Billy Burke (golfer)
|Full name||William John Burke|
December 14, 1902|
|Died||April 19, 1972
|Height||5 ft 11.5 in (1.82 m)|
|Weight||172 lb (78 kg; 12.3 st)|
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour|
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in major championships
|Masters Tournament||T3: 1934, 1939|
|U.S. Open||Won: 1931|
|The Open Championship||DNP|
|PGA Championship||T3: 1931|
Burke was born in Naugatuck, Connecticut. His greatest season was 1931, when he won the U.S. Open, reached the semi-finals of the PGA Championship, and won four events on the professional circuit, plus appeared on the Ryder Cup team where he was undefeated in two matches. He was also selected for the 1933 Ryder Cup team but not before some agitation by Gene Sarazen was done on his behalf. Burke won his only match in the 1933 competition.
Burke's 1931 U.S. Open win came in a marathon playoff. He and George Von Elm were tied at 292 (8-over-par) after regulation play. They played a 36-hole playoff the next day and tied again at 149 (7-over-par). The following day they played 36 more holes and Burke emerged victorious 148 to 149.
Throughout Burke's golf career he used an unorthodox grip due to the loss of two fingers on his left hand. In 2005, Burke was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. Burke died in Clearwater, Florida, in 1972.
Professional wins (17)
PGA Tour wins (13)
- 1927 (2) Florida Open, Central Florida Open
- 1928 (1) North and South Open
- 1929 (2) New York State Open, Glens Falls Open
- 1930 (1) Mid South Open
- 1931 (2) U.S. Open, Glens Falls Open
- 1932 (1) Florida West Coast Open
- 1935 (1) The Cascades Open
- 1936 (1) Centennial Open
- 1939 (1) Walter Hagen 25th Anniversary (with Ed Dudley)
- 1940 (1) Miami Biltmore International Four-Ball (with Craig Wood)
Major championship is shown in bold.
Other wins (4)
this list may be incomplete
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|1931||U.S. Open||2 shot deficit||+8 (73-72-74-73=292)||Playoff 1||George Von Elm|
1 Defeated George Von Elm in a playoff. First 36-hole playoff - Burke 73-76=149 (+7), Von Elm 75-74=149 (+7). Second 36-hole playoff - Burke 71-77=148 (+6), Von Elm 76-73=149 (+7).
Note: Burke never played in The Open Championship.
NYF = Tournament not yet founded
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||0||0|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 12 (1934 Masters – 1938 Masters)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (1931 U.S. Open – 1932 U.S. Open)
- "Ryder Cup Team Sails Thursday for England". The Milwaukee Journal. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. AP. June 13, 1933. p. 2.
- "Billy Burke, Open Champ, Dark Harbor Pro, Is Dead". Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Maine. UPI. April 21, 1972. p. 15.
- "Billy (Burkowski) Burke". National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 22, 2014.