Who is British Golf Icon Tony Jacklin?

Captain Tony Jacklin and Members of Team Europe celebrate their Ryder Cup victory at The Belfry, Warwickshire, 15th September 1985
Tony Jacklin (holding champagne bottle) celebrates Team Europe's 1985 Ryder Cup victory (with Seve Ballesteros, left, and Sam Torrance). Simon Bruty/Getty Images

Tony Jacklin had a brief but memorable trip to the top of the golf world, winning majors in 1969 and 1970, and helping re-establish British golfers on the USPGA landscape. Later, Jacklin helped Team Europe achieve new heights in the Ryder Cup as team captain - an event in which he had a very memorable moment as a player.

Date of birth: July 7, 1944
Place of birth: Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England

Tour Victories:

  • PGA Tour: 4
  • European Tour: 8

(Jacklin won 22 times total in European tournaments, but many of those wins were earned before the creation of the European Tour.)

Major Championship Wins:

  • 1969 British Open
  • 1970 U.S. Open

Awards and Honors for Tony Jacklin

  • Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
  • 1973 European Tour money leader
  • Member, European Ryder Cup team, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979
  • Captain, European Ryder Cup team, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989
  • Awarded the Order of the British Empire, 1970
  • Awarded Commander of the British Empire, 1990

Quote, Unquote

Tony Jacklin: "As a young man I would practice on my own for hundreds of hours and in my mind Ben Hogan was always standing over my right shoulder making a critique of every shot."

Tony Jacklin Trivia

Tony Jacklin hit the first hole-in-one to be televised live in Britain. It happened on the 16th hole at Royal St. George's in 1967.

Bio of Tony Jacklin

Tony Jacklin's playing career has been called one of "brief but memorable brilliance." Jacklin wasn't at the top of his game for long, but from 1968 to 1972 he was one of the biggest stars in golf.

And he became a national hero in Great Britain.

Jacklin was born to a working class family and at one point was an apprentice steelmaker. But golf quickly became his focus. He won his first big junior tournament at 13 and by 17 turned pro and began working as an assistant club professional.

He was rookie of the year on the British pro circuit (a precursor to the European Tour) in 1962.

In 1964 Jacklin won his first pro event. By 1968 he was ready to take on the world.

Jacklin won the PGA Tour's Jacksonville Open that year, becoming the first Briton to win on the PGA Tour (outside of majors) in the tour's modern era (the first since the 1920s). In 1969, he claimed the British Open and followed it up with a 7-shot win at the 1970 U.S. Open. At the British Open, he was the first Englishman to win since 1951; at the U.S. Open, the first Englishman to win since 1920 and the only British winner from 1928 through 2009.

Jacklin's performance helped spark a resurgence in golf in Great Britain, one that Jacklin helped culminate with his Ryder Cup captaincy in the 1980s.

Jacklin narrowly missed another Open Championship in 1972 when Lee Trevino's miraculous chip shot on the 71st hold propelled Trevino to the win. While Jacklin remained competitive in Europe, he never again challenged at a major.

The Ryder Cup is the other component of Jacklin's fame. In 1969, it was Jacklin who battled Jack Nicklaus to a halve in the final match, securing a tie for Great Britain & Ireland. Nicklaus famously conceded Jacklin's short putt on the final hole, halving their singles match but also ensuring a tie in the overall match at 16 points each for Teams USA and GB&I.

That gesture by Nicklaus is now remembered as a great act of sportsmanship, and Jacklin and Nicklaus became lifelong friends. A golf club in Florida was co-designed by Jacklin and Nicklaus and named The Concession to commemorate that match in the 1969 Ryder Cup.

In the 1980s, Jacklin cemented his Ryder Cup legacy by serving as European captain at four consecutive Cups, beginning in 1983. In 1985, under Jacklin's leadership, Europe won its first Ryder Cup since 1957; the following competition (1987), Europe won for the first time ever on U.S. soil (ironically, against Nicklaus' side and at Nicklaus' club, Muirfield Village in Ohio).

Jacklin played briefly on the Champions Tour in the 1990s, and retired from tournament golf in 2004. Jacklin was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002.