Dave Hill (golfer)

Dave Hill (golfer)
Dave Hill
Personal information
Full name James David Hill
Born May 20, 1937(1937-05-20)
Jackson, Michigan
Died September 27, 2011(2011-09-27) (aged 74)
Jackson, Michigan
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st)
Nationality  United States
College University of Detroit
Turned professional 1958
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 25
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 13
Champions Tour 6
Best results in Major Championships
Masters Tournament T5: 1970
U.S. Open 2nd: 1970
The Open Championship T18: 1973
PGA Championship T3: 1974
Achievements and awards
Vardon Trophy 1969

James David Hill (May 20, 1937 – September 27, 2011) was an American professional golfer. He was the brother of golfer Mike Hill.

Hill was born in Jackson, Michigan. He attended the University of Detroit, where he played on the golf team. Hill won 13 times on the PGA Tour, three of which came during his career year of 1969, when he also won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average. He was a member of the United States Ryder Cup team in 1969, 1973, and 1977.

Hill was known for his quick wit and biting sarcasm, and was sometimes referred to as "the Don Rickles of the golf tour".[1] He frequently led the tour in fines and suspensions for violations such as swearing and breaking clubs.[1] Hill played in the acrimonious 1969 Ryder Cup that ended in a 16-16 tie when Jack Nicklaus made his famous "concession" of a short but missable putt to Tony Jacklin on the 18th green in the final match.

In 1970, Hill had his best finish in a major championship, placing second at the U.S. Open played at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.[2] What gained him the most notoriety, though, was not his excellent play but his criticisms of the golf course. When first asked what he thought of the golf course, he said "I'm still looking for it". When asked what Hazeltine needed, he retorted, "Hazeltine really did lack only 80 acres of corn and a few cows. They ruined a good farm when they built this course".[1] Hill was far from alone among the pros in his criticism of Hazeltine, which had to be extensively redesigned before getting a chance to host another men's major, again the U.S. Open, in 1991. Afterward, Hill claimed to have paid a farmer cash to borrow his tractor.[3] If he had won the 1970 U.S. Open, Hill planned to ride the tractor out onto the golf course as he hoisted the trophy.

Another controversy involving Hill started in 1971. At the 1971 Colonial National Invitation, Hill shot rounds of 77-85 to miss the cut. On his last hole, Hill threw a ball out of a sand trap.[4] Hill was disqualified but it was for his signing a scorecard with an incorrect score on it.[5] When Hill went to play in his next tournament, the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic, Hill was told he was being fined $500 for conduct unbecoming a professional golfer.[6] Hill was required to pay the fine before teeing it up in the tournament. He did so but less than a week later, Hill filed a one-million dollar anti-trust suit against the PGA Tour.[7] In response, the tour put Hill on probation for one year.[8] Hill then increased the amount of damages he was seeking to three-million dollars.[9] The litigation was resolved out of court in less than a year and Hill was taken off probation.[10]

In 1987, Hill joined the Senior PGA Tour (now the Champions Tour). He won six tournaments on that tour. Hill had a cameo appearance in the movie, Now You See Him, Now You Don't.

Hill died on September 27, 2011 in Jackson, Michigan after spending the last few years of his life battling emphysema.[11][12]


Professional wins (24)

PGA Tour wins (13)

No. Date Tournament Winning Score Margin of
1 Feb 19, 1961 Home of the Sun Open -11(69-66-69-65=269) Playoff United States Tommy Bolt, Bud Sullivan
2 Sep 10, 1961 Denver Open Invitational -17 (63-64-67-69=263) 6 strokes United States Bob Goalby, United States Art Wall, Jr.
3 Jul 14, 1963 Hot Springs Open Invitational -11 (69-70-70-68=277) Playoff United States Mike Souchak
4 Jun 4, 1967 Memphis Open Invitational -8 (65-66-68-73=272) 2 strokes United States Johnny Pott
5 Jun 1, 1969 Memphis Open Invitational -15 (67-67-66-65=265) 2 strokes United States Lee Elder
6 Jul 6, 1969 Buick Open Invitational -11 (68-68-71-70=277) 2 strokes United States Frank Beard
7 Jul 20, 1969 IVB-Philadelphia Golf Classic -9 (71-71-68-69=279) Playoff United States Gay Brewer, United States Tommy Jacobs, United States R. H. Sikes
8 May 31, 1970 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic -14 (68-67-71-68=274) 3 strokes United States Frank Beard, United States Homero Blancas, New Zealand Bob Charles
9 Apr 16, 1972 Monsanto Open -13 (64-68-68-71=271) 1 stroke United States Jerry Heard
10 May 20, 1973 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic -5 (68-69-74-72=283) 1 stroke United States Allen Miller, United States Lee Trevino
11 May 12, 1974 Houston Open -12 (70-67-74-65=276) 1 stroke United States Rod Curl, United States Steve Melnyk, United States Andy North
12 Sep 28, 1975 Sahara Invitational -14 (68-66-67-69=270) Playoff United States Rik Massengale
13 Jul 4, 1976 Greater Milwaukee Open -18 (66-67-68-69=270) 3 strokes United States John Jacobs

Other wins (5)

this list may be incomplete

Senior PGA Tour wins (6)

  • 1987 (1) Fairfield Barnett Senior Classic
  • 1988 (3) MONY Senior Tournament of Champions, MONY Syracuse Senior Classic, PaineWebber Invitational
  • 1989 (2) Bell Atlantic/St. Christopher's Classic, Rancho Murieta Senior Gold Rush

Other senior wins (1)

Results in major championships

Tournament 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T50 T24
U.S. Open T51 WD DNP CUT DNP T22 T18 T16 T13
PGA Championship DNP CUT T17 CUT DNP DNP T11 T17 T15
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament T5 T27 CUT T37 T11 7 T15 T39 T45 CUT
PGA Championship T68 T6 WD CUT T3 T7 T22 T48 T50 DNP

DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

See also


External links

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