Australian golf legend Kel Nagle passes away

Australian golf is in mourning today as news came to hand that one of the great’s of the game, Kel Nagle passed away overnight.

Kel Nagle, one of Australia’s golfing legends has passed away overnight at the age of 94.

Nagle was a true legend and gentleman of the Australian game. A truly international golfer, Nagle won 81 professional tournaments across the world including two on the PGA Tour and most notably, the 1960 Open Championship at St.Andrews.

His list of achievements is further outlines in a media release from the PGA of Australia this morning:

Born in 1920 in New South Wales, Nagle has been one of the PGA’s most revered Members for the past 75 years.

Known as Mr. Modesty, Nagle won a tournament every year for 26 years and was a true gentleman of the game.

Nagle, who turned Professional in 1946, was a consistent victor around the globe from 1949 to 1975; securing 61 wins on the PGA Tour of Australasia and two on the PGA TOUR.

Nagle’s first big victory came in 1949 at the Australian PGA Championship – an event he went on to win a further five times between 1950 and 1968 and still holds an unbroken record of six wins.

The Aussie favourite also experienced significant success in New Zealand, where he won the New Zealand PGA Championship and the New Zealand Open, seven times respectively.

In Britain and America, Nagle won the 1960 Open Championship (in its centenary year) at St Andrews and finished second in a playoff with Gary Player in the 1965 US Open.

Nagle’s 19060 Open Championship winning putt at St.Andrews when he beat Arnold Palmer by one shot:

At the time, Player was quoted as saying that Nagle was “one of the best short game players he had ever seen.”

Nagle’s other achievements have included wins at the 1954 World Cup (Montreal), and 1959 World Cup (Melbourne), both in partnership with five-time Open Champion, Peter Thomson, and the 1964 Canada Open.

Nagle teed off in 145 events on the PGA TOUR throughout his career.

Nagle’s outstanding performances in Australia and around the globe were formally recognised in 2007 when he received golf’s highest honour – induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Kel Nagle’s speech upon being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame:

Kel Nagle’s achievements in the golf world were before my time, and quite possibly before the time of a lot of the readers of this website. But in the time that I’ve spent in the golf industry, few Australian golfers were as much revered and admired as Kel Nagle was.

Time after time Nagle’s modesty and friendship to many came up in conversation. In addition to his many achievements in the golf world, his gentle nature was admired and loved by many golfers, not just in Australia, but worldwide.

Arnold Palmer considered Nagle a good friend and offered this tribute to him in 2010 on the 50th anniversary of his Open Championship win.

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