Horton remembered

Northern golf fans will be saddened by the death of former PGA captain and Ryder Cup player Tommy Horton at the age of 76.

PGA captain in 1978, he played in the Ryder Cup on two occasions, won four European Tour events and finished in the top 10 three times. His best year came in 1976 when he was fifth on the order of merit.

He was a frequent visitor to the North East and a winner here more than once.

In 1969 he won the Tyneside Festival of Golf tournament at The Northumberland Golf Club.

He lost to South African John Fourie in a playoff for the Callers of Newcastle Tournament at Whitley Bay in 1977 – he and John Butler went out at the first extra hole leaving Fourie to defeat Angel Gallardo at the second playoff hole.

He was back nearly 20 years later to win the 1996 Northern Electric Seniors Tournament at Slaley Hall.

His record on the Senior Tour was impressive. The Tour was founded shortly after Tommy reached the qualifying age of 50 in 1991 and he was a 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.

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, retiring in 1999.

He maintained his association with the club and it was there he was taken ill on December 7 before passing away later that evening.