Allan George "Al" Balding
(April 29, 1924 –
July 30 2006) was a
golfer best known for being the first Canadian to win on the
was born in Toronto,
Ontario. He served in France and Germany as a member
of the Canadian Army during World War II.
He became a professional
golfer in 1950.
Balding began play on the Canadian Tour winning his first two
tournaments in 1952. In 1955, Balding became the first Canadian to
win a PGA Tour event when he won the Mayfair Open. In 1957, he won
three events on the Tour
and finished 6th
on the money list, the highest of any Canadian at that point.
Balding would go on to win an impressive number of victories in a
number of different venues over a long period of time during his
career. He won 10 events on the Canadian Tour from 1952 through
1973. He won four tournaments on the PGA Tour. In 1968, he won the
Team Title (with George Knudson
) and the Individual Title.
Balding played on the Canadian National Team in the World Cup from
1956 – 1970 except in the years 1962, 1965 and 1966. Perhaps his
most remarkable win came at the age of 76 when Balding captured the
2000 Canadian PGA Senior Championship.In 2002 during a senior
event, Balding shot 66, twelve shots lower than his age, a feat
unparalleled in the history of tournament golf according to
historians at the PGA Tour.
Balding was named Ontario Athlete of the Year
in 1955 and
1957. He was elected to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
1968, and the Canadian Golf
Hall of Fame
in 1984. He was one of the 40 original seniors on
the U.S. Senior Tour.
He died in
Ontario on July 30, 2006 from cancer.
Professional wins (18)
PGA Tour (4)
Canadian Tour (10)
- Robert Thompson's Going For The Green: November