VIDEO: Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame’s Marco Dawson Dominates Senior Open Championship
By Alan Zlotorzynski // January 25, 2017
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: The culmination of Marco Dawson’s golf career came on the final day of the 2015 Senior Open Championship played at the Sunningdale Golf Club in England. He shot an almost perfect back nine of 31 and finished 16 under for the tournament to defeat PGA legends Bernard Langer and Colin Montgomerie to win the 2015 Senior British Open.
2016 PROFESSIONAL INDUCTEE
• 2015 Senior Open Champion
• All American and National
Champion At Florida Southern
HARD WORK, DETERMINATION
One trait many Hall of Famers share is their ability to persevere. Merritt Island resident and 2016 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame inductee Marco Dawson personifies that characteristic.
Marco Thomas Dawson was born in Freising, West Germany on Nov. 17, 1963 where his father, an airman in the U.S. Air Force, was stationed. After his father became a lawyer in West Palm in the early 1970s and moved the family next to a golf course in Coral Springs, Florida, Dawson took up the sport of golf.
Dawson’s game would develop through his own hard work and determination as a junior golfer and into to his teen years at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. From there Dawson would attend Florida Southern College (FSC) where he was an important part of two national championship teams.
Dawson was an honorable mention All-American in 1985 when FSC won a national title, and in 1986 won the individual title to lead the Mocsies to another championship.
During his PGA tour career he had a victory on the Web.com Tour, a three-stroke victory at the 2002 LaSalle Bank Open, but his best finish on the PGA Tour was second in the 1995 Greater Milwaukee Open in 1995.
None of this deterred Dawson from moving onto the Champions Tour where he would have to earn a spot the old fashioned way – through hard work, determination and performance in qualifying tournaments.
Dawson sensed something in his game needed to change. In golf sometimes the smallest changes can prove to be monumental. Luckily for Dawson the change he made turned out to be a good one.
It involved how he held his putter and it’s called the cross-handed putting grip. Dawson first tried it when he was 16, and with the grip he qualified for the prestigious Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, Calif.
However, once there, he putted poorly and never tried again—that is until the Champions Tour came along. The career-changing decision for the one-time PGA Tour journeyman allowed Dawson, then 53 years old, to take the Champions Tour by storm.
SENIOR OPEN CHAMPION
After joining the Champions Tour, Dawson recorded five top-10s in nine majors he played in 2014 and 2015 before the Senior Open. Three of his top-10s in 2015 were in the tour’s five majors.
The culmination of another new beginning came on the final day of the 2015 Senior Open Championship played at the Sunningdale Golf Club in England.
Dawson shot an almost perfect back nine of 31 and finished 16 under for the tournament to defeat PGA legends Bernard Langer and Colin Montgomerie to win the 2015 Senior British Open.
A Lakeland resident for 16 years after college, Dawson moved to Merritt Island in 2013 to be closer to his parents.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Heather and his two children.
“Heather didn’t know a thing about golf when we got married,” Dawson said. “For the first 10 years while I was on the PGA Tour she walked every hole on every course to offer her love and support.”
Heather now spends her time with their two children and sells real estate in Brevard County.
“She has two tough jobs and with me being away a lot, it’s not easy but she is the best at what she does and I owe her a lot,” said Dawson.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoast.com
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.