Athlete


Date Inducted: 06 Dec 2001
Sport: Golf
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Bruce Crampton - Golf

Bruce Crampton was the first Australian golfer to win more than $1 million in prize money on the US PGA Tour, placing him among famous names such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper and Lee Trevino. He was known as the original "Ironman" for his long playing schedules, including a 38 consecutive match stretch. Between 1961 and 1977 he won 14 tournaments on the US PGA Tour.

Though he never won the British or American Opens, Crampton won - apart from the 1956 Australian Open - the New Zealand PGA Championship in 1954, the Philippines Open and the Far East Open in 1959, and the Hawaiian Open in 1969, proving he could be successful away from the American main land.

Crampton made his first visit to the USA after winning the 1956 Australian Open at the age of 22, and though always threatening to win a tournament, had to wait until 1961 when he scored a one stroke win in the Milwaukee Open Invitational. In 1965 he created a record by winning three successive American tournaments, the rich Bing Crosby extravaganza, which up to that time had never been won by someone from outside the USA, the Colonial National Invitation, and the 500 Festival Open Invitation.

1973 was by far Crampton's most successful year with four tournament wins, and five placings as runner up. He won the Phoenix Open, the Dean Martin Tucson Open, the Houston Open, and the American Golf Classic. He finished second to Jack Nicklaus four times in Major Championships; the Masters and US Open in 1972, and the US PGA Championships in 1973 and 1975.

In 1973 he became the first foreign player since Harry Cooper of England to win the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average on the US Tour and again won this in 1975. He had ten holes-in-one during his professional career.

Crampton also represented Australia in the World Cup in 1963, 1964, 1967, and 1972 where he finished third with Billy Dunk.

Crampton retired from the professional circuit in May 1977 ranked fifth in the all time prize money winning statistics. Since retiring, Crampton has had 20 wins on the US Senior PGA Tour from 1985 to 1999, including the World Senior Match Play Championship. He retired from the Senior PGA Tour after the 1999 MasterCard Championship.

Crampton was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1992 and is a member of the New South Wales Hall of Champions.

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.