Sam Torrance

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Sam Torrance
— Golfer —
Sam Torrance.JPG
At the Dutch Seniors Open 2010
Personal information
Full name Sam Torrance OBE
Born (1953-08-24) 24 August 1953 (age 60)
Largs, Scotland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Nationality  Scotland
Residence Virginia Water, England
Spouse Suzanne Danielle (m.1988)
Children Daniel, Phoebe, Anouska
Career
Turned professional 1970
Current tour(s) European Seniors Tour
Former tour(s) European Tour
Professional wins 43
Number of wins by tour
European Tour 21 (10th all time)
European Seniors Tour 11
Best results in Major Championships
Masters Tournament T31: 1985
U.S. Open T16: 1996
The Open Championship 5th: 1981
PGA Championship T23: 1995
Achievements and awards
Officer of the Most
Excellent Order of
the British Empire
2003
Sir Henry Cotton
Rookie of the Year
1972

Sam Torrance OBE (born 24 August 1953) is a Scottish professional golfer and sports commentator. He was one of the leading players on the European Tour from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s, with 21 Tour wins. Torrance was a member of European Ryder Cup teams on eight occasions, from 1981 to 1995 consecutively; he was on Cup-winning teams in 1985, 1987, 1989, and 1995. He was the winning non-playing captain of the European Ryder Cup team in 2002. Torrance was honoured with the MBE (1996) and OBE (2003), for his outstanding contributions to golf.

Golf career[edit]

European Tour[edit]

Torrance turned professional at age 16, and joined the European Tour at 17. He achieved his first professional win in 1972, and won the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award in the same year. He recorded his first European Tour win in 1976. He won 21 times on the European Tour; only fellow Scot Colin Montgomerie has accumulated more European Tour titles without winning one of golf's four major championships. His best finish on the European Tour Order of Merit was second, which he achieved in 1984 and 1995. In total he finished in the top ten on the list ten times. He holds the record for the most career appearances on the European Tour, with over 700 events played at the close of the 2008 season. During his prime Torrance was known for long driving and accurate short iron play, often played in a daring style.

Torrance was also an early pioneer of the broomhandle putter. After a disappointing 1988 season on the greens, Torrance experimented with the long putter that was already being used successfully in the U.S. He debuted his version, which anchored on the chin rather than the midriff, at the 1989 Jersey Open and subsequently finished in the top five. He has used it relatively successfully ever since.

European Seniors Tour[edit]

In 2003, upon turning 50, Torrance became eligible to play in senior tournaments, and he picked up his first win on the European Seniors Tour in 2004. He finished first on the European Seniors Tour's Order of Merit in 2005, 2006 and 2009.

Ryder Cup[edit]

Torrance played for Europe in the Ryder Cup eight times, from 1981 to 1995 consecutively; the Cup is contested every two years. In 1985 he sank the winning putt, which deprived the Americans of the trophy for the first time in 28 years. He also was a member of Cup-winning teams in 1987 (first-ever win for Europe on American soil), 1989 and 1995. In 2002, he was the non-playing captain on the European team which won the 2002 Cup at The Belfry. This made him the second European captain to sink the winning putt and captain a winning team at separate Ryder Cups, after Seve Ballesteros in 1987 (as a player) and 1997 (as captain).

Family, honours[edit]

Torrance's father Bob was a highly respected golf instructor[1] who coached son Sam from childhood. He also coached Sam's son Daniel who also played golf to a high level competing with Sam at the Dunhill Links Tournament in the Pro Am competition, winning it once. Torrance married English actress Suzanne Danielle in 1988. They have three children.[2]

Torrance was awarded an MBE in 1996 for services to golf, and an OBE in the 2003 New Year Honours List, for his captaincy of Europe's Ryder Cup team.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Torrance currently works as a commentator for BBC Sport golf coverage. Along with Kelly Tilghman, he also provided commentary for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09.

Torrance has appeared on the sport personality quiz show A Question of Sport five times since 2005.[3] In October 2006, he took over nine minutes to consider with his teammates Ally McCoist and Michael Holding the question, "Who is the only golfer from Europe or the United States to have won two majors without making a Ryder Cup appearance", eventually correctly answering John Daly.[4] On 17 March 2008, he competed with Sharron Davies and team captain Phil Tufnell in the 37th season of A Question of Sport, and made history by achieving the first ever perfect score on the show since it started in 1970. He is a supporter of Celtic and Manchester United football clubs

Professional wins (43)[edit]

