Buenos Aires native José Jurado (1899-1971) was a golfing pioneer in the truest sense, for while early British professionals ventured out to parts unknown with the psychological might of the world’s biggest empire (both golfing and otherwise) behind them, Jurado traveled thousands of miles to challenge the British golf monolith on its own turf. He was not, however, without ammunition for as his homeland’s first great player, Jurado won the Argentine Open seven times and was, in Longhurst’s summation, “a brilliant golfer.”
Jurado contended several times at the Open Championship beginning in 1928 at Royal St George’s, where he trailed two-time winner Walter Hagen by one through 54 holes, then blew up with a closing 80 to finish joint sixth. His golden opportunity, however, came three years later at Carnoustie where rounds of 76-71-73 in difficult conditions stood him three ahead of the pack through 54. He then reached the 71st tee with nine strokes left to win but proceeded to top a 4 iron into the burn and take 6. Then, even more sadly, he laid up at the par-5 72nd in the erroneous belief that par would still put him in a playoff when, in fact, a birdie was needed and there he was, alone in second, one behind the victorious Tommy Armour.