Davenport | DOB: November 7, 1921; Died: March 21, 2014 (Age 92)

Inducted 1990 | Category: Professional Golfer

Career Highlights

PGA Tour Career Victories

  • 1955 U. S. Open Champion  Defeated Ben Hogan in an 18 hole playoff by three strokes
  • 1960 Phoenix Open Champion
  • 1961 Bakersfield Open Champion
  • 1964 Illinois PGA Championship
  • 1965 Illinois Open Champion

Senior Tour Highlights

  • 1979 PGA Seniors’ Champion
  • 1995 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf
  • Four-Ball Champion, Demaret Division with partner Tommy Bolt

Major Appearances

  • 10 Masters Tournaments
  • 13 U. S. Open Championships
  • 11 PGA Championships

Jack Fleck’s victory in the 1955 U. S. Open stands in golf history as one of the greatest upsets. Fleck rallied late to tie Ben Hogan and then denied Hogan his record fifth Open title by winning the 18-hole playoff by three shots.

Fleck was born in 1921 in Bettendorf and attended Davenport High School. He began his golf career by playing in high school, caddying, and then becoming an assistant pro up until World War II.  He served in the Navy and participated in the D-Day invasion.

Upon his return from the war Fleck tried to qualify for PGA Tour events and played locally, but decided that he would try his luck full time on the tour.  The choice paid off only six months later with his U.S. Open victory at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Jack came close to a second Open title in 1960 finishing in a tie for third behind winner Arnold Palmer and rookie pro Jack Nicklaus.  His short stint on the tour included two other victories, the Phoenix Open Invitational and the Bakersfield Open. In 1962 he finished 7th in the PGA Championship and 11th at the Masters.  He came close to two other tour wins but lost playoffs both times.

He left the tour in 1963 to work as a club professional in Wisconsin, Illinois and California. He returned to competitive golf as a senior winning the PGA Seniors’ Championship in 1979 one year before the Senior PGA Tour was formed.

For more detailed information on Fleck’s life and career click on the links provided below.

Read Fleck Obituary from Golf Channel

Jack Fleck on Wikipedia

Two books about Jack Fleck and his 1955 U. S. Open victory:

“The Upset” by Al Barkow

“The Longest Shot” by Neil Sagebiel

Served in the Navy during WWII & participated in the D-Day invasion.
Fleck and Hogan shake hands before starting the playoff.
Warming up for Open playoff.
On the cover of Golf Digest
Playing on the Senior Tour.
With Iowa's other pro major winner Zach Johnson.
The man and his moment in history.
Fleck revisited the Olympic Club at the 2012 U. S. Open.
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