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'Warm, witty voice of golf' Alliss dies at 89

 

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Peter Alliss brought golf to life

Peter Alliss brought golf to life

PA

Peter Alliss brought golf to life

Peter Alliss, who became the eccentric "Voice of Golf" on British television after a playing career in which he competed in eight Ryder Cups and was Europe's best golfer for two seasons, has died. He was 89.

"Peter's death was unexpected but peaceful," the family said in a statement through the BBC. It did not provide a cause of death.

Alliss won 23 tournaments worldwide in a professional career that ended in 1974.

He played for Britain and Ireland in his first Ryder Cup in 1953 and then in every match from 1957 to 1969 and represented England 10 times in golf's World Cup.

He became of member of golf's Hall of Fame in 2012.

Legacy

"Peter made an indelible mark on everything he did in our game, but especially as a player and a broadcaster, and he leaves a remarkable legacy," European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said.

With his deep and soothing voice, warm humour and passion for golf, Alliss may have been more renowned as a commentator than a player.

Golf Digest once called him "the greatest golf commentator ever".

Alliss made his broadcasting debut in 1961 as part of the BBC team covering the British Open at Royal Birkdale and became the channel's main commentator in 1978.

He also commentated on big tournaments in the US, Canada and Australia.

Among his many witty one- liners was this classic from 2002 when Tiger Woods shot 81 in the British Open: "It's like turning up to hear Pavarotti sing and finding out he has laryngitis."

Alliss wrote many books and co-designed more than 50 courses.

Born in Berlin in 1931, he was the son of British professional golfer Percy Alliss, who was one of Britain's top players in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Allisses are one of only two father-son duos to play in the Ryder Cup, with Antonio and Ignacio Garrido of Spain.

"No one told the story of golf quite like Peter Alliss," BBC director general Tim Davie said. "He captured golf's drama with insight, wisdom, and humanity.

"He brought the game to life for millions of us."


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