Tommy Horton

Thomas Alfred Horton, MBE (16 June 1941 – 7 December 2017) was an English professional golfer. He finished in the top ten of the Open Championship four times, won a number of important tournaments both before and after the founding of the European Tour in 1972 and played in the Ryder Cup in 1975 and 1977. He reached 50 just before the founding of the European Seniors Tour and won 23 times on the tour between 1992 and 2000.

Tommy Horton
MBE
Tommy4.jpg
Personal information
Full nameThomas Alfred Horton
Born(1941-06-16)16 June 1941
St Helens, Merseyside, England
Died7 December 2017(2017-12-07) (aged 76)
Jersey, Channel Islands
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight148 lb (67 kg; 10.6 st)
Nationality England
ResidenceJersey, Channel Islands
Career
Turned professional1957
Former tour(s)European Tour
European Senior Tour
Professional wins41
Number of wins by tour
European Tour4
European Senior Tour23 (2nd all time)
Other10 (regular)
4 (senior)
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentCUT: 1968, 1969, 1971, 1977
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenDNP
The Open ChampionshipT5: 1976
Achievements and awards
Member of the Order
of the British Empire
2000
European Seniors Tour
Order of Merit winner
1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

Early lifeEdit

Horton was born in St Helens, Merseyside; he moved to Jersey in 1945 and was brought up and educated on the island.

Professional careerEdit

Horton was an assistant at Ham Manor Golf Club near Worthing, Sussex from 1959, later becoming the professional there. In 1974 he moved to Royal Jersey Golf Club.[1] He celebrated 25 years there as professional before his retirement in 1999.[2]

Horton was one of the "Butten boys", a group of British professional golfers who were part of a training programme, funded by Ernest Butten, an entrepreneur and joint founder of PA Consulting Group. Starting in 1963, Butten funded a residential golf school at Sundridge Park in Bromley, Kent. Max Faulkner was employed as the teaching professional.[3]

Horton was runner-up a number of times before his first important win, the R.T.V. International Trophy at Cork Golf Club in August 1968.[4] He had been runner-up in the Carroll's International in 1965 and 1967 and the Martini International earlier in 1968. He was also close to winning the Silentnight Tournament in 1965. Dave Thomas had taken the clubhouse lead. Playing with Jimmy Martin, they reached the final hole with Horton needed a par 4 to beat Thomas while Martin needed a par to tie with Thomas. Martin missed a birdie putt from 10 feet and finished level with Thomas. Horton, however, drove into a bunker, missed a 5-foot putt and took a double-bogey 6 to finish one behind in third place.[5]

Horton won two important tournaments in 1970, the South African Open in February and the Long John Scotch Whisky Match Play Championship in August. He became the first non-South African resident to win the South African Open since it had been first played in 1903, with a three stroke win over Terry Westbrook.[6] In the match play championship he beat Bobby Walker 5&4 in the semi-final before beating another Scot, Ronnie Shade, 3&2 in the final, winning the first prize of £2,000.[7] Horton had been four down against Neil Coles after 10 holes in their quarter-final match but came back to win on the 18th.[8]

Horton played on the European Tour for many years with moderate success, winning four titles and finishing fifth on the Order of Merit in 1976 and tenth in both 1974 and 1978. His biggest win on the tour came in the 1978 Dunlop Masters. Needing a par-3 on the 245-yard final hole at St Pierre, Horton missed the green but holed a 10-foot putt for a one stroke win over Dale Hayes, Graham Marsh and Brian Waites, taking the first prize of £8,000.[9]

Horton had been in contention for a Ryder Cup place as early as 1965. That year he was 11th in the Ryder Cup points list before the final qualifying event, the Esso Golden Tournament, with the leading 10 making the team.[10] However he finished last in the tournament and dropped to 14th place.[11] From 1969 the Ryder Cup team was partly chosen by a selection committee. Horton was a strong candidate in 1969 and 1971 but was not selected until 1975 at Laurel Valley Golf Club.[12][13] Four members of the 12-man team were selected by committee and with two US-based players chosen, Tony Jacklin and Peter Oosterhuis, there were only two places for the remaining players. Despite finishing 15th in the points list, Horton was selected, making his debut at the age of 34.[12] Horton lost his three pairs matches but on the final day he halved his match against Hale Irwin in the morning singles and beat Lou Graham in the afternoon. Horton played again in 1977 at Royal Lytham. He was 5th in the Ryder Cup points list and gained an automatic spot for the first time.[14] He lost the three matches he played, all by the same score, 5&4.

