Waterloo | Inducted 2019 | Category: Professional Golfer

Pat Willcox was one of the dominant figures in golf in Iowa in the late 1930’s, 40’s and early 50’s.  

The professional, who spent time in both Des Moines and Waterloo qualified for five major championships during his career, including four U.S. Opens.  He finished 23rd at the 1940 U.S. Open at Canterbury Golf Club in Ohio and 50th the next year at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.  He also qualified for the national championship in 1937 (Oakland Hills CC in Michigan) and 1947 (St. Louis CC) but missed the cut. Willcox made it through a qualifier to play in the 1939 PGA Championship, but records indicate that he did not ultimately tee it up at the Pomonok Country Club in Flushing, New York.

Perhaps Willcox would have collected even more victories but for World War II putting a halt to many golf tournaments during his run.  He did, however, play a part in the war efforts. In 1943 he was spending most of his time helping make bombs for the war effort at the Chamberlain Corp. in Waterloo.  It is documented that he would spend ten hours a day, seven days a week making bombs. Only when he knew they had met their quota for the week and month did he enter the 1943 Iowa Masters.

Career Highlights

  • Won the Iowa Open three consecutive times (1940, ‘41, and ‘42).
  • Won the Iowa Masters four times (1940, ‘45, ‘47 and ‘51).
  • Competed in four US Opens, including a Top 25 finish in the 1940 US Open at Canterbury Golf Club in Ohio.
  • He also captured the Waterloo Open in 1938 and won the Cedar Rapids Open in 1944.
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