1973 Open Champion Tom Weiskopf Dies Aged 79

The American has passed away after battling pancreatic cancer

Tom Weiskopf takes a shot during the Champion Golfers' Challenge ahead of the 2015 Open at St Andrews
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former PGA Tour player Tom Weiskopf has died aged 79 after battling pancreatic cancer.

The American turned professional in 1964, and racked up 16 wins on the Tour between 1968 and 1982. However, he was best known for his outstanding record in Majors. Although Keiskopf only claimed one Major win, the 1973 Open at Royal Troon, when he finished three clear of Neil Coles and Johnny Miller, he had 20 other top 10 finishes, including five as runner-up. In an era that was blessed with some of the all-time greats of the game including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Tom Watson, such a record was no mean feat.

The news of Weiskopf's passing came when eight-time Major winner Watson passed on his condolences to his family on Twitter. He said: “I send my deepest sympathies to the family of Tom Weiskopf. Will miss you and your stories. RIP my friend. PC has struck again.” 

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Weiskopf was known for his exceptional ball-striking ability, while his swing was regarded as one of the most elegant in the game. However, while his game was much-admired, he was equally known for his temper – a reputation that earned him the nickname The Towering Inferno. In 1993, Weiskopf joined the Senior PGA Tour where he enjoyed more success including victory in 1995 US Senior Open.

Beyond his playing days, Weiskopf built a considerable reputation as a course designer. He had over 40 courses to his credit globally, including Loch Lomond, which hosted the Scottish Open between 1995 and 2010. Weiskopf also worked as an analyst for CBS Sports, ABC Sports and ESPN.

Weiskopf had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2020.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.