Doug Sanders, a 20-time PGA Tour winner, has passed away. He was 86.
According to the official PGA Tour website, Sanders who was known best for being a stylish and flambouyant dresser earning him the nickname, “the Peacock of the Fairways”, died on Sunday in Houston from natural causes.
In addition to his 20 PGA TOUR titles, Sanders will be remembered for all his close calls — 20 runner-up finishes, including four second-place performances at major championships — the 1959 PGA Championship, the 1961 US Open, and the 1966 and 1970 Open Championships. In total, he had 13 top-10 finishes in major championships without recording a victory.
Born in Cedartown, Georgia, Sanders was a self-taught golfer with a short, flat swing who played collegiately at the University of Florida.
In 1956, he won the Canadian Open as an amateur—the first amateur ever to pull off that feat. He turned pro soon after that victory and joined the Tour for the 1957 season. His best year came in 1961, when he won five times.
He had three-win seasons in 1962 and 1966. His final win came at the 1972 Kemper Open. Sanders was also a member of the 1967 US Ryder Cup team captained by Ben Hogan.
Named by Esquire as one of America’s “Ten Best Dressed Jocks” in 1973, Sanders was a self-proclaimed “clothes horse” who owned as many as 359 pairs of golf and dress shoes, many custom-dyed to match his vast rainbow of a wardrobe. He also opened a chain of Doug Sanders Dry Cleaning Centers throughout the US in the 1960s.
A member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a “Gator Great.”