Happy Birthday Tony Jacklin
On July 7th, 1944 Tony Jacklin was born in the North Lincolnshire town of Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England. A son of a truck driver, he worked his way up the golfing ranks eventually turning professional in 1962. He acquired 29 professional wins including four on the PGA Tour and two major championships. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002
Jacklin is known as one of the most prolific Ryder Cup players of all time, playing seven in a row with the “Great Britain & Ireland” team. Jacklin has eleven total Ryder Cup appearances as player and non-playing captain. Except for a tie in 1969, all of those teams were defeated. Jacklin was involved in one of the most memorable moments in Ryder Cup history at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in 1969. After his eagle putt on the 17th evened his match with Jack Nicklaus, Nicklaus conceded Jacklin’s two-foot putt on the 18th, halving the match, and ending the Ryder Cup with a tied score. “The Concession” ended with the two golfers walking off the course with arms around each other’s shoulders
In 1969, Jacklin became the first British player to win The Open Championship in 18 years, winning by two strokes at Royal Lytham & St Annes. His four under par total was enough to give him victory by two strokes from Australian Bob Charles and he became the first home-grown winner since Max Faulkner.
The next year he added another major championship to his resume when he traveled to the windy Hazeltine National for the 70th U.S. Open. Jacklin led by two strokes after 18 holes, three strokes at halfway, four strokes after three rounds and seven after four, the widest margin of victory for nearly 50 years. His winning score was 281.
“Most Americans don’t know how to play in a wind,” Jacklin said later. “They are not conditioned to it. I was. I might take any club at all from 160 yards – even a 2-iron. I practised that sort of thing all the time.”
Jacklin placed the winner’s cheque of $30,000 in a pocket of his trousers and forgot it when he sent the trousers to be dry-cleaned. The next day he received a pair of neatly pressed trousers and a washed and laundered cheque on which the writing had faded. “We had to get the USGA to write me out another,” Jacklin said with a smile.
Jacklin retired from competitive golf in 2004 after playing numerous Senior events. He developed a course design business since and even co-designed a Florida golf course with Nicklaus appropriately named, “The Concession”.