Jack Fleck died on Friday at the age of 92. My condolences to his wife, Carmen, his son, Craig, other family and his friends. I hadn’t spoken to Jack in a couple of months. He was in good spirits the last time we talked.
Jack was born in Bettendorf, Iowa, on November 7, 1921. He became a golf professional at the age of 17. He served in the Navy during World War II and was part of the Normandy invasion.
Jack beat his idol Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff to win the 1955 U.S. Open, one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports. When Hogan died in 1997, Jack decided not to attend the funeral because he didn’t want his presence to detract in any way from the remembrance of his idol.
I met Jack in March of 2007 and he opened up to me and allowed me to tell his story (THE LONGEST SHOT: Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open). I was very fortunate to know him. Thank you for letting me tell your story, Jack.