How Crampton's Lake Got Its Name
Crampton’s Lake seen here at the 18th green during the 1960 tournament.
Up-and-coming Australian Bruce Crampton stood on the 18th tee on Saturday in the windy 1962 event with a chance to tie Ben Hogan’s 16-year-old course record of 65, needing only a par to do it. He was also chasing leader Arnold Palmer, one shot ahead.  Alas, Crampton found the trees with his first shot, and the greenside pond with his second, crawling in with a deflating double-bogey.  That still tied him with Gary Player, however, for second place.  Jack Nicklaus’ 74 placed him nine strokes back, tied with Ben Hogan and defending champion Doug Sanders.

Sunday’s final round was as wild as Colonial has ever seen – so wild that the championship went to bed with no winner.  Gusty winds still dogged the players. Arnold Palmer and Player played together, and shocked everyone by posting two of the highest rounds of the day. Nicklaus beat Player by nine shots on Sunday, but didn’t finish in the top three.  Johnny Pott beat Palmer by seven shots, but still didn’t pass him. Only three players broke par all day, barely.  And Crampton, well, he would have won the tournament if he hadn’t hit into the lake at #18 again!

Late Sunday afternoon, recent tournament winner Johnny Pott found himself to be the leader in the clubhouse at one over par for the championship.  Standing outside the Colonial press room on the veranda overlooking #18, Pott watched the early leaders struggle coming in. First, he witnessed young Crampton’s heartbreaking repeat at #18. On the final tee at even par, Crampton needed only a four for an outright win. His second shot found the water for the second day in a row, and he finished in third place.  (A par at 18 on Saturday and Sunday would have won the event by three shots.)   Next contender to finish was Palmer.

Tied with Pott and looking for a winning birdie at the last hole, Palmer stuck his approach about 12 feet short of the flag. With thousands looking on breathlessly, his birdie putt charged toward the hole and then amazingly, agonizingly, hung on the lip of the cup.

So Arnold Palmer got a trophy (after an 18-hole playoff with Pott on Monday), and Crampton got a lake named after him.  Don’t feel bad for Bruce – he later won the championship in 1965, and is now very proud of his Colonial immortality.
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It took three years, but Bruce Crampton got redemption over his namesake Crampton’s Lake when he won the 1965 Colonial Invitational.