Argentine golf great De Vicenzo dies at 94

Ivan Schwartz
June 2, 2017

De Vicenzo died Thursday.

A fixture for decades on the course and the practice tee at his home club, Ranelagh GC in Buenos Aires, De Vicenzo in the past few years had stopped playing golf.

His signature win came at the 1967 British Open at Royal Liverpool, where he won by two strokes over Jack Nicklaus. De Vicenzo's first win came in 1942 at the Abierto del Litoral.

However, he is probably best known for a scorecard error - and the way he handled it - which cost him victory at the Masters the following year.

Nine-time major victor Gary Player took to Twitter to express his condolences, saying: "Roberto Di Vincenzo, a true gentleman whose influence popularized golf not only at home but around world too".

Under the rules the higher score stood and instead of being part of an 18-hole playoff the following day with American Bob Goalby, De Vicenzo was relegated to second place.

De Vicenzo said that when countryman Angel Cabrera won the Masters in 2009, it "brought a few tears to my eyes ... because I would have loved to have that jacket myself as well". "At the time, all we had was a little picnic table where press could get to you early".

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Besides his Open Championship victory, De Vicenzo also won 15 other national opens a total of 43 times, while capturing an additional four PGA TOUR tournament wins.

His playing partner, Tommy Aaron, had inadvertently marked down a four on his card at the 17th when De Vicenzo had actually made a birdie three, and he failed to notice the mistake when he submitted his scorecard to officials.

"What a stupid I am", was De Vicenzo's disconsolate quote in the aftermath.

Even with that setback, De Vicenzo was an accomplished PGA TOUR player, hoisting five champion's trophies. He played on the PGA Senior Tour, winning the 1980 U.S. Senior Open. He also added a victory at the 1974 PGA Seniors' Championship.

De Vicenzo was the recipient of the prestigious Bob Jones Award in 1970, and he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989. Seve Ballesteros, who died in 2011, recognized the worldwide impact De Vicenzo had on young golfers in general and him specifically.

"I play golf all over the world for 30 years, and now all I can think of is what a stupid I am to be wrong in this wonderful tournament", he said. I was not like Palmer, or Nicklaus or Gary Player. During The Open Championship he treated me with the same fondness and affection as a father would treat his own son.

De Vicenzo officially retired from competitive golf on November 12, 2006. He he will be cremated Friday at 1 pm.

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