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Roberto De Vicenzo


Roberto De Vicenzo

Roberto De Vicenzo tees off a tournament in England in 1964.

Ted West/Central Press/Getty Images

Roberto De Vicenzo won hundreds of tournaments around the world, including a major, but it's the one that got away for which he is often remembered.

Date of birth: April 14, 1923
Place of birth: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tour Victories:

• PGA Tour: 5
• European Tour: 9
• Champions Tour: 3

In addition, De Vicenzo won approximately 200 tournaments in South America.

Major Championships:

• 1967 British Open

Awards and Honors:

Member, World Golf Hall of Fame

Quote, Unquote:

• Roberto De Vicenzo: "What a stupid I am!" (see bio below for explanation)

• Roberto De Vicenzo: "If you hurry, then nothing seems to go right."

Roberto De Vicenzo Biography:

When most fans think of Roberto De Vicenzo, they think of what is perhaps the most famous mistake in golf history.

At the 1968 Masters, De Vicenzo played one of the best final rounds in major championship history, shooting 31 on the front nine at Augusta National and finishing with a 65. It was De Vicenzo's 45th birthday. He should have faced Bob Goalby in a playoff the following day for the Masters championship.

Instead, misfortune struck for De Vicenzo. Playing partner Tommy Aaron had written an incorrect hole score on De Vicenzo's scorecard, marking a 4 on No. 17 when De Vicenzo had in fact made a 3. De Vicenzo failed to catch the mistake, signing the scorecard. The higher score stood, dropping De Vicenzo from the playoff.

"What a stupid I am!" De Vicenzo famously remarked. But just three weeks later, displaying remarkable resiliency, De Vicenzo won the last of his PGA Tour titles at the Houston Open.

De Vicenzo would end his career with just one major championship win, the 1967 British Open. He finished fifth or better nine times in the Open Championship.

If you think five PGA Tour wins and one major sound like a light resume, think again: the peripatetic Argentinian won, by the World Golf Hall of Fame's count, more than 230 tournaments around the world. He won national opens in 16 countries. He represented Argentina in the World Cup 17 times, and won the Argentina Open nine times, the last at age 62 in 1985.

De Vicenzo was on the winning team at the 1979 Legends of Golf, the tournament that led to the creation of the Champions Tour. He posted three more wins on the Champions Tour, including the inaugural U.S. Senior Open in 1980.

Golf Digest described De Vicenzo's swing thusly: "Like two of his contemporaries, Julius Boros and Sam Snead, De Vicenzo had a drowsy swing that was surprisingly powerful. He was a very solid ball-striker who concentrated on keeping mechanical thoughts to a minimum."

Roberto de Vicenzo was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989.

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