Bob Murphy

On Friday, November 18, 2005, the Florida State Golf Association inducted Bob Murphy into its prestigious Hall of Fame as a part of the first five to receive such an honor. The ceremony was held at Palma Ceia Country Club in Tampa in conjunction with the Annual Dinner.

Bob Murphy was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 14, 1943.  His parents, Bob and Eleanor, moved to Florida when Bob was six weeks old.  He and his tow brothers, Ed and Jim, grew up in the rural phosphate mining area of Central Florida.

At the end of his senior year of high school, Bob accepted a baseball scholarship to the University of Florida, turning down an offer by the New York Yankees.  Unfortunately, before beginning college Bob had his right shoulder severely separated in a football game.  No longer able to pitch, Bob lost his baseball scholarship but received an academic one and entered Florida in the fall of 1961. 

Because of his shoulder injury, Bob was placed in the physical education class "Golf for the Handicapped." Bob was lucky enough to have Conrad Rehling, the University of Florida golf coach, as his teacher.  In one year's time, with constant practice, Bob made the Gator golf team and earned a four year golf scholarship.  Three years later, in 1965, Bob won the U.S. Amateur Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  In 1966, Bob won the NCAA Championship at Stanford University and made the All-American Collegiate Golf Team.  In his short five year amateur career, Bob won two consecutive Florida State Amateur titles, the 1967 Florida Open and was a member of the U.S. World Amateur Cup team and the Walker Cup team.  Bob graduated from Florida in 1966 with a degree in Physical Education.

Bob turned pro late in 1967 and began the PGA Tour in January of 1968.  Later that year, Bob married his college sweetheart, Gail Fulton.  He set a goal to earn $40,000 his rookie year, then proceeded to surpass that by finishing second at the Westchester Classic and achieving back to back victories in the Philadelphia Classic and the Thunderbird Classic.  This set an all-time rookie record of $105,000 and, not surprisingly, Bob was the 1968's Rookie of the Year. 

His daughter, Kimberly Anne was born in January 1969 and the Murphy family moved south to a new golf course community being developed in Boynton Beach by Bob and some college friends.  Bob and his family continue to live at Delray Dunes Country Club. 

Bob won the 1970 Greater Hartford Open, the 1972 Australian Masters, the 1975 Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic, the 1986 Canadian Open to bring his total number of Tour victories to six.  Bob was also a member of the 1975 victorious Ryder Cup Team. In 1996, Bob became the recipient of the Ben Hogan Award for his triumph in overcoming debilitating arthritis to return to the links through the Champions Tour.  He has since achieved an impressive 11 victories.

In addition to his successful career as a pro, Murphy has a second career altogether as a CBS, ESPN, and now NBC golf commentator.  In fact, he often attributes his success on the course to his time spent in the booth analyzing the flaws of others and applying those insights to his own game.  Bob takes time away from his consuming dual careers to give back as a national spokesperson for Hook a Kid on Golf and coordinator for The Bob Murphy Challenge for Hook a Kid on Golf Florida.  Bob has also hosted one of the longest running one-day charity pro-ams at his home course for Bethesda Hospital in Boynton Beach.


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