Tommy Bolt

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Tommy Bolt
Sport and Leisure during the Second World War CNA3615.jpg
Tommy Bolt and Bobby Locke
Personal information
Full nameThomas Henry Bolt
NicknameThunder, Terrible Tommy
Born(1916-03-31)March 31, 1916
Haworth, Oklahoma
DiedAugust 30, 2008(2008-08-30) (aged 92)
Cherokee Village, Arkansas
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
NationalityFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Career
Turned professional1946
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins20
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour15
Other5
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters Tournament T3: 1952
PGA Championship 3rd/T3: 1954, 1955, 1971
U.S. Open Won: 1958
The Open Championship DNP
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 2002 (member page)

Thomas Henry Bolt (March 31, 1916 – August 30, 2008) was an American professional golfer. He did not join the PGA Tour until he was in his thirties, but he went on to win 15 PGA Tour titles, including the 1958 U.S. Open. He played in the Ryder Cup in 1955 and 1957.

Contents

Early life

Bolt was born in Haworth, Oklahoma. He served in the United States Army during World War II and turned professional in 1946. He worked as a caddie and club professional in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Professional career

Bolt was the fifth PGA Tour player to shoot a round of 60 when he did it in the second round of the 1954 Insurance City Open at the par-71 Wethersfield Country Club, outside Hartford, Connecticut. [1] Previously, Al Brosch, Wally Ulrich, Ted Kroll and Bill Nary had also scored 60. [1] Bolt had 11 birdies in his round and had a putt for a 59, but missed a 15-foot putt for birdie on the 18th green. [1] Bolt had scored 71 in his first round and followed with rounds of 69 and 71 over his final 36 holes. [2] Bolt tied with Earl Stewart, but won an 18-hole playoff the following day. [3]

Bolt was a member of the United States Ryder Cup teams in 1955 and 1957. In 1955, at Thunderbird Country Club in California, he won his two matches, including a singles victory over Christy O'Connor Snr. In the 1957 match at Lindrick Golf Club in England he won his foursomes match but lost to Eric Brown in the singles.

Bolt's fiery disposition earned him the nickname "Thunder" and "Terrible Tommy". He was known to break clubs during rounds, and his penchant for throwing clubs led to the adoption of a rule prohibiting such behavior. In his later years, he admitted that a lot of his on-course eruptions were merely showmanship and that he felt they had detracted from his playing.

Bolt was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also elected to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in 2002. [4]

Death

Bolt died in Cherokee Village, Arkansas at the age of 92. [5] He is interred at Evening Shade Cemetery in Evening Shade, Arkansas.

Professional wins (20)

PGA Tour wins (15)

Legend
Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (14)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1Nov 11, 1951 North and South Open −5 (71-72-71-69=283)3 strokes Flag of the United States.svg John Barnum
2Jan 8, 1952 Los Angeles Open +5 (73-74-70-72=289)Playoff Flag of the United States.svg Jack Burke Jr., Flag of the United States.svg Dutch Harrison
3Jan 18, 1953 San Diego Open −14 (66-68-70-70=274)3 strokes Flag of the United States.svg Doug Ford
4Feb 1, 1953 Tucson Open −15 (65-68-66-66=265)1 stroke Flag of the United States.svg Chandler Harper
5Mar 21, 1954 Miami Beach International Four-Ball
(with Flag of the United States.svg Dick Mayer)
−30 (67-61-65-65=258)Playoff Flag of the United States.svg Julius Boros and Flag of the United States.svg Dutch Harrison
6Jun 28, 1954 Insurance City Open −13 (71-60-69-71=271)Playoff Flag of the United States.svg Earl Stewart
7Sep 5, 1954 Rubber City Open −23 (69-69-63-64=265)5 strokes Flag of the United States.svg Fred Hawkins
8Jan 23, 1955 Convair-San Diego Open (2)−14 (64-67-72-71=274)2 strokes Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Palmer
9Feb 13, 1955 Tucson Open (2)−14 (69-67-65-65=266)3 strokes Flag of the United States.svg Bud Holscher, Flag of the United States.svg Art Wall Jr.
10Jul 10, 1955 St. Paul Open −19 (65-68-68-68=269)2 strokes Flag of the United States.svg Jerry Barber
11Jul 28, 1957 Eastern Open Invitational −12 (64-72-69-71=276)4 strokes Flag of the United States.svg Billy Casper, Flag of the United States.svg Fred Hawkins
12May 4, 1958 Colonial National Invitation +2 (68-70-70-74=282)1 stroke Flag of the United States.svg Ken Venturi
13Jun 14, 1958 U.S. Open +3 (71-71-69-72=283)4 strokes Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg Gary Player
14Jun 6, 1960 Memphis Open Invitational −7 (72-69-65-67=273)Playoff Flag of the United States.svg Ben Hogan, Flag of the United States.svg Gene Littler
15Mar 12, 1961 Pensacola Open Invitational −13 (72-68-68-67=275)2 strokes Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg Gary Player

PGA Tour playoff record (4–2)

