|— Golfer —|
|Full name||James Bennett Elliott Ferrier|
24 February 1915|
|Died||13 June 1986
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||192 lb (87 kg; 13.7 st)|
|Spouse||Norma K. Jennings Ferrier (m. 1938–79, her death)
Lorraine R. (Devirian) Sheldon (m. 1980–86, his death)
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour|
|Number of wins by tour|
|PGA Tour of Australasia||10|
|Best results in Major Championships
|Masters Tournament||2nd: 1950|
|U.S. Open||T5: 1950|
|The Open Championship||T44: 1936|
|PGA Championship||Won: 1947|
|British Amateur||2nd: 1936|
James Bennett Elliott Ferrier (24 February 1915 – 13 June 1986) was an Australian professional golfer from Manly, New South Wales. He won the PGA Championship in 1947. Ferrier became an American citizen in 1944.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Ferrier was raised in Manly and was taught golf as a youth by his father, a low handicap player. Ferrier injured a leg playing soccer in his teens, and he had to contend with a severe limp for the rest of his life. Ferrier was playing to a scratch handicap by his mid-teens, when he left school to be able to play more golf. He was runner-up in the 1931 Australian Open at the age of sixteen. He won the Australian Amateur title in 1935, 1936, 1938 and 1939. He was also victorious in the Australian Open as an amateur in 1938 and 1939, and won several other significant Australian events. He was runner-up in the British Amateur at St Andrews in 1936. Ferrier worked as a golf reporter and writer for several Australian publications.
Joins PGA Tour
In 1940, Ferrier went to the United States as a golf journalist, but was not allowed to qualify for the U.S. Amateur, due to a golf manual published earlier in the year that he was contracted to receive royalties from. He turned professional in March 1941 and joined the PGA Tour as a club pro based in Elmhurst, Illinois. He and his wife Norma worked in defense industry jobs during World War II; this was part of conditions to become American citizens. He served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1945, rising to the rank of staff sergeant. While stationed in the artillery at Camp Roberts, California, he gained his first tour victory at the Oakland Open in December 1944, a week after a runner-up finish to Byron Nelson in San Francisco.
Ferrier's most significant win came at the PGA Championship in 1947, one of golf's four major championships. He was the first Australian to win a major, and at the time this gave him a lifetime exemption to PGA Tour events. The previous year, he was the medalist in the stroke play qualifier and set the scoring record.
At the 1950 Masters, Ferrier led Jimmy Demaret by three shots with six holes to play, but finished two strokes back as the runner-up. He scored 16 of his 18 PGA titles between 1947 and 1952, with a peak of five wins in 1951. Ferrier's other significant victories included consecutive Canadian Open titles in 1950 and 1951. He was also runner-up in the 1960 PGA Championship at age 45, and was renowned as an outstanding putter.
In June 1954, Ferrier appeared on the television game show You Bet Your Life hosted by Groucho Marx, of Marx Brothers fame. Paired with Marilyn Pierce, a dog trainer and former model, he showed a conservative betting style and great charm, as evidenced by this short exchange with Groucho:
- Groucho: "I play golf too, you know. What is your handicap, Jim?"
- Ferrier: "Well, as a pro, I don't have a handicap."
- Groucho: "Well congratulations. How is it a tall, handsome man like you isn't married?"
- Ferrier: "I'm married. I have a wife."
- Groucho: "You just said you didn't have a handicap. Haven't you got the same handicap that fifty million other men have?"
- Ferrier: "Well, I don't consider my wife a handicap."
In his later years, Ferrier stirred some controversy by appearing in PGA Tour events when he was well past his prime, and was no longer competitive, thereby depriving younger players of spots in the playing field. However, Ferrier was within his rights to do this, as he had earned a lifetime Tour exemption with his 1947 PGA Championship win. The eligibility rules were later tightened up. The Champions Tour, which began in the late 1970s, came about a decade too late for him to compete effectively. Ferrier has not yet been inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame, but his career achievements are comparable or even superior to those of Tommy Bolt, a Hall member born in 1916, who played on the PGA Tour during approximately the same era as Ferrier.
Professional wins (31)
PGA Tour wins (18)
- 1944 (1) Oakland Open
- 1947 (2) St. Paul Open, PGA Championship
- 1948 (1) Miami International Four-Ball (with Cary Middlecoff)
- 1949 (3) Grand Rapids Open, Kansas City Open, Miami International Four-Ball (with Cary Middlecoff)
- 1950 (3) St. Paul Open, Canadian Open, Inverness Invitational Four-Ball (with Sam Snead)
- 1951 (5) St. Petersburg Open, Miami Beach Open, Jacksonville Open, Canadian Open, Fort Wayne Open
- 1952 (2) Empire State Open, Inverness Invitational Four-Ball (with Sam Snead)
- 1961 (1) Almaden Open Invitational
Major championship is shown in bold.
Australasian Tour wins (10)
Note: all wins as an amateur
- 1933 New South Wales Open
- 1934 Queensland Open
- 1935 New South Wales Open
- 1936 New South Wales Open
- 1937 New South Wales Open
- 1938 Australian Open, New South Wales Open, Queensland Open
- 1939 Australian Open, Queensland Open
Other wins (3)
- 1944 Northern California Open
- 1945 Northern California Open
- 1955 Southern California PGA Championship
|1947||PGA Championship||2 & 1||Chick Harbert|
Note: The PGA Championship was match play until 1958
|The Open Championship||T44||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Amateur Championship||2||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||NT||NT||NT||NT||NT||NT||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 7 (twice)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 5 (1946 PGA – 1948 Masters)
- List of golfers with most PGA Tour of Australasia wins
- List of golfers with most PGA Tour wins
- List of men's major championships winning golfers
- Stoddart, Brian. "Ferrier, James Bennett Elliott (Jim) (1915–1986)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Dawson and Ferrier meet in golf finals". Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Florida). Associated Press. 17 January 1941. p. 16.
- Snider, Steve (20 July 1941). "Ben Hogan tops Chicago golf". Eugene Register-Guard. United Press. p. 13.
- Hoare, Willie (28 June 1947). "Australia's Jim Ferrier ranks with golf's best". St. Petersburg Times. p. 13.
- Sampson, Curt (1992). The Eternal Summer. Taylor Publishing. p. 191. ASIN B000M1PWB4.
- Barkow, Al (1986). Gettin' to the Dance Floor. Atheneum. ISBN 978-0689115172.
- Witwer, Stan (21 December 1940). "Jim Ferrier displays links skill". St. Petersburg Times. p. 13.
- Snider, Steve (27 August 1940). "USGA bars Big Jim Ferrier from Amateur tournament". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 21.
- McLemore, Henry (13 September 1940). "Jim Ferrier still best amateur". Calgary Herald. United Press. p. 6.
- "Jim Ferrier to turn professional". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Associated Press. 16 March 1941. p. 22.
- "Jim Ferrier leads Byron by stroke". St. Petersburg Times. United Press. 4 December 1944. p. 9.
- Wood, Hall (11 December 1944). "Jim Ferrier hottest thing in golf pants". Oxnard Press-Courier. p. 2.
- "Ferrier victor in open golf". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 11 December 1944. p. 3.
- "Ferrier blasts new golf mark". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 21 August 1946. p. 10.
- Sport Australia Hall of Fame – Jim Ferrier
- Australian Dictionary of Biography – Jim Ferrier
- Jim Ferrier at Find a Grave