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Sports Then and Now




Bob Rosburg

Posted on August 10, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Bob Rosburg

Bob Rosburg

In recognition of the upcoming PGA Championship, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week is the golfer who 50 years ago claimed his only major championship by winning the PGA Championship at the Minneapolis Golf Club.

To generations of golf fans, Bob Rosburg is best known for his more than 30 years as a golf commentator for ABC. He is credited with pioneering the now common practice of roaming the course to report the action.

However, Rosburg was even better at playing golf than he was reporting on it.

His prowess on the course was illustrated from an early age. At age 12, Rosburg won the club championship at The Olympic Club in San Francisco by edging Baseball Hall of Fame member Ty Cobb.

After excelling at both baseball and golf at Stanford University, Rosburg considered a career in baseball before deciding on golf.

He turned professional in 1953 and for the next 20 years was one of the most consistent players on the tour.

In 1958 he won the Vardon Trophy given to the golfer with the lowest scoring average on the PGA Tour.

The 1959 season proved to be his best as he not only won the PGA title, but also finished second at the U.S. Open. He placed seventh on the PGA money list and was named to the Ryder Cup team.

A decade later, in 1969, he was one of three golfers to finish tied for second, a stroke behind Orville Moody, at the U.S. Open.

Overall, Rosburg won six PGA tournaments, with his final one being the 1972 Bob Hope Desert Classic.

Bob Rosburg spent more than three decades as a golf announcer for ABC.

Bob Rosburg spent more than three decades as a golf announcer for ABC.

It was after the 1972 season that he semi-retired from golf and moved into the booth for ABC. He often teamed with Jim McKay and Dave Marr, a fellow former winner of the PGA Championship, to cover some of the biggest tournaments in golf.

Rosburg passed away in May 2009 at the age of 82.

If you had a favorite athlete growing up that you would like to see featured as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week, send me a nomination by e-mail.

In recognition of the upcoming PGA Championship, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week is the golfer who 50 years ago claimed his only major championship by winning the PGA Championship at the Minneapolis Golf Club.

To generations of golf fans,  is best known for his more than 30 years as a golf commentator for ABC. He is credited with pioneering the now common practice of roaming the course to report the action.

However, Rosburg was even better at playing golf than he was reporting on it.

After excelling at both baseball and golf at Stanford University, Rosburg considered a career in baseball before deciding on golf.

He turned professional in 1953 and for the next 20 years was one of the most consistent players on the tour.

In 1958 he won the Vardon Trophy given to the golfer with the lowest scoring average on the PGA Tour.

The 1959 season proved to be his best as he not only won the PGA title, but also finished second at the U.S. Open. He placed seventh on the PGA money list and was named to the Ryder Cup team.

A decade later, in 1969, he was one of three golfers to finish tied for second, a stroke behind Orville Moody, at the U.S. Open.

Overall, Rosburg won six PGA tournaments, with his final one being the 1972 Bob Hope Desert Classic.

It was after the 1972 season that he semi-retired from golf and moved into the booth for ABC. He often teamed with Jim McKay and Dave Marr, a fellow former winner of the PGA Championship, to cover some of the biggest tournaments in golf.

Rosburg passed away in May 2009 at the age of 82.

If you had a favorite athlete growing up that you would like to see featured as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week, send me a nomination by e-mail.


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