CARY MIDDLECOFF

Ole Miss Golf's First All-American • PGA/World Golf Hall of Fame Inductee

Cary MiddlecoffCary Middlecoff, a Memphis, Tenn., native, distinguished himself as the greatest golfer in Ole Miss history and one of the best the Mid-South has ever known. Middlecoff was Ole Miss' first golf All-American in 1939.

Middlecoff earned his dental degrees and was part of the Army Dental Corps in World War II. During a military leave in 1945, the 23-year-old Army Lieutenant left his mark on the golfing world when he won the North-South Open in Pinehurst, N.C. He was the first and only amateur ever to win that event when it was part of the the PGA tour.

After leaving the military at the rank of Captain, Middlecoff went to work in his father's dental office in Memphis. He never intended to make a career out of professional golf, but his father, Dr. H.F. Middlecoff, encouraged him to make a living playing golf.

He entered the PGA tour in 1947, and from 1947 to 1961, Middlecoff won more than 40 tour events and about $250,000. He finished runner-up on the money list four times.

In his first season, Middlecoff won the Charlotte Open and collected $2,000, a huge paycheck for that era. Middlecoff went on to win $10,000 that year. The rest of the story is history. Middlecoff won the 1949 and 1956 U.S. Opens and the 1955 Masters. He was runner-up in the 1957 U.S. Open and finished second twice in the Masters, 1948 and 1959. Middlecoff just missed winning the 1955 PGA Championship as he was edged out by Doug Ford.

Middlecoff's best year came in 1955 when he won six titles (The Masters, Crosby, St. Petersburg, Western, Miller Open and Cavalcade of Golf) and was the second leading money earner. He also finished second on the money list in 1949, 1951 and 1952, captured the Vardon Trophy in 1956 with a 70.35 stroke average and competed on winning Ryder Cup teams in 1953, 1955 and 1959.

In 1974, Middlecoff was inducted by the PGA of America (in conjunction with golf writers and a panel of other experts) into the PGA Hall of Fame. He became the 48th member of the PGA/World Golf Hall of Fame in 1986. Middlecoff was one of the first inductees into the PGA Hall of Fame along with Sam Snead, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen. His induction ceremonies were appropriately conducted at Pinehurst, N.C., the new home of the Golf Hall of Fame and the golf resort where he won his first professional tournament. In 1990, Middlecoff became a member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame and in 1996 was selected to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.

After retiring from competition, Middlecoff spent 15 years as a network television golf commentator. Middlecoff died Sept. 1, 1998, of heart failure at age 77.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 15-21, 2014)

      Monday, December 22, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Dec. 15-21, 2014 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss overcame a 17-point deficit to knock off Coastal Carolina 71-68 Thursday night. - Senior LaDarius White scored a career-high 26 points including a career-best 6 3-pointers... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 21

      Sunday, December 21, 2014 - Athletics

      The students were off for the first week of winter break, but Observations from the Best Seat in the House presses on, as the football team moves closer to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the men's and women's basketball teams... read more

    • Wallace Looks to Make More History

      Thursday, December 18, 2014 - Football

      Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games.  Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more

    • Rebels Ink Nation's Top JUCO Quarterback

      Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - Football

      Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 8-14, 2014)

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more

    • Recapping Monday's Media Opportunities

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 14

      Sunday, December 14, 2014 - Athletics

      With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Volleyball Season Highlight

      Friday, December 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight

      Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 1-7, 2014)

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more

    • Testing One, Two, Three

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Academics

      While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 7

      Sunday, December 7, 2014 - Athletics

      In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 13

      Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - Men's Basketball

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 13 - MSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rebels Finding a Rhythm after Trip to Florida

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 -

      Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more

    • Bjork, Freeze Reach Agreement on New Contract

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - Football

      Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more