Riviera Country Club
Another episode of "Challenge Golf" starring Arnold Palmer and Gary Player is now available exclusively from Rare Sportsfilms! Because of the popularity of our initial release of the series (episode #11 Byron Nelson & Ken Venturi) we are now offering the very first episode of "Challenge Golf". This first match was filmed at Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California, and features Palmer and Player versus their first challengers, Bob Rosburg and Mike Souchak. Rosburg represents the Merriweather Golf Club in Portland, Oregon, and Mike Souchak represents Grossinger's Golf and Country Club, New York. Narrator Bill Flemming explains the USGA rules used on Challenge Golf before this initial match which aired on ABC-TV in January of 1963.
This first match is one of the longest of the series and is decided in sudden death after 22 holes! During the match the form of all four golfers is shown in slow motion. Some clutch putts toward the end of the match if not spectacular, are at least important, as both teams birdie two of the four sudden death holes!
Rosburg and Souchak go 1-up on the 508-yard par 5 first hole when Souchak sinks a four-foot birdie putt and Palmer and Player both miss birdie chances. On the 465-yard par 4 second hole Player's 9-foot birdie putt ties the match. The 160-yard par 3 6th hole at Riviera is one of the most unusual in golf, with a trap in the middle of the green! With Player and Palmer 1-up starting play on this hole, Souchak's 9-foot birdie putt evens the match.
On the 305-yard par 4 10th hole Player's 10-foot uphill birdie putt puts Rosburg and Souchak 1-down after 10 holes. When Palmer birdies the 565-yard par 5 11th hole, Arnie and Gary open up a 2-stroke lead, their widest margin of the match.
On the 388-yard par 4 12th hole Rosburg and Souchak begin their comeback. Souchak birdies on 12 and 13 tie the match and Bob Rosburg's long 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th green gives them their first lead since the first hole of the match. Arnold Palmer's clutch birdie putt on 18 ties the match, but Souchak and Rosburg can still win if either can birdie the hole. But both miss and the match goes into sudden death. Back at the first green (or 19th hole) Player and Souchak both make birdies to extend play. After halving the 20th hole, Rosburg birdies #21, only to have Player's 6-foot putt tie the match again! On the 240-yard par 3 22nd (4th) hole, Palmer's 1-iron drive rolls onto the green and stops only 10 feet from the pin! Both Rosburg and Souchak have tough birdie tries and miss, but Palmer curls his 10-footer into the cup to win the match after 22 holes of golf!
You can get your own 50-minute high quality copy of this historic first episode of "Challenge Golf" for only $24.95 plus $5.00 shipping (Illinois residents must add $2.00 sales tax)!
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