Tom WEISKOPF

Tom Weiskopf - U.S.A. - Golfing career highlights.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 20 September 1973

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    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Monday, 09 November 1942
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Massillon, Ohio, U.S.A.
  • INTERNATIONAL
  • U.S.A.
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Tom WEISKOPF - U.S.A. - Golfing career highlights.

 

 

Tom Weiskopf was blessed with one of the finest golf swings of recent times and proved himself to be one of the most consistent performers around between the mid-sixties and early-eighties. Such was his great talent that he probably did not do himself justice by winning only one major championship - the Open in 1973. Weiskopf had not taken up the game until he was 15 years of age but his talent soon shone through and,within a few months,he was shooting rounds in the mid 70s. He turned professional in 1964,but early results were poor,and it was not until 1968 that he began to make his mark. His first Tour victory came at the San Diego Open of that year and then at the Masters of 1969 he came close to landing his first major. He played consistently all week to return rounds of 71,71,69 and 71 but finished one shot back on George Archer in a tie for second place. Tom's next Tour win came at the 1971 Kemper Open and there was more success that year at the IVB-Philadelphia Golf Classic. Weiskopf won his most prestigious tournament yet when capturing the 1972 World Matchplay at Wentworth,which was the next biggest event to one of the four majors. At the Masters that year he turned in another fine performance to finish in a tie for second place once again. Tom's rounds of 74,71,70 and 74 left him tied with Bruce Crampton and Bobby Mitchell at one over par,three strokes back on the winner Jack Nicklaus. (David Scranage)

 

 
The year of 1973 was,without doubt,Tom Weiskopf's greatest year. His victory in May at the Colonial Invitational was followed shortly after with wins in successive tournaments at the Kemper Open and the IVB-Philadelphia Classic. At the US Open soon after he looked in prime position to land his first major until Johnny Miller's breathtaking final round of 63 stole the show. Weiskopf was forced to settle for third place at three under par,one stroke behind John Schlee,and a further shot back on Miller. He did not have to wait long for that first major title,however,as it came in the very next major championship - the Open at Troon (see photo above). Tom's opening rounds of 68 and 67 took him into the third day three strokes clear of Bert Yancey and that man Miller and four shots clear of Jack Nicklaus. By the end of the day Yancey and Nicklaus had faded whilst Miller had gained two shots to set up a thrilling finale. The final day saw Neil Coles set the standard with a magnificent closing round 66 to be in the clubhouse at nine under par. Weiskopf held firm,though,to finish with a two under par 70 compared to Miller's level par 72 and the title was his. His twelve under par total of 276 equalled Arnold Palmer's Open record,also at Troon,in 1962. Weiskopf's superb form meant a Ryder Cup debut in '73 and after defeat in his opening two matches he recovered to take three and a half points from a possible six in a 19-13 victory. In the 1974 Masters there was yet another second place finish,this time behind Gary Player. Rounds of 71,69 and two 70s left the man from Ohio at eight under par but the South African,helped by a marvellous third round 66,took the honours at ten under. (David Scranage)

 

 

Tom Weiskopf pictured at the 1983 British Open.  Photo G. Herrimgshaw.  ©

 

                              1975 onwards. Several near misses for second major.

  

 
Tom Weiskopf was to enjoy another fine year in 1975,with wins at the Greater Greensboro and Canadian Open to his name. Remarkably,he was to finish second in the Masters for the 4th occasion and for the third time in just four years. His eleven under par total left him tied with Johnny Miller and just one shot back on Jack Nicklaus. On the last hole Tom had an eight foot putt to tie with Nicklaus and force a play-off. The putt,though dead on line,finished short and what proved to be his last chance of success at the Masters had slipped through his fingers. It was that man Nicklaus who grabbed the glory once again at the PGA Championship later that year as Tom finished in third place,just three strokes off the lead. Weiskopf retained his place for the Ryder Cup match of '75 and performed superbly in what proved to be his last appearance in the competition. He boasted a 100% record from his four matches as the Americans strolled to a 21-11 victory. The US Open of 1976 saw Weiskopf as the bridesmaid once again as Jerry Pate took the title at three under par. Tom was tied with Al Geiberger,two shots back,despite closing the tournament with two rounds of 68. His opening day 73 proving to be his undoing. The US Opens of 1977,'78 and '79 produced yet more fine performances but that first major on home soil continued to elude him. In '77 he was third,a year later fourth and in '79 fourth once more. That second major would just not come and,although most golfers would be more than happy to have one major championship to their name,in Tom Weiskopf's case it could have been so many more. (David Scranage)