A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Roberto De Vicenzo, has passed away at the age of 94 on 1 June, 2017.
De Vicenzo was best known for being the first Argentine to win a major golf championship, he won more than 230 global tournaments over a professional career spanning nearly 70 years.
This included eight PGA tournament victories and his famous 1967 Open Championship victory over Jack Nicklaus.
In addition to his PGA success, De Vicenzo was extremely successful internationally. He won 131 Argentine Tours, beginning with the Abierto del Litoral in 1942.
He won his first World Cup in 1953, and went on to win two more. De Vicenzo also represented the Mexican team four times, and the Argentinian team a total of 15 times.
As if that wasn’t enough, he also won two PGA TOUR Champions events; the U.S. Senior Open in 1980 and the Merrill Lynch/Golf Digest Commemorative Pro-Am in 1984. This was in addition to 16 other senior wins, such as the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf tournaments and the Argentine Senior Open.
However, despite his major success, it is his famous mistake in 1968 that he is know for most. During the 1968 Masters, whilst facing a playoff against Bob Goalby, De Vicenzo signed for a par on the 17th, though he had made a birdie.
The scoring error was taken into account, resulting in Goalby winning the tournament by a single shot. This event is recalled as one of the biggest blunders in major championship history. In fact, even De Vicenzo repeatedly brought up the fact that he had let the Masters slip through his fingers.
Regardless of his infamous mistake, De Vicenzo went on to receive many accolades after that. In 1970, the United States Golf Association awarded him the Bob Jones Award, given in honor of distinguished sportsmanship. It is the highest honor that one can receive from the organization.
Furthermore, De Vicenzo was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989, joining the ranks of other legendary golfers such as Tom Watson and Peter Thomson.
De Vicenzo: a Legacy
De Vicenzo officially retired from professional golf on 12 November, 2006, at age 83. In recognition of his dedication to the sport, the Museum of Golf was founded in Argentina and named after him. Thus, the career of an all-time great came to an end.
A legend of the great game, De Vicenzo’s legacy will always be remembered. However, perhaps his all too relatable quote, “What a stupid I am!” is what will remind golfers everywhere of his remarkable history in the sport of golf.