Summer of ’65: Bob Magie wins big one, ends Leo Spooner’s reign


Fifty years ago — Aug. 16, 1965 — the DNT reports Leo Spooner’s four-year domination of local golf had ended at the hands of two youngsters.

Gentleman Bobbie Magie III, a charging shot-maker with ice water in his veins, Sunday captured championship honors in the 40th Northland Invitational Golf Tournament at Northland Country Club.

Magie, a 22-year old graduate of Colorado College where he starred in golf and hockey, won in a head-to-head dual with another young man, 20-year-old Tony Greaton of Hibbing. The count read 5 and 4. …

Greaton, the splendid string-bean lefthander, was the guy who brought an end to Spooner’s dominance with a stunning 3 and 2 upset victory in Sunday morning’s semifinals.

But, he suffered an injury to his left wrist en route to the triumph, and it proved costly against Magie who played almost flawlessly from tee to green. …

Magie, who had never won a tournament before winning the grand daddy of them all, said, “I’ve seen Tony play better golf, but when I went out ahead on the third, I really started hitting well off the tee. When you have to follow a guy who’s hitting them down the middle, you start pressing. I feel I was very fortunate to go out ahead that early.”

Leo Spooner 1965 Northland Invitational

Leo Spooner chips onto the green in the Northland Invitational Golf Tournament as his caddy looks on.

Bob Magie IIIThese days Magie is a personal injury lawyer in Duluth.

Leo Spooner’s golfing glory was far from over following this loss. In all, he won the Northland Invitational 10 times from 1956 to 1984 and was inducted into the Minnesota PGA Hall of Fame in 1990. For many years he was owner of Allenfall’s, a downtown clothing store at 324 W. Superior St., taking over after founder Harry Allenfall died in 1955 and selling to Ed Gould and John Mohn in 2003. Spooner died in 2006; Allenfall’s closed in 2010.

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