No.YearTournamentOpponent(s)Result
11952 Los Angeles Open Flag of the United States.svg Jack Burke Jr., Flag of the United States.svg Dutch Harrison Won 18-hole playoff;
Bolt: −2 (69),
Burke: E (71),
Harrison: +3 (74)
21954 Miami Beach International Four-Ball
(with Flag of the United States.svg Dick Mayer)
Flag of the United States.svg Julius Boros and Flag of the United States.svg Dutch Harrison Won with birdie on first extra hole
31954 Insurance City Open Flag of the United States.svg Earl Stewart Won 18-hole playoff;
Stewart conceded on final hole
41955 Miami Open Flag of the United States.svg Sam Snead Lost to par on first extra hole
5 1960 Memphis Open Invitational Flag of the United States.svg Ben Hogan, Flag of the United States.svg Gene Littler Won 18-hole playoff;
Bolt: −2 (68),
Hogan: −1 (69),
Littler: +1 (71)
6 1961 Home of the Sun Open Flag of the United States.svg Dave Hill, Flag of the United States.svg Bud Sullivan Hill won with birdie on third extra hole

Senior wins (5)

Sources: [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [2] [3] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22]

Major championships

Wins (1)

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMarginRunner-up
1958 U.S. Open 3 shot lead+3 (71-71-69-72=283)4 strokes Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg Gary Player

Results timeline

Tournament1950195119521953195419551956195719581959
Masters Tournament T3T5T12T22T8CUTT32T30
U.S. Open CUTT29T7CUTT6T3T22WD1T38
PGA Championship R32SFSFR128R16T5T17
Tournament1960196119621963196419651966196719681969
Masters Tournament T20T4CUTT37CUTT8T17T26
U.S. Open WDT22CUTCUTCUT
PGA Championship T57WDT30WDCUT
Tournament19701971197219731974197519761977
Masters Tournament CUT
U.S. Open CUTCUT
PGA Championship 3WD

Note: Bolt never played in The Open Championship.

  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Summary

TournamentWins2nd3rdTop-5Top-10Top-25EventsCuts made
Masters Tournament 0013591713
U.S. Open 101246178
The Open Championship 00000000
PGA Championship 003457148
Totals105914224829

U.S. national team appearances

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "Bolt Scores Record-Tying 60 In Insurance Open". Youngstown Vindicator. June 26, 1954. p. 7.
  2. 1 2 "Tommy Bolt; Stewart Tie". Youngstown Vindicator. June 28, 1954. p. 9.
  3. 1 2 "Bolt Captures Insurance City Open Playoff; Stewart Concedes on Last Hole". Youngstown Vindicator. June 29, 1954. p. 15.
  4. "ASHOF Inductee Profiles" (PDF).
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/04/sports/golf/04bolt.html
  6. "American veteran wins seniors title with 1-over-par round". The Canberra Times . Australian Capital Territory, Australia. October 16, 1978. p. 18. Retrieved February 11, 2020 via Trove.
  7. "Tommy Bolt wins North and South golf tournament". Wilmington Morning Star. (North Carolina). Associated Press. November 12, 1951. p. 5.
  8. "Three Gain Golf Playoff". Youngstown Vindicator. January 8, 1952. p. 11.
  9. "Bolt Takes Open In Play-off Duel". The Spokesman-Review. January 9, 1952. p. 13.
  10. "Bolt Captures San Diego Golf Tourney With 274; Tops Ford By Three Strokes". Youngstown Vindicator. January 19, 1953. p. 9.
  11. "Tommy Bolt Clips 15 Strokes Off Par With 265 to Capture Tucson Tourney". Youngstown Vindicator. February 2, 1953. p. 11.
  12. "Mayer Sinks Long Putt to Gain Victory". Youngstown Vindicator. March 22, 1954. p. 12.
  13. Howell, Fritz (September 6, 1954). "Tommy Bolt wins Rubber City Open". Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. p. 12.
  14. "Bolt Takes San Diego Golf Title". Youngstown Vindicator. January 24, 1955. p. 9.
  15. "Tommy Bolt Stages Rally; Wins Tucson Open With 266". Youngstown Vindicator. February 14, 1955. p. 9.
  16. "Bolt Overhauls Barber to Capture St. Paul Open With 19-Under-Par 269". Youngstown Vindicator. July 11, 1955. p. 9.
  17. "Bolt Captures Eastern Open". Youngstown Vindicator. July 29, 1957. p. 10.
  18. "Tommy Bolt Golf Winner". Youngstown Vindicator. May 5, 1958. p. 13.
  19. Drum, Bob (June 15, 1958). "Tom Bolt wraps up Open title with 283". Pittsburgh Press. p. 1, sec. 4.
  20. "Bolt Gets 67; Three in Tie". The Spokesman-Review. June 6, 1960. p. 11.
  21. "Bolt Wins In Playoff". Youngstown Vindicator. June 7, 1960. p. 21.
  22. "Bolt Wins Golf Meet". Youngstown Vindicator. March 13, 1961. p. 15.