Tony Jacklin had a brief but memorable trip to the top of the golf world, winning majors in 1969 and 1970. Later, he helped Team Europe achieve new heights in the Ryder Cup as team captain.
Date of birth: July 7, 1944
Place of birth: Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England
• PGA Tour: 4
• European Tour: 8
(Jacklin won 22 times total in European tournaments, but many of those wins were earned before the creation of the European Tour.)
• U.S. Open: 1970
• British Open: 1969
Awards and Honors:
• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• 1973 European Tour money leader
• Member, European Ryder Cup team, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979
• Captain, European Ryder Cup team, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989
• Awarded the Order of the British Empire, 1970
• Awarded Commander of the British Empire, 1990
Tony Jacklin: "As a young man I would practice on my own for hundreds of hours and in my mind Ben Hogan was always standing over my right shoulder making a critique of every shot."
Tony Jacklin hit the first hole-in-one to be televised live in Britain. It came on No. 16 at Royal St. George's in 1967.
Tony Jacklin Biography:
Tony Jacklin's playing career has been called one of "brief but memorable brilliance." Jacklin wasn't at the top of his game for long, but from 1968 to 1972 he was one of the biggest stars in golf. And he became a national hero in Great Britain.
Jacklin was born to a working class family and at one point was an apprentice steelmaker. But golf quickly became his focus. He won his first major junior tournament at 13 and by 17 had turned pro and begun working as an assistant pro.
He was rookie of the year on the British pro circuit (a precursor to the European Tour) in 1962. In 1964 Jacklin won his first pro event. By 1968 he was ready to take on the world.
Jacklin won the PGA Tour's Jacksonville Open that year, becoming the first Briton to win on the PGA Tour (outside of majors). In 1969, he claimed the British Open and followed it up with a 7-shot win at the 1970 U.S. Open. At the British Open, he was the first Englishman to win since 1951; at the U.S. Open, the first Brit to win since 1920.
Jacklin's performance sparked a resurgence in golf in Great Britain, one that Jacklin would help culminate with his Ryder Cup captaincy in the 1980s.
Jacklin narrowly missed another Open Championship in 1972 when Lee Trevino's miraculous chip shot on the 71st hold propelled Trevino to the win. While Jacklin remained competitive in Europe, he never again challenged at a major.
The Ryder Cup is the other component of Jacklin's fame. In 1969, it was Jacklin who battled Jack Nicklaus to a halve in the final match, securing a tie for Great Britain & Ireland. Nicklaus famously conceded Jacklin's short putt on the final hole.
Jacklin captained four straight European teams beginning in 1983. In 1985, Europe won its first Ryder Cup since 1957; the following competition (1987), Europe won for the first time ever on U.S. soil.
Jacklin played briefly on the Champions Tour in the 1990s, and retired from tournament golf in 2004. He has provided golf commentary for television broadcast and also designed golf courses, one of which is named The Concession after what happened at the 1969 Ryder Cup.