PDA

View Full Version : Mike Souchak-RIP



jimsumner
07-10-2008, 03:37 PM
Another Duke great passes away. Happening way too often.

"Mike Souchak, a member of the Duke Sports Hall of Fame, passed away on Thursday in Belleair, Fla. He was 81.

Souchak came to Duke on a football scholarship, and later enjoyed an outstanding career on the professional golf tour. He was inducted into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 1984.

A native of Berwick, Pa., Souchak lettered three seasons (1948-50) on the gridiron under coach Wallace Wade. In 1950, he caught 27 passes for 426 yards and two touchdowns while kicking 26-of-29 extra points as the Blue Devils defeated South Carolina, Pittsburgh, N.C. State and North Carolina en route to a 7-3 campaign. For his efforts, Souchak earned All-Southern honors from both the United Press (2nd team) and Associated Press (3rd team).

In 1949, Souchak had 16 receptions for 209 yards and two touchdowns and added 32 extra points to lead the Blue Devils in scoring with 44 points. He tied for the team lead in scoring in 1948 after connecting on 18-of-21 PAT attempts.

On the golf course, Souchak lettered four seasons (1948; 1950-52) and helped Duke to Southern Conference titles in both 1948 and 1951 along with a fourth place finish at the 1948 NCAA Championships. He served as team captain in both 1951 and 1952.

From 1955-66, Souchak won 15 events on the PGA Tour. At the 1955 Texas Open, he posted scores of 60-68-64-65 to set a tour record four-round low score of 257. His front nine score of 27 on day one of the event included just nine putts and also established a PGA record. Souchak's four-round total stood until Mark Calcavecchia fired a 256 at the Phoenix Open in 2001, and the mark was later broken when Tommy Armour III posted a 254 at the 2003 Valero Texas Open.

Souchak, who posted 11 top-10 finishes in major championship play with third-place showings at both the 1959 and 1960 U.S. Opens, also played on the 1959 and 1961 Ryder Cup teams won by the United States.

Souchak was the co-founder and co-owner of Golf Car Systems with partner Bill Dodd."

Verga3
07-10-2008, 05:54 PM
Another Duke great passes away. Happening way too often.

"Mike Souchak, a member of the Duke Sports Hall of Fame, passed away on Thursday in Belleair, Fla. He was 81.

Souchak came to Duke on a football scholarship, and later enjoyed an outstanding career on the professional golf tour. He was inducted into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 1984.

A native of Berwick, Pa., Souchak lettered three seasons (1948-50) on the gridiron under coach Wallace Wade. In 1950, he caught 27 passes for 426 yards and two touchdowns while kicking 26-of-29 extra points as the Blue Devils defeated South Carolina, Pittsburgh, N.C. State and North Carolina en route to a 7-3 campaign. For his efforts, Souchak earned All-Southern honors from both the United Press (2nd team) and Associated Press (3rd team).

In 1949, Souchak had 16 receptions for 209 yards and two touchdowns and added 32 extra points to lead the Blue Devils in scoring with 44 points. He tied for the team lead in scoring in 1948 after connecting on 18-of-21 PAT attempts.

On the golf course, Souchak lettered four seasons (1948; 1950-52) and helped Duke to Southern Conference titles in both 1948 and 1951 along with a fourth place finish at the 1948 NCAA Championships. He served as team captain in both 1951 and 1952.

From 1955-66, Souchak won 15 events on the PGA Tour. At the 1955 Texas Open, he posted scores of 60-68-64-65 to set a tour record four-round low score of 257. His front nine score of 27 on day one of the event included just nine putts and also established a PGA record. Souchak's four-round total stood until Mark Calcavecchia fired a 256 at the Phoenix Open in 2001, and the mark was later broken when Tommy Armour III posted a 254 at the 2003 Valero Texas Open.

Souchak, who posted 11 top-10 finishes in major championship play with third-place showings at both the 1959 and 1960 U.S. Opens, also played on the 1959 and 1961 Ryder Cup teams won by the United States.

Souchak was the co-founder and co-owner of Golf Car Systems with partner Bill Dodd."


Thank you, Jim Sumner. We will keep the Shouchak family in our thoughts and prayers.

