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William "Wild Bill" Mehlhorn

Inducted 1990

Biography

William Mehlhorn was born in Elgin in 1898. Known as "Wild Bill" Mehlhorn, he was a top professional golfer in the 1920's and 1930's. He won 47 tournaments, including the 1924 Western Open at Calumet Country Club. He beat runner-up Al Watrous by eight strokes and Chick Evans finished third in a then record field of 212. Between 1922 and 1931 he finished in the top five in the U.S. Open five times. He was runner-up to Walter Hagen in the 1925 PGA Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club, which was a match-play tournament at that time. He played on the first Ryder Cup team in 1927 and helped the United States Team to the win over Great Britain by splitting his two matches. Mehlhorn played in his first Masters Golf Tournament in 1934. He won the Hawaiian Open and the New Orleans Open. He became a renowned golf instructor. He gave lessons most of his professional career and helped coach the men's and women's teams at Florida International University for the last 15 years of his life. He passed away on April 4, 1989, at the age of 90.