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Peter Oosterhuis, British Golfer Turned Broadcaster, Dies at 75

Peter Oosterhuis, a British golfer who won 20 tournaments around the world, played in the Ryder Cup six times and later distinguished himself as a commentator for CBS and Golf Channel, died on Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. He was 75.

His wife, Ruth Ann (DuClos) Oosterhuis, said that his death, at a memory care facility, was caused by complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He retired from CBS in early 2015, almost two decades after he began working there and several months after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

That year, Oosterhuis (pronounced OH-ster-house) spoke to Golf Digest about his life and career.

“The specific memories of those events are fading, but I have this nice overall impression of things,” he said. One detailed memory he still had: “In the 1973 Ryder Cup, I played Lee Trevino in one of my singles matches. Lee told his teammates, ‘If I don’t beat Oosterhuis, I’ll come in here and kiss your butts.’ Lee didn’t beat me.”

Oosterhuis finished second in the 1974 British Open, four strokes behind Gary Player. Eight years later he took second place again, in a tie with Nick Price, one stroke behind the winner, Tom Watson. The Guardian said that Oosterhuis’s final-round 70 in the 1982 Open was “due reward for the stoutest heart and most patient temperament that British golf has produced in the modern era.”

Oosterhuis at the 1972 Open Championship, held at the Muirfield Golf Links in Scotland.Credit…R&A Championships, via Getty Images

Oosterhuis was, for a time, one of Europe’s best golfers. He won the Harry Vardon Trophy, for the best scoring average on the European Tour, four consecutive times, from 1971 to 1974. He won seven titles on the European Tour, now called the DP World Tour. And while his six Ryder Cup teams (first Britain, then Europe) lost to the United States from 1971 to 1981, he had his share of success, including a record of 6-2-1 in his singles matches in the biennial competition.

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