Doug Ford

Doug Ford (1 Masters, 1 USPGA, 4 Ryder Cup's)

1922

Douglas Michael Ford, Sr. born Fortunato (born August 6, 1922) is a retired American professional golfer and two-time major golf champion.

 Ford was born in West Haven, Connecticut on August 6, 1922. He turned professional in 1949 and won for the first time in 1952 at the Jacksonville Open.

The win in Jacksonville was an unusual one. At the end of regulation play, Ford and Sam Snead were tied for the lead. An 18-hole playoff was scheduled for the next day but rather than play, Snead forfeited. The forfeit stemmed from a ruling Snead received during the tournament's second round of play. On the 10th hole, Snead's drive landed behind an out-of-bounds stake. While Chick Harbert, who was playing with Snead, thought the ball was out-of-bounds,[1] a rules official ruled differently due to the starter not telling players the stakes had been moved since the previous day's play had ended. Afterwards, Snead explained why he forfeited even though Ford suggested they play sudden-death for the title. "I want to be fair about it. I don't want anyone to think I took advantage of the ruling."[2]

Ford's first major was the 1955 PGA Championship. The tournament was still match play at that time, and Ford defeated Cary Middlecoff (4&3) in the final. Ford was that season's PGA Player of the Year. In 1957, he holed out from a plugged lie in the bunker, on the final hole, to come from behind and beat Sam Snead by three strokes at The Masters. He is the oldest surviving winner of the Masters. The last of his 19 PGA Tour wins came in 1963.

Ford played on four Ryder Cup teams: 1955, 1957, 1959, and 1961. He was inducted into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame in 1972. He was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. Ford was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2010 and was inducted in May 2011.[3]

During the induction ceremony, Ford recalled that he showed enough promise as a baseball player that he received a contract offer from the New York Yankees. While he was considering the offer, his father asked how long he might expect to play baseball. When Doug said that he might expect to play professional baseball for about 10 years, his father responded, "Why don't you stay with the golf. You'll last forever." At the time of the ceremony, the 88-year-old Ford still regularly played casual golf.[4]