Countdown to Whistling Straits: 30 Days to Go

PGA of America


Published: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | 5:48 p.m.

In 1965, Herbert Warren Wind wrote of Dave Marr: "It is probably an exaggeration to call Dave Marr, as some have done, the Adlai Stevenson of golf, but unlike most of the players on the tour, he does show marked egghead tendencies."

If thinking long and hard make the champion, then Marr had the right stuff when it was needed most in the 47th PGA Championship.

Marr recalled how he blew a three-stroke lead with seven holes to go in the final round of the Insurance City Open in Hartford, Conn. At Laurel Valley Country Club, he was a study in concentration in winning the only major championship of his career. The morning of the final round, he found a note slipped under his motel door from his uncle, Jack Burke Jr., the 1956 PGA Champion. The advice was simple: "Fairways and greens, Cuz." Marr followed Uncle Jack’s advice, and showed his mettle under pressure by making a difficult putt for par at the 17th hole. At the 18th, Marr drove into a bunker on the left side of the fairway, hit a 7-iron near a huge pond and then uncorked what he called "a career shot" — a 9-iron to within three feet of the pin to win. If there was a pivotal hole for Marr, it was the par-5, 535-yard 11th. Playing with Jack Nicklaus, Marr birdied and Nicklaus chipped poorly twice to finish with a bogey.