Contemporary sportswriters expected that Billy Casper would breeze into Chicago and successfully defend his 1965 title as the Western Open champion. However, his competition, and Medinahís Course No. 3, would challenge Billy Casper during every day of the tournament.
In the Pro-Am event, also played on Course No. 3, the day before the Western, Casper scored a 72, one over par, but that wasnít enough to beat the 68 turned in by Tommy Aaron.
On the first day of the tournament, Tommy Bolt was the leader with a score of 68. Casper was only a stroke behind. On Friday, the 92-degree heat and humidity may have been taking their toll on many in the field. Tommy Boltís back problems affected his game, and he dropped out of competition, clearing the way for two rookie professionals, Kermit Zarley and Homero Blanceo, who tied at 69 to win the day. Only four years earlier, they were amateurs playing on the Houston University Golf Team.
Billy Casper was close behind with a score just one under par. Tommy Aaron led the field on Saturday, and Casper, Venturi, and Zarley tied for second position. On Sunday, 20,000 spectators at Medinah joined by countless thousands watching over the largest network of television stations to ever telecast a golf tournament, could watch as Billy Casper successfully defended his title as the Western Open Champion.
His birdie 4 on the 10th hole was deemed to have been the key to his win. He hit three clubs, a 3-wood, a 2-iron, and a wedge to within six feet of the flagstick, and holed the putt. Gay Brewer was second, and Kermit Zarley and Tommy Aaron tied for third.
The tournament also provided another entry into the history of the Chick Evans Scholarship Foundation. Profits would again benefit the foundation, and Evans Scholars and alumni volunteered their services in various capacities during the event. Chick Evans was the first amateur to win the Western Open in 1910, and at just short of age seventy-eight, he competed in the 63rd Western at Medinah.