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John Paramor, longtime European tour referee, dies at 67

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VIRGINIA WATER (England) — John Paramor, a mustachioed European tour official whose career spanned six centuries, has died following a diagnosis of cancer. He was 67.

The European tour ConfirmedParamor, who retired as chief referee in 2020, has died. Paramor, who was well-known on every circuit in the country, had officiated at numerous major championships over the years.

Fridays statement from the European tour stated that John Paramor, one among the most respected golf rules officials and a popular figure across the entire tour, died.

John Paramors death has caused deep sadness in the European Tour group.

— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) February 17, 2023

The tour planned to observe a moment of silence on Saturday during the third round in South Africa and Thailand. The PGA Tour was also working on a similar tribute. Paramor was a big presence at all of the biggest golf events.

Keith Pelley is the chief executive of European Tour. He stated, I said that 2020 was a year when legend was a word too frequently used in sport, but in terms golf and the administration rules of our game, it perfectly describes John Paramor. Quite simply, John Paramor was a leader and guru in his field and commanded the respect of all his peers and players.

Seve Ballesteros was among his most famous rulings. Paramor once said that he gave Ballesteros favor because the Spanish golfer was so creative. He could also draw the line.

One memorable incident occurred at the 1994 season-ending Volvo Masters in Valderrama. Ballesteros was sitting under a tree when he felt he needed relief from a small hole that he claimed was caused by a burrowing creature.

One, that was doubtful. Two, I couldn’t find any evidence to support what he claimed. Paramor recalled years later that Paramor had to prove his point. Anyway, there were small holes within the big hole. Seve leaned on my shoulder and warned me that it might bite if I tried to poke my finger into the small hole.

Paramor said, I almost started laughing, He could be intimidating but I had no choice but to ignore that thought.

Relief was denied.

Paramor joined the European tour in April 1976 as an administrator. He had previously worked as a caddie for Peter Butler for a year.

He became the tours chief ref in 1989 and was a key figure for the Rules of Golf reforms over the years.


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