Jack Burke Jr.

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Jack Burke Jr.
Personal information
Full nameJohn Joseph Burke Jr.
NicknameJack, Jackie
Born (1923-01-29) January 29, 1923 (age 97)
Fort Worth, Texas
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight165 lb (75 kg; 11.8 st)
Nationality United States
Turned professional1940
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins19
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour16
Best results in major championships
(wins: 2)
Masters TournamentWon: 1956
PGA ChampionshipWon: 1956
U.S. OpenT10: 1955
The Open ChampionshipDNP
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2000 (member page)
Vardon Trophy1952
PGA Player of the Year1956
PGA Tour Lifetime
Achievement Award
Bob Jones Award2004

John Joseph Burke Jr. (born January 29, 1923) is an American professional golfer who was most prominent in the 1950s. He first rose to fame with two victories in the 1951 Ryder Cup and was subsequently selected for the 1953, 1955, 1957, and 1959 teams, serving as playing captain in 1957. Burke also served as non-playing captain in the 1973 matches, and as special assistant captain to Hal Sutton in 2004. He won two major titles during his career, both in 1956, the Masters and PGA Championship.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Burke started in golf at age seven. His father, Jack Burke, was the club professional at Houston's River Oaks Country Club and a runner-up at the U.S. Open in 1920.[2][3] The younger Burke graduated from St. Thomas High School in Houston in 1940 and turned professional at age 17. He served in the Marine Corps 1942-46 and was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar where he taught combat skills to Marines headed overseas for World War II.[4] After the war, Burke resumed his career in golf after first considering work in the oil fields of Texas. His first job was as a teaching pro at Hollywood Golf Club in Deal, New Jersey, which was followed by a position as an assistant at Winged Foot Golf Club,[5] where he was mentored by Claude Harmon, and later club pro at Metropolis Country Club in White Plains, New York.[2]

Golf career[edit]

Burke won 16 PGA Tour events in his career, which included two majors in 1956.[3] In his Masters victory, Burke came from eight strokes behind in the final round, with a one-under 71 to overtake leader Ken Venturi, then an amateur, who shot 80 (+8).[6][7] Perhaps his most famous match was his nine-hour, 40-hole quarterfinal loss to Cary Middlecoff at the PGA Championship in 1955. The next year he went the distance in the match play format and won.[1][8] Burke won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average in 1952, a season in which he won four straight Tour events. He was selected PGA Player of the Year in 1956.[3]

Burke partnered with Jimmy Demaret to found Champions Golf Club in Houston in 1957. The 36-hole facility hosted a PGA Tour event from 1966 to 1971, today's Shell Houston Open. As well, the club hosted the 1967 Ryder Cup, the 1969 U.S. Open, the 1993 U.S. Amateur, and the PGA Tour Championship in 1990, 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2003. Burke was the fifth recipient of the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.[3]

Burke shares his permanent locker at Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters in Augusta, Georgia with Tiger Woods. As tradition dictates, both keep their prized green jackets, awarded to the annual winner of the tournament, in a wooden, finished locker with gold name plates on the front, with each year listed for the year they won.

In recent years, Burke has coached several current PGA Tour stars, including Phil Mickelson, in putting.

Personal life[edit]

Burke is married to Robin, a noted amateur golfer. She was runner-up in the 1997 U.S. Women's Amateur and played in the 1998 Curtis Cup. She was the captain of the American 2016 Curtis Cup team. She was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 2016.[9][10]

Professional wins (19)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (16)[edit]

Major championships are shown in bold.

Other wins (3)[edit]

Note: This list may be incomplete.

Major championships[edit]

Wins (2)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1956 Masters Tournament 8 shot deficit +1 (72-71-75-71=289) 1 stroke United States Ken Venturi
1956 PGA Championship n/a 3 & 2 United States Ted Kroll

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament WD 11 2 8 T6 T13 1 T7 CUT T34
U.S. Open T27 CUT T41 T14 T15 T10 CUT WD
PGA Championship R64 QF R32 R64 QF 1 R64 4 T17
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament T11 T7 T39 CUT CUT CUT T44 T53 CUT T24
U.S. Open CUT T21 CUT
PGA Championship T29 T52 T17 T34 T44 T8 T66 T42 T69
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
Masters Tournament CUT CUT
U.S. Open
PGA Championship T45 CUT 67 T56

Note: Burke never played in The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place.


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 1 1 0 2 6 10 22 14
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 1 4 11 6
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PGA Championship 1 0 0 4 5 7 22 21
Totals 2 1 0 6 12 21 55 41
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 14 (1951 Masters – 1956 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (1955 U.S. Open – 1956 Masters)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Burkes's Blazing Putter Wins PGA, 3 and 2". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. July 25, 1956. p. 15. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Sport: Texas Grass Fire". Time. March 13, 1950. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d "Member bio: Jack Burke Jr". World Golf Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  4. ^ Mickey, Lisa D. (November 11, 2017). "Veterans Day Has Special Meaning for Jack Burke Jr". United States Golf Association. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  5. ^ Hauser, Melanie. "A Champion of Golf" (PDF). The Memorial Tournament magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 17, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  6. ^ "Jack Burke Surprise Winner of Masters Golf". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. April 9, 1956. p. 18. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  7. ^ Wind, Herbert Warren (April 16, 1956). "And Then—Jackie Burke Took Charge". Sports Illustrated. p. 28. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  8. ^ "Tournament Info for: 1956 PGA Championship". PGA.com. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  9. ^ "Robin Burke". Texas Golf Hall of Fame.
  10. ^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VTKB-P6Y

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]