British Ryder Cupper Hunt dead at 83
British golf is in mourning over the loss of Ryder Cup player Bernard Hunt, who has died aged 83 after a long illness.
Hunt enjoyed a long association with the Ryder Cup. He played in eight out of nine matches between 1953 and 1969. He and brother Geoff became the second set of siblings after the Whitcombe brothers – Charles, Ernst and Reginald – to play in the same match when they appeared in the 1963 competition.
Hunt was a member of the 1957 team that won at Lindrick Golf Club, England. He had a decent record in an age when the U.S. dominated the biennial competition. He only lost three of 10 singles, with four wins and three halves.
Born in Atherstone, Warwickshire, in 1930, Hunt also captained the British Ryder Cup team in 1973 and 1975. He won the Harry Vardon Trophy for topping the European Tour Order of Merit in 1958, 1960 and 1965.
Hunt won thirty professional tournaments during his long career, including the Egyptian, Belgian, German, French and Brazilian Opens. He also won the British Masters on two occasions. He had three top fives in the Open Championship, the highest being joint third at St Andrews in 1960.
Following in his father John's footsteps, Hunt became a PGA professional, first at Hartsbourne Golf Club in Hertfordshire, England. He later became the first head professional at Foxhills Golf Club in Surrey, England, where he served for 25 years.
“Bernard Hunt was one of Britain’s truly great champions, and has been a steadfast ally to all of us involved in the growth of The European Tour,” European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said.
“He was enormously respected by all of his fellow players, as was evidenced when he was appointed Ryder Cup Captain in 1973 and 1975.”
He twice captained the British Professional Golfer’s Association, first in 1966 and again from 1995 to 1997.
“It was with great sadness I learned of Bernard Hunt’s passing,” said Sandy Jones, chief executive of the British PGA. “He was one of the gentlemen of golf and his record on the course is one of the best in the British game. He will be missed greatly by those who played with and against him during those halcyon days.
“For me personally, I spent many happy and enjoyable hours with him when he was PGA Captain. He was a pleasure to be with and my thoughts and sympathy go out to Meg, his wife, and three children, Matthew, Sophie and Viv.”