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Hubert Green

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Hubert Green

Hubert Green playing on the PGA Tour in 1991.

Bob Stowell/Getty Images

Hubert Green was at his best in the 1970s, when his unorthodox swing took him to most of his PGA Tour wins, as well as to a U.S. Open title.

Date of birth: December 28, 1946
Place of birth: Birmingham, Alabama
Nickname: Hubie

Tour Victories:

PGA Tour: 19
Champions Tour: 4

Major Championships:

2
• U.S. Open: 1977
• PGA Championship: 1985

Awards and Honors:

• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• Member, U.S. Ryder Cup team, 1977, 1979, 1985

Quote, Unquote:

• Hubert Green: "My father told me if you're digging a ditch, dig a good ditch. If you're cutting the grass, cut it well. Whatever you're doing, do the best you can."

• Hubert Green on his approach to golf: "I just try to move an object from one place to the next."

Trivia:

Hubert Green won the 1977 U.S. Open despite playing the final round under a death threat. A caller to the FBI claimed Green would be shot on the 15th green.

Hubert Green Biography:

Hubert Green was a consistent winner through much of the 1970s, with one last hurrah in the 1980s. He did it with an completely non-technical approach to golf and an unusual swing, and with stern seriousness on the golf course.

He's best-known for the one that got away, and the one he wouldn't let get away.

The one that got away was the 1978 Masters, where Green reached the final hole about 30 minutes after Gary Player had finished a round of 64. Player had a 1-shot lead over Green, who hit a good drive and then a great approach to within three feet of the cup. It looked like there would be a playoff. But Green had to back away from the putt when he overheard radio announcer Jim Kelly say something. When Green took the stroke, he pushed it a little to the right and the 3-footer slid by. Green missed the playoff and Player won the Masters.

Green never blamed Kelly, however, telling Golf Digest, "Only an amateur would have been put off by the interruption — or would try to make excuses about it."

But just a year earlier, Green kept another tournament from getting away, under much more serious circumstances. Green entered the final round of the 1977 U.S. Open with the lead - and a death threat that had been phoned in to the FBI. Trailed by law enforcement throughout the day, Green was steadfast and held on for the victory.

Green turned pro in 1970 and joined the PGA Tour soon thereafter. He became noted for his stern, irascible look on the golf course - and for a lightning quick, very short backswing. It might have looked unusual, but he almost always found the fairway.

Green won four times in 1974, three times in 1976, and twice each in 1973, 1978 and 1979. He was third on the money list in 1974, his highest finish.

His play slacked off in the 1980s, but his final victory was a big one: the 1985 PGA Championship, where Green edged Lee Trevino.

Green's rookie season on the Champions Tour was 1997, and he went on to win four times on the senior circuit.

In 2003, on a routine visit to the dentist, it was discovered that Green had oral cancer. He underwent treatment and returned to the Champions Tour in 2004. He had to leave golf again that year, however, for additional treatment.

Green was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007.

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