Tommy Armour

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This article is about the early 20th century golfer. For current golfer, see Tommy Armour III.
Tommy Armour
— Golfer —
TommyArmour1927.jpg
Personal information
Full name Thomas Dickson Armour
Nickname Silver Scot
Born (1894-09-24)24 September 1894[1]
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 11 September 1968(1968-09-11) (aged 73)
Larchmont, New York
Nationality  Scotland
 United States
Career
College Fettes College
University of Edinburgh
Turned professional 1924
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 27
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 25
Other 2
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 3)
Masters Tournament T8: 1937
U.S. Open Won: 1927
The Open Championship Won: 1931
PGA Championship Won: 1930
U.S. Amateur T5: 1920
British Amateur T33: 1920, 1921
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 1976 (member page)

Thomas Dickson Armour (24 September 1894[1] – 11 September 1968) was a Scottish-American professional golfer. He was nicknamed The Silver Scot.

Armour was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and educated at Fettes College and the University of Edinburgh.

During his service in World War I, Armour rose from a private to Staff Major in the Tank Corps. His conduct earned him an audience with George V. However, he lost his sight to a mustard gas explosion and surgeons had to add a metal plate to his head and left arm. During his convalescence, he regained the sight of his right eye, and began playing much more golf.

Armour won the French Amateur tournament in 1920. He moved to the United States and met Walter Hagen, who gave him a job as secretary of the Westchester-Biltmore Club.[citation needed] He became a U.S. citizen at this time. He competed in important amateur tournaments in the U.S. for a time, and in 1924 became a professional golfer.

Armour won the 1927 U.S. Open, 1930 PGA Championship, and the 1931 Open Championship.[2] His 1930 campaign was overshadowed by Bobby Jones' Grand Slam, and Armour seems to have been overlooked.

Armour also won the Canadian Open three times, a feat exceeded only by Leo Diegel, who won four.

At the Shawnee Open in 1927, Armour scored the first ever "Archaeopteryx" (15 or more over par) when he made a 23 on a par 5, for 18-over par. This still stands as the highest score on one hole in PGA history. This historic performance happened just one week after winning the U.S. Open.

Armour retired from full-time professional golf after the 1935 season, although he competed periodically in top-class events for several years afterwards. He taught at the Boca Raton Club in Florida, for $50 a lesson. His pupils included Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Lawson Little. He was also a member at the Winged Foot Golf Club in suburban New York City, where he spent much of his summers.[3]

During World War II, Armour played in exhibitions for USO and Red Cross.

Armour co-wrote a book How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time (1953) with Herb Graffis. It became a best-seller and for many years was the biggest-selling book ever authored on golf. A series of 8mm films based on the book was released by Castle Films including Short Game parts I and II, Long Hitting Clubs, Grip and Stance.

Armour died in Larchmont, New York, and was cremated at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, but is not interred there. Some modern golf equipment is still marketed in his name.

Armour is succeeded by his grandson, Tommy Armour III, who is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour and currently holds the record for the lowest total score on 72 holes (254), which he set in his second PGA Tour victory at the Valero Texas Open.

Armour was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1976.

Amateur wins[edit]

  • 1920 French Amateur

Professional wins[edit]

PGA Tour wins (25)[edit]

Major championships are shown in bold.

Other wins[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (3)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1927 U.S. Open 1 shot deficit +13 (78-71-76-76=301) Playoff 1 United States Harry Cooper
1930 PGA Championship n/a 1 up United States Gene Sarazen
1931 The Open Championship 5 shot deficit +8 (73-75-77-71=296) 1 stroke Argentina José Jurado

1 Defeated Harry Cooper in an 18-hole playoff: Armour 76 (+4), Cooper 79 (+7).
Note: The PGA Championship was match play until 1958

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
U.S. Open T48 DNP DNP WD T13 T38 T9 1 16 T5
The Open Championship T53 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 13 DNP CUT 10
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP QF DNP QF R32 DNP
U.S. Amateur QF R16 R32 DNP - - - - - -
The Amateur Championship R64 R64 DNP DNP - - - - - -
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
The Masters NYF NYF NYF NYF DNP T37 T20 T8 DNP T12
U.S. Open 6 T46 T21 T4 T50 WD T22 CUT 23 T22
The Open Championship DNP 1 T15 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship 1 QF DNP DNP R16 2 R64 R64 DNP DNP
Tournament 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950
The Masters 38 38 T29 NT NT NT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open T12 CUT NT NT NT NT CUT CUT WD DNP CUT
The Open Championship NT NT NT NT NT NT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP NT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

NYF = Tournament not yet founded
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Sources: U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur,[4] Amateur Championship:1920,[5] 1921[6]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Some sources indicate Armour was born in 1895
  2. ^ "1931 Tommy Armour". The Open. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Harmon, Butch (2006). The Pro. Crown Publishers. 
  4. ^ USGA Championship Database
  5. ^ "Amateur Golf: The Muirfield Week: Many Favourites Out". The Glasgow Herald (Glasgow, Scotland). 9 June 1920. p. 11. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Golf At Hoylake: Amateur Championship". The Glasgow Herald (Glasgow, Scotland). 25 May 1921. p. 6. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 

External links[edit]