David Graham - Australia - Golf career highlights.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 01 January 1981

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      Thursday, 23 May 1946
      Windsor, Australia.
  • Australia
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David GRAHAM - Australia - Golf career highlights.

 1960 and 1970s.

David Graham turned professional in 1962 and after a successful spell on both the Australian and Asian tours he spread his wings,as any ambitious Australian golfer must,by joining the US Tour in 1971. His first tour win came the following year when he beat fellow countryman Bruce Devlin,the man he had partnered to success in the World Cup just two years earlier,in a play-off for the Cleveland Open. Graham enjoyed his finest tournament win yet when he captured the 1976 World Matchplay at Wentworth with his magnificent putting much to the fore in his victory over American Hale Irwin. That same year came his first US Tour victories for four years with triumphs at the American Express Westchester Classic and American Golf Classic. The following year saw the Windsor born Graham win the Australian Open and then in 1979 he enjoyed his greatest hour yet with his victory at the PGA Championship. In a remarkable finale to the tournament Graham shot a closing round 65 to go into a play-off with Ben Crenshaw who had finished with a 67. Those statistics do not tell the full story though as the Australian astonishingly took a double bogey six at the 18th when victory was all but his. Lesser men may have been broken by that failure but Graham showed his mettle by holing putts of 30 feet and ten feet at the first two extra holes to stay in contention and a birdie at the next secured his first major championship. With that victory Graham became the first Australian since Peter Thomsom at the 1965 Open to taste success in one of the four majors. (David Scranage)

1980 onwards. 


With that wonderful victory at the PGA Championship still very much fresh in the mind David Graham turned in another fine performance at the next major - the 1980 Masters. His seven under par total left him in 5th place in a tournament won by the brilliant young Spaniard Seve Ballesteros who finished at 13 under. There was victory that year at the Memorial tournament and the following year the Australian was to enjoy his best ever season with success at the Phoenix Open and,more notably,the US Open. That US Open triumph owed much to Graham's precision play in the final round where he hit every green in regulation and missed just one fairway off the tee. He had opened the tournament with rounds of 68,68 and 70 to trail George Burns by three strokes going into the last day but his magnificent closing effort of 67 was sufficient to give him a three shot victory from Burns and Bill Rogers. With that success Graham became the first player to break the American stranglehold on the event since Tony Jacklin in 1970. Indeed,only Ernie Els,in 1994 and '97,has managed to join the elite band of Graham and Jacklin as non-American winners of the event between the years of 1970 and 2000. Graham's success was to prove the pinnacle of his career and thereafter he was to win just once more on the US Tour with victory at the Coca-Cola Houston of 1983. There was also a fine performance at the 1985 Open where he finished in third place just two strokes back on the champion Sandy Lyle. It could have been so different,however,as David could only manage a closing round of 75 compared to the Scotsman's 70 and what proved to be his last chance of claiming a third major title slipped through his fingers. In 1994 Graham was afforded the honour of captaining the first ever International Team in the President's Cup match with the USA. (David Scranage)