“Bobby Greenwood – Cookeville’s touring pro” (1974)

Article from Putnam County Herald, Cookeville, Tennessee, USA, The 19th Hole by Bobby Nichols, Ironwood Golf Pro. Published about 1974.

 Transcription of the Article:


Bobby Greenwood, Cookeville’s touring golf pro, recently was back home for a brief vacation before leaving for the Western Open in Chicago.

While Bobby was splitting his time between rest, practice and visits, it gave me a chance to recall some of his accomplishments and highlights for the Cookeville sports fans.

Watching the U.S. Open on TV, quite naturally, reminded me of the two Opens in which Greenwood competed-at Merion and Pebble Beach, Calif. He made the 36 hole cut in both. Bobby missed by one stroke in qualifying for this year’s U.S. Open.

A pro since 1969, Greenwood’s last professional win, among his amazing 125 pro and amateur wins, was the 1972 Rhode Island Open. He is also a former Tennessee Open and amateur champion. Although he led PGA tour events in 1973, Bobby could not pull off the wins. His second round 65 in the Texas Open is a course record.

Perhaps his most memorable victory come in the Colonial Invitational in Memphis when he eagled the eighteenth hole to tie Jack Nicklaus and then birdied the sudden death nineteenth hole to bet Jack one up. It was the last amateur loss for Nicklaus who turned pro shortly after and won the U.S. Open nine months later. This memorable occasion was written up in one of Jack’s golf books “55 Ways to Lower Your Score.”

Greenwood twice was ranked among the top ten amateur players in the world by Golf Magazine. He was co-medalist in the 1964 U.S. Amateur championship and that year was named to the prestigious Texas Cup Team. Four years later Bobby was instrumental in starting a Tennessee Cup team and was asked to select the entire amateur team. This was the only year that amateurs ever defeated the pros!

That all followed his brilliant collegiate career at North Texas State University where he was a three-time NCAA All-American. His senior year at NTSU Bobby won the Southern Intercolliegiate at Athens, Ga., and the South-West Recreational at Fort Worth which prompted his selection as first team NCAA All-America 1963. To my knowledge, Cookeville has never produced another NCAA first team All-America.

An interesting footnote to Bobby’s professional career came several years ago at the Westchester Golf Classic played at Rhy, New York. All-time great Ben Hogan invited Bobby to play a practice round with him prior to tournament. This turned out to be the last time Hogan was able to play a tour event because of his health problems. Several weeks later, Hogan, who had stressed to Greenwood the importance of using the stiffest shaft that one can comfortably use, surprised Greenwood with a set of Hogan woods made from Ben’s personal specifications. What a memorable occasion to play with Ben Hogan the last time he played on the tour!

Transcribed by Elma Greenwood, Cookeville, Tennessee, October 31, 2004.

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