Kel Nagle (1920-2015)
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/28/15
Kel Nagle, one of Australia's greatest-ever golfers, has passed away at age 94. Nagle died peacefully at 1:30 a.m. AEST at Mona Vale Hospital in his native Sydney, New South Wales. His family said that he suffered no pain.
Nagle stunned the world of golf in 1960 when he won the Open Championship — the only one of his four major professional victories. But in the course of winning at least one tournament every year from 1949 to 1975 (!), Nagle was six times the Australian PGA Champion. He also had tremendous success playing golf in New Zealand, where he triumphed at the New Zealand Open and the New Zealand PGA Championship seven times each. In fact, he won 61 Australasian Tour events, two PGA Tour events (one of which is that 1960 Open Championship), 13 other regular tournaments, and five Senior tour events.
Nagel retired from competition in 1977, owing to back injuries and tendonitis in his hands.
He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007, but declining health sadly prevented him from attending this well-deserved honor. Instead, WGHOF director Jack Peter flew to Sydney to induct him.
As news of this sad event spreads, people have opined that Nagle was not only one of the true greats of the game we love, but also a fine gentleman. Golf will miss him — and whenever golfers everywhere think of him, we will surely do so with grateful remembrance.
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[ comments ]
He stopped Arnold's run at the Grand Slam in 1960. 94 years is a good run for a good golfer.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Absolutely, 94 certainly is. My maternal grandfather, who I respected and loved, played six or seven holes of golf on his 100th birthday in 1989. He was the one who got me interested in the game. I was a pallbearer at his funeral, a couple of months short of his 105th birthday.
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