Born: December 5, 1949
Height: 5 ft 9 in
Birthplace: Richmond, VA
College: Wake Forest
Turned Pro: 1971
Lanny Wadkins was regarded as one of the fiercest competitors during his prime on the PGA tour. Wadkins finished his career with 21 PGA Tour wins, a Major championship (PGA) and a tremendous Ryder Cup record.
Wadkins attended Wake Forest University on an Arnold Palmer Scholarship. Wadkins had an impressive collegiate and amateur career. He defeated Tom Kite by a single shot to win the 1970 U.S. Amateur.
He turned pro in 1971 and collected his first PGA tour win a year later at the Sahara Invitational in Las Vegas. Wadkins was named PGA Rookie of the Year in 1972. Wadkins won twice more in his sophomore season.
Wadkins endured a slump the next three years before coming back in a major way in 1977. At the year’s last major, the PGA Championship, Wadkins rallied from six shots down at the beginning of the final round to face Gene Littler in the first sudden death playoff in the tournament’s history. Wadkins prevailed on the third extra hole that day at Pebble Beach and captured his only career Major.
Wadkins did get other big wins during the balance of his career, including the 1979 Tournament Players Club Championship at Sawgrass.
Wadkins had a resurgent season in 1985, capturing the PGA Tour Player of the Year award. Wadkins won three times that season, including a seven shot victory at Riviera’s L.A. Open.
Wadkins’ final PGA victory occurred in 1992 at the Hartford Open.
Following his PGA career, Wadkins prioritized broadcasting over the Champions Tour. Lanny worked as lead analyst at CBS Sports for four years and is currently lead analyst for the Champions Tour on the Golf Channel.