Tommy Aaron

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Tommy Aaron
Personal information
Full nameThomas Dean Aaron
Born (1937-02-22) February 22, 1937 (age 83)
Gainesville, Georgia
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
NationalityFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Residence Gainesville, Georgia
Career
College University of Florida
Turned professional1960
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins9
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour3
PGA Tour Champions1
Other5
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters Tournament Won: 1973
PGA Championship T2: 1972
U.S. Open T29: 1975
The Open Championship T50: 1970
U.S. Amateur 2nd: 1958
British Amateur R256: 1959

Thomas Dean Aaron (born February 22, 1937) is an American former professional golfer who was a member of the PGA Tour during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Aaron is best known for winning the 1973 Masters Tournament. He is also known for an error in the 1968 Masters Tournament, when he entered a 4 instead of a 3 on Roberto De Vicenzo's scorecard, which kept De Vicenzo out of a playoff for the championship. [1]

Contents

Early years

Aaron was born in Gainesville, Georgia. [2] He began playing golf at age 12 and won two Georgia Amateur titles, two Southeastern Amateur events and two Georgia Open crowns, despite not having a golf course in his hometown.

College career

He attended the University of Florida, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity (Beta Zeta Chapter). While he was a Florida student, Aaron played for the Florida Gators men's golf team from 1956 to 1959, was a member of the Gators' 1956 Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship team, and won the individual SEC championship in 1957 and 1958. [3] He lost the U.S. Amateur final to Charles Coe in 1958, was a member of the 1959 Walker Cup team, and won the Western Amateur in 1960. He was recognized as an All-American in 1958 and 1959. [4] Aaron graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1960, and was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great." [5]

Professional career

Aaron turned pro in 1960. His first professional victory came at the 1969 Canadian Open. Although the event is historically considered a PGA Tour event it was not that year. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] The following year he gained his first PGA Tour victory at the Atlanta Classic. In 1972, he won the Trophée Lancôme in France. Aaron's best money year was 1972, when he finished in ninth place on the PGA Tour money list.

Aaron won the Masters Tournament in 1973, which was his one major championship. He also finished in the top ten at the Masters from 1967 to 1970. His only other top ten major championship finishes came at the PGA Championship in 1965 and 1972. In 2000, he made the cut at the Masters at the age of 63, breaking a record previously held by Gary Player.

Aaron played for the U.S. team in the Ryder Cup in 1969 and 1973, and had a record of one win, one tie and four losses.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Aaron played on the Senior PGA Tour, winning $3,646,302. The 1992 Kaanapali Classic was his last professional win.

Aaron was a student of golf instructor Manuel de la Torre.

Aaron is also known for being the playing partner of Argentinian Roberto De Vicenzo for the final round of the 1968 Masters Tournament. On the seventeenth hole, Aaron incorrectly recorded a par 4 on De Vicenzo's scorecard, when his partner had actually scored a birdie 3 for the hole. Because De Vicenzo signed the scorecard without correcting the error, PGA rules required him to stand by the incorrect, higher score. Instead of a De Vicenzo–Bob Goalby playoff for the green jacket, Goalby won the tournament outright due to the technicality.

Ironically, Aaron's 4th round playing partner at the 1973 Masters, Johnny Miller, recorded a higher score when keeping Aaron's card. Aaron caught the mistake. [12]

He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, [13] and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 1989. [2]

Amateur wins (8)

Professional wins (9)

PGA Tour wins (2)

Legend
Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (1)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
victory
Runner-up
1May 24, 1970 Atlanta Classic −13 (68-68-70-69=275)3 strokes Flag of the United States.svg Dan Sikes
2Apr 9, 1973 Masters Tournament −5 (68-73-74-68=283)1 stroke Flag of the United States.svg J. C. Snead

PGA Tour playoff record (0–4)

No.YearTournamentOpponent(s)Result
1 1963 Memphis Open Flag of the United States.svg Tony Lema Lost to par on first extra hole
21963 Cleveland Open Flag of the United States.svg Tony Lema, Flag of the United States.svg Arnold Palmer Palmer won 18-hole playoff;
Palmer: −4 (67),
Aaron: −1 (70),
Lema: −1 (70)
3 1972 Glen Campbell-Los Angeles Open Flag of the United States.svg George Archer, Flag of the United States.svg Dave Hill Archer won 18-hole playoff;
Archer: −5 (66),
Aaron: −3 (68),
Hill: −3 (68)
41972 Greater Greensboro Open Flag of the United States.svg George Archer Lost to par on second extra hole

