A native Virginian, Lew Worsham left Burning Tree Country Club near Washington, D.C., to accept the head professional’s job at Oakmont Country Club in 1947 with the understanding that he could compete in the the upcoming U.S. Open Championship at St. Louis Country Club. After four rounds he was tied with Sam Snead for the lead at 282. Worsham went on to beat Snead 69-70 in the playoff to claim his only major championship title. It was decided on the last green when Snead missed a short putt and Worsham holed his. He would then go onto the 1947 Ryder Cup where he went undefeated.
Worsham also won the 1953 Tam O’Shanter Open in Chicago by holing a wedge from the fairway on the final hole. It was one of golf’s first televised events. His winner’s check of $25,000 made him the PGA Tour’s leading money winner that season.
While working at Oakmont from 1947-1979, Worsham occasionally competed on the PGA Tour and he won five titles. He was a regular contender in major championships and recorded three top-10s in The Masters and U.S. Open. He also reached the quarterfinals or better three times in the PGA Championship. Local titles include the West Penn Open Championships in 1953, 1956 and 1958, the Tri-State Section Championship in 1961, and runner-up in the 1957 Pennsylvania Open Championship.
In 1961, Worsham set the course record at Oakmont with a score of 63.