Tommy Bolt: A Lightning on the Golf Course
Tommy Bolt: A Lightning on the Golf Course: Tommy Bolt is considered as one of the greatest American golfers. He was born on March 31, 1916 at Oklahoma. He first worked as a caddie at the age of 13. It is that job that triggered his interest in golf as he was able to observe the game and the players closely. He was a self-taught golfer. He deviated himself from golf for a while because he spent four years in the US Army during World War II. It was also around that time when he went to Italy and worked as an engineer in a construction company. When he went back to the US, he worked alternately in a construction company in the morning and played golf in the afternoon.
PGA Tour Titles: It was in 1946 at the age of 30 that Tommy Bolt joined the PGA Tour. But it was only in 1950 when he played full-time on the PGA Tour. His first victory as a professional golfer was in 1951 at the North and South Open. He is popularly known for his temper outbursts on the golf course, thus, he was nicknamed Bolt by the media. He was a well-loved personality, though, despite of his temper. Writers enjoyed writing something about him. He had charisma that was very endearing. He was also known to be a good dresser on the golf course.
Tommy Bolt won the title in 1952 at the Los Angeles Open wherein he defeated Jackie Burke and Dutch Harrison in an 18-hole playoff match. In 1954 during the Insurance City Open, he tied for the lowest score in the tour history and his striking skills was considered as one of the best during that time. He won 15 PGA tour titles in his career – the last was at the Pensacola Open invitational.
Major Title: It was in 1958 when he won his first major championship at the US Open wherein he defeated Gary Player by 4 strokes. It was his only Major championship title. Senior Wins: He retired from the PGA Tour in 1967. But in 1971, he joined the PGA Championship and placed third. He was 55 and he competed along with Jack Nicklaus, who was at his prime that time. In 1969, he won the PGA Seniors Championship title and he was instrumental in creating the Senior PGA Tour. He died on August 30, 2008. Tommy Bolt was indeed a flashy personality on the golf course with a lightning-like talent.