Fuzzy Zoeller

    Born: November 11, 1951

    Height: 5 ft, 10 in

    Birthplace: New Albany, IN

    College: Edison Jr. College (Florida), University of Houston

    Turned Pro: 1973

    Frank Urban Zoeller, Jr., better known as “Fuzzy”, played on both the PGA Tours and the Senior (Champions) Tour after turning professional in 1973. Born in New Albany, Indiana, Zoeller was an outstanding high school golfer. Out of high school, Zoeller attended Edison Jr. College in Florida before transferring to the University of Houston.

    Zoeller captured his first PGA Tour win in 1979 at the Andy Williams-San Diego Invitational by four shots over three other players including Tom Watson. The win qualified Zoeller for the Master’s Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Zoeller became the first player since 1935 to win the Masters in his first attempt. The only other two were Horton Smith in the inaugural 1934 tournament and Gene Sarazen in 1935.

    Zoeller was tied after 72 holes with Ed Sneed and Tom Watson. Zoeller won it with a birdie putt on the 11th hole, the second hole of their sudden death playoff. The 1979 playoff was the first sudden death playoff in Masters’ history. Previous playoffs were next day 18-hole playoffs.

    Zoeller won the Colonial Invitational in 1981. He won two PGA titles in 1983, including one of his two titles at the Hilton Head Heritage Classic.

    In 1984, Zoeller won his second career Major. He found himself tied with Greg Norman after 72 holes at storied Winged Foot Country Club. Zoeller prevailed the next day by 8 shots in an 18-hole playoff.

    Zoeller found himself roiled in controversy at the 1997 Masters when he made comments that were construed as racist with regards to that year’s Masters Champion Tiger Woods. Zoeller’s sponsors at the time, K-Mart and Dunlop, dropped him. A few other professionals, including Tom Lehman, came to Zoeller’s defense. Zoeller apologized to Woods in person and the matter has largely been forgotten.