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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

STAN LEONARD

Inducted in 1964

Member Details

Date of Birth: February 2, 1915
Place of Birth: Vancouver, British Columbia
Date of Passing: December 15, 2005
Sport: Golf
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1940-1961

Canadian PGA Championship, first place (eight times)

1957

Greater Greensboro Open, PGA tour, first place

1958

Tournament of Champions, PGA tour, first place

1960

Western Open, PGA tour, first place

1975

Canadian Pro Seniors, first place

Honoured Member STAN LEONARD
Inspire

Story

Overcoming odds, whether of size or age, was nothing new for golfer Stan Leonard. Despite being small of stature at 5'6", Leonard was one of the most powerful golfers of his era. At age 17, he won the first tournament he ever entered, the 1932 B.C. Amateur. He won again in 1935, and later that year lost the final match of the 1935 Canadian Amateur to legendary Hall of Fame golfer Sandy Somerville on an extra hole. Throughout the remainder of the 1930s, 1940s, the 1950s, Leonard dominated western Canadian provincial tournaments, winning the B.C. Open five times, the Alberta Open nine times, and the Saskatchewan Open twice. In 1955, at age 40, Leonard left his job at Vancouver's Marine Drive Golf Club, where he head been the head pro for 13 years, and joined the U.S. professional golf tour. Over the next eight years, he established himself among the handful of Canadian golfers who have made their mark on the PGA circuit. Leonard won 44 tournaments as a professional, mostly in Canada, and captured three titles on the PGA tour between 1957 and 1960: the 1957 Greater Greensboro Open, the 1958 Tournament of Champions, and the 1960 Western Open. In 1959, the Metropolitan Golf Writers of America named him the World Player of the Year. Leonard also competed in the prestigious Master's tournament 12 times, recording three top-ten finishes. In 1958, he finished just two strokes behind the great Arnold Palmer and in 1959 was three strokes back of winner Art Wall. For all his success in the U.S., Leonard remains one of Canada's most accomplished domestic golfers. He won the Canadian PGA Championship eight times between 1940 and 1961, and was the low Canadian in the Canadian Open nine times from 1945 to 1961. He played on Canada's team in the Canada Cup (now the World Cup) nine different times—including with fellow Canada's Sports Hall of Fame inductee Jules Huot—and twice was that competition's individual leader. Leonard won his final tournament in 1975—the Canadian Pro Seniors—at age 60. He continued as an active golf pro until 1981 before returning to Vancouver and the Marine Drive Golf Club.


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