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Billy Burke
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name William John Burke
Born (1902-12-14)December 14, 1902
Naugatuck, Connecticut
Died April 19, 1972(1972-04-19) (aged 69)
Clearwater, Florida
Height 5 ft 11.5 in (1.82 m)
Weight 172 lb (78 kg; 12.3 st)
Nationality  United States
Career
Status Professional
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 17
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 13
Other 4
Best results in Major Championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters Tournament T3: 1934, 1939
U.S. Open Won: 1931
The Open Championship DNP
PGA Championship T3: 1931

William John Burke, born Burkowski (December 14, 1902 – April 19, 1972) was a prominent American professional golfer of the 1920s and 1930s.

Burke was born in Naugatuck, Connecticut. His greatest season was 1931, when he won the U.S. Open, reached the semi-finals of the PGA Championship, and won four events on the professional circuit, plus appeared on the Ryder Cup team where he was undefeated in two matches. He was also selected for the 1933 Ryder Cup team but not before some agitation by Gene Sarazen was done on his behalf.[1] Burke won his only match in the 1933 competition.

Burke's 1931 U.S. Open win came in a marathon playoff. He and George Von Elm were tied at 292 (8-over-par) after regulation play. They played a 36-hole playoff the next day and tied again at 149 (7-over-par). The following day they played 36 more holes and Burke emerged victorious 148 to 149.

Throughout Burke's golf career he used a unorthodox grip due to the loss of two fingers on his left hand.[2] In 2005, Burke was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.[3] Burke died in Clearwater, Florida.

Professional wins (17)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (13)[edit]

Major championship is shown in bold.

Other wins (4)[edit]

this list may be incomplete

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1931 U.S. Open 2 shot deficit +8 (73-72-74-73=292) Playoff 1 United States George Von Elm

1 Defeated George Von Elm in a playoff. First 36-hole playoff - Burke 73-76=149 (+7), Von Elm 75-74=149 (+7). Second 36-hole playoff - Burke 71-77=148 (+6), Von Elm 76-73=149 (+7).

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1928 1929
Masters Tournament NYF NYF
U.S. Open T18 15
PGA Championship R32 DNP
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
Masters Tournament NYF NYF NYF NYF T3 T37 28 T29 T13 T3
U.S. Open T28 1 T7 T33 T6 T32 T18 T16 WD T42
PGA Championship R32 SF DNP DNP DNP R64 R16 R32 R16 R16
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament WD DNP T23 NT NT NT 46 57 T43 T35
U.S. Open DNP WD NT NT NT NT T45 T27 DNP CUT
PGA Championship R32 DNP DNP NT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament T29 DNP WD WD DNP T36 WD WD CUT CUT
U.S. Open CUT CUT DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1960 1961 1962
Masters Tournament CUT CUT WD
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP

Note: Burke never played in The Open Championship.
NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 2 2 2 4 23 13
U.S. Open 1 0 0 1 3 7 19 13
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
PGA Championship 0 0 0 1 4 4 9 9
Totals 1 0 2 4 9 15 52 35
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 12 (1934 Masters – 1938 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (1931 U.S. Open – 1932 U.S. Open)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ryder Cup Team Sails Thursday for England". The Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). AP. June 13, 1933. p. 2. 
  2. ^ "Billy Burke, Open Champ, Dark Harbor Pro, Is Dead". Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine). UPI. April 21, 1972. p. 15. 
  3. ^ "Billy (Burkowski) Burke". National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 

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