Bio of English Golfer Ken Bousfield

Ken Bousfield was one of the top English golfers of the 1950s and 1960s, one whose competitive playing career extended from the 1940s to the 1970s. He was a member of the Great Britain & Ireland team in the Ryder Cup six times.

Full name: Kenneth Bousfield

Date of birth: October 2, 1919

Place of birth: Marston Moor, Yorkshire, England

Date and place of death: May 25, 2000 in Virginia Water, Surrey, England

Bousfield's Biggest Wins

These are wins recorded by Ken Bousfield on the British and European circuits that predated the formation of the European Tour:
  • 1951 Southern Professional Championship
  • 1951 News Chronicle Tournament
  • 1955 British PGA Championship
  • 1955 News of the World Match Play
  • 1955 German Open
  • 1956 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament
  • 1957 Dunlop Tournament
  • 1957 Southern Professional Championship
  • 1958 Belgian Open
  • 1958 Swiss Open
  • 1959 Sprite Tournament
  • 1959 German Open
  • 1960 Portuguese Open
  • 1961 Portuguese Open
  • 1961 Swallow-Penfold Tournament
  • 1964 Gleneagles Hotel Foursomes Tournament
  • 1972 PGA Seniors Championship
  • 1974 Southern Professional Championship
Bousfield's 1956 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament win was a tie with Dai Rees.

In the Majors

Bousfield had no wins in major championships, and he never played The Masters, U.S. Open or PGA Championship, only the British Open. His first appearance was in the 1947 Open Championship, in which he tied for 27th; and his last in the 1972 British Open.

Bousfield had two Top 10 finishes: He tied for fifth in the 1955 British Open and tied for eighth in the 1961 British Open. His 68 in the final round in 1961 was not only the lowest score of the round, but the only sub-70 score of the final round.

Bousfield also had two tied-for-11th finishes in 1949 and 1959, plus four other Top 25 finishes.

More About Ken Bousfield

Ken Bousfield's golf game was noted by an excellent short game, which he used to make up for a lack of power in his long game. He was an excellent putter and was particularly known in his day as one of the best players of pitch shots, for which he used an unusually long backswing.

"Consistency was the key to his game," Peter Alliss wrote, "and this quiet man was competitively tough."

In The Encyclopedia of Golf, published in 1975, the authors described Bousfield's game this way:

"Not a powerful striker but a master of control and accuracy, particularly on fast courses where finesse was required, his swing had a beautiful, unfalteringly slow rhythm and he was an outstanding short pitcher."
After serving as a Marine color sergeant during World War II, Bousfield returned to England and embarked on his golf career. Beginning in the late 1940s, he had multiple near-misses in big British tournaments. He was second to Fred Daly in the 1948 Penfold Tournament, second in 1949 and 1950 in the North British-Harrogate Tournament.

Bousfield was named to the 1949 Ryder Cup team, the first of six appearances in the Ryder Cup. He reached the championship match of the British PGA Match Play Championship in 1950, losing to Harry Weetman, and was runner-up to Dai Rees in the 1950 News Chronicle Tournament.

But Bousfield broke through at the News Chronicle Tournament the next year, winning it after having already recorded his first significant pro victory, at the 1951 Southern Professional Championship, earlier in the year.

Bousfield didn't win again until 1955, but that turned out to be his best year: He won the British PGA Championship (now called the BMW PGA Championship and considered the second biggest tournament on the European Tour after the Open Championship) in its first year of existence, beat Eric Brown in the championship match of the British PGA Match Play (then called the News of the World Match Play), and added the title in the German Open.

In his title defense of the British Match Play the next year, he again reached the championship match but lost to John Panton.

From 1955 through 1961, six national opens — two German Opens, two Portuguese, one Belgian and one Swiss Open — were among his victories. Most of his wins in the list above came during that period.

Bousfield never gave the U.S. PGA Tour a real try, playing just three tournaments in 1949 and two in 1962, with a best finish of tied for 20th in the 1949 Los Angeles Open.

After winning the 1964 Gleneagles Hotel Foursomes, a team event, Bousfield didn't win again until he began playing senior golf. By the time of the European Tour's first season in 1972, Bousfield was 53 years old. He played nine tournaments in 1972 and eight in 1973, and only a handful after that. His final appearance in a European Tour event was at the 1978 Martini International.

Bousfield won the 1972 PGA Seniors Championship, beating Alfonso Angelini on the first hole of a playoff, one year after being runner-up in that tournament. In the 1972 World Senior Championship, which annually matched the American and British PGA senior champs, Bousfield lost to Sam Snead, 3 and 2.

Bousfield was runner-up in the PGA Seniors Championship in 1974 and 1975. Two years after his 1972 victory in that event, he won another "regular" (non-senior) title at the 1974 Southern Professional Championship, 23 years after he had made that tournament his first significant pro win.

Bousfield's final appearance in a senior tournament wasn't until the 1994 PGA Seniors Championship, when he was 75 years old. Bousfield was 80 years old when he died in the year 2000.

In the Ryder Cup

Ken Bousfield was a stalwart on Great Britain & Ireland teams of his era, playing six times: 1949, 1951, 1955, 1957, 1959 and 1961. His overall record in those matches was 5-5-0 — a good record for GB&I players of his era, when Team USA was usually dominant. Bousfield was 2-2 in singles, 3-3 in foursomes.

The high point for Bousfield was the 1957 Ryder Cup, which was the only Ryder Cup won by Team GB&I from 1935 through 1983. On Day 1, Bousfield teamed with Dai Rees to earn GB&I's only foursomes win, beating Art Wall and Fred Hawkins. In Day 2's singles, Bousfield defeated Lionel Hebert, 4 and 3.

In the 1961 Ryder Cup, his last, Bousfield and Rees partnered twice and split those matches. They beat Bill Collins/Mike Souchak, but lost to Arnold Palmer/Billy Casper. Bousfield also split two singles matches that year, losing to Casper but beating Jerry Barber.

In addition to his Ryder Cup play, Bousfield also represented England in the World Cup (then called the Canada Cup) in 1956 and 1957.

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