Argentine golfing great de Vicenzo dies, aged 94

Argentinian star Roberto De Vicenzo, an Open Championship victor famous for signing an incorrect scorecard that might have cost him a Masters victory, has died at 94.

De Vicenzo started out as a caddie in 1932 but rose through the golfing ranks to win the 1967 British Open, beating the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

But Tommy Aaron, who was playing with De Vicenzo and keeping his scorecard, mistakenly wrote down a "4" on the hole. The 65 became a 66, and instead of a playoff, De Vicenzo was a runner-up to Goalby.

The higher score stood and he finished a shot behind the champion, prompting De Vicenzo to deliver one of the most famous quotes in golfing history - "What a stupid I am!"

He was the second-oldest living golf major champion and the victor of more than 230 professional tournaments, majority in Argentina. He won eight times on the PGA Tour and nine times on the European Tour.

"I play golf all over the world for 30 years, and now all I can think of is what a stupid I am to be wrong in this wonderful tournament", he said. Their life has been one of work, of sacrifice, of leaving many handsome things in life behind to dedicate to success.

"I was last with him in Argentina about three or four years ago, and he still talked about what happened at the '68 Masters".

"I met Roberto back in 1976 during The Open Championship week of that year", said Ballesteros. Forty years later, he still talked about it. But I don't really know what to say except that I think he represented his country.

De Vicenzo, 94, passed away in Buenos Aires. He birdied 17 and I didn't, and he won by a couple of shots. "But everyone remembers him for a mistake, not for what he did at the Open when he won".

Nicklaus, hosting the Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio, this week, recalled his rival and friend fondly. "He was a nice man, and you always miss nice guys", Nicklaus added.

After turning 50, De Vicenzo went on to a successful career in the early days of the PGA TOUR Champions, winning the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf twice and the inaugural U.S. Senior Open in 1980, defeating legendary amateur William Campbell by four strokes at Winged Foot Golf Club's East Course.

  • Larry Hoffman