Doug Ford, a two-time major champion and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, died Monday evening at Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Medical Center, according to a PGATour.com report. He was 95.
A Connecticut native and a member of the Coast Guard during World War II, Ford turned professional in 1949 and went on to win 19 PGA Tour titles, including the 1955 PGA Championship and 1957 Masters. Ford also played in four Ryder Cups.
“We cherish the rich history of our PGA Tour, of which Doug Ford was an integral part,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “In an era when giants of the game were building the PGA Tour, Doug achieved remarkable success and never lost his unmatched love of the game. All of us owe a debt of gratitude to this great player.”
When he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011, Ford recalled his desire to play baseball for the New York Yankees and trying to decide whether to sign with one of its farm teams. He opted for golf after his father advised him that he could play the game “forever.”
“Doug Ford was a gifted athlete who chose golf as his sport,” former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in the Tour statement. “It was my privilege to be in attendance and spend considerable time with him in 2011 when the World Golf Hall of Fame inducted him. His PGA Championship and Masters wins are a testament to the kind of player and competitor he was. Doug was a great champion and today we celebrate his life.”