August 8, 2008 / 8:16 PM / 10 years ago

Former U.S. Open champion Moody dies aged 74

MIAMI (Reuters) - Former U.S. Open champion Orville Moody, a part Choctaw Indian nicknamed “Sarge” because of his U.S. Army career, died on Friday at the age of 74, the PGA Tour said.

The PGA did not specify the cause of death for Moody who died at his home in Texas.

“We are all going to miss ‘Sarge’ who was a patriot first and a professional golfer second,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.

“He will always be remembered for winning the 1969 U.S. Open, the last player to win after being in local and sectional qualifying.

“Our thoughts go out to his family and our membership mourns his loss, yet we take solace that his legacy will inspire generations to come.”

A native of Chickasha, Oklahoma, Moody also won international titles in Hong Kong, Morocco and Australia before joining the over-50 Champions Tour where he triumphed 11 times, including the 1989 U.S. Senior Open.

Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Editing by John Mehaffey

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