I came across this American Heritage article from 2005. Very interesting stuff including:
A relative latecomer to golf, [Titanic] Thompson took up the game when he was nearly 30, in 1921. Already a crack shot, a champion bowler, a good pool player, and an expert at dice and cards, particularly poker, he learned quickly. In 1934 a group of Dallas businessmen put up $3,000 to host a match between Thompson and a young Byron Nelson. By then Thompson had become famous in the golfing community, and people came from hundreds of miles to witness the match. Nelson spotted Thompson 3 strokes, and lost, shooting 68 to Thompson’s 70. Tommy Bolt, the 1958 U.S. Open champion, once said of Thompson’s golfing ability: “He could have been the greatest.”Ron Shelton was supposedly interested in making a film based on Titanic Thompson but after reading through this article I have to wonder if he actually did but called it Tin Cup instead.