By
Ryan Ledendecker
|
May 8, 2023
|
11:45 pm

Two legendary sportsmen pass away on the same day

The world of sporting legends lost two of its finest over the weekend, with the added twist that they passed away on the same day. 

According to Golf Channel, Don January, the 1967 winner of the PGA Championship, passed away Sunday at age 93.

Pro Rodeo reported that Hall of Famer Larry Mahan also passed away on Sunday, at age 79. He's arguably one of the most famous cowboy superstars to play the game.

Don January, born in Plainview, Texas, in 1929, established himself as one of the most remarkable and enduring figures in the world of professional golf.

With a career spanning more than four decades, January's accomplishments include 10 PGA Tour victories and 22 PGA Tour Champions titles. Among his most notable achievements on the PGA Tour was his victory at the 1967 PGA Championship, where he triumphed in a playoff against Don Massengale, ultimately securing his first and only major championship title.

January's style earned him a reputation as a fierce competitor who could consistently deliver under pressure, and always drew a crowd.

Beyond his success on the golf course, Don January made significant contributions to the sport as a pioneer of the Senior PGA Tour, which is now known as the PGA Tour Champions.

After turning 50 in 1979, January became one of the first golfers to fully embrace the senior circuit, enjoying remarkable success and setting the stage for future generations of senior golfers. He will undoubtedly be missed, but his contributions will live on.

Mahan made waves in his sport as well. Rodeo, one of the most dangerous sports, can bring fortune and fame just as fast as it can bring misery and pain. But Mahan made the most of it.

ProRodeo noted:

Mahan was the all-around world champion in 1966-70 and 1973. He also was the bull riding champ in 1965 and 1967. He qualified for the NFR a combined 26 times from 1964-75 in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding. He was inducted in the inaugural class of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1979.

ProRodeo Hall of Famer, Ty Murray, offered his thoughts on Mahan's contributions to the sport of rodeo.

"I think he meant a lot to the sport of rodeo, and he meant a lot to me," Murray said.

He added: "He was my hero. He was my superman when I was a little boy. I did a paper when I was in fifth grade, they said if you could wish anything for the world what would it be. I misunderstood the question. I thought it meant if there is anything you could do in the world, what would it be? I said I wanted to break Larry Mahan's records. I still have that assignment today with me."

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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