Kel Nagle

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Kel Nagle
Personal information
Full nameKelvin David George Nagle
Nickname"The Pymble Crusher"
Born(1920-12-21)21 December 1920
North Sydney, Australia
Died29 January 2015(2015-01-29) (aged 94)
Sydney, Australia
Height5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m)
Weight190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)
Nationality Australia
Turned professional1946
Former tour(s)PGA Tour of Australasia
European Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins95
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour2
PGA Tour of Australasia61
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentT15: 1965
PGA ChampionshipT20: 1965
U.S. Open2nd: 1965
The Open ChampionshipWon: 1960
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2007 (member page)

Kelvin David George Nagle AM (21 December 1920 – 29 January 2015) was an Australian professional golfer best known for winning The Open Championship in 1960.[1] He won at least one tournament each year from 1949 to 1975.


Nagle was born in North Sydney. Because of five-and-a-half years of World War II military service (1939–45), Nagle got a late start on pro golf, as he played no golf between ages 19 and 24, and turned pro at age 25 (1946). He made up for lost time by winning at least one tournament each year from 1949 to 1975. During his early career, he had a long swing and was regarded as the longest hitter on the Australasia tour, as evidenced by the Australian press dubbing him as "the Pymble Crusher".[2] By age 39 (in 1960, when he won The Open Championship), Nagle had shortened his swing and become a straight hitter with what Gary Player described as "the best short game out here".[citation needed]

Although he had won over 30 tournaments in Australia, and had won the Canada Cup for Australia in partnership with five-time Open champion Peter Thomson in 1954 and 1959, Nagle was a shock winner of The Open, as he was 39 years old but had never finished in the top-10 at a major championship before. Thomson told Nagle a few weeks prior to the 1960 Open championship that he "had the game" to win and that "you can beat me". He beat the rising star of American golf Arnold Palmer into second place, and it was Palmer who deprived him of his title in 1961. Although he never regained The Open title, Kel Nagle had six top-five finishes at the Open between 1960 and 1966 (ages 39 to 45). His best result in a United States major was second in the 1965 U.S. Open—the year after he won the Canadian Open—when he and Gary Player finished the 72-hole tournament in a tie. Nagle lost to Player the next day in an 18-hole playoff, during which Nagle hit a female spectator in the forehead on the fifth hole and was visibly affected to the point that he hit another spectator on the same hole. Player won the playoff by 3 strokes.

As late as 1970, the year he turned 50, Nagle was ranked among the top ten players in the world on the McCormack's World Golf Rankings, the forerunner of the modern world ranking system. Nagle won 61 times on the PGA Tour of Australasia, giving him the most wins all-time on that tour, 30 wins ahead of Greg Norman, whose 31 wins sit in second place. Nagle played on the Senior PGA Tour (now Champions Tour) in the U.S. in the 1980s, when he was in his 60s and early 70s. His best finishes were a pair of T-3s: at the 1981 Eureka Federal Savings Classic and the 1982 Peter Jackson Champions. In his final round at the 1982 Charlie Pride Invitational (Four Hills CC Albuquerque, NM), he "shot his age" of 71. In July 2007, Nagle was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame, and was inducted in November 2007.

Nagle died in Sydney on 29 January 2015 at the age of 94.[3]


Professional wins (95)[edit]

Australasian Tour wins (61)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (2)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of victory Runner-up
1 9 Jul 1960 The Open Championship −10 (69-67-71-71=278) 1 stroke United States Arnold Palmer
2 2 Aug 1964 Canadian Open −11 (73-71-66-67=277) 2 strokes United States Arnold Palmer

Major championship is shown in bold.

PGA Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1965 U.S. Open South Africa Gary Player Lost 18-hole playoff (Player:71, Nagle:74)

European Circuit wins (11)[edit]

Other wins (17)[edit]

Senior wins (5)[edit]

this list may be incomplete

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1960 The Open Championship 2 shot lead −10 (69-67-71-71=278) 1 stroke United States Arnold Palmer

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship T19 T19
PGA Championship
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament CUT CUT CUT T35 T21 T15 CUT T31 T30
U.S. Open T17 CUT CUT 2 T34 T9 T52 CUT
The Open Championship 1 T5 2 4 45 T5 T4 T22 T13 9
PGA Championship T20 CUT
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open T30
The Open Championship T32 T11 T31 T39 CUT T40 CUT CUT
PGA Championship
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship CUT
PGA Championship
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1974 Open Championship)
"T" = tied


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 5
U.S. Open 0 1 0 1 2 3 9 6
The Open Championship 1 1 0 6 7 12 21 17
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1
Totals 1 2 0 7 9 18 41 29
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (twice)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1965 U.S. Open – 1965 Open Championship)

Team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1960 Kel Nagle". The Open. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  2. ^ Howard, Al (10 October 1948). "Cremin Bashes Par to Bag Pro Purse". Truth. Sydney. p. 23.
  3. ^ "Aussie golf great Nagle dies". SBS News. 29 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Kel Nagle". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Gentleman golfer Kel Nagle celebrates 90th birthday with some of the greats". The Australian. Associated Press. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Nagle beats Pickworth by one stroke". The Mercury. 22 November 1954.

External links[edit]