|— Golfer —|
|Full name||Jack Donald Fleck|
November 7, 1921 |
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||167 lb (76 kg; 11.9 st)|
|Residence||Fort Smith, Arkansas|
|Spouse||Carmen Fleck (m. 2001)
Lynn Burnsdale Fleck
(m. 1949–75, her death)
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour
Senior PGA Tour
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in Major Championships
|Masters Tournament||T11: 1962|
|U.S. Open||Won: 1955|
|The Open Championship||DNP|
|PGA Championship||T7: 1962|
Jack Donald Fleck (born November 7, 1921) is an American professional golfer, best known for winning the U.S. Open in 1955 in a playoff over Ben Hogan. At age 92, Fleck is the oldest living U.S. Open champion.
Born and raised in Bettendorf, Iowa, Fleck's parents were poor farmers who had lost their land in the 1920s. He attended Davenport High School and played on its golf team. Fleck started as a caddy for a local dentist in the mid-1930s, turned professional in 1939, and worked as an assistant golf pro at the Des Moines Country Club for five dollars a week prior to World War II. He joined the military in 1942 and served in the U.S. Navy as a quartermaster; he participated in the D-Day invasion from a British rocket-firing ship off Normandy's Utah Beach. Within two weeks after his discharge from the service, Fleck was on the PGA's winter golf tour with pro friends trying to qualify for PGA Tour events.
After a few years of competing in local and PGA Tour events, Fleck decided to play full-time on the Tour for two years. Within six months, Fleck had his first win — on the biggest stage in men's professional golf — at the 1955 U.S. Open. Fleck won an 18-hole Sunday playoff by three strokes over his idol, Ben Hogan, at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. His first round deficit of nine strokes (behind Tommy Bolt), was the largest overcome by a U.S. Open winner. The following year he resigned his job as a municipal club pro in Davenport and moved to the Detroit area in October 1956.
Fleck made three playoffs on tour in 1960, winning at the Phoenix Open in February. He tied for third at the U.S. Open in 1960, and won his third and last tour event in October 1961, also in a playoff. Fleck finished in the top ten at the PGA Championship in 1962 at Aronimink near Philadelphia, a tie for seventh, then left the tour in 1963. He was a club pro in Wisconsin, Illinois, and California, and attempted a comeback on tour in 1970. Following the death of his wife Lynn in 1975, he qualified for the U.S. Open in 1977 at age 55, but missed the cut.
Less than two years later, Fleck won the PGA Seniors' Championship in February 1979, also won in a playoff, a year prior to the formation of the Senior PGA Tour. He was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.
In 1993, needing money to salvage a little golf course he owned in rural Arkansas that had been damaged by flooding, a place he called Li'l Bit of Heaven, he sold his 1955 U.S. Open gold medal. He makes his home in Fort Smith, Arkansas with his wife Carmen Fleck.
Fleck met his first wife, Lynn Burnsdale of Chicago, when she stopped in the municipal course's pro shop in Davenport in 1949 with a club that needed repair. They were married six weeks later and late the next year added their only child, a son. Fleck wanted to name him Snead Hogan Fleck, but they settled on Craig, after Craig Wood, the winner of the Masters and U.S. Open in 1941. Lynn is credited with encouraging him to play on tour in the early 1950s and again in the early 1970s. She passed away in 1975 and Fleck remarried in 1980. He married his wife Carmen in 2001.
Professional wins (7)
PGA Tour wins (3)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin
|1||Jun 19, 1955||U.S. Open||76-69-75-67=287||+3||Playoff||Ben Hogan|
|2||Feb 15, 1960||Phoenix Open Invitational||68-68-71-66=273||−11||Playoff||Bill Collins|
|3||Oct 1, 1961||Bakersfield Open||71-71-69-65=276||−12||Playoff||Bob Rosburg|
PGA Tour playoff record (3–2)
|1||1955||U.S. Open||Ben Hogan||Won 18-hole playoff by three strokes, 69 to 72|
|2||1960||Phoenix Open Invitational||Bill Collins||Won 18-hole playoff by three strokes, 68 to 71|
|3||1960||St. Petersburg Open Invitational||George Bayer||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
|4||1960||Insurance City Open||Bill Collins, Arnold Palmer||Palmer won with birdie on third extra hole
Collins eliminated with birdie on first hole
|5||1961||Bakersfield Open||Bob Rosburg||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
Major championship shown in bold
Other wins (2)
Senior wins (2)
- 1979 PGA Seniors' Championship
- 1995 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf - Demaret Division (with Tommy Bolt)
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|1955||U.S. Open||3 shot deficit||+7 (76-69-75-67=287)||Playoff 1||Ben Hogan|
1 Defeated Hogan in an 18-hole playoff – Fleck 69 (–1), Hogan 72 (+2).
Note: Fleck never played The Open Championship.
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
DQ = Disqualified
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 5 (three times)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1955 U.S. Open – 1955 PGA)
- "Jack Fleck (1921- )". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- Grimsley, Will (June 20, 1955). "Jack Fleck Registers 69 to Beat Ben Hogan by 3 Strokes for National Open Title". Youngstown Vindicator. Associated Press. p. 7.
- Wind, Herbert Warren (June 27, 1955). "Jack, The Giant Killer". Sports Illustrated: 17–23.
- Bonk, Thomas (June 11, 1995). "He wasn't Hogan's hero". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- Crouse, Karen (June 2, 2012). "Finally Passing Test of Time". New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- "Sports Pudit". Retrieved December 7, 2010.
- Jack Fleck, Davenport, 1972
- Thimmesch, Nick (September 18, 1955). "Meet the new king of golf". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Family Weekly magazine. p. 4.
- Murray, Jim (January 31, 1967). "Jack Fleck: lonesome anti-hero". Spokesman-Review. (Los Angeles Times). p. 11.
- "Biographical information from Jack Fleck Golf". Retrieved June 15, 2006.
- U.S. Open Records - Best Comeback by Winner, Final 54 Holes
- "Jack Fleck takes job as club pro in Detroit". Spencer Daily Reporter (Spencer, Iowa). Associated Press. October 11, 1956. p. 9.
- Wood, Bob (February 16, 1960). "Jack Fleck wins Phoenix golf title". News and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). Associated Press. p. 2B.
- "Jack Fleck is mining gold on golf's tournament trail". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. April 3, 1960. p. 2-sports.
- "Jack Fleck nips Bob Rosburg in Bakersfield Open playoff". Rome News-Tribune (Rome, Georgia). Associated Press. October 2, 1961. p. 7.
- Robinson, Bill (March 3, 1970). "Remember me?: Fleck is back to try again". St. Petersburg Evening Independent. p. 1C.
- Grimsley, Will (June 18, 1977). "Jack Fleck's story is one of life's ironies". Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). Associated Press. p. 7.
- "Tournament Info for: 1979 Senior PGA Championship". PGA of America. February 1-4, 1979. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- "Fleck triumphs in playoff". Palm Bach Post. February 5, 1979. p. B7.
- "Jack Fleck's visit to Valhalla". Golf Digest. Retrieved June 15, 2006.[dead link]
- "Jack Fleck, Davenport". Iowa Golf Association. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "Be a Golf Tour Champion" by Jack Fleck
- Barkow, Al (2012). The Upset: Jack Fleck's Incredible Victory over Ben Hogan at the U.S. Open. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1-61374-075-0.
- Sagebiel, Neil (2012). The Longest Shot: Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf's Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open. Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 978-0-312-66184-7.
- Google Books Bettendorf Iowa's Exciting City published 2000
- Jack Fleck at the PGA Tour official site