Washington - Two-time major champion Hubert Green, a 19-time US PGA Tour winner and 2007 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee, has died at age 71, the tour announced on Wednesday.
Green, who won the 1977 US Open and 1985 PGA Championship, died on Tuesday night after a lengthy battle with throat cancer.
The American famously took his first major title 41 years ago at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after being notified by tournament officials of a phoned-in death threat as he walked to the 15th tee in the final round with a one-stroke lead.
The threat said Green would be shot when he reached the 15th green. Officials said he could continue, wait for officials to clear the course of spectators before continuing or suspend play until Monday and finish without spectators.
Despite the threat, Green decided to continue playing, and responded by playing the final four holes at level par to defeat compatriot Lou Graham by one stroke.
Green's other major victory came at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver, a two-shot triumph over Lee Trevino in what was his final tour victory.
At the 1978 Masters, Green had a three-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff with Gary Player but missed to hand the South African a third green jacket and the last of his nine major titles.
Green had to back off the putt after hearing a radio announcer describing the scene, then reset and missed the crucial putt, later saying only an amateur would have been disturbed by the interruption or use it as an excuse.
Green played on three US Ryder Cup squads, including winners in 1977 and 1979.
He won four times on the 50-and-over Champions Tour before battling oral cancer in 2003, returning after radiation and chemotherapy before retiring in 2006.
"PGA Tour Champions is saddened by the passing of Hubert Green, a determined champion and a loving family man," PGA Tour Champions president Greg McLaughlin said.
"Hubert will be remembered for his tremendous career and witty one-liners. The game of golf is a better sport because of the impact he made during his Hall of Fame career."