Skip to content

Peter Oosterhuis: Former Ryder Cup player and Sky Sports commentator died aged 75

Peter Oosterhuis died the day before his 76th birthday, having been suffering from Alzheimer's since 2014; Oosterhuis won seven times on the European Tour - now DP World Tour - and once on the PGA Tour, Oosterhuis also made six Ryder Cup appearances

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Mark Roe pays tribute to former Ryder Cup stalwart Peter Oosterhuis who passed away, aged 75.

Former Ryder Cup player and Sky Sports commentator Peter Oosterhuis has died aged 75.

Oosterhuis, who topped the European Tour's Order of Merit from 1971-1974 and twice finished runner-up in the Open Championship, had been suffering from Alzheimer's since 2014.

Following a successful amateur career, Oosterhuis turned professional in 1968 and quickly made his mark with a tie for sixth in the 1970 Open at St Andrews, where Jack Nicklaus defeated Doug Sanders in a play-off.

He finished top of the European Tour's money list for the first time in 1971 and had a great chance to win the Masters in 1973 when he took a three-shot lead into the final round, but a closing 74 left him in a tie for third, two shots behind winner Tommy Aaron.

Oosterhuis also finished second in the 1974 Open at Royal Lytham, four shots behind Gary Player, and was runner-up again at Royal Troon in 1982 as Tom Watson lifted the Claret Jug for the fourth time.

All six of his Ryder Cup appearances ended in defeat at a time of American dominance, although he defeated Arnold Palmer (twice), Johnny Miller, JC Snead and Gene Littler in singles.

Oosterhuis also partnered Sir Nick Faldo to two wins on the six-time major winner's Ryder Cup debut in 1977, including a 3&1 success over Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd.

Given honorary life membership of the European Tour in 2016, Oosterhuis is survived by his second wife, Ruth Ann, and his son Rob, a professional golfer.

Oosterhuis 'true legend of British golf'

Oosterhuis was a key part of Sky Sports' golf coverage from 1995 to 2008, covering Ryder Cups and majors, with the Englishman also working as an analyst for Golf Channel, CBS Sports and BBC Sport during a distinguished career across multiple broadcasters.

Jason Wessely, Sky Sports' director of golf, said: "Peter Oosterhuis was a true legend of British golf and brought his expertise from competing in majors and Ryder Cups to the Sky broadcasts.

"Peter was a perceptive and insightful pundit and had an easy-going style as a commentator. More than that, Peter was a delight to work with - a real gentleman who treated everyone on the Sky team with courtesy.

"It was an honour and privilege to work him and everyone at Sky Sports is saddened by the news of his passing and send our condolences to his family."

Gallacher: Oosterhuis loss 'sad day' for golf

Former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher, who partnered Oosterhuis in the biennial competition, paid tribute to his former team-mate and said: "This is an incredibly sad day for everyone who was lucky enough to know
Peter, but also for the game of golf as a whole.

"I played alongside Peter at boys, youths and senior amateur level all the way through to being his partner in the 1971 Ryder Cup in Missouri, where we combined to beat Lee Trevino and Billy Casper before he went on to win both his singles matches, including beating Arnold Palmer.

"Peter was an incredibly intelligent golfer, dedicated to his craft and to practice. He excelled in course management and putting which made him a very difficult opponent to get the better of.

"He was also a very intelligent man and a lovely person to be with in company. I never heard him talk badly of anyone in the decades I knew him and that, alongside his eloquence and deep knowledge of the game, was the reason he was also such a popular and excellent broadcaster."

Around Sky