Paul McGinley has led the tributes to top Scottish golf coach Bob Torrance, who passed away yesterday at the age of 82.
A mentor to many of European golf’s leading players - not least his own son, former Ryder Cup skipper Sam - Torrance died peacefully in his sleep after a battle with cancer.
One of the game’s true characters, he was renowned for his love of Ben Hogan, his tireless work ethic – often standing on the range from dawn ‘til dusk - and his success in coaching Padraig Harrington to back-to-back Open victories in 2007 and 2008.
Harrington’s fellow Irishman McGinley, Europe’s Ryder Cup captain for this year’s match, was another of those to have benefited from Torrance’ experience and guile.
“I feel very fortunate that I got the chance to say goodbye to him in person." - Paul McGinley
“This is an incredibly sad day as we have lost one of life’s, as well as one of golf’s, really true characters and my thoughts are obviously with June and Sam at this difficult time,” said McGinley, who was coached by Torrance for over 20 years.
“I feel blessed to have known Bob for many years and to have had him as my coach since 1992. Not only was he a world class golf coach, a fact recognised right across the game, but he was also one of my very favourite people in life. I will dearly miss his teaching and his wit.
“I feel very fortunate that I got the chance to say goodbye to him in person last week when I drove down to his home at Largs during the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen. Despite his obvious ill health, he still retained his fantastic sense of humour and love of golf and the memory of that afternoon will stay with me.”
It was Sam who broke the news of his father’s passing, tweeting: “Sad day - my dad just passed away peacefully in his sleep.”
Tributes soon poured in, with Ian Poulter taking to Twitter to say: “"Really sad news Bob Torrance just passed away. An amazing man who coached so many great players. He will be missed."
Graeme McDowell added: “The golfing world lost a legend today.”
Scotland’s Chris Doak also paid his respects to his coach. “Farewell my old pal,” he tweeted. “I'll remember you always. I can hear you say it now: ‘A sip at a time now Doaks.’”
“Mega sad to hear the news of Bob Torrance passing away,” added former Open champion Paul Lawrie. “What a character he was.”
Late last night, Sam Torrance took to Twitter to thank people for their support. “The response to my dad’s passing has been very moving,” said the 60-year-old. “Thanks to all #iknewhowspecialhewasgladothersdidtoo.”
Pay your respects to Bob Torrance
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