Tommy Aaron

Tommy Aaron (1 Masters, 2 Ryder Cup's.)

1937

Thomas Dean Aaron (born February 22, 1937) is an American former professional golfer who was a member of the PGA Tour during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Aaron is best known for winning the 1973 Masters Tournament.

Aaron was born in Gainesville, Georgia.[1] He began playing golf at age 12 and won two Georgia Amateur titles, two Southeastern Amateur events and two Georgia Open crowns, despite not having a golf course in his hometown.

He attended the University of Florida, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity (Beta Zeta Chapter). While he was a Florida student, Aaron played for the Florida Gators men's golf team from 1956 to 1959, was a member of the Gators' 1956 Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship team, and won the individual SEC championship in 1957 and 1958.[2] He lost the U.S. Amateur final to Charles Coe in 1958, was a member of the 1959 U.S. Walker Cup team, and won the Western Amateur in 1960. He was recognized as an All-American in 1958 and 1959.[3] Aaron graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1960, and was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great."[4]

Aaron turned pro in 1960. His first professional victory came at the 1969 Canadian Open. The following year he gained his first PGA Tour victory at the Atlanta Classic. In 1972, he won the Trophée Lancôme in France. Aaron's best money year was 1972, when he finished in ninth place on the PGA Tour money list.

Aaron won the Masters Tournament in 1973, which was his one major championship. He also finished in the top ten at the Masters from 1967 to 1970. His only other top ten major championship finishes came at the PGA Championship in 1965 and 1972. In 2000, he made the cut at the Masters at the age of 63, breaking a record previously held by Gary Player.

Aaron played for the U.S. team in the Ryder Cup in 1969 and 1973, and had a record of one win, one tie and four losses.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Aaron played on the Senior PGA Tour, winning $3,646,302. The 1992 Kaanapali Classic was his last professional win.

Aaron was a student of golf instructor Manuel de la Torre.

Aaron is also known for being the playing partner of Argentinian Roberto De Vicenzo for the final round of the 1968 Masters Tournament. On the seventeenth hole, Aaron incorrectly recorded a par 4 on De Vicenzo's scorecard, when his partner had actually scored a birdie 3 for the hole. Because De Vicenzo signed the scorecard without correcting the error, PGA rules required him to stand by the incorrect, higher score. Instead of a De Vicenzo–Bob Goalby playoff for the green jacket, Goalby won the tournament outright due to the technicality.

Ironically, Aaron's 4th round playing partner at the 1973 Masters, Johnny Miller, recorded a higher score when keeping Aaron's card. Aaron caught the mistake.[5]

He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1980,[6] and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 1989.