Jerry Barber (1 USPGA, 2 Ryder Cup's.)
1916 - 1994
Click to view autograph gallery
Carl Jerome "Jerry" Barber (April 25, 1916 – September 23, 1994) was an American professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour. He had seven wins on tour, including a major title, the 1961 PGA Championship.
Born in Woodson, Illinois, Barber was one of nine children raised on an Illinois farm near Jacksonville, and turned professional in 1942. Small in stature, he was one of the top putters of his era.
Barber was a full-time member of the PGA Tour from 1948 to 1962. He played on two Ryder Cup teams, 1955 and 1961; and was also the team captain in 1961. Barber earned a living primarily as a club professional like most of the touring pros of his generation; he worked at Los Angeles' Wilshire Country Club. He was the Player of the Year on the PGA Tour in 1961, unseating Arnold Palmer for a year.
At the 1961 PGA Championship in Illinois near Chicago, heavy rains wiped out Friday's second round and it had to be replayed on Saturday, followed by the final two rounds on Sunday. Barber led after the second round but trailed Don January by four shots with three holes to play in the final round. In high heat and humidity, Barber made a 20-foot (6 m) birdie putt at the 16th hole, a 40-foot (12 m) par-saving putt at 17, and a 60-foot (18 m) birdie putt at 18 to tie January and force an 18-hole Monday playoff. Due to the double-rounds and a lengthy delay caused by another rainstorm in the morning, Barber and January did not complete their final rounds on Sunday till well past 8:00 pm. Barber won the playoff the next day by a single stroke when January bogeyed the 18th hole. At age 45, he was the oldest player at the time to win a major title, surpassed seven years later by Julius Boros in 1968 at age 48.
Barber holds the record for the oldest player to ever play on the PGA Tour, when he played in the 1994 Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines at the age of 77 years, 10 months, and 9 days. He died later that year.
Often referred to in the media as "little Jerry Barber," he stood 5 ft 5.5 in (1.66 m). In 1966, he portrayed himself in a guest appearance on episode #23 of I Dream of Jeannie.
Barber and his wife Lucile, who died of cancer in 1968, had five children: Tom, Nancy, twins Sandra and Sally, and Roger. Barber died in Glendale, California at the age of 78, after suffering a mitral valve prolapse and a stroke.