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Tim Rosaforte, the veteran newspaper journalist who segued to television and delivered scoop after scoop as a well-connected “insider” working for Golf Channel and NBC, has died. He was 66.
Rosaforte died Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a post on the Golf Channel website.
After starting out at The Tampa Times in 1977 and writing for such publications as The Palm Beach Post, Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest and Golf World, Rosaforte joined Golf Channel in 2007 and remained there until his retirement in 2019.
Along the way, he covered scores of majors — including every Masters tournament from 1983 through 2019 — and 17 Ryder Cups.
“Rosaforte rubbed shoulders with presidents, literally, and he had phone numbers to other heads of state,” Craig Dolch wrote Tuesday in the Post. “More important, he had access to the game’s superstars such as Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and anyone else who mattered. Rosaforte had so many contacts, he walked around with two phones. Legendary announcer Jim Nantz said Rosaforte once had Woods on one line and Palmer on the other.”
“There’s a lot of insiders in sports today, people like Adam Schefter, Peter Gammons and Tim Kurkjian,” Geoff Russell, who was Rosaforte’s boss at Golf World and later Golf Channel, says in Dolch’s piece. “If you go back 30 years, Tim was doing that before most of them.”
A native of Mount Kisco, New York, Rosaforte received the PGA of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism and the Memorial Tournament’s golf journalism award from Nicklaus’ event. The PGA also awarded him a lifetime membership, the first journalist to receive the honor.
He also served as president of the Golf Writers Association of America.
Last year, the University of Rhode Island created an endowed scholarship to help students study neuroscience in honor of Rosaforte, who graduated from the school in 1977.
Survivors include his wife, Genevieve; daughters Molly and Genna; and grandchildren Graham, Finn and Saylor.
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Robert De Niro