Tommy Armour

Last updated

Tommy Armour
TommyArmour1927.jpg
Armour in 1927
Personal information
Full nameThomas Dickson Armour
NicknameThe Silver Scot
Born(1896-09-24)24 September 1896
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died11 September 1968(1968-09-11) (aged 71)
Larchmont, New York
NationalityFlag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Career
College Fettes College
University of Edinburgh
Turned professional1924
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins27
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour25
Other2
Best results in major championships
(wins: 3)
Masters Tournament T8: 1937
PGA Championship Won: 1930
U.S. Open Won: 1927
The Open Championship Won: 1931
U.S. Amateur T5: 1920
British Amateur T33: 1920, 1921
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 1976 (member page)

Thomas Dickson Armour (24 September 1896 [1] – 11 September 1968) was a Scottish-American professional golfer. He was nicknamed The Silver Scot. He was the winner of three of golf's major championships: 1927 U.S. Open, 1930 PGA, and 1931 Open Championship. Armour popularized the term yips , the colloquial term for a sudden and unexplained loss of skills in experienced athletes. [2]

Contents

Early life

Armour was born on 24 September 1896 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Martha Dickson and her husband George Armour, a baker. He went to school at Boroughmuir High School, Edinburgh, (formerly Boroughmuir Senior Secondary School) and studied at the University of Edinburgh. [3] At the outbreak of World War I enlisted with the Black Watch and was a machine-gunner, he rose from a private to Staff Major in the Tank Corps. His conduct earned him an audience with George V. However, he lost his sight to a mustard gas explosion and surgeons had to add a metal plate to his head and left arm. During his convalescence, he regained the sight of his right eye, and began playing much more golf. [4]

Golf career

Armour won the French Amateur tournament in 1920. He moved to the United States and met Walter Hagen who gave him a job as secretary of the Westchester-Biltmore Club. [3] He competed in important amateur tournaments in the U.S. before turning professional in 1924.

Armour won the 1927 U.S. Open, 1930 PGA Championship, and the 1931 Open Championship. With Jim Barnes and Rory McIlroy, he is one of three natives of The United Kingdom to win three different professional majors. [5] His 1930 campaign was overshadowed by Bobby Jones' Grand Slam, and Armour seems to have been overlooked[ clarification needed ].

Armour also won the Canadian Open three times, a feat exceeded only by Leo Diegel, who won four.

At the Shawnee Open in 1927, Armour scored the first ever "archaeopteryx" (15 or more over par) when he made a 23 on a par 5, for 18 over par. It still stands as the highest score on a hole in PGA history. This historic performance happened just one week after he'd won the U.S. Open.

Retirement and later life

Armour retired from full-time professional golf after the 1935 season, although he competed periodically in top-class events for several years afterwards. He taught at the Boca Raton Club in Florida from 1926 to 1955, [6] for $50 a lesson. His pupils included Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Lawson Little. He was also a member at the Winged Foot Golf Club in suburban New York City, where he spent much of his summers. [7]

After becoming an American citizen in November 1942, [8] Armour played in exhibitions for USO and Red Cross during World War II.

Armour co-wrote a book How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time (1953) with Herb Graffis. It became a best-seller and for many years was the biggest-selling book ever authored on golf. A series of 8mm films based on the book was released by Castle Films including Short Game Parts I and II, Long Hitting Clubs, Grip, and Stance.

Armour is succeeded by his grandson, Tommy Armour III, who is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour.

Death and legacy

Armour died in Larchmont, New York and was cremated at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York but not interred there. Some modern golf equipment is still marketed in his name. Armour was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1976.

Amateur wins

Professional wins

PGA Tour wins (25)

Major championships are shown in bold.

Other wins

Major championships

Wins (3)

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMarginRunner-up
1927 U.S. Open 1 shot deficit+13 (78-71-76-76=301)Playoff 1 Flag of the United States.svg Harry Cooper
1930 PGA Championship n/a1 up Flag of the United States.svg Gene Sarazen
1931 The Open Championship 5 shot deficit+8 (73-75-77-71=296)1 stroke Flag of Argentina.svg José Jurado

1 Defeated Harry Cooper in an 18-hole playoff: Armour 76 (+4), Cooper 79 (+7).
Note: The PGA Championship was match play until 1958

Results timeline

Tournament1920192119221923192419251926192719281929
U.S. Open T48WDT13T38T9116T5
The Open Championship T5313CUT10
PGA Championship QFQFR32
U.S. Amateur QFR16R32
The Amateur Championship R64R64
Tournament1930193119321933193419351936193719381939
Masters Tournament NYFNYFNYFNYFT37T20T8T12
U.S. Open 6T46T21T4T50WDT22CUT23T22
The Open Championship 1T17
PGA Championship 1QFR162R64R64
Tournament19401941194219431944194519461947194819491950
Masters Tournament 3838T28NTNTNT
U.S. Open T12CUTNTNTNTNTCUTCUTWDCUT
The Open Championship NTNTNTNTNTNT
PGA Championship NT
  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

NYF = tournament not yet founded
NT = no tournament
WD = withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = round in which player lost in match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Sources: U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur, [9] Amateur Championship:1920, [10] 1921 [11]

