Tommy Bolt

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Tommy Bolt
Sport and Leisure during the Second World War CNA3615.jpg
Tommy Bolt and Bobby Locke
Personal information
Full nameThomas Henry Bolt
NicknameThunder, Terrible Tommy
Born(1916-03-31)March 31, 1916
Haworth, Oklahoma
DiedAugust 30, 2008(2008-08-30) (aged 92)
Cherokee Village, Arkansas
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
Nationality United States
Career
Turned professional1946
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins20
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour15
Other5
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentT3: 1952
PGA Championship3rd/T3: 1954, 1955, 1971
U.S. OpenWon: 1958
The Open ChampionshipDNP
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2002 (member page)

Thomas Henry Bolt (March 31, 1916 – August 30, 2008) was an American professional golfer. He did not join the PGA Tour until he was in his thirties, but he went on to win 15 PGA Tour titles, including the 1958 U.S. Open. He played in the Ryder Cup in 1955 and 1957.

Early life[edit]

Bolt was born in Haworth, Oklahoma. He served in the United States Army during World War II and turned professional in 1946. He worked as a caddie and club professional in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Professional career[edit]

Bolt was the fifth PGA Tour player to shoot a round of 60 when he did it in the second round of the 1954 Insurance City Open at the par-71 Wethersfield Country Club, outside Hartford, Connecticut.[1] Previously, Al Brosch, Wally Ulrich, Ted Kroll and Bill Nary had also scored 60.[1] Bolt had 11 birdies in his round and had a putt for a 59, but missed a 15-foot putt for birdie on the 18th green.[1] Bolt had scored 71 in his first round and followed with rounds of 69 and 71 over his final 36 holes.[2] Bolt tied with Earl Stewart, but won an 18-hole playoff the following day.[3]

Bolt was a member of the United States Ryder Cup teams in 1955 and 1957. In 1955, at Thunderbird Country Club in California, he won his two matches, including a singles victory over Christy O'Connor Snr. In the 1957 match at Lindrick Golf Club in England he won his foursomes match but lost to Eric Brown in the singles.

Bolt's fiery disposition earned him the nickname "Thunder" and "Terrible Tommy". He was known to break clubs during rounds, and his penchant for throwing clubs led to the adoption of a rule prohibiting such behavior. In his later years, he admitted that a lot of his on-course eruptions were merely showmanship and that he felt they had detracted from his playing.

Bolt was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also elected to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in 2002.[4]

Death[edit]

Bolt died in Cherokee Village, Arkansas at the age of 92.[5] He is interred at Evening Shade Cemetery in Evening Shade, Arkansas.

Professional wins (20)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (15)[edit]

Legend
Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (14)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 Nov 11, 1951 North and South Open −5 (71-72-71-69=283) 3 strokes United States John Barnum
2 Jan 8, 1952 Los Angeles Open +5 (73-74-70-72=289) Playoff United States Jack Burke Jr., United States Dutch Harrison
3 Jan 18, 1953 San Diego Open −14 (66-68-70-70=274) 3 strokes United States Doug Ford
4 Feb 1, 1953 Tucson Open −15 (65-68-66-66=265) 1 stroke United States Chandler Harper
5 Mar 21, 1954 Miami Beach International Four-Ball
(with United States Dick Mayer)
−30 (67-61-65-65=258) Playoff United States Julius Boros and United States Dutch Harrison
6 Jun 28, 1954 Insurance City Open −13 (71-60-69-71=271) Playoff United States Earl Stewart
7 Sep 5, 1954 Rubber City Open −23 (69-69-63-64=265) 5 strokes United States Fred Hawkins
8 Jan 23, 1955 Convair-San Diego Open (2) −14 (64-67-72-71=274) 2 strokes United States Johnny Palmer
9 Feb 13, 1955 Tucson Open (2) −14 (69-67-65-65=266) 3 strokes United States Bud Holscher, United States Art Wall Jr.
10 Jul 10, 1955 St. Paul Open −19 (65-68-68-68=269) 2 strokes United States Jerry Barber
11 Jul 28, 1957 Eastern Open Invitational −12 (64-72-69-71=276) 4 strokes United States Billy Casper, United States Fred Hawkins
12 May 4, 1958 Colonial National Invitation +2 (68-70-70-74=282) 1 stroke United States Ken Venturi
13 Jun 14, 1958 U.S. Open +3 (71-71-69-72=283) 4 strokes South Africa Gary Player
14 Jun 6, 1960 Memphis Open Invitational −7 (72-69-65-67=273) Playoff United States Ben Hogan, United States Gene Littler
15 Mar 12, 1961 Pensacola Open Invitational −13 (72-68-68-67=275) 2 strokes South Africa Gary Player

