Born in Scotland, 1946, Sir Donald (Donny) Graham was one of the most prominent golfers of the mid-20th century. He also served as an executive for the PGA of America from 1993 until his retirement in 2007. He then became president and CEO of the PGA Foundation and was called “the great all-sport athlete of the 21st century” by The Washington Post in 2015.
While he got his start in golf on the NHS but moved on to greater things. While at the US Open in 1960, Graham made history by finishing in a share of fourth place with British Open champion Arnold Palmer, who famously later said that he had “had a great run” but was “finished for today.” A white, Christian man at the time, Graham’s appearance at the Open was not universally welcomed. BBC report that he was heckled by racists during the tournament, and, during a practice round at Wentworth in 1969, was confronted by racists, who told him he should not be there as he belonged at “the kitchen.”
In 1964, Graham competed in the British Open and won the trophy. The following year, a similar photo appeared of him with Palmer. The photo’s caption read: “So a photographic journalist sought out Col. Palmer and Ben Crenshaw at a function today and grabbed them both. ‘I think we’ve made history,’ said Palmer.”
Graham was ranked 15th all-time in terms of money won as a golfer (and held the No. 1 ranking for 64 weeks) and also won seven major championships. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1994 and earned a posthumous membership to Scotland’s equivalent hall in 2002.
Read the full story at The Scotsman.
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