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Sheldon George "Don" Pooley, Jr. (born August 27, 1951) is an American professional golfer who has won tournaments on both the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour.

Don Pooley
Personal information
Full nameSheldon George Pooley, Jr.
Born (1951-08-27) August 27, 1951 (age 68)
Phoenix, Arizona
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg; 13.9 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceTucson, Arizona
CollegeUniversity of Arizona
Turned professional1973
Current tour(s)Champions Tour
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins7
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour2
PGA Tour Champions2
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT5: 1988
PGA ChampionshipT5: 1987
U.S. OpenT15: 1985
The Open ChampionshipT16: 1988
Achievements and awards
Vardon Trophy1985
Byron Nelson Award1985

Pooley was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up in Riverside, California. He attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he was a member of the golf team. He turned pro in 1973.

Despite winning the 1980 B.C. Open and the 1987 Memorial Tournament, Pooley is probably best remembered in his PGA Tour career for his dramatic million-dollar hole-in-one at the 1987 Bay Hill Classic. Pooley received $500,000 as did Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women in Orlando, Florida because of this once-in-a-lifetime shot.[1] In 1985, he won the Vardon Trophy, awarded annually by the PGA to the Tour leader in scoring average. His best finish in a major was T-5 in consecutive major championships – the 1987 PGA Championship and the 1988 Masters Tournament.[2]

Late in his PGA Tour career, Pooley began to experience many debilitating ailments, and missed several years of playing time as a result; however, he has enjoyed a resurgence in his career after turning 50 in August 2001 when he began play on the Champions Tour. The biggest win in his golf career was his first on the Champions Tour. In 2002, he won on the biggest stage in men's senior golf, the U.S. Senior Open.

Pooley is a spiritual man of deep religious faith. He has been involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the PGA Tour Bible study group throughout his career. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Professional winsEdit

PGA Tour winsEdit

No. Date Tournament Winning Score Margin of
1 Aug 31, 1980 B.C. Open −17 (68-69-66-68=271) 1 stroke   Peter Jacobsen
2 May 31, 1987 Memorial Tournament −16 (70-67-65-70=272) 3 strokes   Curt Byrum

Other winsEdit

Champions Tour winsEdit

Champions Tour major championships (1)
Other Champions Tour (1)
No. Date Tournament Winning Score Margin of
1 Jun 30, 2002 U.S. Senior Open −10 (71-70-63-70=274) Playoff   Tom Watson
2 Aug 24, 2003 Allianz Championship −13 (66-67-67=200) 3 strokes   Bruce Fleisher,   Bruce Lietzke,   Jim Thorpe

Champions Tour playoff record (1–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2002 U.S. Senior Open   Tom Watson Won with birdie on fifth extra hole after 3-hole playoff (Pooley:12, Watson:12)
2 2005 Boeing Classic   Mark McNulty,   Tom Purtzer McNulty won with birdie on second extra hole
3 2009 AT&T Classic   Dan Forsman Lost to birdie on first extra hole

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open CUT
The Open Championship
PGA Championship CUT
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament T19 CUT 41 T45 T5 T14
U.S. Open CUT CUT T15 T24 T24 CUT T26
The Open Championship T16 T19
PGA Championship T46 T19 T67 T23 T34 T62 T16 T5 T58 T34
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament T42 T46
U.S. Open CUT T44 CUT
The Open Championship T39 T101
PGA Championship T8 T73 CUT T29
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003
Masters Tournament
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 1 1 3 8 7
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 3 13 5
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 4
PGA Championship 0 0 0 1 2 5 15 13
Totals 0 0 0 2 3 13 40 29
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 12 (1982 PGA – 1988 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1987 PGA – 1988 Masters)

Champions Tour major championshipsEdit

Wins (1)Edit

Year Championship Winning score Margin Runner-up
2002 U.S. Senior Open −10 (71-70-63-70=274) Playoff1   Tom Watson

1 In the three-hole aggregate playoff, Pooley and Watson tied with three pars each.
  On the second sudden-death hole, Pooley won with a birdie to Watson's par.[3][4]

Results timelineEdit

Results not in chronological order before 2012.

Tournament 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Senior PGA Championship T18 CUT DNP T54 T57 WD T6 T28 T23 DNP DNP DNP
The Tradition T9 T14 T53 T36 T9 T40 46 T8 T29 WD DNP T66
Senior Players Championship T22 T40 T13 T18 T11 T23 T27 T34 T57 DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Senior Open 1 T43 T15 T22 T51 DNP T18 T47 T40 DNP DNP T47
Senior British Open Championship - T27 T5 DNP T13 DNP DNP T8 DNP DNP DNP DNP

The Senior British Open was not a Champions Tour major until 2003.
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew from tournament
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.


  1. ^ Profile from
  2. ^ "Golf Major Championships". Retrieved 2008-01-03.
  3. ^ Ginsburg, David (July 1, 2002). "Pooley takes a major step". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Associated Press. p. 10C.
  4. ^ Hackenberg, Dave (July 1, 2002). "Pooley outlasts Watson". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Block News Alliance. p. C8.

External linksEdit