Tommy Aaron

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This article is about the golfer. For the baseball player and brother of Hank Aaron, see Tommie Aaron.
Tommy Aaron
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name Thomas Dean Aaron
Born (1937-02-22) February 22, 1937 (age 77)
Gainesville, Georgia
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
Nationality  United States
Residence Gainesville, Georgia
Career
College University of Florida
Turned professional 1960
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 9
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 3
Champions Tour 1
Other 5
Best results in Major Championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters Tournament Won: 1973
U.S. Open T29: 1975
The Open Championship T50: 1970
PGA Championship T2: 1972
U.S. Amateur 2nd: 1958
British Amateur R256: 1959

Thomas Dean Aaron (born February 22, 1937) is an American former professional golfer who was a member of the PGA Tour during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Aaron is best known for winning the 1973 Masters Tournament.

Early years[edit]

Aaron was born in Gainesville, Georgia.[1] He began playing golf at age 12 and won two Georgia Amateur titles, two Southeastern Amateur events and two Georgia Open crowns, despite not having a golf course in his hometown.

College career[edit]

He attended the University of Florida, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity (Beta Zeta Chapter). While he was a Florida student, Aaron played for coach Conrad Rehling's Florida Gators men's golf team from 1956 to 1959, was a member of the Gators' 1956 Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship team, and won the individual SEC championship in 1957 and 1958.[2] He lost the U.S. Amateur final to Charles Coe in 1958, was a member of the 1959 U.S. Walker Cup team, and won the Western Amateur in 1960. He was recognized as an All-American in 1958 and 1959.[3] Aaron graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1960, and was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great."[4]

Professional career[edit]

Aaron turned pro in 1960. His first professional victory came at the 1969 Canadian Open. The following year he gained his first PGA Tour victory at the Atlanta Classic. In 1972, he won the Trophée Lancôme in France. Aaron's best money year was 1972, when he finished in ninth place on the PGA Tour money list.

Aaron won the Masters Tournament in 1973, which was his one major championship. He also finished in the top ten at the Masters from 1967 to 1970. His only other top ten major championship finishes came at the PGA Championship in 1965 and 1972. In 2000, he made the cut at the Masters at the age of 63, breaking a record previously held by Gary Player.

Aaron played for the U.S. team in the Ryder Cup in 1969 and 1973, and had a record of one win, one tie and four losses.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Aaron played on the Senior PGA Tour, winning $3,646,302. The 1992 Kaanapali Classic was his last professional win.

Aaron was a student of golf instructor Manuel de la Torre.

Aaron is also known for being the playing partner of Argentinian Roberto De Vicenzo for the final round of the 1968 Masters Tournament. On the seventeenth hole, Aaron incorrectly recorded a par 4 on De Vicenzo's scorecard, when his partner had actually scored a birdie 3 for the hole. Because De Vicenzo signed the scorecard without correcting the error, PGA rules required him to stand by the incorrect, higher score. Instead of a De Vicenzo–Bob Goalby playoff for the green jacket, Goalby won the tournament outright due to the technicality.

Ironically, Aaron's 4th round playing partner at the 1973 Masters, Johnny Miller, recorded a higher score when keeping Aaron's card. Aaron caught the mistake.[5]

He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1980,[6] and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 1989.[1]

Amateur wins (8)[edit]

  • 1957 SEC Championship (individual), Georgia Amateur
  • 1958 SEC Championship (individual), Southeastern Amateur
  • 1959 Sunnehanna Amateur
  • 1960 Western Amateur, Georgia Amateur, Southeastern Amateur

Professional wins (9)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (3)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of victory Runner-up
1 Jul 27, 1969 Canadian Open −13 (71-70-70-64=275) Playoff United States Sam Snead
2 May 24, 1970 Atlanta Classic −13 (68-68-70-69=275) 3 strokes United States Dan Sikes
3 Apr 8, 1973 Masters Tournament −5 (68-73-74-68=283) 1 stroke United States J. C. Snead

