Ball, last inaugural Masters participant, dies at 103


Errie Ball, the last surviving member of the original Masters field of 1934, died Wednesday at age 103.

Ball was the oldest and longest-serving PGA of America member (82 years). He was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 2011.

"The PGA of America is saddened by the passing of Errie Ball, a professional in all aspects of life," PGA of America President Ted Bishop said. "Errie's amazing career spans the legends of the game - from Harry Vardon through Tiger Woods. His longevity, according to those who knew him best, was founded upon a love of people. Each day, like each step he took on the course, was spent with purpose. We will miss him dearly, but his legacy continues to shine through the many PGA Professionals he inspired to grow our game." 

Ball was born Samuel Harry "Errie" Ball on Nov. 14, 1910 in Bangor, Wales. He came to the United States to work for his uncle, Frank Ball, at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga. Bobby Jones, the whose home club was East Lake, convinced him to remained in America. His life spanned 18 U.S. presidents.

Ball tied for 23rd in the maiden Masters and competed in all four majors, including 20 U.S. Open and 12 PGA Championships. He won the 1931 Southeastern PGA Championship and the 1932 Atlanta Open.

Here is a piece on Ball that Golf Channel ran during this year’s Masters:

Editor's note: The Golf Channel research department contributed to this story.