Tom Weiskopf came close to winning many majors. He was a runner-up four times in the Masters, had five top-four finishes at the US Open and four top-eights at the PGA Championship. Ironically, he did not contend as often at The Open but at Troon in 1973 he collected the Claret Jug in imperious style.
He had an elegant and powerful swing but he could often losing his temper in spectacular fashion, a 13 at the 12th hole at Augusta National in the first round of the 1980 Masters being one example.
But following the death of his father in April of 1973, Weiskopf appeared to play with more maturity and determination, winning three times in four events on the PGA Tour before finishing third at the US Open, two behind champion Johnny Miller.
He arrived early at Troon and played eight practice rounds before leading from start-to-finish with scores of 68, 67, 71 and 70 in often windy conditions.
Miller was his nearest rival for much of the week and finished second, alongside Neil Coles, three behind Weiskopf, with Jack Nicklaus a further shot back.
Weiskopf matched Arnold Palmer’s record total of 276 and became the fifth player to win wire-to-wire since the Championship was extended to 72 holes.
“I made very few mistakes and nothing bothered me, which was unusual,” he said later. “I was at the top of my game. I was so confident, everything seemed in slow motion — my thinking, my preparations. It was my greatest memory in tournament golf.”
A keen hunter, he turned to golf course design later in life. Asked on television during the 1986 Masters what was going through Nicklaus’s mind, Weiskopf responded that if he knew that, he might have beaten him more often.