Larry Nelson

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Larry Nelson
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full nameLarry Gene Nelson
Born(1947-09-10) September 10, 1947 (age 67)
Fort Payne, Alabama
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight150 lb (68 kg; 11 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceMarietta, Georgia
Career
CollegeKennesaw Junior College
Turned professional1971
Current tour(s)Champions Tour
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins40
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour10
Japan Golf Tour4
Champions Tour19 (tied 10th all time)
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 3)
Masters Tournament5th: 1984
U.S. OpenWon: 1983
The Open ChampionshipT12: 1980
PGA ChampionshipWon: 1981, 1987
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2006 (member page)
 
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Larry Nelson
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full nameLarry Gene Nelson
Born(1947-09-10) September 10, 1947 (age 67)
Fort Payne, Alabama
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight150 lb (68 kg; 11 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceMarietta, Georgia
Career
CollegeKennesaw Junior College
Turned professional1971
Current tour(s)Champions Tour
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins40
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour10
Japan Golf Tour4
Champions Tour19 (tied 10th all time)
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 3)
Masters Tournament5th: 1984
U.S. OpenWon: 1983
The Open ChampionshipT12: 1980
PGA ChampionshipWon: 1981, 1987
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2006 (member page)

Larry Gene Nelson (born September 10, 1947) is an American professional golfer who has won numerous tournaments at both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour level.

Nelson was born in Fort Payne, Alabama and grew up in Acworth, Georgia, northwest of Atlanta. He didn't play the game as a child – atypical for a successful professional golfer – in high school he focused on basketball and baseball. Nelson took up golf at the age of 21 after he returned from serving in the infantry in Vietnam (Nelson was a 20-year-old newlywed when he was drafted into the U.S. Army).[1] Nelson was first introduced to golf by Ken Hummel, a soldier and friend in his infantry unit, and Nelson carefully studied Ben Hogan's book The Five Fundamentals of Golf while learning how to play the game.[2] He soon found that he had a talent for the game, breaking 100 the first time he played and 70 within nine months. He went on to graduate from Kennesaw Junior College in 1970 and turned professional the following year. He qualified for the PGA Tour at 27. His breakthrough year came in 1979 when he won twice and finished second in the money list to Tom Watson.

Nelson won 10 times on the PGA Tour, of which three, a high proportion, were major championships. He earned his first major title at the 1981 PGA Championship which he won by four strokes. In 1983 he was victorious at the U.S. Open at Oakmont, coming from seven behind at the half-way point to defeat Tom Watson by a single shot. Nelson scored a U.S. Open record 65-67 over the last 36 holes at the difficult Oakmont course, which broke a 51 year Open record established by Gene Sarazen. Nelson's 10 under par 132 record score has yet to be equaled. In 1987 he finished tied with Lanny Wadkins after the regulation 72 holes of PGA Championship, and won the title with a par at the first playoff hole.[3]

Nelson played on the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1979, 1981, and 1987. His record of 9–3–1 is one of the best since the event became USA v Europe in 1979; it had been a perfect 9–0–0 after the first two. He also won four tournaments on the Japan Golf Tour.

Since turning 50 in 1997 Nelson has had a successful Champions Tour career, winning 19 times, although he has not won a senior major. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in April 2006 and inducted in October 2006.[1] In 2011, Nelson received the PGA Distinguished Service Award from the PGA of America. The award "honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf".[4]

Nelson is also active in golf course design.

Professional wins (40)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (10)[edit]

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of victoryRunner(s)-up
1Mar 11, 1979Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic−14 (67-69-67-71=274)3 strokesUnited States Grier Jones
2Jul 8, 1979Western Open−2 (71-69-70-76=286)PlayoffUnited States Ben Crenshaw
3Jun 8, 1980Atlanta Classic−18 (66-69-68-67=270)7 strokesUnited States Andy Bean, United States Don Pooley
4Apr 5, 1981Greater Greensboro Open−7 (69-68-69-75=281)PlayoffUnited States Mark Hayes
5Aug 9, 1981PGA Championship−7 (70-66-66-71=273)4 strokesUnited States Fuzzy Zoeller
6Jun 19, 1983U.S. Open−4 (75-73-65-67=280)1 strokeUnited States Tom Watson
7Oct 21, 1984Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic−22 (66-66-64-70=266)1 strokeUnited States Hubert Green
8Aug 9, 1987PGA Championship (2)−1 (70-72-73-72=287)PlayoffUnited States Lanny Wadkins
9Oct 18, 1987Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic (2)−20 (68-69-68-63=268)1 strokeUnited States Morris Hatalsky, United States Mark O'Meara
10Jun 1, 1988Georgia-Pacific Atlanta Golf Classic (2)−20 (63-66-66-73=268)1 strokeUnited States Chip Beck

PGA Tour playoff record (3–2)

No.YearTournamentOpponentResult
11979Danny Thomas Memphis ClassicUnited States Gil MorganLost to birdie on second extra hole
21979Western OpenUnited States Ben CrenshawWon with birdie on first extra hole
31981Greater Greensboro OpenUnited States Mark HayesWon with birdie on second extra hole
41987PGA ChampionshipUnited States Lanny WadkinsWon with par on first extra hole
51989GTE Byron Nelson ClassicUnited States Jodie MuddLost to birdie on first extra hole

Japan Golf Tour wins (4)[edit]

Other wins (2)[edit]

Champions Tour wins (19)[edit]

