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Jimmy Demaret

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Jimmy Demaret

Jimmy Demaret plays a bunker shot at the 1954 British Open. British golfer Dai Rees once said Demaret was the best sand player he ever saw.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Jimmy Demaret was a colorful player on and off the golf course from the 1930s into the 1950s, a 3-time major championship winner.

Date of birth: May 10, 1910
Place of birth: in Houston, Texas
Date of death: Dec. 28, 1983 (Demaret suffered a heart attack as he was getting into a golf cart.)

PGA Tour Victories:

31

Major Championships:

3
• 1940 Masters
• 1947 Masters
• 1950 Masters

Awards and Honors:

• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• PGA Tour money leader, 1947
• PGA Tour Vardon Trophy winner, 1947
• Member, U.S. Ryder Cup team, 1947, 1949, 1951

Quote, Unquote:

• Jimmy Demaret: "Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at."

Arnold Palmer on Jimmy Demaret: "He could play the piano all night and shoot 65 the next day."

• Dai Rees: "I regard him as the greatest sand player I have ever seen."

• Jack Burke Jr.: "There was never a guy who was more fun to be around, or a guy who enjoyed being who he was more than Jimmy."

Trivia:

• As a television announcer, Jimmy Demaret introduced many colloquialisms into the broader golf lexicon. Among the words Demaret helped popularized are "frog hair," "worm burners" and "white knucklers."

• Demaret's career 6-0-0 Ryder Cup win-loss ledger is the Ryder Cup record for most wins without a loss.

• As a young club pro in Houston, Demaret sometimes served as babysitter for future Hall of Famer Jack Burke Jr.

Jimmy Demaret Biography:

Jimmy Demaret was one of the most colorful - literally - great players in the history of golf.

On Tour, Demaret was known for his wild clothing. "Demaret opted for the peacock-meets-plus-fours look," the Houston Chronicle wrote. Demaret shopped for clothes on trips to New York, often having to buy fabrics for women's clothing to find the colors he wanted. Demaret described his tastes as "partial to brick red, mulberry, royal crimson, pale pink, purple, hunter green, Nile green, heather green and flaming scarlet."

As flashy as dresser as he was, he was just as flashy with his wit, which was known to give even dour Ben Hogan a chuckle.

Demaret grew up in Houston, caddying at several clubs before landing at River Oaks Country Club where the pro was Jack Burke Sr. One of Demaret's jobs at River Oaks was to babysit Jack Burke Jr., and Demaret and Jackie became lifelong friends.

Demaret's first win as a professional golfer was the 1934 Texas PGA. He first found fame on the PGA Tour in 1940, when he won six tournaments, including the 1940 Masters.

Demaret went on to win the 1947 Masters and 1950 Masters, becoming the first three-time champion in that event. Those were his only major championships. In 1948, he was runner-up to Hogan at two majors. Demaret posted a U.S. Open scoring record that year, only to see Hogan break it - and steal away the title - an hour later.

Following the end of his PGA Tour career in the mid-1950s, Demaret became one of golf's first "color commentators," where his commentary was just as colorful as his outfits (see Trivia category above).

Perhaps Demaret's most lasting contribution to golf is the little tournament he organized among stars of the past in 1979. That tournament, the Legends of Golf, launched what we now know as the Champions Tour.

Demaret also founded, along with Jack Burke Jr., Champions Golf Club in Houston, where he became famous for telling great stories at the bar in the men's locker room ... sometimes in the nude.

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