|— Golfer —|
|Full name||Kelvin David George Nagle|
|Nickname||"The Purple Clasher"|
21 December 1920|
North Sydney, Australia
|Died||29 January 2015
|Height||5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)|
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour of Australasia
|Number of wins by tour|
|PGA Tour of Australasia||61|
|Best results in major championships
|Masters Tournament||T15: 1965|
|U.S. Open||2nd: 1965|
|The Open Championship||Won: 1960|
|PGA Championship||T20: 1965|
|Achievements and awards|
|World Golf Hall of Fame||2007 (member page)|
Kelvin David George Nagle AM (21 December 1920 – 29 January 2015) was an Australian professional golfer best known for winning The Open Championship in 1960. He won at least one tournament each year from 1949 to 1975.
Nagle was born in North Sydney.
Because of 5½ years of WWII military service (1939–45), Nagle got a late start as he didn't play any golf between ages 19-24 and turned pro at age 25 (1946). He made up for the lost time by winning at least one tournament each year from 1949 to 1975. During his early career, he had a long swing and was regarded as the longest hitter on the Australasia tour, as evidenced by the Australian press dubbing him as "the purple clasher". By age 39 (in 1960, when he won The Open Championship), Nagle had shortened his swing and become a straight hitter with what Gary Player described as "the best short game out here".
Although he had won over 30 tournaments in Australia, and had won the Canada Cup for Australia in partnership with five-time Open champion Peter Thomson in 1954 and 1959, Nagle was a shock winner of The Open, as he was 39 years old but had never finished in the top-10 at a major championship before. Thomson told Nagle a few weeks prior to the 1960 Open championship that he "had the game" to win and that "you can beat me". He beat the rising star of American golf Arnold Palmer into second place, and it was Palmer who deprived him of his title in 1961. Although he never regained The Open title, Kel Nagle had six top-five finishes at the Open between 1960 and 1966 (ages 39 to 45). His best result in a United States major was second in the 1965 U.S. Open, the year after he won the Canadian Open; when he and Gary Player finished the 72-hole tournament in a tie. Nagle lost to Player the next day in an 18-hole playoff during which Nagle hit a female spectator in the forehead on the fifth hole and was visibly effected to the point that he hit another spectator on the same hole. Player won the playoff by 3 strokes.
As late as 1970, the year he turned 50, Nagle was ranked among the top ten players in the world on the McCormack's World Golf Rankings, the forerunner of the modern world ranking system. Nagle won 61 times on the PGA Tour of Australasia, giving him the most wins all-time on that tour, ahead by 30 wins over Greg Norman, who has 31 wins in second place. Nagle played on the Senior PGA Tour (now Champions Tour) in the U.S. in the 1980s when he was in his 60s. His best finished were a pair of T-3s: at the 1981 Eureka Federal Savings Classic and the 1982 Peter Jackson Champions. In July 2007, Nagle was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame, and was inducted in November 2007.
Nagle died in Sydney on 29 January 2015 at the age of 94.
- 1980 – Member of the Order of Australia for the service to the sport of golf.
- 1986 – Sport Australia Hall of Fame inductee.
- 2001 – Australian Sports Medal
- 2005 – Kel Nagel Plate, presented annually to the best performing rookie in the Australian PGA Championship.
- 2007 – World Golf Hall of Fame inductee.
Australasian Tour wins (61)
- 1949 (1) Australian PGA Championship
- 1950 (1) WA Open
- 1951 (4) North Coast Open, New South Wales Open, WA Open, ACT Open
- 1952 (3) North Coast Open, WA Open, NSW PGA Championship
- 1953 (3) NSW PGA Championship, Adelaide Advertiser, McWilliams Wines
- 1954 (4) Australian PGA Championship, North Coast Open, Lakes Open, ACT Open
- 1955 (2) North Coast Open, NSW PGA Championship
- 1956 (1) NSW PGA Championship
- 1957 (4) New South Wales Open, New Zealand Open, New Zealand PGA Championship, Lakes Open
- 1958 (5) New Zealand Open, New Zealand PGA Championship, Australian PGA Championship, Lakes Open, Adelaide Advertiser
- 1959 (5) Australian Open, Australian PGA Championship, Queensland Open, NSW PGA Championship, Ampol Tournament (tie)
- 1960 (1) New Zealand PGA Championship
- 1962 (3) New Zealand Open, Victorian PGA Championship, Adelaide Advertiser
- 1964 (2) New Zealand Open, Queensland Open
- 1965 (2) Australian PGA Championship, NSW PGA Championship
- 1966 (2) Wills Masters, West End Tournament (tie)
- 1967 (3) Victorian Open, New Zealand Open, West End Tournament
- 1968 (4) New South Wales Open, New Zealand Open, Australian PGA Championship, West End Tournament
- 1969 (2) New Zealand Open, Victorian Open
- 1970 (1) New Zealand PGA Championship
- 1971 (1) NSW PGA Championship
- 1972 (1) West End Tournament
- 1973 (1) New Zealand PGA Championship
- 1974 (2) New Zealand PGA Championship, West End Tournament
- 1975 (2) New Zealand PGA Championship, South Coast Open
- 1977 (1) Western Australia PGA Championship
PGA Tour wins (2)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of victory||Runner-up|
|1||9 Jul 1960||The Open Championship||−10 (69-67-71-71=278)||1 stroke||Arnold Palmer|
|2||2 Aug 1964||Canadian Open||−11 (73-71-66-67=277)||2 strokes||Arnold Palmer|
Major championship is shown in bold.
Other wins (13)
- 1954 Canada Cup (with Peter Thomson)
- 1959 Canada Cup (with Peter Thomson)
- 1961 French Open, Hong Kong Open, Swiss Open, Irish Hospitals Tournament, Dunlop Tournament
- 1962 Bowmaker Tournament
- 1963 Esso Golden Tournament
- 1965 Bowmaker Tournament
- 1967 Esso Golden Tournament
- 1971 Pringle of Scotland
- 1973 Pringle of Scotland
Senior wins (5)
this list may be incomplete
- 1971 PGA Seniors Championship, World Seniors
- 1973 PGA Seniors Championship
- 1975 PGA Seniors Championship, World Seniors
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|1960||The Open Championship||2 shot lead||−10 (69-67-71-71=278)||1 stroke||Arnold Palmer|
|The Open Championship||T19||DNP||DNP||DNP||T19||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||1||T5||2||4||45||T5||T4||T22||T13||9|
|The Open Championship||T32||T11||T31||T39||CUT||T40||CUT||DNP||CUT||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||CUT|
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10
|The Open Championship||1||1||0||6||7||12||21||17|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (twice)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1965 U.S. Open – 1965 Open Championship)
- Canada Cup (representing Australia): 1954 (winners), 1955, 1958, 1959 (winners), 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966
- List of golfers with most PGA Tour of Australasia wins
- List of men's major championships winning golfers
- "1960 Kel Nagle". The Open. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Aussie golf great Nagle dies". SBS News. 29 January 2015.
- "Kel Nagle". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "Gentleman golfer Kel Nagle celebrates 90th birthday with some of the greats". The Australian. Associated Press. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- Kel Nagle at the PGA Tour of Australasia official site
- Kel Nagle at the European Tour official site
- Kel Nagle at the PGA Tour official site
- World Golf Hall of Fame profile
- Sport Australia Hall of Fame profile
- Kel Nagle interviewed by Neil Bennetts , National Library of Australia, 1990