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1Feb 22, 1998American Express Invitational−13 (63-69-71=203)4 strokesUnited States Dave Stockton
2May 31, 1998Pittsburgh Senior Classic−12 (65-65-74=204)5 strokesUnited States Bob Duval
3Sep 27, 1998Boone Valley Classic−16 (70-65-65=200)2 strokesAustralia Graham Marsh
4Feb 21, 1999GTE Classic−8 (70-68-67=205)2 strokesUnited States Bruce Fleisher
5May 2, 1999Bruno's Memorial Classic−11 (70-67-68=205)1 strokeUnited States Dana Quigley
6Apr 23, 2000Las Vegas Senior Classic−19 (67-66-64=197)5 strokesUnited States Bruce Fleisher United States Hale Irwin
7May 28, 2000Boone Valley Classic−16 (66-66-68=200)3 strokesUnited States Tom Watson
8Aug 27, 2000FleetBoston Classic−13 (67-70-66=203)4 strokesUnited States Jim Thorpe
9Sep 3, 2000Foremost Insurance Championship−18 (66-69-63=198)3 strokesUnited States Dave Stockton
10Sep 24, 2000Bank One Senior Championship−13 (67-68-68=203)6 strokesUnited States Bill Brask, United States Jim Thorpe
11Oct 1, 2000Vantage Championship−12 (66-63-69=198)PlayoffUnited States Jim Dent, United States Gil Morgan
12Jan 24, 2001MasterCard Championship−19 (67-64-66=197)1 strokeUnited States Jim Thorpe
13Feb 8, 2001Royal Caribbean Classic29 pts (6-15-8=29)1 pointArgentina Vicente Fernandez
14Jun 24, 2001FleetBoston Classic−15 (65-69-67=201)3 strokesUnited States Bruce Fleisher
15Jul 8, 2001Farmers Charity Classic−14 (67-67-68=202)1 strokeUnited States Jim Ahern
16Oct 21, 2001SBC Championship−17 (67-69-63=199)2 strokesUnited States Bob Gilder, United States Gary McCord
17Sep 14, 2003Constellation Energy Classic−9 (67-70-70=207)2 strokesUnited States Jim Dent, United States Doug Tewell
18May 9, 2004FedEx Kinko's Classic−7 (73-69-67=209)1 strokeUnited States Bruce Lietzke
19Oct 10, 2004Administaff Small Business Classic−14 (68-70-64=202)PlayoffUnited States Hale Irwin

Champions Tour playoff record (2–3)

No.YearTournamentOpponent(s)Result
11998Cadillac NFL Golf ClassicUnited States Jim Colbert, United States Bob DicksonDickson won with birdie on first extra hole
21998Kroger Senior ClassicSouth Africa Hugh Baiocchi, New Zealand Bob Charles
United States Frank Conner, United States Bruce Summerhays
Baiocchi won with birdie on second extra hole
32000The Countrywide TraditionUnited States Tom Kite, United States Tom WatsonKite won with birdie on sixth extra hole
Nelson eliminated with par on second hole
42000Vantage ChampionshipUnited States Jim Dent, United States Gil MorganNelson won with birdie on sixth extra hole
Dent eliminated with birdie on first hole
52004Administaff Small Business ClassicUnited States Hale IrwinWon with birdie on first extra hole

Other senior wins (5)[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (3)[edit]

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMarginRunner-up
1981PGA Championship4 shot lead−7 (70-66-66-71=273)4 strokesUnited States Fuzzy Zoeller
1983U.S. Open1 shot deficit−4 (75-73-65-67=280)1 strokeUnited States Tom Watson
1987PGA Championship (2)3 shot deficit−1 (70-72-73-72=287)Playoff1United States Lanny Wadkins

1Defeated Wadkins with a par on the first extra hole.

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament1976197719781979
Masters TournamentDNPDNPDNPT31
U.S. OpenT21T54CUTT4
The Open ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPDNP
PGA ChampionshipT34T54T12T28
Tournament1980198119821983198419851986198719881989
Masters TournamentT6CUTT7CUT5T36T36CUTT33CUT
U.S. OpenT60T20T191CUTT39T35CUTT62T13
The Open ChampionshipT12DNPT32T53CUTT55CUTT48T13CUT
PGA ChampionshipCUT1CUTT36CUTT23CUT1T38T46
Tournament1990199119921993199419951996199719981999
Masters Tournament4855DQDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
U.S. OpenT14T3CUTT46CUTDNPDNPCUTDNPDNP
The Open ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
PGA ChampionshipCUTCUTT28T56CUTCUTWDT71DNPCUT
Tournament2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Masters TournamentDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
U.S. OpenDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
The Open ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNPCUTCUTDNPDNPDNPCUTDNPDNPDNP
Tournament20102011
Masters TournamentDNPDNP
U.S. OpenDNPDNP
The Open ChampionshipDNPDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNPCUT

DNP = did not play
DQ = disqualified
WD = withdrew
CUT = missed the half way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place.
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

TournamentWins2nd3rdTop-5Top-10Top-25EventsCuts made
Masters Tournament000133149
U.S. Open1013382014
The Open Championship00000296
PGA Championship2002242713
Totals30168177042

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "World Golf Hall of Fame member bio". Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ Reinhard, Paul (June 29, 2000). "Quiet Nelson Set To Make Some Noise". The Morning Call. 
  3. ^ "Golf Major Championships". Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Larry Nelson to receive award from PGA". ESPN. Associated Press. April 13, 2011. 

External links[edit]