Stan Leonard

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For the Chester City F.C. player, see Stan Leonard (footballer).
Stan Leonard
— Golfer —
Personal information
Born (1915-02-02)February 2, 1915
Vancouver, British Columbia
Died December 15, 2005(2005-12-15) (aged 90)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Nationality  Canada
Career
Turned professional 1938
Former tour(s) Canadian Tour
PGA Tour
Professional wins 42
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 3
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T4: 1958, 1959
U.S. Open T25: 1962
The Open Championship CUT: 1956
PGA Championship DNP

Stan Leonard (February 2, 1915 – December 15, 2005) was a Canadian professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour in the 1950s and 1960s. Leonard won three PGA Tour events, eight Canadian PGA Championships, and 16 other events on the Canadian Tour. He is a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

Early years[edit]

Leonard was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He worked as a caddy, and had success in top British Columbia events. He became a professional golfer in 1938, and played almost exclusively, and very successfully, on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour until 1954, while concurrently maintaining a club job at the Marine Drive Golf Club in Vancouver. He competed mainly in western Canada; money was tight, prize money was low, and travel costs to eastern Canada were high.[1] In one of his early events on the PGA Tour, Leonard challenged to win the 1946 Crosby Pro-Am in California, before losing to Lloyd Mangrum.

Canadian success[edit]

Leonard won the Canadian PGA Championship eight times from 1940–1961, and this is a record. He was the low Canadian in the Canadian Open nine times from 1945–1961. He won the British Columbia Open five times, the Alberta Open nine times, and the Saskatchewan Open twice. He won a total of six significant amateur and 40 professional tournaments in Canada over the course of his career – second only to Moe Norman in Canadian golf history.[2]

International success[edit]

Leonard won the individual title at the Canada Cup in both 1954 and 1959.[1] Leonard joined the PGA Tour full-time in 1954, at age 39. He won three PGA Tour events between 1957 and 1960. He enjoyed a great deal of success in one major tournamentThe Masters. His best finishes at the Augusta National Golf Club were T-4 in 1958 and 1959, T-8 in 1955 and T-9 in 1960. Leonard's game was respected by his PGA Tour rivals; legend Sam Snead said that he was glad Leonard had not come out onto the PGA Tour full-time until he was 40 years old![1]

Later years[edit]

Leonard retired from the PGA Tour in the 1960s, and took a club pro job at the Desert Island Golf Club in Palm Springs, California; however, he eventually made his way back home to Vancouver. He competed successfully at the Senior level in Canada, winning three Canadian Senior PGA Championships between 1967 and 1975.

He assisted in designing the Redwood Meadows Golf Course, in Bragg Creek, Alberta, near Calgary.[3]

Leonard was one of the best ball strikers and longest hitters of his era, despite being a diminutive 5' 6" in height. Part of his powerful swing could be attributed to his massive forearms. The other players noticed this physical feature and gave him the nickname Popeye.

Leonard was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1964, the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1966, and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1972. He died of heart failure in Vancouver at the age of 90.[2]

Amateur wins[edit]

  • 1932 British Columbia Amateur
  • 1934 Vancouver & Dist. Championship
  • 1935 British Columbia Amateur
  • 1936 Vancouver & Dist. Championship

Professional wins (42)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (3)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of victory Runner-up
1 Apr 14, 1957 Greater Greensboro Open –4 (72-68-67-69=276) 3 strokes United States Mike Souchak
2 Apr 27, 1958 Tournament of Champions –13 (69-69-69-68=275) 1 stroke United States Billy Casper
3 Jul 17, 1960 Western Open –10 (71-68-71-68=278) Playoff United States Art Wall, Jr.

PGA Tour playoff record (1–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1955 Labatt Open United States Gene Littler Lost to par on first extra hole
2 1960 Western Open United States Art Wall, Jr. Won with birdie on first extra hole

Other wins (36)[edit]

Senior wins (3)[edit]

  • 1967 Canadian PGA Seniors' Championship
  • 1972 Canadian PGA Seniors' Championship
  • 1975 Canadian PGA Seniors' Championship

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965
Masters Tournament T34 DNP DNP T8 T24 T11 T4 T4 T9 T15 CUT T21 CUT CUT
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T32 DNP DNP CUT DNP T25 CUT DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

Note: Leonard 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 2 4 8 12 9
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 2
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 0 0 0 2 4 8 17 11
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (1957 Masters – 1961 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (1958 Masters – 1960 Masters)

Team appearances[edit]

  • Canada Cup (representing Canada): 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959 (individual winner), 1960, 1963

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Barclay, James A. (1992). Golf in Canada: A History. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-1080-4. 
  2. ^ a b "Leonard, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, dies at 90 in Canada". PGA.com. 2005-12-20. 
  3. ^ The Golf Course, by Geoffrey Cornish and Ronald Whitten, 1981.

External links[edit]