Bob Goalby dead: Masters champion dies aged 92

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Bob Goalby, right, beat Roberto De Vicenzo to the 1968 Masters in contentious fashion (AP)
Bob Goalby, right, beat Roberto De Vicenzo to the 1968 Masters in contentious fashion (AP)

Bob Goalby, the 1968 Master champion, has died at the age of 92 in his hometown of Belleville, Illinois.

The star, who also won 11 PGA Tour events, won the Masters in contentious style as he believed he would be entered into a play-off with Roberto De Vicenzo after finishing on 68. However, De Vicenzo’s scorer wrote the wrong score down for one hole and the golfer signed the card which gifted Goalby the win.

He had spoken about his victory, telling Golf Digest it was “awkward”. He said: “I sat next to Roberto and did what I could to console him. There’s video of me patting him on the leg. I felt no elation, nothing like you’d expect from winning the biggest tournament of your life. It was awkward. It was tragic for Roberto, but it was equally unfortunate for me.

“I never did get full credit for what I’d done. I played damned well, especially the last day.”

Goalby turned pro in 1952 after serving in the Korean war and won his first event six years later at the Greater Greensboro Open.

Tributes have poured in for the father-of-three with the Masters chairman Fred Ridley saying: “Bob Goalby was one of the true gentlemen in the game of golf, and we are deeply saddened by his passing.

“He demonstrated tremendous play, sportsmanship and humility in his 1968 Masters victory and has worn the Green Jacket with distinction ever since. His victory will always be remembered and celebrated at Augusta National and the Masters Tournament.”

While nine-time PGA Tour winner Jay Haas added: “He was never saying, ‘Here’s what I did’. To the men of his era, Bob was a leader, but he had a lot of humility.”

And Billy Harmon, son of golf great Claude Harmon, said: “The old pros loved Bob. He was a pro’s pro.”

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