Saturday, June 5

Sam Torrance Now and Then

I COMMEND ALL OF you who identified a youthful Sam Torrance signing an equipment deal in 1971 with John Letters. That was easier than I expected. (Next time I’ll try to remember to rename the photo so it won’t be a dead giveaway for those who click on the photo and see the player’s name in the URL.)

1971 deal-signing photo of Sam Torrance

I got the old and new photographs from Pure Sports Marketing and couldn’t resist running the early pics of Torrance. Sam, now 56, is back with golf equipment maker John Letters of Scotland.

Here are a few lines from the news release:
Nearly 40 years after signing his first professional contract with John Letters of Scotland, Ryder Cup legend and European Seniors Tour star Sam Torrance has rejoined the great Scottish equipment brand as he seeks to win his fourth Order of Merit and secure his first major.

“I’m back to my roots,” Torrance said. “The first contract I ever had was with John Letters and I signed that at the end of 1971.”

With over 43 professional wins, eight Ryder Cup appearances and victory as European Ryder Cup captain, Torrance epitomises Scottish Golf and the agreement sees two of Scotland’s most famous names join forces once again.
To break down those titles, 21 came on the European Tour and 11 on the European Seniors Tour, including last year’s Barbados Open.

Ryder Cup legend might sound like hyperbole to some on my side of the Atlantic. Sam’s record in eight Ryder Cup appearances and 28 matches was 7-15-6, but he made the winning putt for his team at The Belfry in 1985, the first win for Europe since 1957 (28 years). I figure ol’ Sam never has to buy another drink in Scotland for the rest of his years.

In 2002, Torrance captained his side to another victory, again at The Belfry, whipping the Americans in singles on the final day. Legend? I’d say so. Monty might want to keep Sam’s number handy.

−The Armchair Golfer

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