July 11, 2008 / 12:28 AM / 10 years ago

Former PGA Tour player Souchak dies at 81

MIAMI (Reuters) - American Mike Souchak, a 15-times winner on the PGA Tour who appeared on two U.S. Ryder Cup teams, died on Thursday after a heart attack, the Tour said.

Souchak, who lived in Clearwater, Florida, was 81.

“The PGA Tour family has lost one of its true pioneers,” Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement. “Mike Souchak was in many ways the prototype of today’s modern golfer.

“His formidable athletic skills made him long off the tee and he helped elevate the game’s profile before the game was televised on a regular basis.”

Souchak, a Ryder Cup player in 1959 and 1961, won the last of his PGA Tour titles at the 1964 Memphis Open. He produced 11 top-10 finishes in major championships, including ties for third at the U.S. Open in 1959 and 1960.

Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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