Chandler Harper (1 USPGA, 1 Ryder Cup)

1914 - 2004

John Chandler Harper (March 10, 1914 – November 8, 2004) was an American professional golfer, best known for winning the PGA Championship in 1950. He won seven times on the PGA Tour and played in the Ryder Cup in 1955.[2]

Harper was born, raised and lived his entire life in Portsmouth, Virginia. He was prominent in Virginia golf, winning the Virginia State Amateur three times (1930, 1932, 1934) and the Virginia State Open nine times (1932, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1952, 1960, 1967, 1968, 1970), a record which stands today. His golfing career was interrupted by service in the U.S. Navy during World War II.[1][2]

Harper's competitive career lasted from 1938 to 1955; and like most professional golfers of his generation, he spent most of his time as a club professional. Harper compensated for his lack of driving distance with a strong short game; Ben Hogan said that Harper was the best putter on Tour.[1][2]

After Curtis Strange's father died when he was 14, Harper became Strange's mentor. He was also a long-time friend of Bobby Jones. He was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1973 and to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1968. In 1956, Harper founded Bide-A-Wee Golf Course in his hometown of Portsmouth, and managed the course until he retired in 1992.[1] He died at the age of 90 of complications from pneumonia.