Malcolm Gregson: British PGA Champ, Ryder Cupper

Malcolm Gregson was an English golfer who turned pro in the early 1960s and had one glory year: From 1967 into 1968, he won four times and played in the Ryder Cup and World Cup. Gregson later went on to record multiple victories in senior golf.

Full name: Malcolm Edward Gregson

Date of birth: August 15, 1943

Place of birth: Leicester, England

Date and place of death: January 24, 2024, in Southport, England

His Biggest Wins

Gregson had five victories on the Great Britain/Ireland circuit that predated the modern European Tour: He also won the 1972 Sumrie Better-Ball, partnered by Huggett; and, on the Safari Circuit in Africa, won the 1974 Cock o' the North Tournament.

Senior Tour

Gregson also had five victories on the European Seniors Tour:
  • 1994 Tandem Stockley Park Seniors Opens
  • 1996 Lawrence Batley Seniors
  • 1998 Is Molas Senior Open
  • 2003 Irvine Whitlock Jersey Seniors
  • 2004 De Vere Northumberland Seniors

In the Majors

Gregson played in 18 major championships, all but one of which was an Open Championship. The one that wasn't was the 1968 Masters, in which Gregson tied for 36th place. He had only two Top 25 finishes in the Opens he played: tied 19th in his very first appearance, the 1964 British Open; and tied 25th in 1971. Gregson's final start in a major was at the 1983 Open.

More About Malcolm Gregson

As a junior golfer, Malcolm Gregson was a "boy international" for England, representing his country in matches against Scotland in 1959 and 1960, and against Continental Europe in 1960. And he reached the final of the 1959 French International Boys Championship.

Gregson turned pro in 1961, becoming an assistant at Moor Park Golf Club in Hertfordshire, England. In 1963 he was runner-up in the Coombe Hill Assistants' Tournament.

His first big pro victory was the 1964 PGA Assistants' Championship, then called the Gor-Ray Cup.

He didn't win again until 1967, but it was a big one: The British PGA Championship (then called the Schweppes PGA Championship). At the time, Gregson was just the third golfer to win both the PGA Assistants' Championship and the PGA Championship in Great Britain, joining Dai Rees and Peter Alliss.

And 1967 was Gregson's glory year: He won three times that year, played in the Ryder Cup and World Cup, led the British circuit in money, and won the Harry Vardon Trophy (then based on a point system rather than the Order of Merit).

His other victories that year were in two other prominent events, the Daks Tournament and the Martini International. Also in 1967, playing internationally (something Gregson was always willing to do), he lost a playoff to Japan's Kenji Hosoishi in the Indian Open.

The 1967 Ryder Cup was a tough one for Team GB&I (which lost, 23.5 to 8.5), and for Gregson, who lost all four matches he played. Gregson and Hugh Boyle lost in Day 1 foursomes to Arnold Palmer/Gardner Dickinson. In Day 2 fourballs, Gregson and Alliss fell to Dickinson/Doug Sanders. There were two singles sessions in 1967. Gregson played in both, and lost to Al Geiberger in both: 4-and-2 in the morning singles and 2-and-1 in the afternoon singles.

He also represented England in the 1967 World Cup, played a few weeks after the Ryder Cup, and tied for sixth individually.

Gregson repeated as Daks Tournament champ in 1968. Off his successes in 1967-68, Gregson decided to make an effort at the U.S. PGA Tour in 1969. He finished third in the tour's Q-School to earn membership.

He had entered a handful of tournaments in America prior, but in 1969 he made 11 starts. Gregson had a decent showing: He made eight cuts, with two Top 20s and one Top 10 finish. But it wasn't enough to keep him going and he never made another start on the PGA Tour after 1969.

Also in 1969, back on the British circuit, Gregson tied second at Gallaher Ulster Open.

Today's European Tour began play in 1972, and Gregson was a regular on the circuit through 1980. He never won an official European Tour event, but did have a pair of second-place finishes (one in 1972 and another in 1979), plus 12 other Top 10 finishes. Gregson's best finish on the European Tour money list was 22nd in 1978.

He did win again outside of the European Tour, though. Gregson took the 1972 Sumrie Better-Ball partnered by Brian Huggett, and they reached the championship match again the following year.

He also had one win and several near-misses on the African circuit what was known as the Safari Tour. His victory was in the 1974 Cock o' the North — he beat Jack Newton in a playoff — in Zambia. Gregson was runner-up in the Kenya Open in 1970 and 1974, runner-up in the Nigerian Open 1973 and 1977 (losing in a playoff in 1977), second in the 1972 Zambia Open, and second in the Cock o' the North in 1985.

Gregson turned 50 in 1993 and joined the European Seniors Tour. He won three times before the end of the 1990s, first at the 1994 Tandem Stockley Park Seniors Opens. Then he won twice more in the 2000s, last at the 2004 De Vere Northumberland Seniors Classic.

In addition to his five victories on the European Seniors Tour, Gregson also made it into three playoffs before finishing second: at the 1994 Spanish Seniors Open, in the 1996 Collingtree Seniors Classic, and 1997 Credit Suisse Private Banking Seniors Open.

His last year playing any EST events was 2008. Gregson made 209 career starts on the European Seniors Tour. In addition to his five wins, Gregson was runner-up six times, third place nine times, with 44 other Top 10 finishes. His best money-list finish was fourth, in both 1994 and 1996. Gregson was also seventh on the money list in 1997 and eighth in 1995.

Gregson authored one book, published during his heyday in 1968. It was titled Golf With Gregson (affiliate link, commissions earned).

In addition to his inaugural pro job at Moor Park, Gregson also worked through the years as pro at the Dyrham Park, West Sussex, Moor Allerton, Badgemore Park and Almaina Park clubs. Later in life, he worked as director of golf at the international events company Signature Golf.

Gregson was 80 years old when he died in 2024.

(Book titles are affiliate links; commissions earned)
Alliss, Peter. The Who's Who of Golf, 1983, Orbis Publishing.
Brenner, Morgan. The Majors of Golf, Volume 2, 2009, McFarland and Company.
European Tour. "Malcolm Gregson,"
European Legends Tour. "Malcolm Gregson, the former Ryder Cup player and Harry Vardon Trophy winner, has passed away at the age of 80,"
Gregson, Malcolm. Golf With Gregson, 1968, Stanley Paul Publishers
PGA of America. 43rd Ryder Cup Media Guide,
PGA Tour. "Malcolm Gregson,"
The Professional Golfers' Association. "Malcolm Gregson (1943-2024)."
Sefton (U.K.) Council. Coroner's Conclusions,
Steel, Donald, and Ryde, Peter. The Encyclopedia of Golf, 1975, The Viking Press.

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