Orville Moody, 35, of Yukon, Oklahoma had spent 14 years in the Army before
joining the Professional Golfers' Association tour in 1967. He won the United
States Open Championship in his second full year on the tour with rounds of
71-77-68-72 for a 72-hole score of 281 at the Cypress Creek Course of the champions
Golf Club, Houston, Texas. Moody won by one stroke over Deane R. Beman, Bethesda,
Maryland, Al Geiberger, Santa Barbara, California, and Bob Rosburn, St. Louis,
Missouri. All three had scores of 282.
Moody had played in the Open only once before and had failed to survive the
36-hole cutoff in 1962. He rose to the rank of sergeant in the Army, then left
the service in 1967 and qualified for the tour at the Approved Tournament Players
School that fall. Bob Murphy, the 1965 United States Amateur Champion, was the
first-round leader with a score of 66 four under par. Miller Barber was next
with 67, followed by Beman and Geiberger. Beman took the lead the next day with
a 36-hole score of 137. Barber and Murphy were tied for second at 138 and Rosburg,
the 1959 PGA Champion, was fourth with 139.
Barber scored 68 in the third round and seemed to be turning the Championship
into a runaway. He had a 54-hole record and was three strokes ahead of second-place
Moody, whose 68 gave him a 54-hole total of 209. Beman and Bunky Henry were
tied for third at 210, followed by Rosburg at 211. Geiberger was among five
players at 212. Barber collapsed in the final round, shooting 78 and dropping
to a tie for sixth place. Moody went ahead to stay at the 12th where he salvaged
a par 3 and Barber took 5.
At one time eight players were within two strokes of one another and all of
them were playing the last nine holes. Moody was the steadiest in the closing
moments. He went over par on the 14th hole then made pars on all the rest. Geiberger
scored 70 in the final round, the best of the leaders and might have tied had
he not three-putted the 16th hole. Rosburg missed a three-foot putt on the 18th
after a brilliant recovery from a bunker and Beman holed a 15-foot birdie putt
on the final green.
For the second time in Open history no amateur survived the 36-hole cutoff.
This happened previously in 1963. Entries reached an all-time high of 3,397
and the prize money of $205,300 was also a record.