Born: May 27, 2012
Died: May 23, 2012
Birthplace: Ashwood, Virginia
Height: 5 ft 11 in
Turned Pro: 1931
Sam Snead was admired by his peers for his perilous swing and his incredible career longevity. Despite never winning a U.S. Open, he will always be remembered as one of the greatest golfers of all-time. With 82 wins, he still holds the PGA Tour record for total number of career victories.
Snead was introduced to the game of golf by his grandfather at age 7, where he began working as a caddie at the Homestead in nearby Hot Springs, Virginia. After high school, Snead worked as an assistant pro and turned professional in 1934. He would join the PGA Tour a year later.
Snead began winning, and winning consistently on tour shortly after turning pro. He won multiple tournaments each season between 1937 and 1942. In 1942, he won his first Major, the PGA Championship.
Snead then served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1944.
Snead captured his only Open Championship in 1946. In 1949 he would win his first Masters and second PGA Championship. The Masters win put Snead within one victory of the career Grand Slam. All he needed was a U.S. Open title.
Snead would threaten at the U.S. Open multiple times, once missing a two and a half foot putt on the final hole (1947), only to come up short. He finished runner-up four times at the U.S. Open.
Snead’s record in the Majors was incredible. He made the cut in 95 of his 118 starts and recorded 48 top-ten finishes. He finished in the top ten at the PGA Championship in 1972, 1973 and 1974 when he was in his sixties. He recorded 9 top-ten finishes in the Majors after his 50th birthday.