Golfer Mason Rudolph was an American professional athlete. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1949 and went on to win five PGA Tour titles. Ultimately, he retired from professional golf in 1966, but not before winning the U.S. Junior Amateur in 1950. What made Rudolph so special? Here are five interesting facts about him. Also, learn how he played golf professionally. Read on to learn more about Rudolph’s amazing career.
Mason Rudolph was drafted by the Cleveland Browns
Before the Browns selected Mason Rudolph, he played college ball at Oklahoma State. The quarterback averaged 8.9 yards per completion over three seasons and posted a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 92-to-26. Rudolph’s passing yards also lead the FBS and school records, as he has passed for 13,618 yards. He was drafted as the fifth overall pick in the 1949 NFL draft.
Despite his age, Rudolph was a prodigy before being drafted by the Browns. He was just 16 when the Browns selected him, and the first round was dominated by veteran players. A few months later, the Browns signed him to a contract extension, which helped him get to the Pro Bowl. He also played for the Cleveland Colts, where he played for a decade.
Rudolph won the U.S. Junior Amateur in 1950
The U.S. Junior Amateur is one of the oldest golf competitions in the world. It was first played in 1948 and is open to male golfers under the age of 19 with a USGA Handicap Index of 6.4. This tournament is one of ten national championships held annually by the USGA, and Rudolph was the youngest person to win it. His victory in the 1950 U.S. Junior Amateur also secured a spot in the U.S. Open that year.
He played in 44 events on the Champions Tour, and was inducted into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame in 1990. His hometown honors included naming a nine-hole regulation-length golf course after him. Several collegiate tournaments were named after him. Rudolph never played in The Open Championship, but his career was one of the most memorable in his sport. In addition, his achievements led to the creation of an instructional book, The Short Irons, which has since become one of the best-selling books in golf history.
Rudolph played on the PGA Tour in 1966
Mason Rudolph was a very successful golfer, playing on the PGA Tour from 1966 to 1969. His first big tournament win came at the Thunderbird Classic in Clifton, NJ, in 1966, and he went on to win four more tournaments in the same year. He joined the PGA Rat Pack, which included Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, and Peter Lawford. Nicklaus and Rudolph shared a common philosophy of being close to one another.
The Southeastern Conference gave golf scholarships to college players and Rudolph was accepted to play there. He played for Tennessee for one year before transferring to Memphis State. Memphis State went undefeated in two years during his collegiate career. Later, Rudolph served three years in the U.S. Army, but he continued to play golf and joined the PGA Tour in 1959. He won the Golden Gate Championship in San Francisco, where he was named PGA rookie of the year. He played 430 events and earned nearly six million dollars.
Mason Rudolph was a first-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers traded up to select quarterback Mason Rudolph from Oklahoma State. The Steelers chose Rudolph with the 76th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Rudolph had a high grade overall during the 2017 season and finished second among his draft class in all three years. During his final season at Oklahoma State, Rudolph averaged 9.9 yards per attempt (YPA) against pressure, ranking him fifth among quarterbacks in this year’s draft class.
Although the Pittsburgh Steelers considered Rudolph the next Ben Roethlisberger, he did not meet the team’s expectations. The Steelers are still keeping their quarterback competition open and could trade him for a better fit. But it is important to note that Rudolph still has a dead cap hit of $1 million, and the Steelers aren’t likely to trade for him.
Rudolph coached Middle Tennessee’s men’s golf team
Mason Rudolph grew up in Clarksville, Tenn., but went on to become one of the best men’s golf coaches in the South. He later went on to become the Director of Golf at Vanderbilt University, where he retired in 2002. In addition to being an influential coach in the history of golf in Tennessee, Rudolph was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. After retiring from coaching, Rudolph was hospitalized for two heart attacks and had emergency bypass surgery. Unfortunately, he passed away on April 30, 2011 from complications from a heart condition.
The Middle Tennessee men’s golf team last competed at the Vanderbilt Legends Collegiate last season in Franklin, Tenn. This year, they will compete at the South course for the Mason Rudolph Championship. Hunter Wolcott finished in third place in the tournament, while Spencer Cross and Tyler Johnson tied for 25th place. Last year’s event was canceled due to COVID.