The 'Peacock of the Fairways' was one of the big personalities in the game of golf.


Doug Sanders Passes Away Aged 86

Doug Sanders, the American known as the ‘Peacock of the Fairways’ because of his bright and colourful golf attire, has passed away at the age of 86.

Along with the attire, Sanders is perhaps best remembered for his small missed putt at the 1970 Open Championship which knocked him down into a playoff with Jack Nicklaus.

Sadly for Sanders, he would lose the 18-hole playoff by one-stroke the next day.

American golfers, Jack Nicklaus (left) and Doug Sanders, at St Andrews for the 1970 Open Championship (Getty Images)

It was a moment that has become iconic in St Andrews and Open Championship history with Sanders himself half jokingly saying he often went five minute not thinking about the putt.

However, in the process he also endeared himself to fans around the world.

“I never got so many letters and wires than after the Open,” he later recalled. “They came from people who said they felt so bad to see me miss winning. Many of them weren’t even signed, just ending with ‘A Fan’.”

The moment should not be the sole memory from an immensely successful career though.

It should not be forgotten that Sanders won 20 times on the PGA Tour, had 13 top-10’s in Majors (including four runners-up finishes) and in fact only missed 7 Major cuts in his entire career too.

He was also part of the famous 1967 Ryder Cup team that absolutely obliterated Great Britain by 23.5 points to 8.5. Sanders himself won 2 points from five matches.

After retiring from competitive golf Sanders kept active and for nearly 20 years he sponsored the Doug Sanders International Junior Golf Championship which took place in Houston, Texas.

He died of natural causes in his adopted hometown of Houston at the age of 86.

Don’t forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more golf news.