|Full name||Thomas Alfred Horton|
|Born||16 June 1941|
St Helens, Merseyside, England
|Died||7 December 2017 (aged 76)|
Jersey, Channel Islands
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||148 lb (67 kg; 10.6 st)|
|Residence||Jersey, Channel Islands|
|Former tour(s)||European Tour|
European Senior Tour
|Number of wins by tour|
|European Senior Tour||23 (2nd all-time)|
|Best results in major championships|
|Masters Tournament||CUT: 1968, 1969, 1971, 1977|
|The Open Championship||T5: 1976|
|Achievements and awards|
|Member of the Order|
of the British Empire
|European Seniors Tour|
Order of Merit winner
|1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999|
Thomas Alfred Horton, MBE (16 June 1941 – 7 December 2017) was an English professional golfer. He finished in the top ten of the Open Championship four times, won a number of important tournaments both before and after the founding of the European Tour in 1972 and played in the Ryder Cup in 1975 and 1977. He reached 50 just before the founding of the European Seniors Tour and won 23 times on the tour between 1992 and 2000.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Honours
- 4 Death
- 5 Photo gallery
- 6 Professional wins (41)
- 7 Results in major championships
- 8 Team appearances
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Horton was an assistant at Ham Manor Golf Club near Worthing, Sussex from 1959, later becoming the professional there. In 1974 he moved to Royal Jersey Golf Club. He celebrated 25 years there as professional before his retirement in 1999.
Horton was one of the "Butten boys", a group of British professional golfers who were part of a training programme, funded by Ernest Butten, an entrepreneur and joint founder of PA Consulting Group. Starting in 1963, Butten funded a residential golf school at Sundridge Park in Bromley, Kent. Max Faulkner was employed as the teaching professional.
Horton was runner-up a number of times before his first important win, the R.T.V. International Trophy at Cork Golf Club in August 1968. He had been runner-up in the Carroll's International in 1965 and 1967 and the Martini International earlier in 1968. He was also close to winning the Silentnight Tournament in 1965. Dave Thomas had taken the clubhouse lead. Playing with Jimmy Martin, they reached the final hole with Horton needed a par 4 to beat Thomas while Martin needed a par to tie with Thomas. Martin missed a birdie putt from 10 feet and finished level with Thomas. Horton, however, drove into a bunker, missed a 5-foot putt and took a double-bogey 6 to finish one behind in third place.
Horton won two important tournaments in 1970, the South African Open in February and the Long John Scotch Whisky Match Play Championship in August. He became the first non-South African resident to win the South African Open since it had been first played in 1903, with a three stroke win over Terry Westbrook. In the match play championship he beat Bobby Walker 5&4 in the semi-final before beating another Scot, Ronnie Shade, 3&2 in the final, winning the first prize of £2,000. Horton had been four down against Neil Coles after 10 holes in their quarter-final match but came back to win on the 18th.
Horton played on the European Tour for many years with moderate success, winning four titles and finishing fifth on the Order of Merit in 1976 and tenth in both 1974 and 1978. His biggest win on the tour came in the 1978 Dunlop Masters. Needing a par-3 on the 245-yard final hole at St Pierre, Horton missed the green but holed a 10-foot putt for a one stroke win over Dale Hayes, Graham Marsh and Brian Waites, taking the first prize of £8,000.
Horton had been in contention for a Ryder Cup place as early as 1965. That year he was 11th in the Ryder Cup points list before the final qualifying event, the Esso Golden Tournament, with the leading 10 making the team. However he finished last in the tournament and dropped to 14th place. From 1969 the Ryder Cup team was partly chosen by a selection committee. Horton was a strong candidate in 1969 and 1971 but was not selected until 1975 at Laurel Valley Golf Club. Four members of the 12-man team were selected by committee and with two US-based players chosen, Tony Jacklin and Peter Oosterhuis, there were only two places for the remaining players. Despite finishing 15th in the points list, Horton was selected, making his debut at the age of 34. Horton lost his three pairs matches but on the final day he halved his match against Hale Irwin in the morning singles and beat Lou Graham in the afternoon. Horton played again in 1977 at Royal Lytham. He was 5th in the Ryder Cup points list and gained an automatic spot for the first time. He lost the three matches he played, all by the same score, 5&4.
The European Seniors Tour was founded shortly after he reached its minimum age of fifty, and Horton was the dominant player in its early seasons, topping the money list in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. He was top of the tour's career money list for many years, before being overtaken by Carl Mason in 2007. Mason equalled Horton total of 23 victories in 2010 and had his 24th win the following year. Horton's career winnings on the senior tour exceeded £1,000,000 and he remains second on the list of most wins of the tour.
