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Michael Bonallack, Charles Coe, William Lawson Little, Jr., Henry Picard, Paul Runyan & Densmore Shute
Sir Michael Bonallack
Regarded by many as Europe's finest amateur golfer, Bonallack won the British Amateur Championship five times between 1951 and 1970. He also won the English Amateur Championship title five times and was a four-time English stroke-play champion. Twice the leading amateur in the British Open (1968, '71), Bonallack played in nine Walker Cup matches for Britain and on seven World Amateur teams.
Bonallack's lifelong love affair with golf and service to the game continued past his championship years. In 1983, he became Secretary (in effect, chief executive) of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, with the USGA the rules-making body in the world of golf. Bonallack retired from his R&A position in 2000, the same year he was elected Captain of the R&A. He then joined the European Tour as a lead consultant. Also active in golf course architecture, Bonallack's leading role in British golf included service as Chairman of the PGA of Great Britain and the Golf Foundation and President of the English Golf Union. Michael Bonallack was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998, one of three golfers in the world to receive this distinction, and previously was awarded an Order of the British Empire for his service to golf. Today, Bonallack is a director of the European Tour and serves on the Captains Club at the Memorial Tournament.
Bonallack has received a large number of awards throughout his career including the Bob Jones Award for sportsmanship (1972), the Donald Ross Award (1991), and the Ambassador of Golf Award (1995). He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.
Bonallack was born December 31, 1934, in Essex, England.
2006 POSTHUMOUS HONOREES
One of America's all-time great amateur golfers, Coe is perhaps best remembered for his near-miss at the 1961 Masters. Making a birdie putt on the final hole would have put Coe in a playoff with Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, who went on to win his first Masters. Coe's seven-under-par 281 total still remains the low 72-hole score by an amateur in the Masters. Coe won the U.S. Amateur in 1949 and 1958, and played in 19 Masters Tournaments between 1949 and 1971. He was low amateur six times. Coe holds several amateur records at the Masters, including most cuts made (eight), most eagles scored (six) and most rounds played (67).
William Lawson Little, Jr.
A great amateur golfer, Lawson Little, as he was known, won both the British Amateur and U.S. Amateur Championships back-to-back in 1934 and 1935, an achievement which remains unparalleled and that has long been referred to as "The Little Slam." As a member of the U.S. Walker Cup team in 1934, Little was undefeated. In 1936, he turned professional, winning the Canadian Open the same year. In 1940, he became U.S. Open Champion by defeating Gene Sarazen in a playoff. During his amateur peak years, Little won 32 consecutive matches on both sides of the Atlantic with a powerful game built on booming drives and brooding intensity. His professional career included seven victories plus the Open title. Little was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1980.
In his 20-year career, Henry Picard won more than 20 tournaments including the 1938 Masters and 1939 PGA Championship. He was a member of three Ryder Cup teams (1935, '37, '39) and was a top-six finisher in the British and U.S. Opens in the mid-1930s. Picard was also the Tour's leading money winner in 1939, with six victories.
A two-time winner of the PGA Championship (1934, '38), Runyan was a short hitter but was famously accurate through the green, and his soft touch around and on the green was legendary. In the 1938 PGA, he defeated Sam Snead, 8 and 7, and was 24-under-par for the 196 holes he played. Between 1930 and 1941, Runyan won 28 times on the pro circuit. In 1933, he won nine times, and, in 1934, won six more to take top money the first year such records were kept, with a total of $6,767. Runyan, who became a famed short-game teacher following his tour career, won the PGA Seniors in 1961 and '62 and was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.
PGA Champion in 1936 and 1937, Denny Shute was the last player to capture the Wanamaker Trophy in consecutive years. His first major championship victory came in the1933 British Open when he defeated Craig Wood in a 36-hole playoff. He was elected to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1957.