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Byron Nelson, The Legend

 

Byron Nelson is just one of two professional golfers with a PGA Tour tournament as his namesake (Arnold Palmer is the other).

* Byron Nelson - Golf Legend *

 

Byron Nelson the Golf Legend

Who’s Byron Nelson The Legend

Byron Nelson is remembered today for his remarkable 1945 season, in which he won 11 straight tournaments and  18 overall for the year. It’s a record that most likely will never be broken. He won 31 of 54 tournaments over the 1944 - 1945 seasons and then did the unthinkable: he retired from professional golf at the age of 36. He had by that time, achieved his goal of earning enough to buy a ranch in Texas.

Nelson had 63 wins between 1932 and 1946, including the Masters in 1937 and 1942, the U.S. Open in 1939 and the PGA Championship in 1940 and 1945

 

“When I was playing regularly, I had a goal,” Nelson once said. “I could see the prize money going into the ranch, buying a tractor, or a cow. It gave me incentive.”

His 1945 wins were against famous players such as Sam Snead, Ben Hogan and Jimmy Demaret (all of whom had victories that year). In 1945, Nelson destroyed the courses with a 68.33 scoring average, a single season record that stood for 55 years (broken by Tiger Woods in 2000).


The first inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Nelson was given the PGA Tour’s lifetime achievement award in 1997 and was posthumously awarded a Congressional Golf Medal in 2006.

 

However much Nelson is remembered for his on-course achievements, his real legacy may be in the very large number of golfers- both amateur and professional - that he mentored over the years. Nelson always had time to encourage young players, or give them a lesson and write them letters. Among those he helped: Tom Watson, Ken Venturi, Scott Verplank, and Ben Crenshaw.

Nelson is considered one of the fathers of the modern golf swing. His long, smooth motion, combined with more hip action than in earlier eras. He was so consistent that the USGA equipment testing machine is named the “Iron Byron.”

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