“If you want to be a good tournament player, you’ve got to learn to handle the heat. The only way to prepare for that is to play for your own dough. You play for an amount you can barely afford to lose.”
Ford nearly repeated as Masters champion in 1958, finishing just a single stroke behind Palmer. That stroke was all that prevented Ford from becoming the first player in Masters history to win back-to-back titles.
His 1957 season was perhaps even better than his 1955 campaign – he again won three times, but this time collected a whopping 24 top-10 finishes.
Ford continued to win on an annual basis through the 1963 season, including such prestigious events as the Los Angeles Open, the Western Open, the Canadian Open and the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am.
Along the way, Ford competed in four Ryder Cup competitions, using his legendary short game to help the U.S. side to three victories. While a powerful man, it was his skill from 125 yards and in that made him one of the top players of his time.
Always looking for a chance to compete, Ford won twice on the now Champions Tour at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, winning in 1987 with Jerry Barber as his partner and again in 1996 with Art Wall.
Ford competed in the 2011 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf for a record 34th time, where he teamed with Billy Maxwell in the Demaret Division.
Ford’s greatness was further affirmed when the PGA TOUR commissioned a study in 1989 to rank the greatest players of all-time. Ford finished 18th.
The son of a golf professional, Ford, whose original name was Fortunato, has been inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame as well as the PGA Hall of Fame for his accomplishments.
Doug Ford was originally inducted through the Veterans category.