European Tour wins (21)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 15 May 1976 Piccadilly Medal 3&2 Australia Bob Shearer
2 12 Jun 1976 Martini International −8 (69-67-71-73=280) 2 strokes England Tommy Horton
3 16 Aug 1981 Carroll's Irish Open −12 (68-67-69-72=276) 5 strokes England Nick Faldo
4 3 Aug 1982 Benson & Hedges Spanish Open −15 (71-65-67-70=273) 8 strokes England Roger Chapman, Scotland Sandy Lyle,
Wales Ian Woosnam
5 7 Nov 1982 Portuguese Open −9 (71-67-69=207) 4 strokes England Nick Faldo
6 3 Jul 1983 Scandinavian Enterprise Open −8 (73-69-68-70=280) 1 stroke United States Craig Stadler
7 6 Nov 1983 Portuguese Open −2 (72-73-71-70=286) 3 strokes England Chris Moody
8 15 Apr 1984 Tunisian Open −6 (66-71-75-70=282) 1 stroke England Brian Waites
9 19 Aug 1984 Benson & Hedges International Open −18 (63-68-70-69=270) 1 stroke Australia Wayne Grady
10 23 Sep 1984 Sanyo Open −7 (71-69-70-71=281) Playoff Republic of Ireland Des Smyth
11 30 Jun 1985 Johnnie Walker Monte Carlo Open −12 (69-63-62-70=264) 1 stroke Japan Isao Aoki
12 3 May 1987 Lancia Italian Open −17 (64-68-71-68=271) Playoff Spain José Rivero
13 7 Oct 1990 Mercedes German Masters −16 (70-65-64-73=272) 3 strokes Germany Bernhard Langer, Wales Ian Woosnam
14 14 Apr 1991 Jersey European Airways Open −9 (68-69-69-73=279) 1 stroke England Mark Davis
15 28 Mar 1993 Kronenbourg Open −4 (69-68-73-74=284) 1 stroke Scotland Mike Miller
16 25 Apr 1993 Heineken Open −15 (71-63-67=201) 2 strokes United States Jay Townsend
17 13 Jun 1993 Honda Open −10 (68-69-68-73=278) Playoff England Paul Broadhurst, Sweden Johan Ryström,
Wales Ian Woosnam
18 7 May 1995 Italian Open −19 (69-70-63-67=269) 2 strokes Spain José Rivero
19 9 Jul 1995 Murphy's Irish Open −11 (68-68-70-71=277) Playoff England Stuart Cage, England Howard Clark
20 17 Sep 1995 Collingtree British Masters −18 (67-66-68-69=270) 1 stroke New Zealand Michael Campbell
21 28 Jun 1998 Peugeot Open de France −12 (64-70-72-70=276) 2 strokes France Olivier Edmond, Italy Massimo Florioli,
Australia Mathew Goggin, Germany Bernhard Langer

European Tour playoff record (4–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1984 Sanyo Open Republic of Ireland Des Smyth Won with par on first extra hole
2 1987 Lancia Italian Open Spain José Rivero Won with par on sixth extra hole
3 1987 London Standard Four Stars National Pro-Celebrity Zimbabwe Mark McNulty Lost to birdie on second extra hole
4 1990 NM English Open England Mark James Lost to birdie on first extra hole
5 1993 Honda Open England Paul Broadhurst, Sweden Johan Ryström,
Wales Ian Woosnam
Won with birdie on first extra hole
6 1995 Murphy's Irish Open England Stuart Cage, England Howard Clark Won with eagle on second extra hole
Cage eliminated with par on first hole

Other wins (11)[edit]

  • 1972 Radici Open (Italy), Under-25 Match Play Championship
  • 1975 Zambia Open
  • 1978 Scottish Professional Championship
  • 1979 Colombian Open
  • 1980 Australian PGA Championship, Scottish Professional Championship
  • 1983 C* Scottish PGA Championship
  • 1985 Scottish Professional Championship
  • 1991 Scottish Professional Championship
  • 1993 Scottish Professional Championship
  • 2006 Hassan II Golf Trophy

European Seniors Tour wins (11)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship T46 CUT CUT T19 CUT CUT CUT CUT
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T31 DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship T38 5 12 T53 T9 T16 T21 T50 T48 CUT
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP T33 DNP CUT T39 DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP T21 DNP T16 DNP DNP CUT DNP
The Open Championship T39 T44 CUT T51 CUT T11 CUT CUT T23 DNP CUT
PGA Championship DNP CUT DNP DNP T30 T23 CUT T45 DNP DNP CUT

DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 3
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 2
The Open Championship 0 0 0 1 2 8 28 16
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 3
Totals 0 0 0 1 2 11 41 24
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 10 (1980 Open Championship – 1988 Open Championship)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (twice)

Results in senior major championships[edit]

Results are not in chronological order before 2012.

Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Senior PGA Championship T38 DNP T19 CUT T34 T53 T56 CUT DNP DNP
The Tradition DNP DNP DNP T21 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Senior Players Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Senior Open DNP DNP DNP T5 CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Senior Open Championship T9 T29 CUT T10 CUT 5 T63 CUT CUT CUT

DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place.
Yellow background for top-10.

Team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]