Al Balding

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Al Balding
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name Allan George Balding
Born (1924-04-29)April 29, 1924
Toronto, Ontario
Died July 30, 2006(2006-07-30) (aged 82)
Mississauga, Ontario
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Nationality  Canada
Career
Turned professional 1950
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Canadian Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 18
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 4
Other 14
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T16: 1957
U.S. Open T12: 1967
The Open Championship T8: 1967
PGA Championship DNP

Allan George Balding (April 29, 1924 – July 30, 2006) was a Canadian professional golfer, who won four events on the PGA Tour. In 1955 he became the first Canadian to win a PGA Tour event in the United States; Canadians Ken Black (1936 Vancouver Jubilee Open) and Jules Huot (1937 General Brock Open) had won PGA Tour events in Canada in the 1930s.[1]

Balding was born in Toronto, Ontario. He served for three years as a member of the Canadian Army during World War II,[2] and saw duty in France and Germany. After the war in the late 1940s, Balding worked at a Toronto tire manufacturing company.[2] He had played golf only occasionally as a youth, but began playing more after the War ended, improving his game rapidly. Balding became a professional golfer in 1950, working as a club professional in Toronto.[3]

Balding began on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour, winning his first two tournaments in 1952. In 1955, Balding became the first Canadian to win a PGA Tour event in the United States, when he won the Mayfair Open. In 1957, he won three events on the Tour and finished 6th on the money list, the highest of any Canadian at that point.

Balding would go on to win an impressive number of tournaments in many different venues over a long period of time during his career. He won ten events on the Canadian Tour from 1952 through 1973. He won four tournaments on the PGA Tour, the most of any Canadian to that point. In 1968, in Italy, he won the World Cup team title for Canada (with George Knudson), as well as the individual title. Balding played on the Canadian National Team in the Canada Cup / World Cup from 1956 to 1970, except in the years 1962, 1965 and 1966. Perhaps the most remarkable win of his career came at the age of 76, when Balding captured the 2000 Canadian PGA Senior Championship, giving him professional victories in six different decades; this was attained against players as young as age 50.

Balding was named Ontario Athlete of the Year in 1955 and 1957. He was elected to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1968, and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1984. He was one of the 40 original seniors on the U.S. Senior PGA Tour in 1980. Balding Court, a street on the former St. Andrew's Golf Club in Toronto is named in his honour (it is north of York Mills Road, between Yonge Street and Bayview Avenue).

Balding died in Mississauga, Ontario from cancer.

Professional wins (18)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (4)[edit]

Canadian Tour wins (10)[edit]

Other wins (2)[edit]

Other senior wins (2)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970
Masters Tournament T29 T16 T26 T27 DNP T27 24 CUT CUT DNP DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP T32 DNP DNP T43 T32 DNP DNP DNP T12 T43 T42 T18
The Open Championship T17 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T8 9 DNP DNP

Note: Balding never played in the PGA Championship.
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 6
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 7
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 2 3 3 3
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 0 0 0 0 2 7 19 16
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 9 (1956 Masters – 1962 U.S. Open)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (twice)

Team appearances[edit]

  • World Cup (representing Canada): 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1968 (winners, individual winner), 1969, 1970

References[edit]

  1. ^ rcga.org, see Canadian Golf Hall of Fame profiles for Kenneth Black and Julet Huot
  2. ^ a b Carroll, Dink (May 2, 1961). "Balding Playing Well". The Montreal Gazette. 
  3. ^ Barclay, James A. (1992). Golf in Canada: A History. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-1080-4. 

External links[edit]