The PGA regrets to announce that former captain and Ryder Cup player Tommy Horton has passed away at the age of 76.
Tommy was PGA captain in 1978 and played in the Ryder Cup on two occasions. He won four European Tour events and finished in the top 10 three times. His best year was 1976 when he was fifth.
His record on the Senior Tour was even more impressive. The Tour was founded shortly after Tommy reached the qualifying age of 50 in 1991 and he was the dominant figure in its early days.
He headed the money list in five seasons – 1993, 96, 97, 98 and 99 – and led the Tour’s career prize-winning chart until 2007 when he was overtaken by Carl Mason. Despite these successes on the big stage, Tommy remained a club pro at heart and a loyal PGA Member.
Having begun his career as a professional at Ham Manor Golf Club, Sussex, in 1959, he moved to Royal Jersey Golf Club as head PGA Professional in 1974.
Tommy, who was born in St Helens, Lancashire, had grown up in the Channel Islands and served the Royal Jersey Golf Club for 25 years before retiring in 1999. However, he maintained his long association with the club and it was there he was taken ill on December 7 before passing away later that evening in hospital.
Reflecting on Tommy Horton’s career, PGA chief executive Robert Maxfield, said: “Despite his success at the game’s highest level, Tommy was first and foremost a PGA Professional. He flew the flag for the Association at every opportunity, especially during his year as captain.
“The days when club professionals like Tommy could excel on the Tour are long gone but he never lived in the past and was always mindful of the game’s future. To that end he was the first honorary captain of the European Junior Ryder Cup team for the match in 2008 and for the three subsequent encounters.
“He also kept in touch with The PGA and attended the most recent biennial Past Captains’ Lunch in March. He was accompanied by Helen, his wife, and we extend our deepest sympathy to her and his family at this desperately sad time.”
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