James Douglas Edgar

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James Douglas Edgar
J.Douglas.Edgar.JPG
Edgar preparing to hit a shot (c. 1910)
Personal information
Full name James Douglas Edgar
Born (1884-09-30)30 September 1884
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Died 8 August 1921(1921-08-08) (aged 36)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Nationality  England
Career
Status Professional
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 4
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 3
Other 1
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament NYF
U.S. Open T20: 1920
The Open Championship T14: 1914
PGA Championship 2nd: 1920

James Douglas Edgar (30 September 1884 – 8 August 1921) was an English professional golfer and golf writer.

Early life[edit]

Edgar was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He won the French Open in 1914. He coached the young player Tommy Armour, who became a prominent professional after 1920; Armour later praised Edgar as having helped him the most. The legendary Harry Vardon stated that Edgar was on his way to becoming a player who could surpass everyone.[1]

Golf career[edit]

Edgar emigrated to the United States in April 1919, following World War I. He was the head professional at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta. Edgar played frequently with the young Bobby Jones at the Atlanta Athletic Club (the site of today's East Lake Golf Club) from 1919–1921. He mentored and coached Jones during this period as well. Jones developed into one of the dominant golfers of the 1920s.[2] Edgar was a friend of Alexa Stirling and gave her golf lessons while he was the professional at Druid Hills.[3]

Edgar won the Canadian Open in 1919 at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club by a record 16 strokes (a winning margin which still stands for a PGA Tour event),[4] with Jones and Jim Barnes tying for second,[5] and came back the next year to win that title again. He lost the 1920 PGA Championship, one of golf's majors, in a match play final to Jock Hutchison. During 1919–20, Edgar was among the top players in the world.

Edgar wrote a golf book entitled The Gate to Golf, based on his discoveries made in England. Edgar had an ailing hip which he could not turn freely. Through experimentation, he found that a restricted hip turn still allowed a repeatable swing with excellent power and control. This book proved to have significant impact on golf instruction, right up to the present time.[2]

Death[edit]

Edgar's death was mysterious. He was found late at night on an Atlanta street, bleeding heavily from a deep wound in his leg, and died in the street before any trained help could arrive.[3] The case was turned over to police, but never solved. He left a wife and two children in England. In an article published in Sports Illustrated in April 2010, writer Steve Eubanks wrote that Edgar was having an affair with a married Atlanta woman, and that this likely played a central role in Edgar's death.[2] Eubanks' article was an excerpt from his book To Win and Die in Dixie, a biography of Edgar published later that year.

Tournament wins (4)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (3)[edit]

Other wins (1)[edit]

this list may be incomplete

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP NT NT T21 T20 DNP
The Open Championship CUT CUT 43 T50 DNP T26 T38 T47 T20 T39 T14 NT NT NT NT NT DNP T26
PGA Championship NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF NYF DNP NT NT QF 2 DNP

Note: The Masters Tournament was not founded until 1934.

NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eubanks
  2. ^ a b c Eubanks, Steve (5 April 2010). "Gone with the Swing". Sports Illustrated. Vol. 112 no. 156. Archived from the original on 16 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Rylands, Traci. "Atlanta's Other Golf Great: The Mysterious Death of J. Douglas Edgar". Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Kelley, Brent. "Largest Margin of Victory on the PGA Tour". About.com. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Barnes Has Close Call In Tourney: Sunset Hill Golfer Hard Pressed to Defeat Otto Hackbarth by 3 and 2: Stages Great Comeback". The New York Times. New York. September 18, 1919. p. 11. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  • Elliott, Len; Kelly, Barbara (1976). Who's Who in Golf. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House. p. 57. ISBN 0-87000-225-2.