Cyril Walker, US Open Champion…Slowest Golfer Ever?
Published: June 7th, 2016– Cyril Walker is celebrated on June 7th for his 1924 U.S. Open win at Oakland Hills Country Club with a one stroke victory over Augusta founder Bobby Jones. Yet Walker is not known for his triumphs on the course but more of the embarrassing pace of play and stubborn attitude. This brings us Cyril Walkers disqualification from the 1929 Los Angeles Open held at Riviera Country Club.
Walker was usually paired in the last group or with a marker so he didn’t even have the opportunity to hold other players up. By the time he reached the 5th hole he was far behind the next group in front of him. Tournament officials requested two police officers to ask Walker to “speed up” pace of play. Walker refused, recanting that he was a major champion and he could play as slow as he wants. Some time passed and Walker looked like he was playing slower than before. Tournament officials did not hesitate any longer. The next scene was an unusual one for a professional golf tournament where as two police officers forcibly removed Walker for the golf course. Tommy Armour led the whole event but eventually lost to MacDonald Smith who repeated as champion.
Walker’s rapid fall and decline
Walkers decline did not stop there. His career demised as the years went on. Walker even faltered in business as he was left penniless in 1930 after a bad real estate investment. In 1937, The Eugene Register reports of him returning to the caddy ranks and working at a driving range at a Florida golf club.
In 1948, The Toledo Blade reported Walkers death at a local New Jersey prison where he went for shelter. Guards found Walkers body while making their morning rounds. At the time of his death….Walker was working as a dishwasher.
Aronstam, H. (1940, April 10). Cyril Walker, Golfing Great, Back Where He Started-Caddy. The Eugene Register, p. 6 of 7.
Associated Press. (1927, February 3). Presenting Two Golf Extremes-Fastest And Slowest Pro. The Pittsburg Press.
Associated Press. (1937, March 10). Fame Is Fleeting. The Evening Independent.
United Press. (1948, August 7). Cyril Walker Dies; Beat Bobby Jones. Toledo Blade, p. 6 of 71.