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Weiskopf dead at 79

WASHINGTON (AFP)
— Tom Weiskopf, the 1973 British Open champion who became a noted course designer and golf commentator, died Saturday at his Montana home after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 79.

The American won 16 US PGA Tour events between 1968 and 1982 and was a four-time Masters runner-up as well as finishing second at the 1976 US Open.

His first triumph came at the 1968 San Diego Open and his last was 40 years ago at the Western Open.

“Will miss you and your stories,” tweeted eight-time major champion Tom Watson.

“RIP my friend. PC has struck again.”

Weiskopf won two duels with legend Jack Nicklaus, taking the 1972 Inverrary Classic by one stroke over the 18-time major winner and defeating Nicklaus as well in a playoff at the 1975 Canadian Open.

But his greatest triumph came in wire-to-wire fashion at Royal Troon when he took the 1973 Open to claim the Claret Jug and his only major triumph.

Weiskopf’s course architect work includes a renovation at Torrey Pines and design work at Scotland’s Loch Lomond.

“The PGA Tour is saddened at the passing of Tom Weiskopf, a towering figure in the game of golf not only during his playing career but through his accomplished work in the broadcast booth and golf course design business,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

“Tom is leaving behind a lasting legacy in golf. The beautiful swing he showcased during his 16 career PGA Tour victories is still being emulated today, while his golf courses remain as testaments to his love for the game.”

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