Rudolph, 1959 PGA Tour rookie of year, 1971 Ryder Cup player, dies at 76

maosn rudolph
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Even in his later years, Mason Rudolph played regularly in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf on the Champions Tour.
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Associated Press

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Published: Monday, April 18, 2011 | 7:10 p.m.

Mason Rudolph, who qualified for the U.S. Open at the age of 16 and was the 1959 PGA Tour rookie of the year, has died. He was 76.

He died Monday at a Tuscaloosa hospice.

The Tennessee native qualified for the U.S. Open in 1950 and became the first 16-year-old to win the USGA National Junior Amateur Championship. He helped the United States win the 1957 Walker Cup, and Golf World magazine named him one of the 20th century’s top 10 best junior boys in 1999.

He won five PGA Tour events during his 21-year career and played in the 1971 Ryder Cup. He coached Vanderbilt’s golf team in 1992 before being named the university’s director of golf.

McReynolds-Nave & Larson Funeral Home in Clarksville, Tenn., is handling the funeral arrangements.