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David Francis Marr, Jr. (December 27, 1933 –
October 5, 1997) was an American professional golfer and sportscaster, best known for winning the
Marr was born and raised in Houston, Texas, the
son of a professional golfer. He attended St.
Thomas High School, and while there was on the honor roll,
captain of the golf team and member of the Letterman's Club.
Following graduation, he attended Rice Institute and the University of Houston.
Marr began his professional golfing career by accepting a
position at Westwood Country Club in Westwood,
New Jersey in 1953. He began playing regularly on the PGA tour
in 1960, and in that year earned his first professional win at the
Sam Snead Festival. A year later, he won the Seattle Open and then
the Azalea Open in 1962. Marr joined the elite
of the golfing world in 1965 when he captured the coveted PGA
Championship, was named to the Ryder Cup team and elected PGA Player of the
The 1965 PGA Championship was played at the Laurel Valley Golf Club in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. He
defeated golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Billy Casper by two strokes with a
four-day total score of 280. Incredibly, this wasn't the biggest
news story of the day in the Marr family – a few hours after his
victory, his third child, son Tony, was born.
Marr was elected to the National Collegiate Hall of Fame in 1977
and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1978. He was the appointed
captain of the U.S. Ryder
Cup Team in 1981, and was selected for the Gold Tee Award
presented by the Met (N.Y.) Golf Writers in 1990.
Marr was a close friend of golf legend Arnold Palmer. Marr and Palmer were both
sons of PGA pros and developed a close bond. Palmer called Marr's
1965 PGA victory "one of the happiest moments of my life". The two
of them used to joke that between them they won a career grand
slam. (Palmer won many majors in his career,
but never won the PGA Championship.)
Marr served as a golf analyst for ABC for several years. He was
usually teamed with the legendary Jim McKay, and fellow one-time PGA
Championship winner, Bob
Rosburg. He later worked for NBC
and the BBC.
Marr and long-time golfing partner Jay Riviere established a golf course
architectural and design firm in 1981. They have designed many
courses in the greater Houston area.
Marr died at the M.D.
Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after a long battle with stomach cancer on October 5, 1997. He was 63. He is
survived by his wife, Tally, and sons Dave III, Anthony, Wayne
Bunch, Tucker Bunch, and daughter Elizabeth Hallas.
Marr's children have scattered his ashes around the various
courses that meant so much to him during his playing days – Royal Birkdale, in England, where he played
on the 1965 Ryder Cup team; Walton Heath, in England, where he
captained the 1981 Ryder Cup team; and at the 18th hole at Laurel
Valley, the site of his 1965 PGA Championship.
Company created the Dave Marr Memorial Award the year
after his death. It is awarded annually in conjunction with the Shell Houston
Open. Marr's last assignment as a broadcaster had been to host
Shell's Wonderful World of Golf from 1993 – 1997. Past
winners of the award include Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus, Judy Rankin, Gary Player, Former President George H. W. Bush
Professional wins (4)
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10