Tributes paid to former Masters champ Bob Goalby

Bob Goalby Masters

Tributes are pouring in for former Masters champion Bob Goalby, who has died aged 92.

A winner of 11 tour titles, he also played a key role in the formation of the PGA Tour Champions. 

His family announced he had passed away in his hometown of Belleville, Illinois. 

Goalby enjoyed a successful career on tour, being named Rookie of the Year in 1958 and playing in the 1963 Ryder Cup. 

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However, it is his victory in the 1968 Masters for which he is best remembered. 

His heroic final round of 66 saw him finish on 11-under for the tournament. But the win came in controversial circumstances as Argentina’s Roberto De Vincenzo, who would have finished on the same score, signed for a par rather than a birdie at 17.

Bob Goalby 1

Instead of the two players entering a playoff, the rules at the time saw Goalby named the winner. 

He went on to play in the Masters until 1986, and became a TV commentator. 

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Goalby also helped set his nephew Jay Haas on his way to becoming a tour professional. 

“I looked up to him,” Haas told the Belleville News-Democrat.  

“He certainly gave me golf lessons, but he also gave me a lot of life lessons. My dad took me out to play, and gave me the opportunity. But Bob was my teacher, in a lot of other things than just swing theories.”

Former tour professional Bill Mallon described Goalby as a “pro’s pro who had a heart of gold”. 

“Always loved playing with him – he was so kind to me,” Mallon added. 

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“Bob Goalby loved golf and gave back to the game throughout his life. He appreciated its history as he played alongside some of the greats of the game," said former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.

“He was equally adept describing golf action to fans watching on TV.  

“In whatever Bob did, whether he was swinging a club, sitting in a board room making things better for the players, walking the fairways while holding a microphone or simply spending time with his family, he was a wonderful man...one of the greatest storytellers, and we will miss him."

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