Roberto De Vicenzo, infamous for Masters scorecard error, among notable deaths
Roberto De Vicenzo, whose infamous scorecard error at the 1968 Masters Tournament cost him a place in a playoff with Bob Goalby, died June 1. He was 94.
“All that I lose at the Masters is the jacket,” De Vicenzo said in a 2009 interview. “The prestige, no. My name is in the Masters forever. It’s 42 years past and we are still talking about the Masters.”
Despite induction in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989, De Vicenzo’s name doesn’t often get thrown into the conversation with Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods and the rest of golf’s greatest players who accumulated multiple major victories.
However, there was no more prolific winner in the world than De Vicenzo, who won 231 professional tournaments – 96 times outside Argentina with 48 national open championships in 17 different countries.
At his peak, he earned $100,000 a year even though he averaged seven victories a season from 1948-74. The senior tour didn’t launch until he was already 57 or he could have cashed in more.
“I catch everything, como se dice, the horse by the tail,” he said with a laugh. “But I have something.”
His greatest achievement was winning the British Open at Hoylake in a two-stroke victory over Nicklaus in 1967. Nicklaus recalled De Vicenzo as “not only a great golfer, but a great friend.”
“He represented his country, he represented the game of golf and he was one of the really good guys,” Nicklaus said.
De Vicenzo was a beloved figure in his native Argentina. 2009 Masters champion Angel Cabrera followed in his footsteps, as did Eduardo Romero, Fabian Gomez, Andres Romero and Emiliano Grillo.
De Vicenzo celebrated his 45th birthday on the final round of the 1968 Masters. He proceeded to hole his 9-iron for an eagle 2 on the opening hole, followed by birdies at Nos. 2 and 3 that turned a two-shot deficit to Player into a two-shot lead. He added birdies at Nos. 8, 12, 15 and 17 before a bogey on the 18th left him shooting what should have been 65 and earned a Monday morning date with Goalby for an 18-hole playoff.
Disgusted by his closing bogey and distracted by a request to go to the interview room, De Vicenzo quickly signed his card without really looking, not noticing that playing partner Tommy Aaron had written a par 4 where a birdie 3 should have been on the 17th hole. Aaron tried to catch De Vicenzo before he left the area of the open-air scoring table on the apron of the 18th green, but once he stepped away the error was set and his final score was 66, leaving him runner-up.
“What a stupid I am,” remains his most famous quote.
In 1970, he received the Bob Jones Award, the USGA’s highest honor, for his distinguished sportsmanship in golf. Augusta National Chairman Clifford Roberts even presented him with a cigarette box like the ones the club used to give to the champion.
“I didn’t accept finishing in second place; I accepted the rules,” De Vicenzo said. “That respect that I have earned is the green jacket which eluded me in 1968 in Augusta. It’s my victory.”
Johnny Sands, a longtime Augusta newspaperman often credited with coining the phrase “Arnie’s Army” to describe Palmer’s golf fans, died Feb. 9. He was 87.
A native of Boston, Sands was known as an old-school craftsman on the news desk where he designed the newspaper’s front page for many years, always maintaining a sharp focus on words and their most efficient use.
Sands was editing a column written by Chronicle sports editor Johnny Hendrix and needed a subhead, the smaller headline newspapers use to break up text.
Hendrix had written a description of the young Palmer’s fans following him around and looking like “a battalion,” Sands said.
“I liked the image, but it wasn’t snappy enough,” he said in a 2016 interview.
Alliteration was prized in newspaper writing of the day, Sands said, so he began to weigh phrases that would have the double “A” — “Arnie’s A ….”
Battalion made him think of “Army,” said Sands.
He said he showed it to Hendrix and asked whether he was OK with the headline, subhead and other editing, and Hendrix said, “Sure.” Sands, a military veteran nicknamed “Sandman,” said he never really wanted to make a big deal about it.
“I never took credit,” Sands said. “If Johnny (Hendrix) had nixed it, it wouldn’t have happened, but that’s how ‘Arnie’s Army’ started and after that we began to use it.”
P. Daniel Yates Jr., who witnessed the first 78 Masters Tournaments and was a personal friend of Augusta National Golf Club co-founder Bobby Jones, died May 12. He was 98.
Yates attended the inaugural Augusta National Invitation Tournament as a 15-year-old in 1934 to watch his older brother, Charles, play.
The Augusta National member and Atlanta businessman attended the Masters through 2014.
Charles Yates was a close friend of Jones, the amateur golf legend, and played in the first 11 Masters. That’s how Dan Yates got to know him.
“He was such a good fellow,” Yates said of Jones during a 2014 interview with The Augusta Chronicle. “He played golf with my brother Charles on Saturday mornings for several years. I remember what he told me. He said, ‘Dan, when you’re swinging at a golf ball, remember two things. The first thing is you don’t think about more than one thing, but you do remember to stay behind the ball.’ Every time I’ve hit a ball since then, I’ve always thought about that.”
Yates, a World War II veteran, never played in the Masters, but his son, Danny, played twice as an amateur.
The Yates family has been prominent in golf in Georgia for decades; Charles, Dan and Danny each won the Georgia State Amateur Championship.
