Thomas Daniel Weiskopf is the greatest player not in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Born in Massillon, Ohio on November 9, 1942, he was an outstanding athlete at Benedictine High School in Cleveland and considered playing professional baseball. He followed another Ohioan, Jack Nicklaus, to Ohio State University upon graduation in 1960 and the two played collegiately for the Buckeyes, making them one of the better teams in the Big Ten Conference. Weiskopf won the 1963 Western Amateur and left Ohio State the following year to turn professional. His swing was much admired in the golf world. At 6’3” tall, he hit the ball high, generated tremendous power and had superb control of his ball flight, a rare combination. His first win on Tour came at the Andy Williams San Diego Open in 1968, where he beat Al Geiberger by one shot to win the $ 15,000 first prize. He went on to win the Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan in July of that year.
His best season came in 1973 when he won five tournaments between May and July, including back-to-back victories at the Colonial Invitation and Kemper Open, a tournament he won three times in six years. In July, he won the Open Championship and Canadian Open in a span of 15 days. He won four times in eight weeks that summer and finished second to Jack Nicklaus in the world golf rankings. He played on the U.S. Ryder Cup teams in 1973 and 1975 but famously skipped the event in 1977 to go big game hunting.
Mr. Weiskopf finished second in the Masters on four occasions, a record he shares with Ben Hogan and Nicklaus. He finished second at the U.S. Open in 1976, third at the PGA in 1975 and had 136 Top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour during his career.
Tom Weiskopf won 16 events on the PGA Tour from 1968 to 1982. He made his debut at the Western Open outside Chicago in 1964 and enjoyed his last Tour win there in 1982 when he edged Larry Nelson by one stroke. Mr. Weiskopf played briefly on the Senior [now Champions] PGA Tour from 1994-96 and won four events on that circuit, including the 1995 U.S. Senior Open, where he beat Nicklaus to win $175,000. He retired shortly thereafter to work in golf course design and was voted “Golf Architect of the Year” in 1996 by Golf World magazine. He has over 60 courses to date and his work includes Troon North and TPC in Scottsdale, Loch Lomond in Scotland and Waikoloa King’s Golf Course in Hawaii. In addition to his design business, he is currently providing golf analysis for Sirius Radio and FOX Sports.
On this date in 1973, Tom Weiskopf won the 102nd Open Championship at Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland with a wire-to-wire victory over Johnny Miller and Neil Coles.