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Flory Van Donck

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Flory Van Donck
Personal information
Full nameFlory Van Donck
Born(1912-06-23)23 June 1912
Tervuren, Belgium
Died14 January 1992(1992-01-14) (aged 79)
Nationality Belgium
SpouseMaria-Hendrika Renneboog
ChildrenMarc, Claudine
Turned professionalc. 1931
Professional wins60
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT32: 1958
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenDNP
The Open Championship2nd/T2: 1956, 1959
Achievements and awards
Harry Vardon Trophy1953
Trophée National
du Mérite Sportif

Flory Van Donck (23 June 1912 – 14 January 1992) was a Belgian professional golfer.

Van Donck is widely regarded as the greatest ever Belgian golfer. During his career, he won more than fifty tournaments worldwide, including many of the most prestigious national opens of Europe. He also finished as runner up in The Open Championship on two occasions.[1]


Van Donck was born in Tervuren, Flemish Brabant. Until the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer burst onto the golf scene in the late 1970s, Van Donck was one of the few golfers from continental Europe who had been able to win regularly in professional tournaments in Britain. Much of Van Donck's fame rested on his great putting ability, though his style was unorthodox as he kept the toe of his putter in the air, similar to Isao Aoki.[1]

Van Donck held most of the national open titles in Europe at one time or another, including the Belgian Open and Dutch Open (five times each), Italian Open (four times), French Open (three times), German Open and Swiss Open (twice each), and Portuguese Open (once).[1] In 1953 he won a total of seven tournaments on the European circuit, a record he still shares with Norman Von Nida who achieved the feat in 1947, and was awarded the Harry Vardon Trophy.[2]

In addition to his victories around Europe, Van Donck dominated in his home country, winning the Belgian national title sixteen times between 1935 and 1968 and the Professional Tournament of the Alliance on ten occasions. In 1960 he was awarded the Trophée National du Mérite Sportif, the highest honour that is awarded to Belgian sportsmen in recognition of his achievements.[3]

Van Donck was runner up in The Open Championship twice. In 1956 at Hoylake, he finished three strokes behind Peter Thomson, and in 1959 at Muirfield he finished alongside Fred Bullock two strokes adrift of Gary Player.[1] Such was his consistency, he did not finish outside the top five for five years succession from 1955, and finished inside the top 10 eight years out of ten during the 1950s.

He represented Belgium in the Canada Cup, latterly the World Cup, on 19 occasions.[4] His last appearance was in 1979 as a 67-year-old, when he became the oldest player ever to participate in the World Cup.[5] In 1960, he was the lowest-scoring player (for the International Trophy) at Portmarnock in Ireland, from a field that included some of the sports all-time greats, such as Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Bobby Locke, Gary Player, Peter Thomson and Kel Nagle.

Tournament wins (60)

this list is incomplete

Results in major championships

Tournament 1938 1939
Masters Tournament
The Open Championship CUT
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
Masters Tournament NT NT NT
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT T28 T21 T7 CUT
Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament T32
The Open Championship T9 T24 7 T20 T10 T5 2 T5 T5 T2

Note: Van Donck only played in the Masters Tournament and The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

NT = No tournament
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearances


  1. ^ a b c d Alliss, Peter (1983). The Who's Who of Golf. Orbis Publishing. pp. 319–320. ISBN 0-85613-520-8.
  2. ^ Farrell, Andy (12 September 1999). "Monty nears heaven's gate". The Independent. London. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  3. ^ "Flory Van Donck Cup". Total International Juniors. Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  4. ^ "Most appearances in World Cup history". PGA Tour. 2 November 2009. Archived from the original on 28 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Did you know?". PGA Tour. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
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Flory Van Donck
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