Jackie Burke will always be remember for his string of four consecutive victories ( Texas Open, Houston Open, Baton Rouge Open, and St. Petersburg Open) in 1952. In PGA Tour annals, this feat is second only to Byron Nelson’s 11-victory streak in 1945. Burke’s earnings for his four wins only amounted to $8,000. At the end of the season he had pocketed $21,000 and was third on the money list. But his best year was yet to come. In 1952, he won both the Vardon Trophy with a stroke average of 70.54 and was named Player of the Year. During his playing career, Burke won 17 titles, most notably the 1956 Masters and PGA Championship when he was named PGA Player of the Year.
The eldest son of Texas trailblazing club pro Jack Burke, Sr. played on five Ryder Cup teams and was twice a captain, non-playing captain in 1973. He was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 1976, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1979.
Burke was a judo instructor in the Marines in WWII. The late Jimmy Demaret was Burke’s life-long friend, confidant and business partner. In 1957, they built the famed Champions Golf Club, site of the 1967 Ryder Cup matches and the 1969 U.S. Open. When Demaret died in 1983, Burke became the sole owner. He turned professional before his 20th birthday and headed the operation at Galveston Country Club.
In 2004, Jackie Burke Jr. was awarded the Bob Jones Award for the recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.
Full name: John Joseph Burke Jr.
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas
Born: January 29, 1923