Other wins (6)

Senior PGA Tour wins (1)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
victory
Runner-up
1Nov 1, 1992 Kaanapali Classic −15 (67-67-64=198)1 stroke Flag of the United States.svg Dave Stockton

Senior PGA Tour playoff record (0–2)

No.YearTournamentOpponent(s)Result
1 1992 Vintage ARCO Invitational Flag of the United States.svg Jim Colbert, Flag of the United States.svg Mike Hill Hill won with birdie on first extra hole
21992 Murata Reunion Pro-Am Flag of the United States.svg George Archer Lost to birdie on third extra hole

Major championships

Wins (1)

YearChampionship54 HolesWinning ScoreMarginRunner-up
1973 Masters Tournament 4 shot deficit−5 (68-73-74-68=283)1 stroke Flag of the United States.svg J. C. Snead

Results timeline

Amateur

Tournament195819591960
Masters Tournament CUTT25
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
U.S. Amateur 2R16R64
The Amateur Championship R256

Professional

Tournament196119621963196419651966196719681969
Masters Tournament T11T13T8T7T8
U.S. Open T30T40
The Open Championship
PGA Championship T21T8T22T20T26T57
Tournament1970197119721973197419751976197719781979
Masters Tournament T5T22CUT1CUTT3842T3536T28
U.S. Open T46T55T45CUTT29T47
The Open Championship T50CUT
PGA Championship T45CUTT2T44T55CUTT38CUTT46
Tournament1980198119821983198419851986198719881989
The Masters CUT48T36CUTCUTCUTCUTT50CUTT38
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
Tournament1990199119921993199419951996199719981999
Masters Tournament CUTT49T54CUTCUTCUTCUTCUTCUT
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
Tournament200020012002200320042005
Masters Tournament 57CUTCUTCUTCUTCUT
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
R256, R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place.

Source for The Masters: www.masters.com

Source for U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur: USGA Championship Database

Source for The British Open: www.opengolf.com

Source for PGA Championship: PGA Championship Media Guide

Source for 1959 British Amateur: The Glasgow Herald, May 26, 1959, pg. 6.

Results in senior majors

Results may not be in chronological order

Tournament198719881989
Senior PGA Championship DNPT13T27
U.S. Senior Open T19T32DNP
The Tradition NYFNYFT22
Senior Players Championship T45T54DNP
Tournament1990199119921993199419951996199719981999
Senior PGA Championship T55T31T3973T15CUTT25DNPCUTWD
U.S. Senior Open CUTT29T49T13T45T29T51CUTDNPCUT
The Tradition T55T124T17T41T52T5061DNPDNP
Senior Players Championship T33T52T5T33T32T23T2476T73T48
Tournament2000200120022003200420052006
Senior PGA Championship DNPCUTCUTT67DQCUTCUT
Senior British Open Championship ---DNPDNPDNPDNP
U.S. Senior Open DNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
The Tradition DNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
Senior Players Championship T69DNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP

Note: The Senior British Open Championship did not become a major until 2003.
NYF = Tournament not yet founded
DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
DQ = disqualified
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10.

U.S. national team appearances

Amateur

Professional

See also

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References

  1. Tarde, Jerry (June 1, 2017). "Roberto De Vicenzo and the 1968 Masters: When the game held its head in its hands". Golf Digest.
  2. 1 2 Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, Members, Tommy Aaron. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  3. Florida Men's Golf 2011 Media Supplement Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine , University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 27, 35, 39, 41 (2010). Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  4. 2008–09 Florida Gators Men's Golf Media Guide , University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 36 (2008). Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  5. F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  6. 1 2 "Tommy Aaron – Profile". PGA Tour. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  7. Price, Kevin (December 8, 2004). "Masters winner Aaron recalls great career". The Brunswick News. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  8. "Tommy Aaron (b. 1937)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  9. "Tommy Aaron". Fine Golf Books: Bios and Autographs. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  10. "Tommy Aaron". Chicago Tribune. August 8, 1988. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  11. "International players on circuit". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). May 21, 1970. p. 30. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  12. "Aaron can count strokes, money". Daily Record. Ellensburg, Washington. April 10, 1973. p. 6.
  13. "Tommy Aaron" (PDF). Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 19, 2011.