Tiger Woods isn’t wearing a black ribbon on his hat this weekend at Royal Liverpool to mourn his lost chances of winning the 2014 British Open. He’s wearing it in memory of Bob Torrance, the Scottish golf instructor who had a big influence on the European Tour for decades. Torrance died on Friday at age 82, losing a long battle with cancer. Bob Torrance’s son, Sam, was a European Ryder Cup captain–but Bob’s influence went beyond the immediate family.
Torrance taught current Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and 3-time major champ Padraig Harrington, an Irishman who called Torrance the best coach in the world. Tour players including Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia tweeted their fond farewells to Torrance. As Curtis Strange said during the ESPN broadcast on Saturday, Torrance knew everyone, was a link to the old school, to golf’s great past. He knew “Hogan and Snead and Nelson,” Strange said wistfully. And the golf gods now have another of their own back home. RIP, Bob Torrance.