Cyril Walker, sad story of a Us Open champ

Cyril Walker, a British professional golfer born in Manchester in 1892, found significant success in the United States after emigrating in 1914

by Andrea Gussoni
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Cyril Walker, sad story of a Us Open champ
© Getty Images Sport - Kirby / Stringer

Cyril Walker, a British professional golfer born in Manchester in 1892, found significant success in the United States after emigrating in 1914. Between 1917 and 1930, he secured six professional tournament victories, with his crowning achievement being the 1924 U.S.

Open at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield, Michigan.

Cyril Walker, story

Walker's victory at the 1924 U.S. Open, where he bested defending champion Bobby Jones by three strokes, marked a turning point in his career, elevating him to fame and fortune.

However, despite his prowess on the course, Walker was known for his notoriously slow play, which often led to friction with his peers. Due to his pace, tournament organizers frequently scheduled him in later tee times, sometimes forcing him to play alone with a marker.

Despite his professional success, Walker faced personal and financial challenges during the Great Depression, exacerbated by ill-advised investments. Legal troubles followed, including an incident involving a caddie and an arrest for drunk driving.

By 1940, he had lost his professional position at Saddle River Golf and Country Club in New Jersey, leading to further difficulties in his personal life. Walker later found himself working as a caddie in Florida, relying on the Salvation Army for support.

His tragic end came in Hackensack, New Jersey, where he passed away from pneumonia while seeking refuge in a local jail. Cyril Walker's story underscores the highs and lows of a professional athlete's career, from triumph on the green to personal struggles off it, leaving a poignant legacy in the annals of golf history.

Cyril Walker, born in Manchester in 1892, was a British professional golfer who made a significant impact in the early 20th century. He emigrated to the United States in 1914 and became known for his skill on the golf course, particularly during the period from 1917 to 1930 when he won six professional tournaments.

Walker's most notable achievement was winning the 1924 U.S. Open, held at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield, Michigan. This victory, where he finished three strokes ahead of Bobby Jones, a renowned golfer of that era, catapulted him into the spotlight of golfing success.

Despite his prowess in golf, Walker's career was marred by controversies, particularly his reputation for slow play, which often led to tensions with other players and officials. As a consequence, he frequently played alone or with a marker, as others were reluctant to pair with him.

The onset of the Great Depression in 1929 dealt a severe blow to Walker's financial stability. His investments faltered, leading to financial difficulties. Additionally, he faced legal troubles, including incidents involving altercations and legal issues related to his behavior both on and off the course.

By the early 1940s, Walker's professional career had declined significantly. He lost his position as a club professional at Saddle River Golf and Country Club in New Jersey and struggled to find stable employment in the golfing world.

He eventually resorted to working as a caddie in Florida, relying on charitable organizations for support. Walker's life took a tragic turn when he passed away from pneumonia in Hackensack, New Jersey, while seeking shelter in a local jail.

His story highlights the complexities of professional sports careers, showcasing both the triumphs and challenges faced by athletes during and after their competitive years.

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