Team appearances

Amateur

Professional

See also

Notes

  1. "Births in the District of Newington in the City of Edinburgh" . Statutory Births 685/05 1134. ScotlandsPeople . Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  2. Barkow, Al (1998). Golf Legends of All Time. Publications International. ISBN   978-0785328483.
  3. 1 2 Vamplew, Vray (23 September 2014). "Armour, Thomas Dickson [Tommy] (1896–1968), golfer". www.oxforddnb.com. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/65141.
  4. Davidson, Jack (11 August 2015). "Tommy Armour: the Scotsman who won the US PGA". The Scotsman. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  5. "1931 Tommy Armour". The Open. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  6. May, Mike. "Golf @ The Boca Resort: Living, Breathing History". Go Golf and Travel.
  7. Harmon, Butch (2006). The Pro . Crown Publishers.
  8. "U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992" via Ancestry.com.
  9. USGA Championship Database Archived 21 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Amateur Golf: The Muirfield Week: Many Favourites Out". The Glasgow Herald . Glasgow, Scotland. 9 June 1920. p. 11. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  11. "Golf at Hoylake: Amateur Championship". The Glasgow Herald . Glasgow, Scotland. 25 May 1921. p. 6. Retrieved 9 March 2011.

Related Research Articles

Gene Sarazen

Gene Sarazen was an American professional golfer, one of the world's top players in the 1920s and 1930s, and the winner of seven major championships. He is one of five players to win each of the four majors at least once, now known as the Career Grand Slam: U.S. Open , PGA Championship , The Open Championship (1932), and Masters Tournament (1935).

Robert Allan Cruickshank was a prominent professional golfer from Scotland. He competed in the PGA of America circuit from the early 1920s to the mid-1930s, the forerunner of today's PGA Tour.

Leo Diegel

Leo Harvey Diegel was an American professional golfer of the 1920s and early 1930s. He captured consecutive PGA Championships, played on the first four Ryder Cup teams, and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Johnny Farrell

John Joseph Farrell was an American professional golfer, best known for winning the U.S. Open in 1928. Over the course of his career, he won 22 PGA Tour events.

Walter Hagen American professional golfer

Walter Charles Hagen was an American professional golfer and a major figure in golf in the first half of the 20th century. His tally of 11 professional majors is third behind Jack Nicklaus (18) and Tiger Woods (15). Hagen is widely considered one of the greatest golfers ever.

Canadian Open (golf)

The Canadian Open is a professional golf tournament in Canada. It is co-organized by Golf Canada and the PGA Tour. It was first played 117 years ago in 1904, and has been held annually since then, except for during World War I, World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the third oldest continuously running tournament on the tour, after The Open Championship and the U.S. Open. It is the only national championship that is a PGA Tour-managed event.

Fred McLeod Scottish-American golfer

Frederick Robertson McLeod was a Scottish-American professional golfer who had a distinguished career in the United States, which included victory in the 1908 U.S. Open. He was born in Kirk Ports, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland.

William Macfarlane was a Scottish professional golfer.

Henry Picard

Henry Gilford Picard was an American professional golfer.

Al Espinosa American professional golfer

Abel Ruben "Al" Espinosa was an American professional golfer.

North and South Open Golf tournament

The North and South Open was one of the most prestigious professional golf tournaments in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. It was played at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, long the largest golf resort in the world, which also staged a series of other tournaments with the "North and South" name, some of which continue to this day.

Al Watrous

Albert Andrew Watrous was an American professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Miami International Four-Ball was a golf tournament on the PGA Tour from 1924 to 1954. It was played primarily at what is now the Miami Springs Golf and Country Club in Miami, Florida. It was also played at the Miami Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables, Florida from 1939 to 1942 and at the Normandy Shore Club in Miami Beach, Florida from 1952 to 1954.

1920 U.S. Open (golf)

The 1920 U.S. Open was the 24th U.S. Open, held August 12–13 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

1927 U.S. Open (golf)

The 1927 U.S. Open was the 31st U.S. Open, held June 14–17 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, a suburb northeast of Pittsburgh. Tommy Armour defeated Harry Cooper in an 18-hole playoff to win the first of his three major titles.

1932 U.S. Open (golf)

The 1932 U.S. Open was the 36th U.S. Open, held June 23–25 at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Flushing, New York, a neighborhood in the north-central part of the borough of Queens in New York City. Gene Sarazen won his second U.S. Open championship, and the fifth of his seven major titles, ten years after his first U.S. Open win. Earlier in the month, he won the 1932 British Open in England.

1930 PGA Championship

The 1930 PGA Championship was the 13th PGA Championship, held September 8–13 in New York City at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Flushing, Queens. Then a match play championship, Tommy Armour defeated Gene Sarazen 1 up in the finals for the second of his three major titles.

1936 PGA Championship

The 1936 PGA Championship was the 19th PGA Championship, held November 16–22 at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Then a match play championship, Denny Shute won the first of his consecutive PGA Championships, defeating Jimmy Thomson 3 & 2 on the No. 2 Course.

Archibald Edward Wones Compston was an English professional golfer. Through the 1920s he built a reputation as a formidable match play golfer, in an era when many professionals made more money from "challenge" matches against fellow pros, or wealthy amateurs, than from tournament golf.

John McIntyre "Jack" Forrester was a Scottish-American professional golfer who played in the early-to-mid 20th century. His best finish in a major championship was fourth in the 1923 U.S. Open. He won the 1929 New Jersey PGA Championship while serving as head professional at Baltusrol Golf Club.