1910-05-24 in Houston, TexasDied:
December 28, 1983 in Houston, Texas
James Newton Demaret (May 24, 1910 – December 28, 1983) was an American professional golfer. He won 31 PGA Tour events in a long career between 1935 and 1957 and was the first three-time winner of the Masters.
Demaret was born in Houston, Texas. He reached his peak in the late 1940s with wins in the Masters in 1947, runner-up to Ben Hogan in the 1948 U.S. Open, and leading money winner and Vardon Trophy winner in 1947. He reached the semifinals of the PGA Championship four times in all but never won. He lost a playoff for the 1957 U.S. Open, at age 47. He played on three Ryder Cup teams: 1947, 1949, and 1951. His career declined in the 1950s, although he managed several key wins including the 1952 Bing Crosby Pro-Am.
Demaret was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1983. In 2000, he was ranked as the 20th greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine.
Known for his keen sense of humor and colorful outfits, Demaret was one of first Tour pros to become involved in golf broadcasting. After working as a commentator for "All Star Golf" in the early '60s, he replaced George Rogers as co-host for Shell's Wonderful World of Golf along with Gene Sarazen in 1966.
Business partner Jack Burke, Jr. and Demaret teamed to found the high-standard Champions Golf Club in Houston in the 1960s, with 36 holes. The club would host the 1967 Ryder Cup, the 1969 U.S. Open, and other high-profile Tour events.
Jimmy Demaret was a guest on "I Love Lucy" in the early 1950s. The over-70s groupings on the Senior PGA Tour were named the Friends of Demaret in his honor. He died of a heart attack in Houston, Texas as he was getting ready for a round of golf.