sport

Old Master Ball dies at 103

​Samuel Henry Ball, who played in the first Masters, has died at the age of 103.

Affectionately known as 'Errie', Ball was a PGA of America member for 83 years, which the governing body says is a membership record.

Ball, who was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011, played in the first Augusta National Invitation Tournament in 1934, which later became the Masters.

He also competed in 19 Senior PGA Championships and shared second place in the 1962 tournament.

PGA of America president Ted Bishop said in a statement: "The PGA of America is saddened by the passing of Errie Ball, a professional in all aspects of life.

"Errie's amazing career spans the legends of the game, from Harry Vardon through Tiger Woods. His longevity, according to those who knew him best, was founded upon a love of people. Each day, like each step he took on the course, was spent with purpose.

"We will miss him dearly, but his legacy continues to shine through the many PGA professionals he inspired to grow our game."

His daughter, Leslie Adams Gogerty, said her father, who was most recently director of golf at Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart, died at Martin Hospital South in the Florida town.

Gogerty also revealed her father, who was born in Wales, was encouraged to travel to the United States by golfing legend Bobby Jones.