Yates played golf at Georgia Tech and served as team captain. In addition to the state amateur, he also won the Atlanta City Amateur and the Dogwood Invitational. He was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame.
Yates focused his efforts on serving on tournament committees after joining the club. For years, he and Charles worked on the press committee and conducted player interviews.
“First, it was the rules committee, then I was on the press committee and the pin-setting committee at the same time,” he said. “We’d go out on the course about 6 o’clock and we’d have to hurry. Then we’d bring the players down to the press building.”
Frank Broyles, who guided the University of Arkansas to its lone national football championship and later molded the overall program as its athletic director, died Aug. 14. He was 92.
The longtime Augusta National member died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a statement from his family. “He passed peacefully in his home surrounded by his loved ones,” the statement said.
Broyles won almost 71 percent of his games as head football coach with the Razorbacks for 19 years and finished with an overall record of 144-48-5. He became the school’s athletic director in 1974 while still the football coach, eventually retiring from the gridiron to focus on administrative duties following the 1976 season.
Following his coaching career, Broyles — who earned a spot in the National Football Foundation’s College Hall of Fame — served as an analyst on ABC’s college football telecasts.
A native of Georgia, Broyles played at Georgia Tech. He earned 10 varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball for the Yellow Jackets from 1943-46. He led the football team to three bowls as quarterback, earning SEC Player of the Year in 1944.
He spent much of his time later in life attending various Arkansas sporting events and raising money for Alzheimer’s awareness after the 2004 death of his wife, Barbara, following a battle with the disease.
B.F. “Bev” Dolan, a co-founder of E-Z-Go and a pioneer of the modern golf car industry, died Feb. 20. He was 90.
Dolan and his brother Billy created the industry’s oldest golf car brand after witnessing Augusta National co-founder Bobby Jones ride around in a three-wheeled cart during the 1954 Masters.
An Augusta native, Dolan helped transform what was once considered a novelty item to standard equipment on golf courses worldwide.
“The true answer is that nobody really foresaw what the golf car would grow into,” Dolan told The Augusta Chronicle during a 2002 interview. “We were neophytes in a neophyte business.”
He orchestrated E-Z-Go’s sale to Rhode Island-based Textron in 1960 and continued running the golf vehicle company for all but three years until 1979, when Textron hired him as corporate president. Dolan retired as chairman of the company in 1991.
A longtime Augusta National member, Dolan appeared in Augusta last April as one of the honorees at the Augusta Mayor’s Masters Reception.
Kevin Holleran, president and CEO of Textron’s Industrial Segment and Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., said in a statement that “Bev will live on through his countless contributions to golf, to his hometown and to the company he founded and loved.”
Dolan and his brother began building the vehicles by hand at an east Augusta machine shop before moving to a larger facility in Grovetown and finally to Marvin Griffin Road, where the company’s main manufacturing facility and corporate offices are still located.
In 2012, Dolan received the PGA’s Ernie Sabayrac Award for lifetime contributions to the golf industry.
Dick Enberg, a Hall of Fame broadcaster known for exclaiming “Oh my!” to describe key moments, died Dec. 22. He was 82.
Enberg announced UCLA basketball during its heyday as an NCAA powerhouse and went on to call Super Bowls, Olympics and Final Fours. A Southern California favorite, Enberg also called Angels and Padres baseball games as well as Rams football games.
He retired in October 2016 after a six-decade career in broadcasting. He also was well known for his baseball catchphrase of “Touch ’em all!” for home runs.
At the Masters, Enberg was part of the CBS team. He handled interview duties at Butler Cabin all but one year from 2000-2006.
During his nine years broadcasting UCLA basketball, the Bruins won eight NCAA titles under coach John Wooden. Enberg said the most historically important event he covered was “The Game of the Century,” Houston’s victory over UCLA in 1968 that snapped the Bruins’ 47-game winning streak.
He called Padres games for seven seasons until his retirement and went into the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015 as the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.
“There will never be another Dick Enberg,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said. “As the voice of generations of fans, Dick was a masterful storyteller, a consummate professional and a true gentleman. He was one of the true legends of our business.”
Enberg won 13 Sports Emmy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy.
Dearing Francis “Frank” Stone III, a longtime volunteer in the media center at the Masters, died Jan. 9. He was 69.
The avid golfer was a longtime member of the Augusta Country Club, Secession Golf Club, Merion Golf Club and the Augusta Golf Association.
At the Masters, Stone worked closely with tournament staff and helped facilitate player interviews for more than 30 years.
He enjoyed a career as a financial adviser for more than three decades, most recently as vice president and senior financial adviser with Merrill Lynch.
Dr. Herman Ray Finney, a longtime Augusta National member who headed the first aid committee at the Masters, died Jan. 14. He was 81.
Finney served on the boards of Secession Golf Club, Champions Retreat Golf Club and Augusta Country Club. He was a member of Augusta National for more than 40 years, serving on the tournament scoring committee and later was chairman of the first aid committee.
According to his obituary, Finney was assistant clinical professor of urology at the Medical College of Georgia from 1968 until 1976. He served on the staff of Doctors, University and St. Joseph hospitals. In 1984, he was elected chief of staff at St. Joseph Hospital, and he retired from Augusta Urology Associates in 2000.