Golf is mourning the sudden loss of Australian great Bob Shearer, who died on Sunday aged 73.
Shearer suffered a heart attack just three days after playing one final round at his beloved Southern Golf Club in Melbourne.
Shearer won 27 tournaments worldwide in a playing career spanning four decades, famously hoisting the Australian Open’s Stonehaven Cup at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney in 1982.
Shearer upstaged Jack Nicklaus down the stretch to claim that title, finishing a four-stroke winner over the Golden Bear and the late Payne Stewart.
The winner of the 1983 Australian PGA Championship, he also won once on the US PGA Tour, twice on the European Tour, claimed the New Zealand Open on two occasions and collected Australasian Order of Merit honours four times.
Shearer, who later worked in golf course design, was made a PGA of Australia life member.
“Bob was a giant of the game here in Australia in the ’70s and ’80s and I am just absolutely devastated that I have lost another of my great mates,” Australian PGA chairman Rodger Davis said.
“Bob and I travelled a lot together playing in Europe and as tough as he was to beat on the golf course you couldn’t find a better bloke to have a beer with after the round.
“On behalf of the PGA of Australia I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife Kathie and all of Bob’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”
Golf Australia chairman Andrew Newbold hailed Shearer as “of one of our greats”.
“Bob Shearer was a legendary figure as a player who was known for the easy beauty of his golf, but also for his gregarious and very Australian way on and off the course,” Newbold said.
“He had a ready smile and he was a favourite of fans around the country on his way to winning our biggest tournaments.
“To the doorstep of his untimely passing he was a regular fixture at his home club of Southern in Melbourne and a tremendous advocate for the game that he was so passionate about.
“Golf Australia’s board, executive and staff on behalf of all golfers passes on our heartfelt sympathies to Kathie Shearer and all the Shearer family.”
Shearer’s wife Kathie, the long-time Australian Open media manager, also paid tribute.
“I’d like to say he was what he needed to be. He was golf. It was his life and his love,” she said.
“He played three or four times a week and it was everything to him.”
Shearer is survived by Kathie and their two sons, Brett and Bobby.