Tommy Bolt

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Tommy Bolt
Sport and Leisure during the Second World War CNA3615.jpg
Tommy Bolt and Bobby Locke
Personal information
Full nameThomas Henry Bolt
NicknameThunder, Terrible Tommy
Born(1916-03-31)March 31, 1916
Haworth, Oklahoma
DiedAugust 30, 2008(2008-08-30) (aged 92)
Cherokee Village, Arkansas
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
Nationality United States
Turned professional1946
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins20
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour15
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentT3: 1952
PGA Championship3rd/T3: 1954, 1955, 1971
U.S. OpenWon: 1958
The Open ChampionshipDNP
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2002 (member page)

Thomas Henry Bolt (March 31, 1916 – August 30, 2008) was an American professional golfer.

Bolt was born in Haworth, Oklahoma. He served in the United States Army during World War II and turned professional in 1946. He worked as a caddie and club professional in Shreveport, Louisiana. He did not join the PGA Tour until he was in his thirties, but he went on to win fifteen PGA Tour titles, including one major championship, the 1958 U.S. Open. He was the fifth PGA Tour player to shoot a 60 (11 birdies) in an 18-hole round when he did it in the second round of the Insurance City Open outside Hartford, Connecticut Previously, Al Brosch, Wally Ulrich, Ted Kroll and Bill Nary had also shot 60s. Bolt had a putt for a 59, but he missed his 15-footer for birdie on the 18th green at the par-71 Wethersfield Country Club. He followed that round with a 69-71 over his final 36 holes that got him into a playoff with Earl Stewart, an extra session Bolt won.

Bolt was a member of the United States Ryder Cup teams of 1955 and 1957. His career Ryder Cup record was 3-1, including a singles victory over Christy O'Connor Snr in 1955 at Thunderbird Golf and Country Club in Palm Springs, California. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002.

Bolt's fiery disposition earned him the nickname "Thunder" and "Terrible Tommy". He was known to break clubs during rounds, and his penchant for throwing clubs led to the adoption of a rule prohibiting such behavior. In his later years, he admitted that a lot of his on-course eruptions were merely showmanship and that he felt they had detracted from his playing.

Bolt died in Cherokee Village, Arkansas at the age of 92.[1] He is interred at Evening Shade Cemetery in Evening Shade, Arkansas.

Bolt was elected to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Inducted in 2002.[2]

On Ben Hogan[edit]

"He's the only player I have ever known to get an ovation from the fans on the practice tee. I've seen him playing practice rounds before a tournament and half the gallery was made up of other professionals. Somebody asked me once, Who's better? Jack Nicklaus or Ben Hogan? Well, my answer was, I saw Nicklaus watch Hogan practice. But I never saw Hogan watch Nicklaus."[3]

Professional wins[edit]

PGA Tour wins (15)[edit]

Major championship is shown in bold.

Senior wins (5)[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1958 U.S. Open 3 shot lead +3 (71-71-69-72=283) 4 strokes South Africa Gary Player

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament T3 T5 T12 T22 T8 CUT T32 T30
U.S. Open CUT T29 T7 CUT T6 T3 T22 WD 1 T38
PGA Championship R32 SF SF R128 R16 T5 T17
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament T20 T4 CUT T37 CUT T8 T17 T26
PGA Championship T57 WD T30 WD CUT
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977
Masters Tournament CUT
PGA Championship 3 WD

Note: Bolt never played in The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in PGA Championship match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 1 3 5 9 17 13
U.S. Open 1 0 1 2 4 6 17 8
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PGA Championship 0 0 3 4 5 7 14 8
Totals 1 0 5 9 14 22 48 29
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 10 (1953 PGA – 1956 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (twice)

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "ASHOF Inductee Profiles" (PDF).
  3. ^ Apfelbaum, Jim, ed. (2007). The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations. Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 978-1602390140.
  4. ^ "American veteran wins seniors title with 1-over-par round". The Canberra Times. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. October 16, 1978. p. 18. Retrieved February 11, 2020 – via Trove.

External links[edit]