Who's who: Kel Nagle

  • Photo of Kel Nagle
  • australia.png
  • Photo of  Kel Nagle
  • Photo of Kel Nagle
  • australia.png
  • Photo of  Kel Nagle

Who's who: Kel Nagle

  • Name:

    Kelvin David George "Kel" Nagle
  • Country:

    Australia
  • Lived:

    [1920-2015]. Born on Dec 12, 1920 in North Sydney, NSW, Australia. Died on Jan 28, 2015 in Mona Vale, nr Sydney, Australia, aged 94.
  • Original/Home Club:

  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer, course designer.
  • Turned Pro:

    1946 (aged 25)

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (1): The Open (1960). Total professional wins (81), including Australasian Tour (61) and PGA Tour (2). World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 2007).

Golf course design

Nagle became involved in several design projects with Mike Cooper (working as Cooper, Nagle & Associates). Their most notable designs include the Great Lakes Tuncurry course at Forster-Tuncurry GC, and the redesign of Yowani CC near Canberra.

Did you know?

Nagle became the most prolific winner on the PGA of Australasia Tour, notching up 61 wins. This was 28 more wins than Peter Thomson (second highest all-time) and 30 more than Greg Norman (third highest). Nagle won at least one professional tournament each year from 1949 to 1975. Partnering Peter Thomson he won the Canada Cup (now called World Cup of Golf) in 1954 and 1959.

Nagle won just one Australian Open (1959), but six Australian PGA Championships, seven New Zealand Opens and seven New Zealand PGA Championships. Beyond the Australasian tour, Nagle's most celebrated triumph came in the 1960 Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews. The unfancied Nagle, who at that time hadn't recorded a top-10 finish in a major, finished one stroke ahead of the rising star of American golf, Arnold Palmer. Bouyed by his Open Championship success, the following year Nagle claimed the French, Swiss and Hong Kong Open titles. He won the Canadian Open in 1964.

Nagle played on the European Senior Tour in the 1970s, recording three wins in the PGA Seniors Championship. He had less success when he played on the US Senior Tour in the 1980s, when he was in his 60s. With a reputation as a long hitter when he started on the Australasian Tour, he was once described by Gary Player as having a short game that any professional would envy.

Top tournaments won by Kel Nagle

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won for the third straight year by Kel Nagle (Aus), who recorded the last of his seven wins in this event. [Mount Maunganui GC, Tauranga, NZ].

1975
Europe
268
Ben Sayers/Allied Hotels

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

268

Prize money

Title sponsor

Ben Sayers/Allied Hotels

Played as the Ben Sayers/Allied Hotels PGA Seniors Championship. Won by Nagle (Aus); the last of his three wins in this event. [Longniddry GC, East Lothian].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

1 up

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the World Professional Senior's Golf Championship (Sept 7; 36-hole match between the US and British PGA Senior Champions). Nagle (Aus) beat Charlie Sifford (USA) by 1 hole. [Bide-a-Wee GC, Portsmouth, Virginia].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by defending champion Kel Nagle (Aus). [Tauranga GC, Gate Pa, Tauranga, NZ].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by Kel Nagle (Aus). [Tauranga GC, Gate Pa, Tauranga, NZ].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Venue

Elie

Score

270

Prize money

Title sponsor

Pringle

Played as the Pringle PGA Seniors Championship. Won by Nagle (Aus); the second of his three wins in this event. [Elie GC, Earlsferry, Fife].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

4 & 3

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the World Professional Senior's Golf Championship (Sept 13; 36-hole match between the US and British PGA Senior Champions). Nagle (Aus) beat Julian Boros (USA) 4 and 3. [Bide-a-Wee GC, Portsmouth, Virginia].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Venue

Elie

Score

269

Prize money

Title sponsor

Pringle

Played as the Pringle PGA Seniors Championship. Won by Nagle (Aus); the first of his three wins in this event. [Elie GC, Earlsferry, Fife].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by Kel Nagle (Aus). [Mount Maunganui GC, Tauranga, NZ].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

273 (-7)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 27-30). Second-placed John Lister (NZ) finished 2 shots behind Nagle (Aus), who won this title for the third straight year, and recorded the last of his seven wins in this event. [Wanganui GC, Belmont Links, Whanganui, NZ].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

276

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Jack Nicklaus (USA) finished in second place behind Nagle (Aus).

