Tony Jacklin

    Tony Jacklin

    Born: July 7, 1944

    Height: 5 ft 9 in

    Birthplace: England

    Turned Pro: 1962

    The son of a truck driver, Tony Jacklin would go on to become the most successful European golfer of his generation and the first Englishman since the 1940’s to play the PGA Tour on a full-time basis.

    In 1968, at the Jacksonville Open, Jacklin became the first European player to win on the PGA Tour in more than 50 years.

    Jacklin would capture his first Major title the next season at the 1969 Open Championship. Jacklin finished two shots ahead of his nearest competitors that week at Royal Lytham and St. Annes and became the first Brit to win the Open in nearly two decades.

    Jacklin would make it consecutive years with a Major championship when he captured the United States Open at Hazeltine National Golf Club in 1970. Strong winds and high rough created brutal course conditions that week and Jacklin handled them better than anyone in the field, winning by a comfortable 7 shots over four rounds.

    Jacklin had one more excellent opportunity to win a Major at the 1971 Open Championship. Jacklin held the lead on the 71st hole that year at Muirfield but a three-putt from 15 feet doomed his chances before eventually losing to Lee Trevino.

    Jacklin was also a highly decorated Ryder Cup player and captain during his career. He was involved in one of the greatest moments in Ryder Cup history as a player at Royal Birkdale in 1969. After making eagle at 17 and squaring his singles match with Jack Nicklaus, the two players found themselves on the 18th green with the Cup in the balance.

    Nicklaus conceded a two-foot putt to Jacklin giving the Brit a half-point in their match and the U.S. and Britain a 14-14 tie. The United States retained the Cup because they were defending champions. Nicklaus’ gesture is still considered one of the best examples of sportsmanship in golf history.