Jump to content

Jimmy Demaret

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jimmy Demaret
Demaret in 1964
Personal information
Full nameJames Newton Demaret
Born(1910-05-24)May 24, 1910
Houston, Texas, U.S.
DiedDecember 28, 1983(1983-12-28) (aged 73)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Height5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m)
Weight190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)
Sporting nationality United States
SpouseIdella Adams
Turned professional1927
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins37
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour31
Best results in major championships
(wins: 3)
Masters TournamentWon: 1940, 1947, 1950
PGA ChampionshipT3: 1942, 1946, 1948, 1950
U.S. Open2nd: 1948
The Open ChampionshipT10: 1954
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame1983 (member page)
PGA Tour
leading money winner
Vardon Trophy1947

James Newton Demaret (May 24, 1910 – December 28, 1983) was an American professional golfer. He won 31 PGA Tour events in a long career between 1935 and 1957, and was the first three-time winner of the Masters, with titles in 1940, 1947, and 1950.[1][2][3]

Life and career[edit]

Born in Houston, Texas, Demaret reached his peak in the late 1940s with wins in the Masters in 1947, runner-up to Ben Hogan in the 1948 U.S. Open, and leading money winner and Vardon Trophy winner in 1947. He reached the semifinals of the PGA Championship four times, but never made the finals. He was one stroke short of making the playoff for the 1957 U.S. Open, at age 47. He played on three Ryder Cup teams: 1947, 1949, and 1951. His career declined in the 1950s, although he managed several key wins including the 1952 Bing Crosby Pro-Am. His last Tour win came in 1957 at age 47, although he also teamed at age 51 with Sam Snead to win the Canada Cup for the U.S. in Puerto Rico.

Demaret's playing style was developed by necessity through the windy conditions of his native Texas. He favored a low fade (left-to-right flight) on his longer shots; the method gave good distance and excellent control. His skills were highly rated by his contemporaries; Ben Hogan, whose career overshadowed his, opined that he was the best player he had ever seen in windy conditions.[4]

Demaret was known for his flamboyant personality, which he enhanced by wearing bright-colored clothing during tournaments; he had his clothes specially made, and became a fan favorite. As a result, he was known by his nickname, "The Wardrobe." He had a very good baritone voice and talent as a comedian; he frequently entertained at nightclubs at Tour stops.[5]

Demaret was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1983. In 2000, he was ranked as the 20th greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine.[6]

Demaret was one of the first Tour pros to become involved in golf broadcasting. After working as a commentator for "All Star Golf" in the early 1960s, he replaced George Rogers in 1966 as co-host for Shell's Wonderful World of Golf with Gene Sarazen, the first winner of the career grand slam.

Business partner and double-major winner Jack Burke Jr. and Demaret started the high-standard 36-hole Champions Golf Club in Houston in the late 1950s. It hosted the 1967 Ryder Cup, the 1969 U.S. Open, the 1993 U.S. Amateur, and other high-profile events.

Demaret appeared as himself in an episode of I Love Lucy titled "The Golf Game" which first aired on January 27, 1954. [7] In 1964, he made a second appearance with Lucille Ball on The Lucy Show. In 1961, he appeared on The Jim Backus Show, playing himself.

He played himself in the 1951 Ben Hogan semi-autobiographical movie starring Glenn Ford and Anne Baxter called Follow the Sun.[8]

The over-70s groupings on the Senior PGA Tour were named the "Friends of Demaret" in his honor.


Demaret died of a heart attack at age 73 in Houston on December 28, 1983, as he was preparing for his daily ride around the Champions course.[1][2][3] He was the third of the former Masters champions to pass away, preceded by Horton Smith in 1963 and Craig Wood in 1968.

Professional wins (37)[edit]

Demaret with wife Idella in 1940

PGA Tour wins (31)[edit]

Major championships are shown in bold.


Other wins (6)[edit]

this list may be incomplete

Major championships[edit]

Wins (3)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
1940 Masters Tournament 1 shot lead −8 (67-72-70-71=280) 4 strokes United States Lloyd Mangrum
1947 Masters Tournament (2) 3 shot lead −7 (69-71-70-71=281) 2 strokes United States Byron Nelson, United States Frank Stranahan
1950 Masters Tournament (3) 4 shot deficit −5 (70-72-72-69=283) 2 strokes Australia Jim Ferrier

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament T33
U.S. Open T16 CUT T22
The Open Championship
PGA Championship R64 R64 R64 R16
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament 1 T12 6 NT NT NT T4 1 T18 T8
U.S. Open WD WD NT NT NT NT T6 T39 2 WD
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT
PGA Championship R32 R64 SF NT SF R64 SF QF
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament 1 T30 WD T45 T29 T34 3 T14 CUT
U.S. Open T20 T14 T15 T4 T29 CUT 3 WD
The Open Championship T10
PGA Championship SF R64 DQ
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
Masters Tournament CUT CUT T5 T43 T32 T35 CUT
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
  Top 10
  Did not play

NT = no tournament
WD = withdrew
DQ = disqualified
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


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 3 0 1 6 8 11 24 19
U.S. Open 0 1 1 3 4 9 17 11
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1
PGA Championship 0 0 4 5 6 7 14 13
Totals 3 1 6 14 19 28 56 44
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 11 (1941 PGA – 1949 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 6 (1942 Masters – 1947 Masters)

U.S. national team appearances[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Jimmy Demaret, pro golfing great, dies at 73". Wilmington Morning Star. (North Carolina). Associated Press. December 29, 1983. p. 4D.
  2. ^ a b "Golfing great Demaret dies". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). wire reports. December 29, 1983. p. 20.
  3. ^ a b Glick, Shav (December 29, 1983). "3-time Masters champion Demaret dead at age 73". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (Los Angeles Times). p. 3C.
  4. ^ Dodson, James (2004). Ben Hogan: An American Life. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-38550-312-9.
  5. ^ Barkow, Al (1986). Gettin' to the Dance Floor: An Oral History of American Golf. Atheneum. ISBN 978-0-68911-517-2.
  6. ^ Yocom, Guy (July 2000). "50 Greatest Golfers of All Time: And What They Taught Us". Golf Digest. Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  7. ^ "Episode #47: Lucy Takes up Golf". The Lucy Show. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  8. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043550/
  9. ^ Barkow, Al (1989). The History of the PGA TOUR. Doubleday. pp. 266–7. ISBN 0-385-26145-4.

External links[edit]