PGA Tour playoff record (4–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1952 Los Angeles Open United States Jack Burke Jr., United States Dutch Harrison Won 18-hole playoff;
Bolt: −2 (69),
Burke: E (71),
Harrison: +3 (74)
2 1954 Miami Beach International Four-Ball
(with United States Dick Mayer)
United States Julius Boros and United States Dutch Harrison Won with birdie on first extra hole
3 1954 Insurance City Open United States Earl Stewart Won 18-hole playoff;
Stewart conceded on final hole
4 1955 Miami Open United States Sam Snead Lost to par on first extra hole
5 1960 Memphis Open Invitational United States Ben Hogan, United States Gene Littler Won 18-hole playoff;
Bolt: −2 (68),
Hogan: −1 (69),
Littler: +1 (71)
6 1961 Home of the Sun Open United States Dave Hill, United States Bud Sullivan Hill won with birdie on third extra hole

Senior wins (5)[edit]

Sources:[7][8][9][10][11][12][2][3][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1958 U.S. Open 3 shot lead +3 (71-71-69-72=283) 4 strokes South Africa Gary Player

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament T3 T5 T12 T22 T8 CUT T32 T30
U.S. Open CUT T29 T7 CUT T6 T3 T22 WD 1 T38
PGA Championship R32 SF SF R128 R16 T5 T17
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament T20 T4 CUT T37 CUT T8 T17 T26
U.S. Open WD T22 CUT CUT CUT
PGA Championship T57 WD T30 WD CUT
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977
Masters Tournament CUT
U.S. Open CUT CUT
PGA Championship 3 WD

Note: Bolt never played in The Open Championship.

  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 1 3 5 9 17 13
U.S. Open 1 0 1 2 4 6 17 8
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PGA Championship 0 0 3 4 5 7 14 8
Totals 1 0 5 9 14 22 48 29
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 10 (1953 PGA – 1956 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (twice)

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Bolt Scores Record-Tying 60 In Insurance Open". Youngstown Vindicator. June 26, 1954. p. 7.
  2. ^ a b "Tommy Bolt; Stewart Tie". Youngstown Vindicator. June 28, 1954. p. 9.
  3. ^ a b "Bolt Captures Insurance City Open Playoff; Stewart Concedes on Last Hole". Youngstown Vindicator. June 29, 1954. p. 15.
  4. ^ "ASHOF Inductee Profiles" (PDF).
  5. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/04/sports/golf/04bolt.html
  6. ^ "American veteran wins seniors title with 1-over-par round". The Canberra Times. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. October 16, 1978. p. 18. Retrieved February 11, 2020 – via Trove.
  7. ^ "Tommy Bolt wins North and South golf tournament". Wilmington Morning Star. (North Carolina). Associated Press. November 12, 1951. p. 5.
  8. ^ "Three Gain Golf Playoff". Youngstown Vindicator. January 8, 1952. p. 11.
  9. ^ "Bolt Takes Open In Play-off Duel". The Spokesman-Review. January 9, 1952. p. 13.
  10. ^ "Bolt Captures San Diego Golf Tourney With 274; Tops Ford By Three Strokes". Youngstown Vindicator. January 19, 1953. p. 9.
  11. ^ "Tommy Bolt Clips 15 Strokes Off Par With 265 to Capture Tucson Tourney". Youngstown Vindicator. February 2, 1953. p. 11.
  12. ^ "Mayer Sinks Long Putt to Gain Victory". Youngstown Vindicator. March 22, 1954. p. 12.
  13. ^ Howell, Fritz (September 6, 1954). "Tommy Bolt wins Rubber City Open". Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. p. 12.
  14. ^ "Bolt Takes San Diego Golf Title". Youngstown Vindicator. January 24, 1955. p. 9.
  15. ^ "Tommy Bolt Stages Rally; Wins Tucson Open With 266". Youngstown Vindicator. February 14, 1955. p. 9.
  16. ^ "Bolt Overhauls Barber to Capture St. Paul Open With 19-Under-Par 269". Youngstown Vindicator. July 11, 1955. p. 9.
  17. ^ "Bolt Captures Eastern Open". Youngstown Vindicator. July 29, 1957. p. 10.
  18. ^ "Tommy Bolt Golf Winner". Youngstown Vindicator. May 5, 1958. p. 13.
  19. ^ Drum, Bob (June 15, 1958). "Tom Bolt wraps up Open title with 283". Pittsburgh Press. p. 1, sec. 4.
  20. ^ "Bolt Gets 67; Three in Tie". The Spokesman-Review. June 6, 1960. p. 11.
  21. ^ "Bolt Wins In Playoff". Youngstown Vindicator. June 7, 1960. p. 21.
  22. ^ "Bolt Wins Golf Meet". Youngstown Vindicator. March 13, 1961. p. 15.

External links[edit]