Lee Trevino was one of the other greats of the Jack Nicklaus era in PGA Tour history, a 6-time major champion whose career was interrupted by injuries suffered after he was struck by lightning. Despite that, Trevino's achievements place him among the game's greats.
Date of birth: Dec. 1, 1939
Place of birth: Dallas, Texas
Nickname: Merry Mex
Awards and Honors:
- Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
- PGA Tour money leader, 1970
- PGA Vardon Trophy winner (low scoring average), 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1980
- PGA Tour Player of the Year, 1971
- Member, U.S. Ryder Cup team, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1979, 1981
- Captain, U.S. Ryder Cup team, 1985
• Lee Trevino: "I've been hit by lightning and been in the Marine Corps for four years. I've traveled the world and been about everywhere you can imagine. There's not anything I'm scared of except my wife."
• Lee Trevino: "There is no such thing as a natural touch. Touch is something you create by hitting millions of golf balls."
• Lee Trevino: "You can talk to a fade but a hook won't listen."
Lee Trevino Biography:
Lee Trevino rose up from a hardscrabble youth to become one of the greatest golfers of his time, or any time.
Trevino was born into poverty and never knew his father. He was raised by his mother and his grandfather, a gravedigger. Lee began working at a very early age, toiling in the Texas cotton fields as young as age 5.
But when an uncle gave him a rusty golf club and a few beat-up balls, the young Trevino found his calling. He began caddying at age eight, sometimes attending school but more often working or practicing golf.
At age 17, Trevino joined the Marines and served four years. Following his discharge, he returned to golf, becoming a club pro in 1960. While at an El Paso club in the mid-1960s, the then-unknown Trevino battled the already famous Ray Floyd over three titanic days in one of the most legendary gambling matches in golf history. They came out even.
Trevino found his way onto the PGA Tour in 1967, and quickly established himself as one of the best. He won the 1968 U.S. Open, and from then until around 1974 was a dominant force. He won all but one of his six majors during that span, and four scoring titles. His 1971 U.S. Open victory is his best-known, as he defeated Jack Nicklaus in an 18-hole playoff for the win. Trevino nipped Nicklaus again at the 1972 British Open, the second of his back-to-back wins there.
Trevino was nearly killed when he was struck by lightning during a tournament in 1975. The injuries he suffered lingered, including back problems, but he recovered to win another Vardon Trophy in 1980. The 1984 PGA Championship was his final major and final PGA Tour victory.
Trevino is considered one of the best ballstrikers, and one of the most creative ballstrikers, the game has ever seen. He aligned left of his target and faded the ball, and was amazingly consistent at placing the ball right where he wanted it.
Lee Trevino was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1981.