PGA Tour playoff record (1–4)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1963 Memphis Open United States Tony Lema Lost to par on first extra hole
2 1963 Cleveland Open United States Tony Lema, United States Arnold Palmer Palmer won 18-hole playoff (Palmer:67, Aaron:70, Lema:70)
3 1969 Canadian Open United States Sam Snead Wall 18-hole playoff (Aaron:70, Snead:72)
4 1972 Glen Campbell-Los Angeles Open United States George Archer, United States Dave Hill Archer won 18-hole playoff (Archer:66, Aaron:68, Hill:68)
5 1972 Greater Greensboro Open United States George Archer Lost to par on second extra hole

Other wins (5)[edit]

Senior PGA Tour wins (1)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner-up
1 Nov 1, 1992 Kaanapali Classic −15 (67-67-64=198) 1 stroke United States Dave Stockton

Senior PGA Tour playoff record (0–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1992 Vintage ARCO Invitational United States Jim Colbert, United States Mike Hill Hill won with birdie on first extra hole
2 1992 Murata Reunion Pro-Am United States George Archer Lost to birdie on third extra hole

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 Holes Winning Score Margin Runner-up
1973 Masters Tournament 4 shot deficit −5 (68-73-74-68=283) 1 stroke United States J. C. Snead

Results timeline[edit]

Amateur

Tournament 1958 1959 1960
Masters Tournament DNP CUT T25
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Amateur 2 R16 R64
The Amateur Championship DNP R256 DNP

Professional

Tournament 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP T11 T13 T8 T7 T8
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T30 DNP DNP T40
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP T21 T8 T22 T20 T26 T57
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament T5 T22 CUT 1 CUT T38 42 T35 36 T28
U.S. Open T46 DNP T55 T45 CUT T29 T47 DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship T50 DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship T45 CUT T2 T44 T55 CUT T38 CUT DNP T46
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
The Masters CUT 48 T36 CUT CUT CUT CUT T50 CUT T38
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament CUT T49 T54 CUT CUT DNP CUT CUT CUT CUT
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Masters Tournament 57 CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

LA = Low amateur
NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place
DNQ = Did not qualify for match play portion
R256, R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10

Source for The Masters: www.masters.com

Source for U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur: USGA Championship Database

Source for The British Open: www.opengolf.com

Source for PGA Championship: PGA Championship Media Guide

Source for 1959 British Amateur: The Glasgow Herald, May 26, 1959, pg. 6.

Results in senior majors[edit]

Results may not be in chronological order

Tournament 1987 1988 1989
Senior PGA Championship DNP T13 T27
U.S. Senior Open T19 T32 DNP
The Tradition NYF NYF T22
Senior Players Championship T45 T54 DNP
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Senior PGA Championship T55 T31 T39 73 T15 CUT T25 DNP CUT WD
U.S. Senior Open CUT T29 T49 T13 T45 T29 T51 CUT DNP CUT
The Tradition T55 T12 4 T17 T41 T52 T50 61 DNP DNP
Senior Players Championship T33 T52 T5 T33 T32 T23 T24 76 T73 T48
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Senior PGA Championship DNP CUT CUT T67 DQ CUT CUT
Senior British Open Championship - - - DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Senior Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Tradition DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Senior Players Championship T69 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

Note: The Senior British Open Championship did not become a major until 2003.
NYF = Tournament not yet founded
DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
DQ = disqualified
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10.

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

Amateur

Professional

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, Members, Tommy Aaron. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  2. ^ Florida Men's Golf 2011 Media Supplement, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 27, 35, 39, 41 (2010). Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  3. ^ 2008–09 Florida Gators Men's Golf Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 36 (2008). Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  4. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  5. ^ Aaron can count strokes, money
  6. ^ Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, Inductees, Tommy Aaron. Retrieved July 19, 2011.

External links[edit]