Torrance Announces His Official Retirement From Tournament Golf

Sam Torrance, MBE, OBE has officially confirmed his retirement from tournament golf and singling out his standout career highlight in leading Europe to victory at the 2002 Ryder Cup.

Torrance, 66 also cites teaming with his then 15-year old son, Daniel to capture the team event the following year at the Alfred Dunhill Links as another highlight.

The Largs-born Torrance was coached at an early age by his now late father, Bob before turning pro at age just 16 while he made his European Tour debut at the 1971 Spanish Open and a year before the European Tour was founded.

And then over the course of the next 46-years the proud Scot won 46 times around the globe, including 21 on the main European Tour (1976-1998), 11 wins on the Seniors Tour (2004-2009), six Scottish PGA victories (1978-1993) along with other victories in Australia, Italy, Zambia, Columbia and Morrocco.

All up, Torrance officially played in a record 699 European Tour events while he contested 41 Majors, and with half of those being The Open and with a best finish of T5th in the 1981 Open.

Torrance said: “It has been over two years since I have played in a tournament and I always said that if I didn’t think I could win I would stop.

“Golf has been my life.  It has been my blood for so long.  It has been very difficult to say to myself that I can no longer win so I eventually spoke to my manager, Ricky that I need some input here, please.

“I said to him that given my last three years of results including my score to par and best finishes, I was more than 200-over par and my best finish was 75th in a 54-man field (2017 Farmfood European Masters – 22nd October, Forest of Arden – scores 76 and a second day ‘DQ’).

“So, I said ‘No, that’s it’.  It was still even difficult because I didn’t even play the Seniors at St. Andrews last year.  It wasn’t as though I was not ready.  It was just enough.

“I am very happy with my decision but I don’t miss the competition now.  I am actually delighted I ever have to hold a scoring pencil in my hand ever again.  I now watch golf on the telly and when I do commentate in my role at SKY, I see the pressure there and I am sort of delighted I don’t have that in my life anymore.

“Though when I now play Sunningdale with my mates, I feel pressure and I feel nervous, and it’s just beyond belief.  I say to myself ‘why but it’s there and I can’t help it.

“So, all I am giving up is tournament golf and the only golf I now play is with my mates for a bit of cash (smiling).”

Torrance still recalls vividly his pro debut in Spain and the bizarre mix-up in his hotel booking that would lead to a 3-hour drive to the host tournament.

He said:  “I arrived late on the Tuesday night to the hotel my sponsor had booked.

“I am a 17-year old Scot but I knew no Spanish back then and we asked them where is the golf course and the reply was ‘Que, que’.  I showed him the address and the course was 2 ½ to 3 hour’s drive away. So, this my initiation to life on tour staying three hours from the course (laughing).

“I don’t remember the opening tee shot but I do remember missing the cut in my nine events and then leading in the 10th.   That was the John Player Trophy and it being very windy.

“I was leading with nine-holes to go and shitting myself.  I think I finished-up top-10.  I was very lucky to win prize-money in my first year.  Then I won 1976 Piccadilly Medal at Coventry Park (Won £6,000 – May 15th 1976).  I was lucky also to win twice in that year (Won the Martini International a month later on June 12th.”

Torrance had played in eight Ryder Cups, and the still the equal highest by a Scot, and including holing the winning putt in 1985 when he triumphantly raised both arms in the air.  He was then handed what was the initial 2001 European Team captaincy only for the biennial event to be moved back a year to 2002 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Torrance led him men to a stunning three-point triumph at The Belfry, and with six in his side going on to become future captains of Europe , and it will be those memories from the Belfry and a year later in teaming with his son at the Home of Golf, that this wily ole Scot will continue to cherish.

He said: “My overriding memory is being captain of the 2002 Ryder Cup team as it was a very, very special week with just so many great players in my team.

“Winning also the Alfred Dunhill Links with Daniel at St. Andrews in 2003 is also right up there.  He was just 15 years old and I could never have teed-up at a same age but he played as cool as a cucumber and played like God!”

“And now that I am officially retiring, I won’t be doing anything else other than company days and stuff like that.  I love my commentating work and if you had said to me 20-years ago I will go to The Open but not to golf, I would have said ‘Don’t be ridiculous.  Why would I want to be going to The Open if I’m not playing.’

“I now love actually being there and seeing the differences in the competition now, and also being able to talk about it and give something back to the game.  So, I really do enjoy the commentary work.

“So, in looking back on my career I had a lot of belief in myself after that and I never looked back but now it’s over.

“In the end all I have is memories and they will never leave me, ever.”






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