Mike Souchak

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Mike Souchak
— Golfer —
Mikesouchak.jpg
Personal information
Full name Michael Souchak
Born (1927-05-10)May 10, 1927
Berwick, Pennsylvania
Died July 10, 2008(2008-07-10) (aged 81)
Belleair, Florida
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 215 lb (98 kg; 15.4 st)
Nationality  United States
Career
College Duke University
Turned professional 1952
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 18
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 15
Best results in Major Championships
Masters Tournament T4: 1955
U.S. Open T3: 1959, 1960
The Open Championship T8: 1956
PGA Championship T5: 1959
Achievements and awards
Duke Sports Hall of Fame 1976

Michael Souchak (May 10, 1927 – July 10, 2008) was an American professional golfer who won 15 times on the PGA Tour in the 1950s and 1960s, and played for the 1959 and 1961 Ryder Cup teams.

Early years, college[edit]

Souchak was born in Berwick, Pennsylvania. He attended Duke University where he played both golf and football. He was inducted into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame in 1976.[1]

Tour record-setter[edit]

In his first win at the 1955 Texas Open, Souchak set and tied several records. In the first round, he tied the Tour's 18-hole record with a 60. This record was finally broken in 1977 by Al Geiberger's 59. This first round also included a record-breaking 27 on the back nine holes, a record that was tied by Andy North in 1975, Billy Mayfair in 2001 and Robert Gamez in 2004, and broken by Corey Pavin in 2006. He then finished with a 72-hole record of 257 (27-under-par). This record stood until 2001 when Mark Calcavecchia shot 256 at the Phoenix Open (this record was subsequently broken when Tommy Armour III shot 254 at the 2003 Valero Texas Open).

Souchak's 15 Tour wins came between 1955 and 1964, with his best year being 1956, when he won four times. He won three Tour titles in 1959.

Near misses in majors[edit]

Souchak finished 11 times in the top-10 at major championships, including third place finishes at the 1959 and 1960 U.S. Opens.[2] In 1960, Souchak led the U.S. Open after 36 holes with a new record score of 135, which was 7-under-par. But he struggled on the final hole of the third round, making a triple bogey, and couldn't regain his composure. Arnold Palmer, who had been seven strokes behind entering the final round, shot 65 to win the championship.

Souchak played on the Senior PGA Tour (now called the Champions Tour) from its inception in 1980 until 1990. His best finish was second place in his very first tournament, the 1980 Atlantic City Senior International.

Souchak moved from North Carolina to Florida in 1970 and became the first head pro at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, in Palm Harbor, Florida. He then resided in Belleair, Florida, with his wife Nancy. He had four children, Mike, Frank, and Chris Souchak and Patti Taylor, as well as five grandchildren. He ran Golf Car Systems with his partner Bill Dodd until his death from complications of a heart attack in 2008.

Professional wins[edit]

PGA Tour wins (15)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of victory Runner(s)-up
1 Feb 20, 1955 Texas Open −27 (60-68-64-65=257) 7 strokes United States Fred Haas
2 Feb 27, 1955 Houston Open −15 (70-71-67-65=273) 2 strokes United States Jerry Barber
3 Jan 22, 1956 Agua Caliente Open −7 (65-71-74-71=281) 2 strokes United States Tommy Bolt
4 Apr 1, 1954 Azalea Open Invitational −15 (70-70-65-68=273) 1 stroke United States Dick Mayer
5 May 6, 1956 Colonial National Invitation Even (74-72-65-69=280) 1 stroke United States Tommy Bolt
6 Aug 26, 1956 St. Paul Open −17 (70-69-70-62-271) 1 stroke United States Sam Snead
7 Aug 17, 1958 St. Paul Open Invitational −25 (66-64-68-65=263) 4 strokes United States Julius Boros, United States Sam Snead
8 Apr 26, 1959 Tournament of Champions −7 (66-70-68-77=281) 2 strokes United States Art Wall, Jr.
9 Jul 12, 1959 Western Open −8 (67-67-73-65=272) 1 stroke United States Arnold Palmer
10 Aug 16, 1959 Motor City Open −16 (69-63-67-69=268) 9 strokes United States Billy Casper, United States Doug Ford
11 Jan 31, 1960 San Diego Open Invitational −19 (67-68-67-67=269) 1 stroke United States Tommy Bolt
12 Jul 4, 1960 Buick Open Invitational −6 (71-68-74-69=282) 1 stroke United States Gay Brewer, United States Art Wall, Jr.
13 Apr 16, 1961 Greater Greensboro Open −4 (70-68-69-69=276) 7 strokes United States Sam Snead
14 Apr 19, 1964 Houston Classic −6 (69-68-69-70=278) 1 stroke United States Jack Nicklaus
15 May 24, 1964 Memphis Open Invitational −10 (69-65-67-69=270) 1 stroke United States Billy Casper, United States Tommy Jacobs

PGA Tour playoff record (0–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1955 Thunderbird Invitational United States Fred Haas, United States Shelley Mayfield Mayfield won with birdie on second extra hole
Haas eliminated in 18-hole playoff
2 1957 Thunderbird Invitational United States Jimmy Demaret, United States Ken Venturi Demaret wins after 18-hole playoff (Demaret:67, Souchak:75, Venturi:76)
3 1963 Hot Springs Open United States Dave Hill Lost to par on second extra hole

Other wins[edit]

This list is probably incomplete

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament DNP DNP T4 T17 CUT T14 T25
U.S. Open CUT CUT T10 T29 CUT CUT T3
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP T8 DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP R16 T8 T5
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament T16 T28 T5 T11 T9 T35 T33 DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open T3 T4 T14 T32 DNP CUT CUT DNP DNP T42
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship T12 T45 T39 T23 T13 T15 CUT T20 CUT T59
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
PGA Championship DNP DNP T29 DNP DNP DNP DNP

DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
Yellow background for top-10

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 2 3 8 12 11
U.S. Open 0 0 2 3 4 5 16 8
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1
PGA Championship 0 0 0 1 3 8 14 12
Totals 0 0 2 6 11 22 44 32
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 19 (1958 PGA – 1965 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (twice)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Duke Sports Hall of Fame". Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Longtime PGA Tour scoring record-holder Souchak dies at 81". PGA Tour. July 10, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]