Roberto De Vicenzo, British Open champion better known for Masters scorecard miscue, dies
Argentinian star Roberto De Vicenzo, a British Open winner more widely known for signing an incorrect scorecard that might have cost him a Masters victory, died on Thursday. He was 94.
De Vicenzo is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, to which he was inducted in 1989 on the basis of 231 international victories, including eight on the PGA Tour and his victory in the 1967 British Open.
But it was at the 1968 Masters that he made the news for which he is most remembered. He and Bob Goalby completed 72 holes tied for first, but De Vicenzo, who had shot a 65 in the final round, signed a scorecard that added to 66. A four was entered as his score on the 17th hole, yet he had made a birdie three there.
“What a stupid I am to be wrong here,” he famously said, one of sports’ most enduring quotes, though usually it is shortened to, “What a stupid I am.”
De Vicenzo said in an interview with ESPN Radio that when countryman Angel Cabrera won the Masters in 2009, it “brought a few tears to my eyes…because I would have loved to have that jacket myself as well.”
He likely would have won with greater frequency in the U.S. had he elected to travel more.
“Of course, part of me would have liked to have won more major championships and been more famous," De Vicenzo told GolfWorld editor Jaime Diaz in 2006. “But my character is more comfortable where I have no obligation. I was not like Palmer, or Nicklaus or Gary Player. I wouldn't like to be Tiger Woods. Their life has been one of work, of sacrifice, of leaving many beautiful things in life behind to dedicate to success. Yes, I played all over the world. But more in my own time.”
On the European Tour alone, De Vicenzo won the French Open, the German Open, the Dutch Open, the Spanish Open and the Belgian Open, in addition to his British Open title at Royal Liverpool. In the latter, he defeated Jack Nicklaus by two shots to win the Claret Jug.
“De Vicenzo was a tremendous striker—one of the three or four best I ever saw," Gary Player told Diaz. Player played with De Vicenzo in the final round of his British Open victory. “If he had played a full schedule in America, he would have won a lot of major championships, because he knew how to win.”
Cabrera, incidentally, paid homage to De Vicenzo via Twitter today.
The translation: “A great sadness of Roberto de Vicenzo! No doubt Argentina and the golf today are mourning! Thank you for both master!”