Tom Weiskopf, Open champion and golf course architect, dies at 79

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Tom Weiskopf’s golf talent went far past his 16 victories on the PGA Tour and his lone main at Royal Troon within the British Open. He was outspoken and correct within the tv sales space and located even better success designing golf programs.

Weiskopf died Saturday at his house in Massive Sky, Montana, his spouse stated. He was identified with pancreatic most cancers in December 2020. He was 79.

Laurie Weiskopf stated Tom was working final week at The Membership at Spanish Peaks and attended a legacy luncheon at a membership the place he’s designing a group of his 10 favourite par 3s.

“He labored to the tip. It was superb,” she stated. “He had a giant life.”

The son of a railroad employee in Ohio, Weiskopf as soon as stated he fell in love with the sport earlier than he even started to play. His father took him to the 1957 U.S. Open at Inverness and he was mesmerized watching Sam Snead make such pure contact.

Pure contact was his hallmark at Ohio State after which his profession on tour. At 6-foot-3 – tall for golf in that period – Weiskopf had a swing that was highly effective and rhythmic. His greatest 12 months was in 1973, when he received seven occasions all over the world, together with the claret jug and the World Sequence of Golf at Firestone earlier than it was an official tour occasion.

He was recognized equally for the majors he did not win and the competitors he confronted – notably Jack Nicklaus, the star from Ohio who preceded him and forged an unlimited shadow over Weiskopf for his total profession.

Weiskopf had 4 runner-up finishes within the Masters, essentially the most of any participant with out having received the inexperienced jacket. Most memorable was in 1975, when Weiskopf and Johnny Miller stood on the sixteenth tee as they watched Nicklaus gap a 40-foot birdie putt up the slope that carried him to a different victory.

He was well-known for saying of Nicklaus: “Jack knew he was going to beat you. You knew Jack was going to beat you. And Jack knew you knew he was going to beat you.”

Extra telling was his interview with Golf Digest in 2008 when Weiskopf stated: “Going face to face in opposition to Jack Nicklaus in a serious was like making an attempt to empty the Pacific Ocean with a teacup. You stand on the primary tee realizing that your best golf won’t be ok.”

Weiskopf was lots good in so many areas, and but he typically stated he did not take advantage of out of his expertise. He attributed a lot of that to consuming, which he as soon as stated ruined his golf profession. He gave up alcohol in 2007 and thought of it one among his nice victories.

He additionally stated he was by no means passionate sufficient about golf. His love was the outside, notably searching and fishing. Weiskopf as soon as skipped the 1977 Ryder Cup so he may go sheep searching.

His free spirit and unfiltered ideas had been a giant a part of his persona. His mood led to nicknames just like the “Towering Inferno” and “Horrible Tom.” A lot of it was traced to his excessive requirements when it got here to golf.

“I couldn’t settle for failure when it was my fault,” he stated after successful the U.S. Senior Open in 2005 at Congressional. “It simply used to tear me up.”

Weiskopf’s final PGA Tour victory was the 1982 Western Open. His final full 12 months on the PGA Tour was a 12 months later. He performed on the PGA Tour Champions, and maybe it was solely becoming his lone main was the Senior Open by 4 pictures over Nicklaus.

Weiskopf later labored in tv at each CBS and ABC/ESPN.

He partnered with golf course architect Jay Moorish and their first collaboration was Troon Nation Membership in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dozens extra golf programs adopted, together with Loch Lomond in Scotland and a renovation of the North Course at Torrey Pines.

A regular of his design is the drivable par 4. The inspiration got here from taking part in the Previous Course at St. Andrews, the place he may drive 4 of the par 4s, relying on the wind.

“I ought to have performed extra,” Weiskopf as soon as informed Golf Digest of his profession. “However I do not dwell on it anymore. I’ll say this, although: If it wasn’t for the truth that I really like a lot what I am doing now (golf course design), I might in all probability be a really sad particular person.”

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