Former PGA Champion Runyan Dies
Paul Runyan won the PGA Championship in both 1934 and 1938. Jeff Runyan said his father died at Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs, Calif. He had been hospitalized a week ago with pneumonia in both lungs.
'He still had so much he wanted to do,' his son said. 'He was looking forward to going back to The Masters again this year.'
Runyan, a native of Hot Springs, Ark., had been one of the few survivors who played in the first Masters in 1934, finishing two shots behind Horton Smith in a tie for third. He competed in an era that featured Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen and Sam Snead, and he held his own.
Runyan was a wizard with his short game, and often frustrated the big hitters by scratching out pars, and victories, when it looked as though he was the heavy underdog.
The biggest of all came in 1938, when he whipped Snead 8-and-7 in the 36-hole final of the PGA Championship. Snead was often 25 yards past him down the fairway, but Runyan plugged along by making every putt.
Runyan Beats Snead for 1938 PGA Championship
'I was sorry to hear that Paul Runyan was gone,' Arnold Palmer said from the Bay Hill Invitational. 'He was a great player with an exceptional short game, and he had a wonderful career.'
It was that short game that earned him his nickname.
'I think he liked it,' his son said. 'He was just cocky enough to enjoy that.'
Born July 12, 1908, Runyan won 26 times on the PGA Tour, including a career-high seven victories in 1933. His most memorable season was in 1934, when his six victories included the PGA Championship at Park Country Club in Williamsdale, N.Y.
He defeated Craig Wood in the final match, which went 38 holes.
Runyan, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, was equally renowned as an instructor, and continued to give lessons at the Golf Center at Palm Desert as recently as three weeks ago.
Watch Runyan's May 2001 Golf Talk Live appearance
Among the clubs where he taught were La Jolla Country Club near San Diego, Sahalee Country Club outside Seattle and Green Gables in Colorado.
Runyan played in the Par-3 Contest at The Masters three years ago, posting a 9-over 36.
'I remember that it was a very important event for us,' Runyan said at the time. 'Anything that Bobby Jones had anything to do with was important the first time. Of course, nobody at that time would understand how important it has become now.'
His son said funeral services were pending.
Runyan is survived by two sons, Jeff and Paul; and two grandsons, Gentry and Asa. His second wife, Bernice, died in September 2000.
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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.