Fun-loving South African golfer Hobday dies at 76

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) Simon Hobday, the fun-loving South African golfer who won the 1994 U.S. Senior Open at Pinehurst, died Thursday after a fight with cancer. He was 76.

The Sunshine Tour, the African circuit where Hobday won six times, confirmed his death from the Tshwane Open. Hobday lived in Ballito.

''His passing is a massive loss to the game of golf in general, and in South Africa in particular,'' Sunshine Tour executive director Selwyn Nathan said. ''He was a wonderful player and a larger-than-life character who gave everyone who played with him or watched him play a great deal of pleasure.''

Hobday won five times on the PGA Tour Champions. He won the 1976 German Open and 1979 Madrid Open on the European Tour, and the 1971 South African Open was the biggest of his Sunshine Tour titles.

Born in South Africa, Hobday grew up in Zambia and also lived in Zimbabwe.

''Simon Hobday, a true legend of the game, has left us,'' friend and fellow player Tony Johnstone tweeted. ''One of the greatest characters golf has known who gave us so many laughs. RIP Hobbers.''

Tweeted Nick Faldo: ''And OMG will his stories live on or what! (hash)Legend Washing his clothes in bath tub using his putter to stir them! `First out wins'!''

Gary Player also tweeted about Hobday, saying: ''My condolences to the charismatic & sweet swinging Simon Hobday. He was so good for golf. RIP amigo.''

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