Julius Boros (2 US Open's, 1 USPGA, 4 Ryder Cup's)
1920 - 1994
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Julius Nicholas Boros (March 3, 1920 – May 28, 1994) was an American professional golfer noted for his effortless-looking swing and strong record on difficult golf courses, particularly at the U.S. Open.
Born in Fairfield, Connecticut, Boros was of Hungarian descent. He played varsity baseball in college. He worked as an accountant, played high-standard amateur golf, and did not turn professional until 1949, when he was already 29 years old.
Boros won 18 PGA Tour events, including three major championships: the 1952 and 1963 U.S. Opens and the 1968 PGA Championship. He won his first by four strokes in the heat at the Northwood Club in Dallas, also his first PGA Tour victory, which interrupted the U.S. Open streak of 36-hole leader Ben Hogan for a year. In the windy 1963 U.S. Open near Boston, Boros defeated Arnold Palmer and Jacky Cupit in a playoff, after all had finished the 72 holes at a post-war record nine over par. Boros remains the oldest player ever to win a modern major in 1968, taking the PGA Championship in San Antonio by a stroke at the age of 48. One of the runners-up was Palmer, who never won the PGA Championship to complete his career grand slam. The previous oldest winner of a major was Jerry Barber, age 45 in the 1961 PGA Championship. Boros' best results among the majors were at the U.S. Open, with nine top-five finishes; he contended in that championship as late as 1973, at age 53.
Boros was a member of the Ryder Cup team in 1959, 1963, 1965 and 1967. He was PGA Player of the Year in 1952 and 1963, and his total career PGA Tour earnings were $1,004,861. Boros was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.
While other players often walked around a hole and studied the green for several minutes before putting – sometimes from their knees, Boros is remembered for not wasting any time. He would walk up to ball and "just do it". Noted for his relaxed, nonchalant looking swing and manner, he is remembered for his catch phrase "swing easy, hit hard". Boros had an exceptional short game.
Boros was also instrumental in starting the Senior PGA Tour in the late 1970s. The exciting televised playoff victory of Boros and partner Roberto De Vicenzo over Tommy Bolt and Art Wall, Jr. at the Legends of Golf tournament in 1979 raised the profile of professional senior golf competition.
Boros' first wife, Buttons Cosgrove, died in childbirth in 1951. Boros and his second wife, Armen, had seven children: four sons and three daughters. His son Guy Boros won on the PGA Tour in 1996 at the Greater Vancouver Open.
Boros suffered a fatal heart attack in 1994 on the golf course at the Coral Ridge Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was found sitting in a golf cart under a willow tree by two club members near the 16th hole, his favorite spot on the course. He was survived by his wife Armen, sons Julius Jr., Gary, Guy, and Nick, daughters Joy, Gay, and Jody, and five grandchildren.