In 1967, Westgate had hired Harvie Ward, a two-time National Amateur golf champion, to be in charge of public relations at Silverado. With his contacts in the golfing world, Ward convinced the PGA that a tournament held at Silverado would be a natural to follow or precede the Crosby Pro-Am. Contacting Westgate at hisdevelopment in Maui, Hawaii, Ward told him the PGA was willing to play a tournament at Silverado if Westgate could arrange for prize money.
Westgate contacted Jack Ashby, then Chairman of Kaiser Steel, and proposed that the various Kaiser firms sponsor the tournament. Ashby agreed and lined up Kaiser Steel, Kaiser Industries, Kaiser Cement, and Kaiser Aluminum to provide $50,000 for the first tournament.
Thus the Silverado Country Club hosted the Kaiser International Golf Tournament from 1968 to 1976. Two tournaments were played in 1969 as the rainy winter weather forced the PGA and Kaiser to change the tournament date to the fall. Anheuser-Busch sponsored the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic from 1977 to 1980, before moving the tournament to Williamsburg, VA.
In 1989, Silverado management contracted with the International Management Group of Cleveland, Ohio and the Transamerica Insurance Company of San Francisco to host the Senior PGA tournament for three years. The first tournament was held in October 1989, the same week the Loma Prieta earthquake caused major damage in the San Francisco and East Bay areas. While that catastrophe seriously affected spectator attendance, the 1990 tournament enjoyed a large turnout of golf fans from the Bay Area. The Transamerica has continued through 2001.
TOUR CHAMPIONS AT SILVERADO
Napa Valley Championship presented by Beringer Vineyards
Transamerica Senior Golf Championship
Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic
Kaiser International Open Invitational
1973 U.S. OpenComing into the U.S. Open at the challenging par-71 Oakmont layout, Miller was a 26-year-old with just two tour victories in four years, but had done well in several majors. He tied for second at the 1971 Masters, and had top ten finishes at the U.S. Open in 1971 and 1972. Miller had yet to win in 1973, but by mid-June he had recorded eight top ten finishes, which included a tie for 6th at the Masters.Miller played the first two rounds at Oakmont (near Pittsburgh) with Arnold Palmer and his "Army" gallery, at its largest in western Pennsylvania. Miller was two-under par (140) after the second round, but shot a five-over 76 on Saturday to settle at three-over (216) for the championship. (He did not have his yardage book with him until the 8th hole; his wife Linda had to retrieve it from their rented house.)Miller began the fourth and final round in twelfth place, six shots behind the four co-leaders, which included Palmer. Teeing off at 1:36 pm, about an hour ahead of the final group, Miller shot a scorching eight-under 63, in what is considered one of the most remarkable rounds in U.S. Open history. He passed the leading players of the day, including future hall-of-famers Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, and Palmer, who was in the final pairing with John Schlee. Miller birdied the first four holes and hit all 18 greens in regulation. He got five more birdies with only one bogey (a 3-putt on the 244 yard par-3 #8), and used only 29 putts during the round. Miller wound up at 5-under (279) for the championship, besting the runner-up Schlee by a single stroke, who shot a respectable 1-under 70. Only five players (Miller, Schlee, and three others) shot under-par in that final round, making his 63 even more remarkable. Miller earned $35,000 for the victory.1976 British OpenAt the 1976 British Open, Miller played another great final round to win his other major title. Miller shot 66 - tying the low round of the tournament - to come from two strokes behind at the start of the final round to win by six shots over Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus.