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Albert Cornelius Besselink (born June 30, 1922) is a retired American professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour in the 1950s and 1960s.

Al Besselink
Personal information
Full nameAlbert Cornelius Besselink
Born (1922-06-30) June 30, 1922 (age 97)
Merchantville, New Jersey
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight220 lb (100 kg; 16 st)
Nationality United States
SpouseJo Ann Stillwagon
CollegeUniversity of Miami
Turned professional1949
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins20
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour5[1]
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT3: 1952
PGA ChampionshipT33: 1956, 1957, 1964
U.S. OpenT6: 1951
The Open ChampionshipDNP

Besselink grew up in Merchantville, New Jersey.[2] He attended the University of Miami and was the first UM golfer to win a national tournament. He won the Southern Invitational Championship twice before graduating in 1949.[3] He turned pro later that year.

Besselink won five PGA Tour events including the inaugural Tournament of Champions in 1953. The field was made up of 20 professionals, all tournament winners in the prior twelve months. With a six-foot par putt on the 18th hole, he finished with a 280, beating Chandler Harper by one stroke. Besselink was paid off with a wheelbarrow filled with silver dollars. He also had bet $500 on himself at 25 to 1, earning another $12,500. Because he had just heard that Babe Zaharias had been diagnosed with cancer he donated half of his $10,000 first prize to the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund. Besselink and Zaharias had won the International Two-Ball Championship at Orlando in February 1952.[4]

He was called "Bessie" by the other tour players and was known for living life with a gambler's recklessness and a showman's flair.[5] One famous example of his showmanship occurred during the third round of the 1965 Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth when Besselink played the final four holes of his third round with a red rose—plucked from a bush at the 15th hole—between his teeth. Afterward, Besselink said the gesture was a nod to the "loveliness of Texas women in general and Fort Worth women in particular." The next day, locker room attendants presented Besselink with 50 roses sent by female fans.[6]

Amateur wins (2)Edit

  • Two Southern Invitational Championships

Professional wins (20)Edit

PGA Tour wins (5)Edit

Other wins (15)Edit

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament T20 T3 9 T9 T63
PGA Championship R64 R64 CUT
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970
Masters Tournament
PGA Championship T39 63 CUT T33 CUT CUT

Note: Besselink never played in The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

WD = withdrew
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 1 1 3 4 5 5
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 1 2 10 2
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 5
Totals 0 0 1 1 4 6 24 12
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 4 (1950 U.S. Open – 1952 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (four times)


  1. ^ PGA Tour 2000 Official Media Guide of the PGA Tour. PGA Tour. November 2000. pp. 6–17.
  2. ^ "Besselink Posts 65 for 135 Total to Gain One-Stroke Margin in Azalea Golf; Gajda is Second in $20,000 Event Besselink Gets 8 Birdies in Gaining Lead -- Four Tied for Third Place", The New York Times, March 29, 1964. Accessed November 26, 2007.
  3. ^ "Biographical information from the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame official site". Archived from the original on March 14, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Whoa, Bessie". Archived from the original on March 13, 2007. Retrieved October 23, 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^

External linksEdit