Who's who in golf - Kel Nagle


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Name: - Kelvin David George "Kel" Nagle
Country: - Australia
Lived : - [1920-2015]. Born Dec 12, 1920 in North Sydney, NSW, Australia. Died Jan 28, 2015 in Mona Vale, nr Sydney, Australia, aged 94.
Original Home/Club: - North Sydney, Australia.
Occupation: - Professional golfer, course designer.
Turned Pro: - 1946 (aged 25)

Roll of Honour

Majors (1). Total professional wins (81), of which Australasian Tr (61) and US PGA Tr (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

1975Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGAMt Maunganui
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].
1975Snr EuropePGA Snrs ChampionshipLongniddry268
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].
1975Snr AmericaWorld Senior Ch'shipBide-a-Wee1 up
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].
1974Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGATauranga GC
Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by defending champion Kel Nagle (Aus). [Tauranga GC, Gate Pa, Tauranga, NZ].
1973Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGATauranga GC
Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by Kel Nagle (Aus). [Tauranga GC, Gate Pa, Tauranga, NZ].
1973Snr EuropePGA Snrs ChampionshipElie270
Played as the Pringle PGA Seniors Championship. Won by Nagle (Aus); the second of his three wins in this event. [Elie GC, Earlsferry, Fife].
1971Snr EuropePGA Snrs ChampionshipElie269
Played as the Pringle PGA Seniors Championship. Won by Nagle (Aus); the first of his three wins in this event. [Elie GC, Earlsferry, Fife].
1971Snr AmericaWorld Senior Ch'shipBide-a-Wee4 & 3
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].
1970Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGAMt Maunganui
Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by Kel Nagle (Aus). [Mount Maunganui GC, Tauranga, NZ].
1969Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenWanganui GC273 (-7)
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].
1968Men Aus/NZAustralian PGAMetropolitan GC276x
Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Jack Nicklaus (USA) finished in second place behind Nagle (Aus).
1968Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenChristchurch GC272 (-8)
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].
1967Men EuropeEsso Golden T'mentMoor Park20 pts£975
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].
1967Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenHamilton GC, NZ275 (-9)
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].
1965Men Aus/NZAustralian PGARiversdale276x
Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Frank Phillips (Aus) finished in second place behind Nagle (Aus).
1965Men EuropeBowmaker TournamentSunningdale, Eng133£350
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].
1964Men AmericaCanadian OpenPinegrove CC, Que.277 (-11)$7,500
Played as the Canadian Open. Second-placed Arnold Palmer (USA) finished 2 shots behind Nagle (Aus). [Pinegrove G&CC, St Luc, nr Montreal, Québec].
1964Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenChristchurch GC266 (-26)
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].
1963Men EuropeEsso Golden T'mentMoor Park23 pts£1,210
Played as the Esso Golden Tournament (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].
1962Men EuropeBowmaker TournamentSunningdale, Eng133£350
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].
1962Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenTitirangi GC281
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].
1961Men EuropeDunlop TournamentNotts GC, Hollinwell277£1,000
Played as the Dunlop £6000 Tournament. Second-placed Frank Pillips (Aus) finished 2 shots behind Nagle (Aus). [Notts GC, Hollinwell, nr Mansfield, England].
1961Men EuropeEuropean MastersCrans-sur-Sierre268x
Played as the Swiss Open. Dai Rees (Wales) finished in second place behind Nagle (Aus). [GC Crans-sur-Sierre, Crans-Montana, Switzerland].
1961Men EuropeFrench OpenLa Boulie271x
Played as the Open de France. Second-placed Peter Thomson (Aus) finished 4 shots behind Nagle (Aus). [La Vallée course, La Boulie GC (RCF), Versailles, nr Paris].
1961Men AsiaHong Kong OpenHong Kong GC261
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 called Royal Hong Kong GC].
1960Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGAInvercargill GC
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].
1960Men MajorsThe OpenSt Andrews278 (-10)£1,250
The Open Championship (89th) (July 6-8). Second-placed Arnold Palmer (USA) finished 1 shot behind Nagle (Aus). [The Old Course, St Andrews, Fife].
1959Men Aus/NZAustralian OpenAustralian, The284 (-4)
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].
1959Men Aus/NZAustralian PGANew South Wales GC5 & 3x
Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Nagle (Aus) beat Peter Thomson (Aus) 5 and 3 in the final.
1958Men Aus/NZAustralian PGAKooyonga6 & 5x
Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Nagle (Aus) beat Eric Cremin (Aus) 6 and 5 in the final.
1958Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenHamilton GC, NZ278
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].
1958Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGAHamilton GC, NZ
Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by defending champion Nagle (Aus). [St Andrews course, Hamilton GC, Hamilton, NZ].
1957Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenManawatu GC294
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].
1957Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGAManawatu GC
Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by Kel Nagle (Aus). [Manawatu GC, Hokowhitu, Palmerston North, NZ].
1954Men Aus/NZAustralian PGARoyal Sydney1 hole
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].
1949Men Aus/NZAustralian PGARoyal Perth7 & 5x
Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Nagle (Aus) beat Teddy Naismith (Aus) 7 and 5 in the final.

 

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