Played January 31 - February 3, 1952 at El Rio Golf and Country Club
Joe Louis, former heavyweight Champion of the World, played as an amateur. He shot a 74 in the pro-am then, after carding a 1-under 69 in the first round to be top amateur, remarked "I sure do like this course". Louis shot 72 in the second round after taking 2 shots to get out of a bunker on the 18th hole, then a 78 in the third round. He got into so much trouble in the 4th round, that he picked up his ball and did not turn in a scorecard.
In Tuesday qualifying at Randolph, 150 played for 60 open slots. The cutoff was 73. In Tuesday practice rounds, under a record high temperature of 78 degrees, Jimmy Clark shot a 62. Jack Burke, Jr. shot a 29 on the back nine.
There was such a large field in the pro-am that it was held on Tuesday and Wednesday. The best-ball event was won by Jack Shields and Tucson amateur Hal Landon with a 58. The individual low score was Johnny Revolta's 65.
First round leaders: Cary Middlecoff and Jimmy Clark with 65s. Jimmy Demaret made a 14 on the 18th hole after hitting 5 balls out of bounds. He went from 1 under par to 8 over on that single hole. The two-time Tucson Open winner withdrew during the second round. Jack Fleck also withdrew during round two.
In the second round, amateur Frank Stranahan had an 18-foot putt on the last hole for a 59. He went for it, making sure it would not fall short of the cup. Instead, it went 3 feet past. He missed the putt coming back by half an inch, but his 61 set a new 18-hole Tucson Open scoring record. He had tied a PGA record by shooting 28 on the front nine. Stranahan was an accomplished amateur having won the British Amateur (then considered a major) twice and finished runner-up in the Masters, the British Open and the U.S. Amateur. It would be over 25 years before Al Geiberger, who also played at El Rio, would card the first 59 in PGA tournament play.
Second round leaders: Frank Stranahan and Skee Riegel at 132.
Third round leader: Henry Williams, Jr. at 203. High winds, gusting to 40 mph, kept scores high during the third round. Only 4 players broke par, and those had teed off early before the winds picked up. Frank Stranahan followed his 61 with a 78.
During the fourth round, Cary Middlecoff drove the green on the 373-yard sixth hole.
Henry Williams, Jr.'s 274 set a new record high winning score in the Tucson Open.