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Sir Michael Bonallack, former R&A secretary and Hall of Fame member, dies

Former R&A secretary Bonallack dies at 88
The golf world reacts to news of former R&A secretary and amateur great Sir Michael Bonallack passing away at the age of 88.

Sir Michael Bonallack, one of the most accomplished amateurs in golf history and a man who held some of the most esteemed positions in the game, died Tuesday in St. Andrews. He was 88.

Bonallack was a five-time Amateur Championship winner, the second most in history. He went on to become the secretary and then the captain of the R&A.

Born on New Year’s Eve in 1934 in Chigwell, England, Bonallack won the British Boys Championship in 1952. Forgoing a professional playing career, he went on to win The Amateur in 1961, ’65, ’68, ’69 and ’70.

He also claimed the English Amateur five times and was a member of the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team on nine occasions. He was a playing captain for the victorious GB&I team at St. Andrews in 1971.

Bonallack was chairman of the European Tour (now the DP World Tour) before becoming the secretary of the Royal and Ancient from 1983-99, shepherding the organization into the 21st century. He was honored as R&A captain upon the conclusion of his tenure.

“I’m extremely proud,” Bonallack said. “I feel privileged to have been so closely involved with the club for so much of my life and both it and the town of St. Andrews are incredibly dear to me. It has been an honor to serve the club.”

So respected and accomplished was Bonallack, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 and inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.