Australian golfing great Jack Newton has died, aged 72.
Newton, the 1979 Australian Open champion, died overnight due to “health complications”, his family said.
Newton’s Australian Open victory was one of three triumphs on the Australian tour – he also won once on the PGA Tour and was a three-time winner on the European Tour. Newton’s stellar career also included runner-up finishes at the British Open in 1975 and the US Masters in 1980.
His golfing career ended prematurely in July 1983 when, aged 33, he lost his right arm and eye after walking into a plane’s spinning propeller.
“[He] was a fearless competitor and iconic Australian, blazing a formidable trail during his professional golfing career between 1971 and 1983,” his family said on Friday. “He fought back from tremendous adversity as only he could.
“[He] chose to selflessly invest his time, energy, and effort towards giving back to the community through his Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation, sports commentary, golf course design, and raising significant funds for several charities, most notably [for] diabetes.”
Newton was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to golf in 2007.
“His passion for sport and contributing to future generations of golfers and the Australian community demonstrates the character of our father, beloved husband, proud brother, adoring grandfather and maverick mate.
“In true Jack Newton style, we will celebrate his incredible life, however, for now, our family asks for privacy and we appreciate everyone’s love, support, and friendship throughout his life.”
Newton is survived by his wife Jackie, daughter Kristie, son Clint and six grandchildren.