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Scott Verplank claims Western Open as an amateur

On this day in 1985, Scott Verplank, still an amateur, defeated Jim Thorpe in a sudden-death playoff to win the Western Open at Butler National Golf Club in Oak Brook, Illinois.

He was the first amateur to claim a PGA Tour title since Doug Sanders did it in the 1956 Canadian Open, a feat that has been repeated only once since then, by Phil Mickelson in the 1991 Northern Telecom Open.

Winner of five PGA Tour titles in his career, Verplank was awarded the 2002 Ben Hogan Award by the Golf Writers Association of America for his success in golf despite his having a serious illness. Verplank has Type 1 diabetes and wears an insulin pump on the golf course.

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