Ex-Ryder Cup player & Open runner-up Oosterhuis dies

Peter Oosterhuis
Oosterhuis was a runner-up behind Gary Player and Tom Watson at The Open [Getty Images]

Former Ryder Cup golfer Peter Oosterhuis has died at the age of 75.

The Englishman was twice a runner-up at The Open, in 1974 and 1982, and topped the European Tour's Order of Merit from 1971 to 1974.

He later became a TV commentator and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014.

His former Ryder Cup team-mate Bernard Gallacher said: "This is an incredibly sad day for everyone who was lucky enough to know Peter, but also for the game of golf as a whole."

Following a successful amateur career, Oosterhuis turned professional in 1968 and finished in a tie for sixth in the 1970 Open at St Andrews, where Jack Nicklaus beat Doug Sanders in a play-off.

He took a three-shot lead into the final round of the 1973 Masters, but a closing 74 left him in a tie for third, two shots behind winner Tommy Aaron.

All six of his Ryder Cup appearances ended in defeat at a time of American dominance but he beat Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, JC Snead and Gene Littler in singles.

"I played alongside Peter at boys, youths and senior amateur level all the way through to being his partner in the 1971 Ryder Cup in Missouri, where we combined to beat Lee Trevino and Billy Casper before he went on to win both his singles matches, including beating Arnold Palmer," Gallacher said.

"Peter was an incredibly intelligent golfer, dedicated to his craft and to practice. He excelled in course management and putting which made him a very difficult opponent to get the better of.

"He was also a very intelligent man and a lovely person to be with in company."