American Doug Sanders, who was three feet away from winning Jack Nicklaus and winning the 1970 Open at the golf home, died naturally at the age of 86.
Sanders suffered from the disappointment that he had come so close to lifting the Claret jug and had his name engraved on the story.
He stood over the winning putt on the famous 18th green in St. Andrews, ugly stabbed the ball, pushed it far out of the hole and fell into a playoff with Nicklaus.
“And there, but for God’s grace,” said well-known commentator Henry Longhurst.
To make the injury worse, Sanders subsequently lost an 18-hole playoff to Nicklaus.
Years later, Sanders said that sometimes he could walk up to five minutes without thinking about this missed putt. He was only half joking.
He won 20 times on the PGA Tour, but never won a major and finished second four times.
The PGA Tour’s last victory came in 1972 at the Kemper Open with a shot over Lee Trevino. He also won on some of the bigger tour spots like Colonial, Western Open and Doral.
When he won the Canadian Open in 1956, it was 29 years before another amateur, Scott Verplank, won on the PGA Tour.
Sanders played in a Ryder Cup in Houston in 1967 with Ben Hogan, the captain of one of the best US teams from that time.
He was born in Cedartown, Georgia and played college golf in Florida.
Sanders stayed active after he stopped competing. He sponsored the Doug Sanders Celebrity Classic and a junior golf championship in Houston for six years.