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Belleville native, 1968 Masters champion Bob Goalby dies at 92

Goalby won one of the most dramatic Masters in golf history, and had a long and successful career on the PGA Tour

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — One of the greatest sports champions in the history of the St. Louis area has died.

1968 Masters champion and Belleville native Bob Goalby died on Thursday at the age of 92. The family confirmed the news to 5 On Your Side sports director Frank Cusumano.

Goalby was the winner of one of the most noteworthy Masters tournaments in golf history.

Argentina's Robert De Vicenzo had looked to finish in a tie with Goalby at -11 after the final round of the 1968 tournament. However, De Vicenzo had signed an inaccurate scorecard, and the rules stipulated Goalby would be declared the winner.

Even though he was the champion, Goalby received a lot of grief for the controversial ending.

Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Bob Goalby raises his arms after he sank an eagle putt on the 15th hole in the nip-and-tuck final round of the Masters Golf championship at Augusta, Ga. on April 14, 1968. (AP Photo)

"I got about 500 letters saying I was the worst American that ever lived. One of them said they should put you and Sonny Liston in a cement stack and bury you in the ocean," Goalby once said in an interview.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this April 14, 1968, file photo, shows a copy of the scorecard, bottom, which cost Roberto De Vicenzo the Masters Golf Tournament after he finished in a 277-tie with Bob Goalby in Augusta, Ga. The card shows a 4 on hole No. 17 when he actually had scored a 3. His error pushed him to second place. De Vicenzo, known as much for a scorecard error at the Masters as his British Open victory that made him the first Argentine to win a major, died Thursday, June 1, 2017. He was 94. (AP Photo/File)

Goalby had a long and successful career on the PGA Tour, winning 14 tournaments. He finished second at the 1961 U.S. Open and the 1962 PGA Championship. He also set a then-PGA Tour record for consecutive birdies, with eight during the 1961 St. Petersburg Open.

After his playing career, Goalby served as a golf analyst for NBC Sports for 14 years and later became a founding member of the Senior PGA Tour, now called the Champions Tour.

Goalby is a member of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame and the Belleville native's name adorns the Belleville West High School football field.

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