Jacklin mourns death of U.S. Open-winning caddie

Thu Jun 5, 2014 2:17pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Double major winner Tony Jacklin is mourning the death of the caddie who was on his bag when the Englishman romped to a seven-shot victory at the 1970 U.S. Open in Minnesota.

Tom Murphy formed his partnership with Jacklin by chance at Hazeltine Golf Club 44 years ago and the pair remained friends until the Minnesota native died in his sleep last week, at the age of 63.

"He will be missed by a lot of people," the 1969 British Open champion told Reuters in a telephone interview from his home in Florida. "Tom touched a lot of lives and was a sweetheart of a guy."

Jacklin defied 60kph winds to become the first Briton to win the U.S. Open since Ted Ray in 1920.

The Englishman was the only player to break par in the championship. He led from start to finish and raised his arms in triumph after sinking a 30-foot birdie putt across the green at the last hole.

Jacklin collected a cheque for $3,000 and handed 10 percent of his winnings to Murphy, money that helped set the American teenager up for life.

"Tom went on to become a successful entrepreneur," said Europe's four-times Ryder Cup captain.

"He was involved in various businesses, he was a golf coach and also owned a golf course in Arizona. His 10 percent from our U.S. Open win put him through college and from that point he never looked back."   Continued...

Tony Jacklin of England tees off on the first hole during the first round of the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament in Haikou, China's Hainan province October 20, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu