Ryder Cup star, CBS Sports analyst Peter Oosterhuis dies at 75

Open Championship 1972
Open Championship 1972

Peter Oosterhuis won seven times on the DP World Tour and was a staple on the GB&I and European Ryder Cup teams for more than a decade, with a record-tying six singles victories in his career. But for a generation of golf fans, he is likely remembered for his work as a broadcaster. He died early Thursday, one day before his 76th birthday.

Born in London in 1948, Oosterhuis’ professional career took off in 1969 when he won the European tour’s Rookie of the Year award. He went on to claim the Harry Vardon Trophy as the circuit’s leading money winner in four consecutive seasons (1971-74) before joining the PGA Tour in 1975.

His lone Tour victory came in 1981 when he rallied to beat Jack Nicklaus, Bruce Lietzke and Andy North at the Canadian Open. In 343 Tour starts, he had 85 top-25 finishes and was a three-time runner-up, including at the 1974 and ’82 Open Championships.

But it was his post-playing accomplishments that defined “Oosty,” who began his second career in broadcasting at Sky Sports and the BBC before joining the Golf Channel in 1995. In ’97, he went to work as an analyst for CBS Sports where he became an icon in the 17th-hole tower during the Masters telecast.

“The secret is to do for a living something that, given a choice, you’d do anyway. I never saw announcing as work,” Oosterhuis once said.

Oosterhuis retired from broadcasting in 2014 after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was a member at Quail Hollow Club.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Ann; sons Rob and Rich; stepsons Byron and Matt; and four grandchildren, Peyton, Turner, Sutton and Lachlan.