Rudolph, 76, won 5 times on PGA Tour
Monday, April 18, 2011
Mason Rudolph, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, died April 18 of an undisclosed illness in Tuscaloosa, Ala., according to his hometown newspaper, The (Clarksville, Tenn.) Leaf-Chronicle, which cited family members. He was 76.
Rudolph was the 1959 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and played on the victorious 1971 Ryder Cup team. He had six top-10s in major championships. In the 1965 Masters, Rudolph finished fourth, behind winner Jack Nicklaus and co-runners-up Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
Rudolph was regarded as one of Tennessee’s all-time best amateurs, qualifying for the 1950 U.S. Open at a then-record age 16 before winning that summer's U.S. Junior Amateur. Rudolph won the '56 Western Amateur and the '56 Tennessee State Open, a tournament that he would win five more times as a pro. He played on the victorious '57 Walker Cup team. Rudolph was a charter member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame.
After a few years on the Champions Tour, he served as Vanderbilt’s golf coach and director of golf at Gaylord Springs in Nashville. Vanderbilt's annual men's and women's invitationals are named after Rudolph.
Tragedy struck the Rudolph family in 1998 when son Craig, who played the Tour in 1991 before becoming a club pro in Charlotte, N.C., was killed in a helicopter crash after the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race.
– Staff reports