Open mysteries: What are the black ribbons on players' hats?

Tiger Woods.
Tiger Woods.

On Saturday morning at the Open Championship, players took to the course at Royal Liverpool wearing black ribbons on their hats. The ribbons honor longtime Scottish golf instructor Bob Torrance, who died on Friday at age 82 after a long battle with cancer. Torrance was the father of Sam Torrance, a former European Ryder Cup captain.

Torrance taught a wide range of European players, including three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and current European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley. He also apparently once watched Rory McIlroy and declared that he could do nothing for McIlroy, and refused to teach him.

“Bob is the best swing coach in the world,” Harrington said after winning his second Open Championship. “You can see his genius in the way he can analyse any swing. He’s spent his whole life examining the golf swing and his knowledge of cause and effect is just incredible.”

"Very sad news about Bob Torrance," 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke wrote on Twitter. "I would not be where I am today without Bob."

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

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