score. The best-ball event was won by Revolta and his amateur partner Bob Witmer with a 61.
Lloyd Mangrum returned to play in the Tucson Open after recovering from injuries he'd received in an automobile accident. He was playing with some back pain.
The greens were described as "heavy and slow". Jimmy Demaret said "They must have cut them with a sickle". Demaret was presented with a lawnmower just before teeing off in the second round.
First round leader: Jim Turnesa with 64.
Second round leaders: Jim Turnesa, Johnny Bulla and Ted Kroll at 132. Turnesa made an eagle 2 on the par-4 fifth by holing out a shot from 50 yards out. Earl Stewart, Jr. made an eagle 2 on the sixth by holing out a 40-yard approach shot.
Third round leader: Lloyd Mangrum at 200. His ailing back was feeling better, although he missed a 14-inch putt on the 18th green.
Lloyd Mangrum's 269 was the highest winning score up to that point in the Tucson Open. He had set the lowest winning score of 263 in 1949. Mangrum termed his play "lousy" and said he was grateful that his opponents fared worse.