Roberto De Vicenzo

Roberto de Vicenzo started in the game in Buenos Aires as a caddie and by retrieving balls from ponds, before becoming the greatest golfer to emerge from South America.
  • Signed his scorecard at The Masters in 1968 with incorrect score

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  • De Vicenzo was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989

    Accolades

  • 231

    Professional wins

Roberto de Vicenzo started in the game in Buenos Aires as a caddie and by retrieving balls from ponds, before becoming the greatest golfer to emerge from South America.

He won countless tournaments around the world, on a par with Gary Player, but his greatest achievement came in winning The Open in 1967 at Royal Liverpool. He first played in 1948, was a runner-up once and was third no less than six times.

By 1967 he was a sentimental favourite, always a quality ball-striker, his putting not always reliable and aged 44 he became the second oldest Champion Golfer of the Year ever, after Old Tom Morris who was 46 in 1867.

De Vicenzo

In a tense finale, he held off the challenge of defending Champion Jack Nicklaus, helped by a birdie at the par-5 16th – now the 18th for Royal Liverpool’s recent Opens – when he struck a superb 3-wood over the corner of the out-of-bounds to the heart of the green.

His victory was a joyous occasion, and there was no more popular Champion. The crowd’s “sustained warmth and affection,” wrote Pat Ward-Thomas, “were tribute to a fine human being as well as a great golfer and a victory nobly won.”

Alas, Easter Sunday the following year, the day of day of his 45th birthday, ended up as one of the saddest days in golf. After a bogey at the last, de Vicenzo appeared to have scored a 65 to tie for the Masters, only for a mistake on his scorecard to be spotted too late.

Tommy Aaron had written down a 4 instead of a 3 on the 17th hole. De Vicenzo was deemed to have scored a 66 and lost by one to Bob Goalby. The Argentinian refused to blame anyone else for the error. “What a stupid I am,” he said.

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