The European Seniors Tour was founded shortly after he reached its minimum age of fifty, and Horton was the dominant player in its early seasons, topping the money list in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.[1] He was top of the tour's career money list for many years, before being overtaken by Carl Mason in 2007.[15] Mason equalled Horton total of 23 victories in 2010 and had his 24th win the following year.[16][17] Horton's career winnings on the senior tour exceeded £1,000,000 and he remains second on the list of most wins of the tour.

Horton was captain of the PGA in 1978, captaining the PGA Cup team the same year at St Mellion.[1]

HonoursEdit

In the 2000 New Year Honours, Horton was awarded an MBE for services to golf, and he was made an honorary life member of the European Tour in 2012.[18]

DeathEdit

Horton was taken ill at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Jersey Golf Club on 7 December 2017 and died later that evening in hospital.[18][19]

Photo galleryEdit

Professional wins (41)Edit

European Tour wins (4)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 27 Apr 1972 Piccadilly Medal +13 (80-77=157) 1 stroke   Guy Hunt
2 11 May 1974 Penfold Tournament −8 (70-68-67-67=272) 1 stroke   Peter Tupling
3 26 Jun 1976 Uniroyal International Championship −11 (69-72-67-69=277) 1 stroke   Martin Foster
4 7 Oct 1978 Dunlop Masters −5 (71-70-67-71=279) 1 stroke   Dale Hayes,   Graham Marsh,
  Brian Waites

European Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponents Result
1 1977 Callers of Newcastle   Peter Butler,   John Fourie,
  Ángel Gallardo
Fourie won with par on second extra hole
Butler and Horton eliminated by par on first hole

Other European wins (5)Edit

No. Date Tournament Venue Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 27 Aug 1968 R.T.V. International Trophy Cork Golf Club 66-68-68-69=271 3 strokes   Peter Townsend
2 24 Aug 1969 Tyneside Festival of Golf Northumberland Golf Club 70-73-73=216 1 stroke   Dave Thomas,   Peter Thomson
3 21 Feb 1970 South African Open Royal Durban Golf Club 75-70-68-72=285 3 strokes   Terry Westbrook
4 29 Aug 1970 Long John Scotch Whisky
Match Play Championship
Moor Park Golf Club 3 & 2 in final   Ronnie Shade
5 26 Jun 1971 Gallaher Ulster Open Malone Golf Club 67-70-70-67=274 1 stroke   Neil Coles

Other wins (5)Edit

European Senior Tour wins (23)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 9 Aug 1992 Forte PGA Seniors Championship +2 (74-68-74-74=290) Playoff   Tony Grubb,   Christy O'Connor Snr
2 4 Jul 1993 Shell Scottish Seniors Open −2 (69-71-68=208) 5 strokes   Neil Coles,   Brian Huggett
3 5 Sep 1993 Collingtree Seniors −4 (69-72-71=212) 3 strokes   Roger Fidler,   Brian Huggett
4 9 Oct 1993 Senior Zurich Lexus Trophy E (74-67-75=216) Playoff   John Fourie,   David Jimenez
5 15 May 1994 St Pierre Seniors Classic −4 (71-71-70=212) 3 strokes   Brian Huggett
6 13 Aug 1994 Belfast Telegraph Irish Senior Masters −5 (68-71-69=208) Playoff   Renato Campagnoli
7 10 Sep 1995 De Vere Hotels Seniors Classic −3 (71-69-73=213) 1 stroke   Antonio Garrido
8 16 Jun 1996 Castle Royle European Seniors Classic −11 (68-69-69=205) Playoff   Brian Huggett
9 14 Jul 1996 Stella Senior Open −15 (66-67-68=201) 2 strokes   Noel Ratcliffe
10 18 Aug 1996 Northern Electric Seniors −7 (67-67-75=209) 4 strokes   Antonio Garrido,   Noel Ratcliffe
11 20 Oct 1996 The Players Championship −10 (68-69-69=206) 2 strokes   Malcolm Gregson,   Gary Player
12 10 May 1997 Beko Turkish Seniors Open −8 (69-70-69=208) 2 strokes   Maurice Bembridge
13 18 May 1997 AIB Irish Seniors Open −8 (71-69-68=208) 2 strokes   Noel Ratcliffe
14 8 Jun 1997 Jersey Seniors Open −12 (69-67-68=204) 6 strokes   Craig Defoy
15 7 Sep 1997 Scottish Seniors Open (2) −12 (70-62=132)* 9 strokes   Jim Delich
16 14 Sep 1997 Clubhaus Seniors Classic −13 (68-71-64=203) 2 strokes   David Jones
17 19 Oct 1997 Senior Tournament of Champions (2) −12 (69-67-68=204) 3 strokes   José María Cañizares
18 3 May 1998 El Bosque Seniors Open −15 (66-67-68=201) 9 strokes   Noel Ratcliffe
19 14 Jun 1998 De Vere Hotels Seniors Classic (2) −5 (68-76-67=211) 1 stroke   Ian Richardson
20 31 Aug 1998 The Belfry PGA Seniors Championship −11 (69-71-66-71=277) 2 strokes   Renato Campagnoli,   Jim Rhodes
21 9 May 1999 Beko Classic −5 (72-70-69=211) 1 stroke   Alan Tapie
22 11 Sep 1999 Monte Carlo Invitational E (69-70-68=207) 1 stroke   Bill Brask,   Jerry Bruner,
  Ray Carrasco
23 1 Apr 2000 Royal Westmoreland Barbados Open −8 (70-70-68=208) 2 strokes   Jerry Bruner

