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Bob Rosburg

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Bob Rosburg
Rosburg at the 1956 U.S. Open
Personal information
Full nameRobert Reginald Rosburg
Born(1926-10-21)October 21, 1926
San Francisco, California, U.S.
DiedMay 14, 2009(2009-05-14) (aged 82)
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
CollegeStanford University
Turned professional1953
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins10
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour6
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentT4: 1955
PGA ChampionshipWon: 1959
U.S. Open2nd/T2: 1959, 1969
The Open ChampionshipDNP
Achievements and awards
Vardon Trophy1958

Robert Reginald "Rossie" Rosburg (October 21, 1926 – May 14, 2009) was an American professional golfer who later became a sports color analyst for ABC television.[1]

Early years, college


Rosburg was born in San Francisco, California. He played golf as a junior at the Olympic Club, and at the age of 12, he faced the then-retired baseball Hall of Famer, Ty Cobb, in the first flight of the club championship, and beat Cobb 7 and 6. Rosburg says Cobb was gracious in defeat and shook the young Rosburg's hand, but Cobb took so much kidding from the other Olympic Club members that for many years, Rosburg hardly ever saw Cobb back at the club. Rosburg was an outstanding baseball player at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California during the 1940s, and almost chose baseball as a career over golf. He graduated from Stanford in 1949, and turned pro in 1953. He is a member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame.[2]

PGA Tour career


During his career, Rosburg was one of the most consistent top-10 finishers on the PGA Tour. Rosburg won the Vardon Trophy in 1958 for the lowest average score (70.11) on tour that year. Rosburg's career year was 1959, when he finished seventh on the money list and was named to the Ryder Cup team, after winning the PGA Championship and finishing second in the U.S. Open. In 1969, he won the PGA Club Professional Championship. He won six tour events during the course of his career, before moving into semi-retirement after the 1972 season, his most successful financially. That year, he won the Bob Hope Desert Classic by one stroke over Lanny Wadkins.[3]

The 1959 PGA Championship was played at the Minneapolis Golf Club in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Rosburg won with a 72-hole score of 277 by one stroke over Jerry Barber and Doug Sanders. Rosburg claimed that he won the 1959 PGA Championship without ever hitting a practice shot during that week, except for a few chips and puts. He came close to winning a second major that year, finishing 2nd at the U.S. Open to Billy Casper. He also finished in a three-way tie for 2nd at the 1969 U.S. Open, one stroke behind Orville Moody.

Broadcasting career

Rosburg's family watch him win the 1959 PGA Championship

After his playing days on the PGA Tour finished in the mid-1970s, Rosburg became a commentator for ABC sports television. He pioneered the now-common practice of roving on the golf course and reporting from the fairways.[1] At the time of his death, he was the longest serving active golf announcer on television, with more than 30 years behind the microphone. He is remembered for his catch phrase, "He's got no chance, Jim", which Rosburg would utter whenever he encountered a golfer who had hit his ball into a seemingly impossible position (usually behind a tree or in deep grass), upon which the player would then produce a miraculous recovery. The "Jim" is in reference to ABC commentator Jim McKay. Rosburg is also credited with helping ABC hire Judy Rankin, who was the first full-time female golf commentator to cover men's events, including the major championships. Rosburg worked nearly three decades as a commentator with Dave Marr, who like Rosburg won a single PGA Championship.

Rosburg died in Palm Springs, California after sustaining a head injury in a fall at an Indio, California restaurant.[4] He was survived by his wife and their three children.

Professional wins (10)


PGA Tour wins (6)

Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (5)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Dec 12, 1954 Miami Open −7 (71-68-69-65=273) 1 stroke United States Bo Wininger
2 Sep 2, 1956 Motor City Open −4 (70-70-72-72=284) Playoff United States Ed Furgol
3 Oct 7, 1956 Convair-San Diego Open −18 (70-68-67-65=270) 2 strokes United States Dick Mayer
4 Aug 2, 1959 PGA Championship −3 (71-72-68-66=277) 1 stroke United States Jerry Barber, United States Doug Sanders
5 Jan 22, 1961 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am −6 (69-67-74-72=282) 1 stroke Argentina Roberto De Vicenzo, United States Dave Ragan
6 Feb 13, 1972 Bob Hope Desert Classic −16 (66-69-72-70-67=344) 1 stroke United States Lanny Wadkins

PGA Tour playoff record (1–5)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1956 Motor City Open United States Ed Furgol Won with par on first extra hole
2 1957 Venezuela Open United States Al Besselink Lost to birdie on first extra hole
3 1958 Eastern Open Invitational United States Jack Burke Jr., United States Art Wall Jr. Wall won with birdie on first extra hole
4 1961 Greater Seattle Open Invitational United States Jacky Cupit, United States Dave Marr Marr won with birdie on first extra hole
5 1961 Bakersfield Open United States Jack Fleck Lost to birdie on first extra hole
6 1962 Orange County Open Invitational United States Tony Lema Lost to birdie on third extra hole

Other wins (3)


Other senior wins (1)


Major championships


Wins (1)

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runners-up
1959 PGA Championship 6 shot deficit −3 (71-72-68-66=277) 1 stroke United States Jerry Barber, United States Doug Sanders

Results timeline

Tournament 1948 1949
Masters Tournament 52
U.S. Open CUT
PGA Championship
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament T6 T4 16 CUT T30
U.S. Open T21 T29 T5 T45 T5 2
PGA Championship T11 1
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament T20 T15 DQ CUT CUT CUT T10 T21 T30
U.S. Open T23 21 13 CUT T9 T38 T44 T2
PGA Championship CUT T19 T40 T56 CUT T43 CUT CUT CUT
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
Masters Tournament 44 T45
U.S. Open T64 T3 CUT
PGA Championship 63 T9 T53 T66 76

Note: Rosburg never played in The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1960 PGA Championship)
DQ = disqualified
"T" = tied


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 1 3 7 17 12
U.S. Open 0 2 1 5 6 10 18 15
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PGA Championship 1 0 0 1 2 4 16 11
Totals 1 2 1 7 11 21 51 38
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 7 (twice)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (three times)

U.S. national team appearances


See also



  1. ^ a b Goldstein, Richard (May 15, 2009). "Bob Rosburg, Golfer and TV Analyst, Dies at 82". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Kroichick, Ron (May 16, 2009). "Bob Rosburg dies - S.F. native won '59 PGA". San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. ^ "Bob Rosburg". ABC Medianet. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008.
  4. ^ Johnson, Sal (May 15, 2009). "A special tribute to Bob Rosburg". Golf Observer. Archived from the original on May 18, 2009.