Jimmy Demaret (3 Master's, 3 Ryder Cup's)

1910 - 1983

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 19401947, and 1950

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 Cupteams: 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.[1]

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 baritonevoice and talent as a comedian; he frequently entertained at nightclubs at Tour stops.[2]

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 Digestmagazine.[3]

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 teamed to found 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 was a guest star on an episode of I Love Lucy in 1954, and made another appearance with Lucille Ball on The Lucy Show in 1964. The over-70s groupings on the Senior PGA Tourwere named the Friends of Demaret in his honor. He died of a heart attack at age 73 in Houston on December 28, 1983, as he was getting ready for a round of golf.