On Feb. 7, 1962, Sam Snead prevailed in a 15-player field at the Royal Poinciana Plaza Invitational that consisted of himself and 14 players from the LPGA, including Mickey Wright, Patty Berg, Kathy Whitworth, and Betsy Rawls.
In a two-day, four-round event at the Palm Beach Par-3 Golf Club, Snead posted a score of 5-under 211 to defeat Wright by five strokes.
He was credited with an unofficial LPGA victory – and to this day, remains the only male golfer to claim a title on the ladies’ tour.
Snead also competed in the tournament one year earlier, losing by two strokes to Louise Suggs.
On This Day, in 1962 Sam Snead Became the Only Man to Win an Official LPGA Event
The Royal Poinciana Invitational was a golf tournament on the LPGA Tour in 1961 and 1962. It was played at Palm Beach Golf Club in Palm Beach, Florida. The course was a par-3 course.
In 1961, the field consisted of 24 men and women, both amateurs and professionals.
The tournament was 54 holes and won by Louise Suggs by one stroke over local pro Dub Pagan. Sam Snead was third, two shots behind.
Snead won “about $1,500” for taking first place, but it came with a price. According to a Palm Beach Post report,…
“The last three holes [of the opening round] were played with the knowledge that his expensive little inboard runabout boat was slowly sinking, just a wedge shot from the course, in Lake Worth.”
It’s not a big surprise that Snead won the second time around and not the first time, since it was a Par 3 course both years. Assuming the yardages were reasonable, men don’t really have ANY advantage over women on a Par 3 course.
The only way men would have an advantage would be if the yardages of some holes were really long and the women couldn’t reach the greens off the tee.