By Brian Hurlburt February 17, 2016
Champions PGA Tour player Tommy Armour III could be, to steal a line from a beer commercial, the most interesting golfer in the world.
He is the grandson of Tommy Armour, the Silver Scot. Grandfather Tommy won 25 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1927 U.S. Open, the 1930 PGA Championship and the 1931 British Open.
Grandson Tommy was 9 when his grandfather died, so he doesn’t have many memories, but he has honored his legacy by winning twice on the PGA Tour plus $3 million — and counting — on the Champions PGA Tour. It all started at the old Desert Inn Country Club.
“I just remember playing golf almost every day because I would walk outside in my backyard and there was the golf course,” said Armour III, who recently moved back to Las Vegas because he represents Discovery Land, the company creating the ultra-exclusive Tom Fazio Summit course in Summerlin.
After playing for current UNLV golf coach Dwaine Knight at New Mexico, Armour III turned pro and developed a reputation for going low. He holds the PGA Tour record for lowest total score, set when he shot 254 at the 2003 Texas Valero Open. He also set the course record of 60 at Las Vegas Country Club in 1999 during the Las Vegas Invitational.
Off the course, Armour III also was known as a player, but he says his heavy partying days have been behind him for decades, even if the reputation remains. There always has been a certain aura about Armour III, and a diverse group from pro golfers to celebrities to business icons to everyday folk count him as a friend. When he was inducted into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, Janet Jones-Gretzky attended and Wayne sent his best wishes.
Sometimes, however, his off-the-course persona overshadowed his skill and dedication. Longtime friend Jack Sheehan remembers Armour III’s father, Dr. Tommy Armour, telling him that his son had a heart of a lion and a passion for golf.
“I just really love to play golf, and you have to love it to remain on Tour for so long,” Armour III said. “That’s the common thread on the Champions Tour; every player loves golf. Love of the game is why I am so dedicated to it.”