There are all sorts of gifts to give Dad on Father's Day. Don Padgett II, a club pro from Carmel, Indiana, who hasn't won a penny this year, found something different for Dad in the third round of the U.S. Open today.
Padgett thrilled his father, who was in the gallery, with the lowest round of the tournament, a 66, one stroke more than the Southern Hills course record established by Ray Floyd and Lee Trevino in 1970 in the PGA Championship.
By way of making Dad more proud, the father is Don Padgett, president of the PGA of America and director of golf at Callaway Gardens, Ga.
Young Padgett started the day at 144, four strokes over par and his round gave him even par 210 for three rounds.
The son, 28, is playing in his first U.S. Open. He had a picture-book round with three birdies on the front and two on the back before he caught his only bogey on the 18th. The father nudged ABC-TV to remind the announces that his son was about to shoot a course record of 65 and needed only par on the 18th.
Padgett (the son) put his tee shot in the right rough and flew the ball into a trap. He blasted out about 20 feet and two-putted.
"I owe it all to my father," said Padgett. "When I was born, he was the club pro from the American Legion golf course in Newcastle, Ind. I guess I had a club in my hand ever since I could hold one.
"I wasn't a bit nervous out there today. Nobody knew me. I birdied the fourth with an eight-iron and a four-foot putt, I got another birdie on the sixth when I hit a six-iron another four feet away. I hit a one-iron five feet from the cup on the (215-yard) eighth. I birdied the 10th from four feet. I should have another birdie on the 11th but I missed a four-foot putt. Then I birdied the 12th from five feet."
Padgett is a 1971 graduate of the University of Indiana and was an All-America choice in 1969 and 1970. He won the 1969 Big 10 golf title; the 1970 Indiana State Amateur, and the 1972 Indiana Open.
He joined the PGA Tour after going through the 1972 qualifying school. He made a little more than $13,000 in 1973 and 1974 and then lost his playing card.
He qualified as a club pro for the PGA Championship at Congressional last year and finished in a tie for 43d. He is a class A PGA member and head pro at Woodland Country Club, Carmel.
Not since the PGA Tour was established has a club pro won a U.S. OPen. It was common in the old days when there wasn't much of a tour but it's rare that a club pro can keep up with the tour regulars in modern times.
"I don't take any credit for Don being as good as he is," said his father. He's only played about 10 times this year - he's too busy giving lessons. I know he's not excited. I've had dinner with him and Mark Cox (executive director of the PGA) and Don ate more than both of us.
"It would be nice to see a club pro win it."