Jim Ferrier

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Jim Ferrier
Personal information
Full name James Bennett Elliott Ferrier
Born (1915-02-24)24 February 1915
Sydney, Australia
Died 13 June 1986(1986-06-13) (aged 71)
Burbank, California, U.S.[1]
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 192 lb (87 kg; 13.7 st)
Nationality  Australia
 United States
Spouse Norma K. Jennings Ferrier (m. 1938–79, her death)
Lorraine R. (Devirian) Sheldon[1] (m. 1980–86, his death)
Turned professional 1941[2][3]
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 32
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 18
PGA Tour of Australasia 10
Other 4
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters Tournament 2nd: 1950
U.S. Open T5: 1950
The Open Championship T44: 1936
PGA Championship Won: 1947
British Amateur 2nd: 1936

James Bennett Elliott Ferrier (24 February 1915 – 13 June 1986)[1] was an Australian professional golfer from Manly, New South Wales. He won the PGA Championship in 1947. Ferrier became an American citizen in 1944.

Early years[edit]

Born in Sydney, Ferrier was raised in Manly and was taught golf as a youth by his father, a low handicap player.[4] Ferrier injured a leg playing soccer in his teens, and he had to contend with a severe limp for the rest of his life.[5] Ferrier was playing to a scratch handicap by his mid-teens, when he left school to be able to play more golf. He was runner-up in the 1931 Australian Open at the age of sixteen. He won the Australian Amateur title in 1935, 1936, 1938 and 1939. He was also victorious in the Australian Open as an amateur in 1938 and 1939, and won several other significant Australian events. He was runner-up in The Amateur Championship at St Andrews in 1936. Ferrier worked as a golf reporter and writer for several Australian publications.[6]

Joins PGA Tour[edit]

In 1940, Ferrier went to the United States as a golf journalist,[7] but was not allowed to qualify for the U.S. Amateur, due to a golf manual published earlier in the year that he was contracted to receive royalties from.[8][9] He turned professional in March 1941[10] and joined the PGA Tour as a club pro based in Elmhurst, Illinois.[2][3] He and his wife Norma worked in defence industry jobs during World War II; this was part of conditions to become American citizens.[6] He served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1945, rising to the rank of staff sergeant.[1] While stationed in the artillery at Camp Roberts, California,[11] he gained his first tour victory at the Oakland Open in December 1944, a week after a runner-up finish to Byron Nelson in San Francisco.[12][13]

Ferrier's most significant win came at the PGA Championship in 1947, one of golf's four major championships. He was the first Australian to win a major, and at the time this gave him a lifetime exemption to PGA Tour events. The previous year, he was the medalist in the stroke play qualifier and set the scoring record.[14]

At the 1950 Masters, Ferrier led Jimmy Demaret by three shots with six holes to play, but finished two strokes back as the runner-up. He scored 16 of his 18 PGA titles between 1947 and 1952, with a peak of five wins in 1951. Ferrier's other significant victories included consecutive Canadian Open titles in 1950 and 1951. He was also runner-up in the 1960 PGA Championship at age 45, and was renowned as an outstanding putter.

On 6 January 1955 (Season 5 Episode 17),[15] Ferrier appeared on the television game show You Bet Your Life hosted by Groucho Marx, of Marx Brothers fame. Paired with Marilyn Pierce, a dog trainer and former model, he showed a conservative betting style and great charm, as evidenced by this short exchange with Groucho:

Groucho: "I play golf too, you know. What is your handicap, Jim?"
Ferrier: "Well, as a pro, I don't have a handicap."
Groucho: "Well congratulations. How is it a tall, handsome man like you isn't married?"
Ferrier: "I'm married. I have a wife."
Groucho: "You just said you didn't have a handicap. Haven't you got the same handicap that fifty million other men have?"
Ferrier: "Well, I don't consider my wife a handicap."

Ferrier died in Burbank, California, in 1986 at the age of 71.[1]

Professional wins (32)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (18)[edit]

Major championship is shown in bold.

Australasian Tour wins (10)[edit]

Note: all wins as an amateur

Other wins (4)[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship Winning score Runner-up
1947 PGA Championship 2 & 1 United States Chick Harbert

Note: The PGA Championship was match play until 1958

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship T44
PGA Championship
The Amateur Championship 2
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament 26 T29 T15 NT NT NT T4 T6 T4 T16
U.S. Open T29 T30 NT NT NT NT CUT T6 CUT T23
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT
PGA Championship NT R16 1 R32 SF
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament 2 7 T3 T15 WD
U.S. Open T5 CUT CUT
The Open Championship
PGA Championship R32 R16 R32 R32 T38
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament CUT T5 CUT
U.S. Open CUT T22 CUT WD
The Open Championship
PGA Championship 2 T45 T39 7 T56 CUT T49 T64 CUT CUT
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship CUT CUT WD
  Top 10
  Did not play

NT = no tournament
WD = withdrew
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


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 1 1 5 7 10 15 12
U.S. Open 0 0 0 1 2 4 13 6
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
PGA Championship 1 1 1 3 6 10 22 16
Totals 1 2 2 9 15 24 51 35
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 7 (twice)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 5 (1946 PGA – 1948 Masters)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Stoddart, Brian. "Ferrier, James Bennett Elliott (Jim) (1915–1986)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Dawson and Ferrier meet in golf finals". Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. Associated Press. 17 January 1941. p. 16.
  3. ^ a b Snider, Steve (20 July 1941). "Ben Hogan tops Chicago golf". Eugene Register-Guard. United Press. p. 13.
  4. ^ Hoare, Willie (28 June 1947). "Australia's Jim Ferrier ranks with golf's best". St. Petersburg Times. p. 13.
  5. ^ Sampson, Curt (1992). The Eternal Summer. Taylor Publishing. p. 191. ASIN B000M1PWB4.
  6. ^ a b Barkow, Al (1986). Gettin' to the Dance Floor. Atheneum. ISBN 978-0689115172.
  7. ^ Witwer, Stan (21 December 1940). "Jim Ferrier displays links skill". St. Petersburg Times. p. 13.
  8. ^ Snider, Steve (27 August 1940). "USGA bars Big Jim Ferrier from Amateur tournament". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 21.
  9. ^ McLemore, Henry (13 September 1940). "Jim Ferrier still best amateur". Calgary Herald. United Press. p. 6.
  10. ^ "Jim Ferrier to turn professional". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Associated Press. 16 March 1941. p. 22.
  11. ^ "Jim Ferrier leads Byron by stroke". St. Petersburg Times. United Press. 4 December 1944. p. 9.
  12. ^ Wood, Hall (11 December 1944). "Jim Ferrier hottest thing in golf pants". Oxnard Press-Courier. p. 2.
  13. ^ "Ferrier victor in open golf". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 11 December 1944. p. 3.
  14. ^ "Ferrier blasts new golf mark". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 21 August 1946. p. 10.
  15. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRxQsgnJWVY&list=PLHaioNpr_GDbvsTj_taM-jO6C1658N1PC&index=13
  16. ^ "Sgt.Jim Ferrier Wins Service Golf Title". The Telegraph. 23 July 1945.

External links[edit]