*Note: The 1997 Scottish Seniors Open was shortened to 36 holes due to the Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Other senior wins (4)Edit

  • 1995 British Senior Club Professional Championship
  • 1996 British Senior Club Professional Championship
  • 1997 British Senior Club Professional Championship
  • 1998 British Senior Club Professional Championship

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament CUT CUT
The Open Championship T17 CUT T8 T13 T11
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament CUT CUT
The Open Championship T9 T37 T40 T31 T31 T19 T5 T9 CUT CUT
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986
Masters Tournament
The Open Championship T32 T35 CUT CUT 74

Note: Horton only played in the Masters Tournament and the Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1979 and 1982 Open Championships)
"T" indicates a tie for a place

SummaryEdit

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Open Championship 0 0 0 1 4 8 20 15
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 0 0 0 1 4 8 24 15
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (1971 Open Championship – 1976 Open Championship)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (four times)

Team appearancesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Tributes paid to Tommy Horton MBE". The Professional Golfers' Association. 12 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Tommy Horton awarded Honorary Tour Life Membership". Golf Business News. 6 June 2012.
  3. ^ "European Tour hosts Butten Boys' 50th Reunion". PGA European Tour. 20 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Golf – Horton carries off Cork prize". The Times. 26 August 1968. p. 10.
  5. ^ Jacobs, Raymond (21 June 1965). "Martin and Thomas in Tie at Moortown". Glasgow Herald. p. 4.
  6. ^ "S. African Open for Horton". The Glasgow Herald. 23 February 1970. p. 6.
  7. ^ "Match-play victory ends Horton's string of second places". The Glasgow Herald. 31 August 1970. p. 5.
  8. ^ "Shade and Walker reach last four in bid to emulate Eric Brown's 1962 success". The Glasgow Herald. 29 August 1970. p. 4.
  9. ^ "Horton a winner all round". The Glasgow Herald. 9 October 1978. p. 16.
  10. ^ "Eight fight for three places". The Times. 22 July 1965. p. 3.
  11. ^ "British team for Ryder Cup match". Glasgow Herald. 26 July 1965. p. 4.
  12. ^ a b "Horton chosen for Ryder Cup but is centre of controversy again". The Times. 19 August 1975. p. 6.
  13. ^ "British Ryder Cup team completed". Glasgow Herald. 19 August 1975. p. 21.
  14. ^ Jacobs, Raymond (15 August 1977). "Britain's 3 Ryder Cup newcomers". Glasgow Herald. p. 14.
  15. ^ "Mason makes history at Woburn". PGA European Tour. 2 September 2007.
  16. ^ "Ace Mase equals record with victory in Switzerland". PGA European Tour. 4 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Record-breaker Mason makes history in Spain". PGA European Tour. 20 May 2011.
  18. ^ a b Jackson, Keith (8 December 2017). "European Senior Tour legend Tommy Horton dies aged 76". Sky Sports. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Island golfing great Tommy Horton dies". Jersey Evening Post. Retrieved 8 December 2017.

External linksEdit