EPITAPH : LEO DIEGEL

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Welcome to Epitaph for D’s Art Takes. Here we present the creative legacies of influential people, who are no longer among us. Today we invite you to take a look at the life of the American golfer, Leo Diegel.

Leo Harvey Diegel was born in 1951 in Michigan, USA. His interest in golf was sparked at a young age. He was only 10 years old when he started caddying. This also gave him a chance to practice his own game and hone his skills. His patience and preparation during this time served him well during his very successful career as a professional golfer.

Career

Diegel was 17 when he won his first tournament – the year was 1916 and it was the Michigan Open. 4 years later, he was a runner-up in his first US Open. Throughout his career, he won 30 PGA evens and 37 events overall. He won the Canadian Open four times – in 1924, 1925, 1928 and 1929 – which became a record. In 1925, he wowed audiences and opponents with his effortless clean, strokes and won the Florida Open. So iconic was his style of putting, that it came to be known as ‘Deigeling’. He would point his elbows outward as this gave him greater range.

In 1927, 1929, 1931 and 1933 he was part of the Ryder Cup teams. Unfortunately his tour career was cut short in 1934 when a playful tussle with a friend caused him severe nerve damage in his shoulder. Deigel died in 1947. Posthumously, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.


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