Born: December 1, 1939
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas
Height: 5 ft, 7 in
Turned Pro: 1960
A first-generation American, Lee Trevino rose from the cotton fields of Texas to the top of the professional golf world – wining 6 Major tournaments and beating players like Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus in the prime of their careers.
Trevino dropped out of school when he was just 14 years old and began working as a caddy at the Dallas Athletic Club. The course included a three-hole layout behind the caddy shack where Trevino would practice for hours after his day’s work was done.
Trevino joined the United States Marine Corps when he turned 17 and spent four years serving his country. He returned to Texas and became a club professional in El Paso, supplementing his salary with head-to-head money matches.
After qualifying for the 1967 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills, Trevino earned a tour card after finishing in a tie for 5th place and he never looked back. He finished 45th on the money list that year and was named Rookie of the Year by Golf Digest.
A year later, he traveled to Oak Hills Country Club for the 1968 U.S. Open. Trevino shocked the world, defeating his nearest competitor, Jack Nicklaus, by four shots.
1971 was a year for the ages. Trevino won his second U.S. Open title (in a playoff over Nicklaus), the Canadian Open and his first British Open title. Sports Illustrated named Trevino “Sportsman of the Year.”
In 1972, Trevino successfully defended his Open Championship title, again defeating Nicklaus by a single stroke.
Trevino was also a dominant figure on the Senior (now Champions) Tour, winning 29 Senior titles including 4 Senior Majors. Trevino continued to haunt Nicklaus after turning 50 – he won the 1990 Senior U.S. Open by a single stroke over the Golden Bear.