Born: September 1, 1959
Birthplace: Long Beach, California
Height: 6 ft
College: Brigham Young University
Turned Pro: 1982
Keith Clearwater attended Brigham Young University on a golf scholarship and helped lead the Cougars to the NCAA team championship in 1981. He was selected as a first-team All-American. Clearwater was one of many California boys to attend BYU during that era. His squad featured a lineup of golfers who would go on to compete on the PGA Tour including former CBS commentator Bobby Clampett, Rick Fehr and Richard Zokol.
Clearwater topped off his amateur career by winning the highly coveted North & South Amateur in 1982.
Clearwater would turn pro later that year but didn’t qualify for the PGA Tour until 1987. He made the most of his opportunity that rookie season. The Colonial is one of the tour’s biggest tournaments outside of the Majors. Clearwater dominated the field at the Colonial in 1987. He fired a pair of 64’s in the third and fourth rounds, tying the 72-hole scoring record and defeating runner up, Davis Love III, by three strokes to capture his first PGA title.
He collected his second and ultimately final PGA win later that season at the Centel Classic.
Clearwater’s results in the Major championships were disappointing for a player with his pedigree. He finished tied for 31st at the 1987 U.S. Open and tied for 39th at the 1993 Masters Tournament. He did, however, show flashes of brilliance. Clearwater shot a round of 64 in the third round of the 1987 U.S. Open, a score that catapulted him over several players and paired him with Tom Watson in the final round. Unfortunately for Clearwater, his Sunday was wrought with trouble on his way to a score of 79.
1992 was Clearwater’s best year on tour other than 1987. He recorded 10 top tens and earned over $600,000.