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

272 (-8)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 28-Dec 1). Second-placed Frank Phillips (Aus) finished 7 shots behind defending champion Nagle (Aus). [Christchurch GC, Shirley Links, Christchurch, NZ].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

20 pts

Prize money

£975

Title sponsor

Esso

Played as the Esso Golden Tournament (July 20-22; 15-player round-robin match play format). Kel Nagle (Aus) and Peter Thomson (Aus) finished in a tie for first place with 20 pts. Neil Coles (Eng) finished 1 point further back in third place. [High course, Moor Park GC, Rickmansworth, Herts].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

275 (-9)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 16-19). Second-placed Ted Ball (Aus) finished 4 shots behind Nagle (Aus). [St Andrews course, Hamilton GC, Hamilton, NZ].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

276

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Frank Phillips (Aus) finished in second place behind Nagle (Aus). [Riversdale GC, Mt Waverley, Victoria].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

133

Prize money

£350

Title sponsor

Bowmaker

Played as the Bowmaker £3000 Tournament (a 36-hole pro-am event). Second-placed Bob Charles (NZ), Hedley Muscroft (Eng) and George Will (Scot) finished 2 shots behind Nagle (Aus), who opened his final round with an albatross two at the par-5 1st hole. [Old course, Sunningdale GC, Sunningdale, Berks].

1964
America
Pinegrove, Que.
277 (-11)
$7,500
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Venue

Pinegrove, Que.

Score

277 (-11)

Prize money

$7,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Canadian Open (July 30-Aug 2). Second-placed Arnold Palmer (USA) finished 2 shots behind Kel Nagle (Aus), who recorded his only PGA Tour win in North America. [Pinegrove G&CC, St Luc, nr Montreal, Québec].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

266 (-26)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 19-22). Second-placed Frank Phillips (Aus) finished 12 shots behind Nagle (Aus). [Christchurch GC, Shirley Links, Christchurch, NZ].

1963
Europe
23 pts
£1,210
Esso

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

23 pts

Prize money

£1,210

Title sponsor

Esso

Played as the Esso Golden Tournament (July 25-28; 15-player round-robin match play format). Second-placed Bernard Hunt (Eng), Harry Weetman (Eng) and Peter Thomson (Aus) finished 2 pts behind Nagle (Aus). [High course, Moor Park GC, Rickmansworth, Herts].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

281

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand Open (Oct 25-28). Second-placed Walter Godfrey (NZ, amateur) finished 2 shots behind Nagle (Aus). [Titirangi GC, New Lynn, Auckland, NZ].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

133

Prize money

£350

Title sponsor

Bowmaker

Played as the Bowmaker £3000 Tournament (a 36-hole pro-am event). Second-placed Dai Rees (Wales) finished 1 shot behind Nagle (Aus). [Old course, Sunningdale GC, Sunningdale, Berks].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

277

Prize money

£1,000

Title sponsor

Dunlop

Played as the Dunlop £6000 Tournament. Second-placed Frank Pillips (Aus) finished 2 shots behind Nagle (Aus). [Notts GC, Hollinwell, nr Mansfield, England].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

268

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Swiss Open. Dai Rees (Wales) finished in second place behind Nagle (Aus). [GC Crans-sur-Sierre, Crans-Montana, Switzerland].

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

261

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Hong Kong Open. Defending champion and second-placed Peter Thomson (Aus) finished 6 shots behind Nagle (Aus). [New course, Hong Kong GC, Fanling; at the time known as Royal Hong Kong GC].

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

271

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Open de France. Second-placed Peter Thomson (Aus) finished 4 shots behind Nagle (Aus). [Vallée course, Racing Club de France (RCF), La Boulie GC, Versailles, nr Paris].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Nagle (Aus) recorded his third win in in four years in this event. [Invercargill GC, Otatara, Invercargill, NZ].

1960
Majors
278 (-10)
£1,250
R&A

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

278 (-10)

Prize money

£1,250

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (89th) (July 6-8). Second-placed Arnold Palmer (USA) finished 1 shot behind Nagle (Aus). [The Old Course, St Andrews, Fife].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

284 (-4)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian Open (Sept 10-12). Second-placed Vic Bulgin (Aus, amateur) and John Sullivan (Aus) finished 5 shots behind 38-year-old Nagle (Aus), who recorded his first and only Australian Open win. [The Australian GC, Rosebery, Sydney, Aus].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

5 & 3

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Nagle (Aus) beat Peter Thomson (Aus) 5 and 3 in the final.

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by defending champion Nagle (Aus). [St Andrews course, Hamilton GC, Hamilton, NZ].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

278

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand Open (Oct 15-18). Second-placed Peter Thomson (Aus) finished 2 shots behind defending champion Nagle (Aus). [St Andrews course, Hamilton GC, Hamilton, NZ].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

6 & 5

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Nagle (Aus) beat Eric Cremin (Aus) 6 and 5 in the final.

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by Kel Nagle (Aus). [Manawatu GC, Hokowhitu, Palmerston North, NZ].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

294

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand Open (Oct 10-12). Second-placed Peter Thomson (Aus) finished 4 shots behind Nagle (Aus). [Manawatu GC, Hokowhitu, Palmerston North, NZ].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

1 hole

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Nagle (Aus) beat Jim McInnes (Aus) by 1 hole in the final. [Royal Sydney GC, Rose Bay, Sydney, Aus].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Nagle, Kel

Score

7 & 5

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Nagle (Aus) beat Teddy Naismith (Aus) 7 and 5 in the final.

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