Professional wins (41)
Important pre-1972 wins (5)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Venue||Winning score||Margin of
|1||27 Aug 1968||R.T.V. International Trophy||Cork Golf Club||66-68-68-69=271||3 strokes||Peter Townsend|
|2||24 Aug 1969||Tyneside Festival of Golf||Northumberland Golf Club||70-73-73=216||1 stroke||Dave Thomas, Peter Thomson|
|3||21 Feb 1970||South African Open||Royal Durban Golf Club||75-70-68-72=285||3 strokes||Terry Westbrook|
|4||29 Aug 1970||Long John Scotch Whisky
Match Play Championship
|Moor Park Golf Club||3 & 2 in final||Ronnie Shade|
|5||26 Jun 1971||Gallaher Ulster Open||Malone Golf Club||67-70-70-67=274||1 stroke||Neil Coles|
European Tour wins (4)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||27 Apr 1972||Piccadilly Medal||+13 (80-77=157) in final||1 stroke||Guy Hunt|
|2||11 May 1974||Penfold Tournament||−8 (70-68-67-67=272)||1 stroke||Peter Tupling|
|3||26 Jun 1976||Uniroyal International||−11 (69-72-67-69=277)||1 stroke||Martin Foster|
|4||7 Oct 1978||Dunlop Masters||−5 (71-70-67-71=279)||1 stroke|| Dale Hayes, Graham Marsh,|
European Tour playoff record (0–1)
|1||1977||Callers of Newcastle|| Peter Butler, John Fourie,
|Fourie won with par on second extra hole|
Butler and Horton eliminated by par on first hole
Other wins (5)
European Seniors Tour wins (23)
Other senior wins (4)
- 1995 British Senior Club Professional Championship
- 1996 British Senior Club Professional Championship
- 1997 British Senior Club Professional Championship
- 1998 British Senior Club Professional Championship
Results in major championships
|The Open Championship||T17||CUT||T8||T13||T11|
|The Open Championship||T9||T37||T40||T31||T31||T19||T5||T9||CUT||CUT|
|The Open Championship||T32||T35||CUT||CUT||74|
Note: Horton only played in the Masters Tournament and the Open Championship.
CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1979 and 1982 Open Championships)
"T" indicates a tie for a place
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||1||4||8||20||15|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (1971 Open Championship – 1976 Open Championship)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (four times)
- Ryder Cup (representing Great Britain and Ireland): 1975, 1977
- World Cup (representing England): 1976
- Double Diamond International (representing England): 1971 (winners), 1974 (winners), 1975, 1976 (winners), 1977
- Sotogrande Match/Hennessy Cognac Cup (representing Great Britain and Ireland): 1974 (winners), 1976 (winners)
- PGA Cup: 1978 (winners, non-playing captain)
- Praia d'El Rey European Cup: 1997 (winners, captain), 1998 (tie, captain), 1999 (captain)
- "Tributes paid to Tommy Horton MBE". The Professional Golfers' Association. 12 December 2017.
- "Tommy Horton awarded Honorary Tour Life Membership". Golf Business News. 6 June 2012.
- "European Tour hosts Butten Boys' 50th Reunion". PGA European Tour. 20 January 2014.
- "Golf – Horton carries off Cork prize". The Times. 26 August 1968. p. 10.
- Jacobs, Raymond (21 June 1965). "Martin and Thomas in Tie at Moortown". Glasgow Herald. p. 4.
- "S. African Open for Horton". The Glasgow Herald. 23 February 1970. p. 6.
- "Match-play victory ends Horton's string of second places". The Glasgow Herald. 31 August 1970. p. 5.
- "Shade and Walker reach last four in bid to emulate Eric Brown's 1962 success". The Glasgow Herald. 29 August 1970. p. 4.
- "Horton a winner all round". The Glasgow Herald. 9 October 1978. p. 16.
- "Eight fight for three places". The Times. 22 July 1965. p. 3.
- "British team for Ryder Cup match". Glasgow Herald. 26 July 1965. p. 4.
- "Horton chosen for Ryder Cup but is centre of controversy again". The Times. 19 August 1975. p. 6.
- "British Ryder Cup team completed". Glasgow Herald. 19 August 1975. p. 21.
- Jacobs, Raymond (15 August 1977). "Britain's 3 Ryder Cup newcomers". Glasgow Herald. p. 14.
- "Mason makes history at Woburn". PGA European Tour. 2 September 2007.
- "Ace Mase equals record with victory in Switzerland". PGA European Tour. 4 July 2010.
- "Record-breaker Mason makes history in Spain". PGA European Tour. 20 May 2011.
- Jackson, Keith (8 December 2017). "European Senior Tour legend Tommy Horton dies aged 76". Sky Sports. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
- "Island golfing great Tommy Horton dies". Jersey Evening Post. Retrieved 8 December 2017.