Remembering Tom Weiskopf
By Kent Paisley
Tom Weiskopf hits a tee shot at the PGA Championship (Photo by PGA of America via Getty Images)
Tom Weiskopf's imprint on golf goes well beyond his 16 PGA Tour victories, including the 1973 Open Championship. The Ohio native helped design over 80 courses and brought a level of brevity to the booth as a TV commentator for ABC/ESPN and CBS.
Weiskopf was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in 2020 and passed away Saturday morning in his home in Big Sky, Montana, at 79 years old.
The 16-time winner on the PGA Tour consistently contended for the Wanamaker trophy over his 18 starts at the PGA Championship. The Massillon, Ohio native finished in the top 10 five times. His best finish was a solo-third effort in 1975 at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
He finished runner-up in five majors, including four times at The Masters. Known for a hot temper on the course, the 6'3 Ohio native earned the nickname "The Towering Inferno."
Following his decorated PGA Tour career, Weiskopf won four times on the Senior PGA Tour. He captured his lone senior major title at the 1995 U.S. Senior Open. He took down Jack Nicklaus by four strokes at Congressional's Blue Course, which hosted the 2022 KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
"I could not accept failure when it was my fault," he reflected on his career following his U.S. Senior Open win. "It just used to tear me up."
Weiskopf's design work leaves a lasting legacy on major championship golf. He led a renovation of Torrey Pines' iconic North Course in 2016. In addition, he led a total redesign at Olympic Club's Cliffs & Ocean Courses and designed many more incredible tracks throughout the world.
His candor as a broadcaster made Weiskopf enjoyable to listen to during his time in the booth. One of his most iconic lines was at the 1986 Masters as Jack Nicklaus stood on the 16th tee. Host Jim Nantz asked Weiskopf what might be running through the Golden Bear's mind. "If I knew the way he thought," Weiskopf quipped, "I would have won this tournament."