Bob Panasik is a Member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and a 10-time Canadian Champion. He was the youngest golfer to ever participate in a sanctioned PGA tournament and competed in more U.S. Opens than any other Canadian.
Panasik was born in Windsor on October 20, 1941.
As a student at Patterson and Herman Collegiate, Panasik became a three-time WSSA and four-time WOSSA Champion while launching his professional career. His record at the Essex-Kent Boys’ Golf Tournament remains unequaled: Panasik medalled in five consecutive years, winning the tournament outright in 1956, ’57, and ’58.
On July 11, 1957, a 15-year-old Panasik shot an impressive 71 in the opening round of the Canadian Open. In doing so, he became the youngest golfer ever to compete in a sanctioned PGA tournament.
In 1962, Panasik achieved his first professional victory by shooting two rounds of 69 at the Mangurian Open in Rochester, New York.
Panasik won the Canadian and Ontario Junior Championships in 1958, one year before taking the Ontario Amateur title as an 18-year-old. He was the youngest ever to do so. In 1960, he was still young enough to compete in the Ontario Junior tournament, and so he won it again.
Panasik beat the legendary Moe Norman to take the Ontario PGA Championship in 1971. He was the Canadian PGA Champion in ’72 and ’73, then Golf Canada “Player of the Year” in ’74 and ’75. In ’74, Panasik was Canadian PGA runner-up and won three Peter Jackson events, earning the Peter Jackson “Order of Merit.”
Other career titles included the Willingdon Cup (1960), Northern Ontario PGA (’66), Newfoundland Open (’73), Quebec Open, Saskatchewan Open, and Alberta Open (all ’74), Atlantic Open and Alberta Open (both ’75), and the Canadian Tar Sands Tournament of Champions (’76).
In ’86, Panasik won the Canadian PGA Tournament Players Division Championship.
At various points throughout his career, Bob Panasik represented Canada in World Cup play in Australia, Spain, and Thailand.
Panasik played in the U.S. Open in 1960, ’64, ’65, ’68, ’69, ’70, ’72, ’75, and ’83. No other Canadian golfer can match this resume.
On the Senior tour, Panasik was the Canadian PGA Champion in 1997, ’98, and 2001 and runner-up in ’99. In 1998, he added an Ontario PGA Summer Championship title and was named Ontario PGA Seniors Champion.
Panasik was induced into both the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and the Golf Association of Ontario Hall of Fame in 2005.