Former Masters Champ Gay Brewer dead at 75
I remember watching Brewer play when the Seniors Tour was first beginning. His swing wasn't pretty(I think Dave Hill said it looked like Gay was trying to kill snakes. Or was it my father who said that?) but it got the job done. Eleven tour titles and one major ranks as a successful PGA career in my book. RIP.
Linked to- Adam, Bullwinkle, Webloggin,
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Gay Brewer, the 1967 Masters champion who won 11 times on the PGA Tour, died Friday at his home after a fight with lung cancer. He was 75.
Brewer, who also won once on the Champions Tour before retiring in 2000, had been battling cancer since October, fiancee Alma Jo McGuire said.
"It was incurable," she said. "It was easier on him and the family that it didn't go any longer than it did."
Brewer won the 1967 Masters for his lone major title a year after he lost an 18-hole playoff to Jack Nicklaus after three-putting the 72nd hole.
"Personally, I could not have been happier for a fellow player when Gay won the Masters in 1967," Nicklaus said. "A year earlier, Gay was playing arguably the most solid golf of anyone at Augusta, and I was fortunate to get into a Monday playoff with him and Tommy Jacobs. Gay had a tough day in the playoff, and although I was delighted to win, I felt badly for him. For Gay to come back the next year and win a green jacket was fitting for such a tremendous person and a darn good player. Around that time, Gay was as good as there was."
Nicklaus first met Brewer during their amateur days.
"What I remember most about Gay is his sense of humor and the kidding he always enjoyed doing," Nicklaus said. "He always had a joke. Gay was just a fun-loving guy and you always looked forward to being around him. One thing you had to do around Gay was to protect your clubs. Gay would walk up to you, look inside your bag, and say, 'Hey, that's a great-looking club. Can I try it?' If he did, there was a good chance he would never return it. Gay must have had the largest collection of borrowed clubs anyone's ever seen. Gay was just a great guy who was great fun to be around."
Brewer made his last appearance in the Masters in 2001.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Gay Brewer," said Billy Payne, chairman of the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club. "Gay was a wonderful champion and individual and will be dearly missed in April. We express our heartfelt sympathy to his family."
In June, Picadome Golf Course in Lexington, where Brewer learned to play, changed its name to honor him. Brewer played college golf at the University of Kentucky.
"He was just really personable," McGuire said. "I don't know anybody who didn't like him."
Brewer is survived by daughters Kelly Allen and Erin Provence and four grandchildren. McGuire said services would be Wednesday at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home in Lexington.
"Gay was great," Tiger Woods said at the Deutsche Bank Championship. "Man, he told more stories and was just incredible to be around."
Jim Thorpe and other Champions Tour players remembered Brewer's unique swing.
"He was a great player in his day," he Thorpe said at the Champions Tour event at Pebble Beach. "Some people just can't be replaced and he was one of those guys. He was like the Sam Sneads and the (Ben) Hogans of the world. He was one of those guys who had a little bit of an unorthodox swing and that sort of stuff, but it worked for him."