Cox, Wiffy (1990)

About Cox, Wiffy (1990)

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1897–1969.   Wilfred “Wiffy” Cox entered the MAPGA Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Section, including a term as President, and for his role as an important figure in the organization that evolved into the PGA Tour. He was a fine teacher with an engaging personality and unique sense of humor.

Wiffy was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1897, and came to the Middle Atlantic Section in 1935 as the Head PGA Professional at Kenwood CC. From there he moved on to Congressional where he served as the head PGA Professional from 1938 until his death in 1969. During World War II, when the OSS occupied Congressional Country Club, Wiffy held the head PGA Professional position at Hempstead Country Club on Long Island, New York. For a time during World War II, he served with the U.S. Navy as a fireman aboard the USS Nevada. Returning to Congressional in 1947, he rejoined his assistants Jocko Miller, Warner Gray, and Lew Worsham, who all toiled to re-open the course.

The PGA Tour credits him with nine championship victories. The first occurred in the Pinehurst Pro-Pro Medal Play with Willie MacFarlane in 1930. Wiffy led the 1931 money list with $11,000 and held the number one ranking amongst the touring professionals. That year, he won four consecutive titles: the Florida Open, the International Four-Ball with MacFarlane, the North-South Open in a playoff over Joe Turnesa, and the San Francisco Match Play. He also played in the Ryder Cup Matches at Scioto CC in Columbus, Ohio, compiling a 2-0-0 record. In 1932, Wiffy won the Pinehurst Pro-Pro for a second time with MacFarlane. In 1934, he won at the Agua Caliente Open and the Texas Open. Two years later, Wiffy won the Sacramento Open by defeating Bill Melhorn in a playoff. His career best scores include a 64 at Oakmont, California, in 1931; 64 at Westchester Biltmore in 1931, 65 at Tampa in 1933, and 66 at San Antonio in 1930.

Nationally, Wiffy played in six PGA Championships, four Masters, and eleven US Opens. He played in four consecutive Masters, 1935-1938, finishing 12th in 1937 and in a tie for 13th in 1936. His eleven US Open starts took place between 1924 at Oakland Hills and 1939 at Philadelphia CC. He only missed the cut three times. His best finish, a tie for third in 1934 at Merion, found him two shots behind Olin Dutra and one behind Gene Sarazen and tied with Bobby Cruickshank. Other notable US Open finishes included a fourth place tie at Inverness in 1931, fifth in 1932 at Fresh Meadow, and a fifth place tie at Baltusrol in 1936.

Locally, Wiffy won the District of Columbia Open at the original Indian Spring course in 1937, earned the medal at the PGA Qualifier at Baltimore CC-Five Farms in 1938, took the District of Columbia Open again at Washington Golf in 1938, made the US Open field in the Sectional at Congressional in 1939, finished second in the MAPGA Section Championship at Columbia 1939, and lost a playoff to Andy Gibson for last spot in the US Open Sectional at Manor in 1940. In 1942, he won the Washington Open at Indian Spring and the Maryland Open at the original Prince George’s CC in Landover, MD.

He served as the MAPGA President from 1941 through 1943. The membership selected him as the MAPGA Professional of the Year in 1963. In February 1969, Wiffy played his last nine holes, shooting even par, three weeks before succumbing to cancer.  (rev. 2011)