As a young boy, my dad took me to the Greater Greensboro Opens (now the Wyndham Championship) at venerable Sedgefield Country Club. Mike Shouchak won the 1961 GGO and always seemed to be in contention there. My memories of Shouchak, Snead, Player, Palmer, Sanders, Casper, et al competing in the early 60's bring back lots of warm memories....my dad always reminded me that he was a Duke grad, and that Arnie went to Wake.

DisplacedBlueDevil
07-10-2008, 07:03 PM
Souchak, who posted 11 top-10 finishes in major championship play with third-place showings at both the 1959 and 1960 U.S. Opens, also played on the 1959 and 1961 Ryder Cup teams won by the United States.

As a kid growing up in Durham in the '60's and into the '70's, basketball was always #1 but golf wasn't too far behind. I was always familiar with the name Mike Souchak then, more for his accomplishments on the links than on the gridiron. I hadn't heard the name since then until I recently watched the HBO Sports documentary "Back Nine at Cherry Hills, The Legends of the 1960 U.S. Open". This film is about the confluence of three icons that year: Hogan, Palmer and Nicklaus but it does have some nice footage of the third round leader, Mike Souchak.

Another Blue Devil in heaven.

jimsumner
07-10-2008, 07:56 PM
Mike was one of the most self-effacing great athletes I ever interviewed. I profiled him recently for BDW but the article is not on line. I had to pry stuff out of him. He just didn't want to talk about himself.

The critical moment in his career was in the 1960 U.S. Open. Those days the final 36 holes were played on Saturday. Think the Open has pressure these days, try 36 holes to end it. Anyway, Mike had a 4-stroke lead teeing off on the 54th hole. At exactly the wrong moment, someone take a photograph. The snap of the shutter caused Mike to flinch. He pushed his drive and doubled, losing his momentum and never getting it back. What might have been.

Verga3
07-10-2008, 08:26 PM
Mike was one of the most self-effacing great athletes I ever interviewed. I profiled him recently for BDW but the article is not on line. I had to pry stuff out of him. He just didn't want to talk about himself.

The critical moment in his career was in the 1960 U.S. Open. Those days the final 36 holes were played on Saturday. Think the Open has pressure these days, try 36 holes to end it. Anyway, Mike had a 4-stroke lead teeing off on the 54th hole. At exactly the wrong moment, someone take a photograph. The snap of the shutter caused Mike to flinch. He pushed his drive and doubled, losing his momentum and never getting it back. What might have been.

Great anecdote from the US Open....you never ever know what might have been.

Thanks for providing some texture to this Duke great. It's so impressive and is always inspiring to learn about the character and modesty that has defined many of our finest athletes. I never realized that Mike had excelled in football at Duke as well......you don't hear about that double anymore.

I would love to read your article on Mike sometime.

Orange&BlackSheep
07-11-2008, 08:14 AM
My Dad '66 always said he was a great athlete.

http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/pga/news?slug=ap-obit-souchak&prov=ap&type=lgns

jdj4duke
07-11-2008, 10:14 AM
Mr. Souchak had a big influence on the Carolinas Section PGA and golf in general in NC during the early to mid-1960's. He worked with a number of club pros and assistants in NC, and some of his swing ideas and lessons found their way to players all over the state.

One of his proteges, Odell Massey, was a club pro in Burlington, Statesville, and Hillandale, and I think also was an assistant at Duke for time. He always said he learned from Souchak how to set his hands at impact for maximum power, and I know he taught a lot of junior golfers (who of course are now senior golfers) that same swing.

Souchak had a great reputation as a player and gentleman. I'm sure that his remaining contemporaries would say the same.

Atldukie79
07-11-2008, 02:50 PM
I add my condolences.

My Mom was a classmate of Mike's at Duke and both of my folks talked about him at length. He was a legend in my eyes. Much like guys such as Wallace Wade and Eddie Cameron, their exploits were not captured on the internet or ESPN and they fade from public memory. Too bad.

He was a Duke legend and I am sorry to hear of his death.

johnb
07-13-2008, 02:40 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/sports/golf/13souchak.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries&oref=slogin

Mike Souchak played for Duke's football team and then set the 72 hole PGA record that stood for over 40 years.