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Famous Like Me > Actor > H > Walter Hagen

Profile of Walter Hagen on Famous Like Me

Name: Walter Hagen  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 21st December 1892
Place of Birth: Rochester, New York, USA
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Walter Hagen (born December 21, 1892 in Rochester, New York; died October 6, 1969) was a major figure in golf in the first half of the 20th century. His tally of eleven professional majors has been surpassed only by Jack Nicklaus. He won the U.S. Open twice and in 1922 he became the first American to win the British Open, which he went on to win four times in total. He also won the PGA Championship five times (1921, 24-27), the Western Open five times and totalled forty PGA wins in his career and was a six time Ryder Cup captain.

Hagen was a key figure in the development of professional golf. He emerged in an era when the division between amateurs and professionals was often stark, with the amateurs having the upper hand in some sports, golf among them. This was especially true in the United Kingdom, which was the leading country in competitive golf when Hagen began his career. Golf professionals were often not allowed to partake of the facilities of the clubhouse and were sometimes not allowed to enter the clubhouse by the front door. On one occasion he hired a Rolls Royce to serve as his dressing room because he was refused entrance to the clubhouse dressing room. On another occasion he refused to enter a clubhouse to claim his prize because he had earlier been denied entrance.

Hagen was a dashing and assertive character who raised the status of professional golfers and improved their earnings as well. He may have been the first sportsman to earn a million dollars in his career. He once stated that he "never wanted to be a millionaire, just to live like one". Gene Sarazen, who was ten years Hagen's junior commented, "All the professionals ... should say a silent thanks to Walter Hagen each time they stretch a check between their fingers. It was Walter who made professional golf what it is."

Hagen's major victories were as follows:

  • U.S. Open: 1914, 1919.
  • British Open: 1922, 1924, 1928, 1929.
  • PGA Championship:1921, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927.

He was past his peak by the time the other major, The Masters Tournament, was established.

Hagen captained the United States in the first six Ryder Cups.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Walter Hagen