Tributes flood in for 'troubled' Westner

Wayne Westner (AP)
Wayne Westner (AP)

Cape Town - The golfing world has sent its collective condolences following the suicide of double SA Open winner, Wayne Westner.

Westner committed suicide in front of his wife at 08:00 on Wednesday after forcing his way into his home in Pennington on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.

He was 55.

According to reports, officers on the scene said it appeared that the couple were separated and that his wife was in the process of relocating to Johannesburg.

Westner was best known for winning the South African Open in 1988 and 1991 - on both occasions at Durban Country Club - where his power and prodigious length off the tee enabled him to use a 1-iron to navigate his way around the notoriously tight layout.

He won 14 professional events, including two European Tour events, as well as the 1996 World Cup of Golf at Erinvale in Somerset West with Ernie Els.

His career was cut short through injury in 1998 when he tore ankle ligaments while playing a pro-am before the Madeira Islands Open.

Condolences streamed in from around the world after the news broke.

South Africa's greatest ever sportsman, Gary Player, sent his well wishes:"Vivienne, my family & I are saddened by the news of the tragic passing of Wayne Westner & send condolences to all his family & friends. RIP".

Els, half of the Els-Westner duo that famously won the World Cup on home soil 21 years ago, added: "Sad day, our friend Wayne Westner passed today. Great memories thank you my friend".

So shocked to hear of the death of Wayne Westner, double former winner of SA Open and winner of Dubai Desert Classic. RIP Westy, wrote Zimbabwean former professional, Tony Johnstone.

Renowned Sky Sports commentator Ewen Murray, hinted at the "demons" Westner had to deal with, writing: WayneWestner;tormented golfing genius.Brilliant player with demons.Sad end for a more than decent colleague. Memories are better than finish

New European Ryder Cup captain, Denmark's Thomas Bjørn sent his thoughts to "those left behind": Really saddened by the news of Wayne Westner. My thoughts go out to those left behind. Hopefully you have found your peace.

South Africa's current No 1 golfer, Branden Grace, added his condolences: Sad news to hear about Wayne Westner,my condolences to his family!! #RIP #golfinglegend #characterofthegame

Former European Tour opponent, Sam Torrance, echoed reports of the "troubles" Westner endured: So sad about an old troubled friend Wayne Westner #RIPWesty

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