Monday, December 15, 2008

Tony Jacklin to be honoured
by PGA on Friday

Two-time major winner Tony Jacklin will be honoured this week for his outstanding contribution to golf.
Jacklin will receive the Professional Golfers' Association Recognition Award at its annual luncheon and charity fund-raiser at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London on Friday.
It will be the latest in a long list of achievements for the 64-year-old, who was Britain’s first golfing superstar.
In the modern era he is celebrated for re-igniting the fortunes of the European Ryder Cup team, leading them to two victories over the US – including the first-ever win on American soil in 1987.
However, Jacklin distinguished himself as a player long before taking the Ryder Cup captaincy. Named Rookie of the Year in 1962, Jacklin, the son of a Scunthorpe lorry driver, went on to win 14 European Tour titles between 1965 and 1982, including the PGA Championship in 1972.
By then Jacklin had elevated his status as a two-time major winner breaking records along the way.
It began with victory in the 1969 Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes, where he became the first British winner for 18 years. He followed that by winning the US Open the following year by a seven-shot margin the largest since 1921 and one that stood until 2000.
Jacklin’s win was also the first by a Britain in 50 years and he still remains the last player from these shores to claim that major.
In the Ryder Cup he played in seven consecutive matches from 1967 and won 13, lost 14 and halved 8 of his games.
His triumphs earned him an OBE in 1970, with a CBE added in 1990 on the back of his reign as Ryder Cup captain.
In recognition of Jacklin’s achievements, PGA chief executive Sandy Jones paid a glowing tribute.“Tony was a trail-blazer for British golf, a role he maintained for 20 years when he crossed from being a player to Ryder Cup Captain,” said Jones.“He has been a great ambassador for the sport and his success is still unrivalled. His legacy as a Ryder Cup captain continues to this day so it's a privilege for the PGA to present him with the recognition award for his great achievements within the game.”
Past recipients of the PGA Recognition Award include Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Not many around these days to remember that Tony Jacklin, who played out of Potters Bar, came up to Scotland to play in the Northern Open championship when he was still an assistant to Bill Shankland. The late Jimmy Forbes, golf writer for the Aberdeen Evening Express, used to tell me that Jacklin was the first on to the practice ground and the last off it. Hard work which was to pay off big time for Tony.



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