Jack Burke Jr., Who Gained 2 Main Golf Titles in a Season, Dies at 100

Jack Burke Jr., a high participant on the P.G.A. tour within the postwar years who received two main golf championships in a single season, then turned a sought-after teacher to among the sport’s best stars, died on Friday in Houston. He was 100 and the oldest residing winner of the Masters and P.G.A. championships.

A consultant of the Texas Sports activities Corridor of Fame, which inducted him in 1978, confirmed the loss of life.

Burke’s banner yr was 1956, when he received each the Masters and P.G.A. titles and was named the P.G.A.’s golfer of the yr.

His Masters victory stunned nearly everybody.

Solely weeks earlier, having gone winless because the Inverness open in Ohio in 1953, Burke, who was 33, had introduced that he was contemplating retiring. And going into the ultimate spherical at Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership, he was eight strokes behind the Masters chief, Ken Venturi, and had not drawn a lot consideration.

All eyes had been on Venturi, who at 24 was vying to grow to be the primary newbie to win the Masters. However as Venturi faltered, Burke crept up the leaderboard, passing eight gamers, and received by a stroke.

He had acquired some meteorological assist.

“I had a downhill putt on the seventeenth gap that was lightning fast, and it was made even sooner as a result of the 40-mile-per-hour wind had blown sand out onto the inexperienced,” Burke told Golf Digest in 2004. “I simply touched that putt, and I instantly thought, ‘Oh, no, I didn’t get it midway there.’ Then the wind grabbed that factor and saved blowing it down the hill, till it plunked lifeless in the midst of the outlet. It was a miracle — the most effective break of my profession.”

That June, Burke received the P.G.A. championship, defeating Ted Kroll on the Blue Hill Nation Membership in Canton, Mass., in match-play format, which relies on holes received in a head-to-head contest and never the variety of strokes on a scorecard.

All informed, Burke received 16 tournaments on the Skilled Golfers’ Affiliation of America tour, together with 4 in 4 weeks in 1952.

The son of a Houston golf membership professional, Burke turned skilled at 17 and joined the tour at 23, hailed as probably the most promising golfers of his technology.

In 1949, Burke, by then residing in Kiamesha Lake, N.Y., in Sullivan County, recorded his first skilled win, within the Metropolitan Open, on his house course, the Metropolis Nation Membership, in White Plains, defeating the veteran Gene Sarazen. The victory got here 24 years to the day after Burke’s father defeated Sarazen in a match, as Sarazen ruefully however good-naturedly identified to Jack Jr.

In 1952, after his 4 straight tour victories and a second-place end on the Masters, behind Sam Snead, Burke was profiled by Collier’s journal as “Golf’s New Scorching-Shot.” At 5-foot-9 and 170 kilos, he may hit 265 yards off the tee and was a superb putter. His boyish beauty solely added to his enchantment.

“His curly faintly auburn hair, blue eyes and occasional shy smile have made him the darling of the female hyperlinks addicts,” the journal wrote, figuring out Burke as “considered one of golf’s most eligible bachelors.”

In 1957, Burke joined his mentor, Jimmy Demaret, the primary three-time Masters champion, in founding the Champions Golf Club in Houston. Demaret had been an assistant professional below Burke’s father since Jack Jr. was 10.

Burke and Demaret instituted a membership coverage — nonetheless in power — below which solely golfers with a handicap of 14 or decrease are admitted. “I liken us to Stanford College, or Yale or Harvard,” Burke informed Golf Digest. “They don’t settle for D college students academically, and we don’t settle for folks with a D common in golf.”

The membership hosted the 1969 United States Open and the 2020 U.S. Girls’s Open Championship, amongst different tournaments.

Burke went on to earn distinction as a longtime teacher of Phil Mickelson, Hal Sutton, Steve Elkington and different professionals. In his 70s, Arnold Palmer dropped by for a lesson.

Jack Nicklaus as soon as mentioned of Burke, “I can’t inform you what number of occasions we have been enjoying golf and he’d say, ‘Jack, how are you going to play from that place?’”

John Joseph Burke Jr. was born on Jan. 29, 1923, in Fort Value, the eldest of eight siblings, considered one of whom died younger. He grew up in Houston, the place his father, who had tied for second within the 1920 U.S. Open, was the professional on the River Oaks Nation Membership.

Jack Jr. first performed golf at age 6. At 12, he shot a 69 on a troublesome par-71 course. At 16, he certified for the U.S. Open. However at 17, on the insistence of his mom, he entered Rice Institute (now Rice College) in Houston. He left earlier than he accomplished his freshman yr, nevertheless, and have become the top professional on the Galveston Nation Membership.

When World Warfare II broke out, Burke joined the Marine Corps and taught fight conditioning, together with judo. He joined the P.G.A. tour after the battle (it formally turned the PGA Tour in 1968), moved to New York State and in addition taught golf at golf equipment in New Jersey and New York Metropolis.

He first gained broad consideration in 1951, when he recorded two commanding victories in that yr’s Ryder Cup competitors. That led to his choice to 4 extra Ryder Cup occasions within the Nineteen Fifties, during which he compiled a 7-1 match report towards his European competitors. He was twice Ryder Cup captain, shedding in 1957 and profitable in 1973.

In 1952, he received the Vardon Trophy, given to the tour chief in scoring common. (His was 70.54.) When Burke was 81, Hal Sutton, the 2004 United States Ryder Cup captain, named him an assistant captain.

Burke was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2003, he was voted the recipient of the PGA Tour’s Lifetime Achievement Award and america Golf Affiliation’s Bob Jones Award. In 2007, he acquired the P.G.A. Distinguished Service Award.

Burke married Ielene Lang in 1952. She died within the mid-Eighties. He had turned 60 when, in 1984, he met Robin Moran, a freshman golfer on the College of Texas, on the placing inexperienced on the Champions Golf Membership, the place her father had despatched her for a golf lesson, in line with the P.G.A. historian Bob Denney. The couple married in 1987. She was a finalist within the 1997 United States ladies’s newbie championship and was additionally inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. She survives him.

Burke had a daughter together with his second spouse and 5 kids together with his first, together with a son, John J. Burke III, who died in 2017. Full info on his survivors was not instantly out there.

Burke joined elite firm by profitable two majors in a single season, however by his personal alternative he would by no means have a shot at a grand slam, as it’s understood right now, by profitable all 4, both in a single season or in a profession. He missed the lower on the 1956 U.S. Open, at Oak Hill Nation Membership, outdoors Rochester, and he by no means performed within the British Open.

Frank Litsky, a longtime Instances sportswriter, died in 2018. William McDonald and Sofia Poznansky contributed reporting.

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