Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Locke played in his first British Open in 1936, when he was eighteen, and finished as low amateur. He turned professional two years later and was a prolific tournament winner in his native country, eventually accumulating 38 wins on the South African Tour (now the Sunshine Tour). His golf career was interrupted by service in the South African Air Force during World War II.
Locke resumed his career in America in 1946, and played a series of exhibitions against Sam Snead, one of the top American golfers of the day, winning 12 out of 14 matches. In two and a half years on the PGA Tour Locke played 59 events. He won eleven and finished in the top three in thirty - just over half. In 1948, he won the Chicago Victory National by 16 strokes, which as of 2005 remains a PGA Tour record for margin of victory. The following year Locke was banned from the tour in dispute over playing commitments. The ban was lifted in 1951, but Locke chose not to return to play in the United States.
Locke continued his career in Europe and Africa. He won twenty three times in Europe, most notably a quartet of successes in the British Open titles, which came in 1949, 1950, 1952 and 1957. In 1959 he was involved in a serious car accident, and subsequently he suffered from migraines and eye problems that put an end to his competitive career.
Locke built his success around his outstanding putting, commenting "You drive for show but putt for dough."
Locke was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977.
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