The Tucson Open

  According to an article published in the Arizona Daily Star on February 23, 2006:

[It] began as the Tucson Open in 1945 at El Rio Golf Course. The tournament was founded by Hall of Fame professional golfer Leo Diegel. In the early 1940s, Diegel then head pro at El Rio convinced PGA Tour commissioner Fred Corcoran that Tucson was big enough to support a pro event. Diegel's discussions coincided with the financial collapse of the El Paso Open, and in January 1945, Tucson was inserted into El Paso's spot, making it the third stop on tour.

Complete Results, 1945-1962

Tucson Open Winners and Runners-Up at El Rio

Year Winner/Score Runner-Up
1945 Ray Mangrum (268) Byron Nelson
1946 Jimmy Demaret (264) Herman Barron
1947 Jimmy Demaret (264) Ben Hogan
1948 Skip Alexander (264) Johnny Palmer
1949 Lloyd Mangrum (269) Al Smith
1950 Chandler Harper (267) Sam Snead
1951 Lloyd Mangrum (269) J.Burke, Jr.
1952 Henry Williams (274) Cary Middlecoff
1953 Tommy Bolt (265) Chandler Harper
1954 not held - Find out why
1955 Tommy Bolt (265) Bud Holscher
Art Wall
1956 Ted Kroll (264) Dow Finsterwald
1957 *Dow Finsterwald (269) Don Whitt
1958 Lionel Hebert (265) Don January
1959 Gene Littler (266) Joe Campbell
Art Wall
1960 Don January (271) Bob Harris
1961 *Dave Hill (269) Tommy Bolt
Bud Sullivan
1962 Phil Rodgers (263) Jim Ferrier

*won in playoff

  The Tucson PGA event is referred to here as the "Tucson Open", its original name. This event, however, has had many different names over the years:

  • Tucson Open, 1945, 1947-1960 (not held in 1954), 1962-1964 and 1966-1972
  • Victory Bond Tucson Open, 1946
  • Home of the Sun Invitational, 1961
  • Ford Mustang Tucson Open, 1965
  • Dean Martin Tucson Open, 1973-1975
  • NBC Tucson Open, 1976
  • Joe Garagiola Tucson Open, 1977-1983
  • Seiko Tucson Matchplay Championship, 1984-1986
  • Seiko Tucson Open, 1987
  • Northern Telecom Tucson Open 1988-1990 (no event in 1989 due to scheduling adjustments)
  • Northern Telecom Open, 1991-1992
  • Nortel Open, 1993-1996
  • Tucson Chrysler Classic, 1997-1998
  • Touchstone Energy Tucson Open, 1999-2002
  • Chrysler Classic of Tucson, 2003-2006

As of 2007, the Accenture World Match Play Championship is now held in Tucson, featuring the top 64 ranked players in the world. This important and exciting event focuses the golf world's attention on Tucson.