Place of birth: Fort Payne, Alabama
Champions Tour: 19
U.S. Open: 1983
PGA Championship: 1981, 1987
Awards and Honors:
Member, U.S. Ryder Cup team, 1979, 1981, 1987
Champions Tour money leader, 2000
Champions Tour Player of the Year, 2000
Larry Nelson Biography:
Nelson was a baseball player as a youth. He didn't even pick up golf until he was 21, after returning home from service in the Vietnam War. He started working at Pine Tree Country Club in Kennesaw, Ga., and teaching himself golf by reading Ben Hogan's "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf."
Nelson broke 100 the very first time he played a round of golf, and within nine months he had broken 70. The Pine Tree CC members began encouraging him to try one of golf's mini-tours.
Just a couple years later, in 1973, Nelson made it through Q-School on his first attempt and was on the PGA Tour at age 27.
His first two victories came in 1979 and he finished second on the money list that year. He also made the first of three Ryder Cup appearances for the U.S., going 5-0. Nelson would play twice more in the Ryder Cup with a career record of 9-3-1. Tom Watson once said that if he had to choose one American golfer to play one must-win Ryder Cup match, his choice would be Nelson.
Nelson won the 1981 PGA Championship, then got his second major at the 1983 U.S. Open by shooting 132 over the final two rounds. In 1987, he again won the PGA Championship, defeating Lanny Wadkins in a playoff.
Nelson's last win on the PGA Tour was in 1988. He debuted on the Champions Tour in 2000 and led that tour in victories that year, as well as in 2001.
Nelson was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006.