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Ryder Cup great Sam Torrance spoke of his pride after being presented with an honorary degree in a “beautiful” ceremony on Wednesday.

Torrance, 69, was recognised for his “major contribution to golf, his leadership in the Ryder Cup, and for a significant contribution to charitable causes”with an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the University of St Andrews. 

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The legendary Scot competed for Europe eight times in the Ryder Cup, most famously sinking the winning putt on the 18th green at The Belfry in 1985.

Torrance was also victorious in 1987, 1989 and 1995, before captaining his side to glory back at The Belfry in 2002. He became only the second European player to sink the winning putt and captain a successful side.

He has left an incredible legacy on not just the biennial battle with the USA, but European golf as a whole, with 706 appearances on the European Tour and 44 professional wins.

“I left school 56 years ago so I guess I’m a kind of slow learner,” Torrance told STV after participating in the traditional ceremony near the Home of Golf.

“But it was magnificent to watch all the students come up, the pride in their faces. It was really beautiful. This is the only place I would have accepted one. It is one of my most favourite places in the world. Or my favourite golf course as it has ever been.

“I’m very happy here. I’ll look back on this and remember it forever. So it’s a great honour for my family, for me.”

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Torrance seldom plays these days but is still heavily involved in the sport through broadcasting work and hosting corporate golf days.

Responding to a speech given in his honour at St Andrews, Torrance said: “What a platform you’ve found yourself on here – I don’t think there’s a better university in the world to start your life from.

“If you can be as lucky as me and find something you love and call it a job, you’ll never work again.”


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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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