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Friday, 21 June 2013
Bernard Hunt  (EuropeanTour)
Bernard Hunt (EuropeanTour)

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  • 1973 Ryder Cup team captained by Bernard Hunt

Two-time Ryder Cup captain Bernard Hunt MBE has died at the age of 83.

Hunt was one of Europe’s leading players in the 1950s and 1960s and played in the famous Ryder Cup victory of 1957, when Great Britain defeated the United States at Lindrick.

He played in eight out of nine Ryder Cups between 1953 and 1969 and was a formidable opponent in the singles, losing just three of ten matches with four wins and three halves.

Hunt captained Great Britain and Ireland in the 1973 and 1975 Ryder Cups when America held a firm grip on the biennial contest.

In 1963 he and his brother, Geoff, became the first brothers to play in the same Ryder Cup team.

Born in Atherstone, Warwickshire, in 1930 Hunt turned professional in 1946.

He won the Harry Vardon Trophy by topping the Order of Merit, which was then points-based, in 1958, 1960 and 1965.

He won more than 30 titles on the equivalent of The European Tour with 1963 the best season in terms of prize money, when he won £7,209.

Hunt enjoyed four top five finishes in The Open Championship and had a particularly good record at St Andrews, where he was tied fifth in 1955, tied third in 1960 and fourth in 1964.

By the time The European Tour was introduced in 1972, he was past his playing best but still finished in the top 20 on the money list in 1973.

Hunt followed in his father John's footsteps as head professional at Hartsbourne Golf Club, and he later became the first head professional at Foxhills Golf Club, where he served for 25 years and where one of the courses bears his name.

Hunt was a founding member on the European Senior Tour when it was launched in 1992, but his opportunity to make an impact at this level was limited as he was 62 by then. Nevertheless, he still came 15th in the Order of Merit in 1994.

He twice captained the PGA, first in 1966 and again from 1995 to 1997.

He is survived by his wife Meg and three children Matthew, Sophie and Viv.

George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “‘Bernard Hunt was one of Britain’s truly great Champions and has been a steadfast ally to all of us involved in the growth of The European Tour.
 
“He was enormously respected by all of his fellow players, as was evidenced when he was appointed Ryder Cup Captain in 1973 and 1975 and Captain of the PGA in 1966 and again from 1995 to 1997.
 
“We extend our deepest sympathy to Meg and all the extended Hunt family.’’

Sandy Jones, Chief Executive of the Professional Golfers’ Association said: “It was with great sadness I learned of Bernard Hunt’s passing. He was one of the gentlemen of golf and his record on the course is one of the best in the British game. He will be missed greatly by those who played with and against him during those halcyon days.

“For me personally, I spent many happy and enjoyable hours with him when he was PGA Captain. He was a pleasure to be with and my thoughts and sympathy go out Meg, his wife, and three children, Matthew, Sophie and Viv.”

 

A Memorial Service for Bernard Hunt MBE, who died last month, aged 83, will take place on Monday, July 29, at 12.00 Noon at the Holy Trinity Church, Lyne and Longcross, Lyne Lane, Lyne, Chertsey (KT16 0AJ) and afterwards at Foxhills, Ottershaw, Surrey (KT16 0EL).

To assist arrangements please let David Wright (David.Wright@pga.org.uk) know by email if you will be attending.

Bernard played in eight Ryder Cups – he was on the winning team at Lindrick in 1957 – and captained the team in 1973 and 1975. He captured more than 30 titles worldwide, including the Dunlop Masters (twice), the French Open and the Brazilian Open, and won the Harry Vardon Trophy in 1958, 1960 and 1965.

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