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revkev

Most under rated

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I was watching American Pickers with my daughter the other day and they came across an NFL all star jacket that belonged to one James Carter. It was from the 1939 NFL Pro Bowl game. I looked the guy up and he was a stud, having led the NFL in receiving yardage in 1933 and played in the first two all star games (as they were called then). Sports history has forgotten him.

 

I thought that I would start this thread to recall golfers who were great in their day but have now faded into the shadows. I'm confining this to people whom I saw play. Here are five - I have lots more where these come from. I'd prefer to limit this list to players who won at least one major.

 

Ray Floyd - his name rarely comes up but this guy was a pit bull with a killer short game who won 4 majors. Only 28 guys have won 4 career majors. He's one of them.

 

Larry Nelson - Quiet, unassuming Vietnam Vet who didn't take up the game until after serving. Fairways and greens were his hallmark. He won 3 majors. Only 45 people have done that. Johnny Milker didn't. Greg Norman didn't. It was a travesty that he was passed over as Ryder Cup Captain during the time when Europe was gaining the upper hand. Golf Karma anyone?

 

Billy Casper - This guy may belong at the top of my list. Tons of wins to go with three Majors he played in Arnie, Jack and Gary Player's shadows. He was very good.

 

Dave Stockton - You may have heard that he's a pretty good putter. Many considered him the best putter on tour during his career. Stockton won two Majors, only 81 people in the history of the game have done that. He was another fierce competitor.

 

Gene Littler - Only won one major but he was often in contention. He was also a cancer survivor at a time when people didn't survive. His illness interrupted the middle of his career. I have him here because he had the simplest, most repeatable swing that you'd ever want to see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How about Vijay? 3 majors all after Tiger's first major win, world number 1 during the Tiger era, 9 PGA Tour victories in 2004, 22 PGA Tour wins after age 40. He was always prickly with the media and "there was a cheating thing" once on the Asian tour, which I do not dismiss at all, BUT there were never any allegations about him that I recall once his PGA Tour career began and those are some amazing stats.

 

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How about Vijay? 3 majors all after Tiger's first major win, world number 1 during the Tiger era, 9 PGA Tour victories in 2004, 22 PGA Tour wins after age 40. He was always prickly with the media and "there was a cheating thing" once on the Asian tour, which I do not dismiss at all, BUT there were never any allegations about him that I recall once his PGA Tour career began and those are some amazing stats.

 

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Nice choice! He's exactly the type of guy I had in mind

 

 

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Not sure about under rated, just bad timing. I think if Adam Scott came along before, or much after Tiger... and there wasn't a putter anchoring ban, he would have way more wins.

 

 

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Davis Love III  -  one major with the rainbow, 21 PGA wins, and still contending today.  I'd like to see him be the oldest tour winner.  Long career, and I'm surprised that he hasn't won more.

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Nice thread Rev!

 

+1000 on Billy Casper. Buffalo Bill was easily one of the best golfers ever but his far reaching charitable works also solidly place him high on my list of best humans.

 

 

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Nice thread Rev!

 

+1000 on Billy Casper. Buffalo Bill was easily one of the best golfers ever but his far reaching charitable works also solidly place him high on my list of best humans.

 

 

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All good choices though Adam Scott may still have a chapter left to write.

 

I absolutely thought about Casper's charitable work when I put him on my list. He lived an amazing life.

 

 

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I must admit...and am sorry to say that I didn't get to see a lot of the older great, great golfers play.  I didn't watch much golf on television until Tiger came along.

 

One for me is Hale Irwin.  3 US Open titles.  The US Open is supposed to be one of the hardest majors to win (this year notwithstanding... haha) and he did it 3 times.

The other thing about Irwin is that he COMPLETELY dominated the champions tour.  45 wins!  Now it's all Langer but 45 wins on any tour is just...well...impressive.

 

On a side note - I really enjoy the Feherty show on the Golf Channel.  This is where I learned about guys like Irwin and Casper and some of the older guys like that.  Great show with some excellent guests (usually...I could do without the US Presidents)

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Langer could make the list. His pre Champions tour career is the mirror image of Norman's, his on the European Tour. In fact one could argue that it was the better Tour based on Seve, Faldo and Ryder cup performance. Norman benefitted by his agent jimmying the world rankings towards the PGA tour.

 

Regardless Langer was under rated as was Irwin!

 

 

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How about Justin Leonard? He won the Open, the Players, dropped that huge Ryder Cup putt, and finished 2nd at the PGA twice.

 

 

then he vanished

 

 

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Nice thread Rev!

+1000 on Billy Casper. Buffalo Bill was easily one of the best golfers ever but his far reaching charitable works also solidly place him high on my list of best humans.

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Have to agree with you on this one. Casper was just at the wrong time, over shadowed by Palmer and Nicklas. Never got his due.

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Nice thread Rev!

 

+1000 on Billy Casper. Buffalo Bill was easily one of the best golfers ever but his far reaching charitable works also solidly place him high on my list of best humans.

 

 

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I agree. But working for his company I might be a bit biased.

 

During our orientation they show a bio film of sorts of his life. It really was quite a remarkable life.

 

If I had started at my current position about 18 months earlier I would have gotten to spend some time with him.

 

But everyone who has met him talks about what a fantastic gentleman he was and had time for anybody that wanted to talk.

 

And his 51 victories and 3 majors are nothing to take for granted. Especially as mentioned playing in the prime of the Big Three.

 

 

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Permit me to offer the following gentlemen, while they didn't win majors, their impact on golf history should not be forgotten.

 

Charlie Sifford:  In 1961 (yes, I was a youngster, but it is my life-time), he was the first African-American to receive a PGA tour card and the tour eliminated the "Caucasian-only" clause.

 

Lee Elder:  In 1975, he was the first African-American to play in the Masters and in 1979, the first to play in the Ryder Cup.

 

Calvin Peete:  With 12 tour wins, he was the most prolific African-American golfer until the arrival of Tiger Woods.   Years ago, a physician at a client was his personal physician, so I had the pleasure of a round of golf with Calvin.  So let me also note that he is a very nice gentleman as well.

 

Unlike the above gentlemen, I don't think Tiger Woods will be forgotten, nor should he be.

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I think the problem when looking more at modern players is that Tiger overshadowed everyone by such a huge degree that even someone like Vijay, who would be celebrated as a legendary figure in any other era, gets blotted out by the overhanging aura that was Eldrick Woods.

 

If I could point to a few guys in the more modern sense players like a David Toms or Retief Goosen spring to mind. Hell, if we're including Vijay I'll add David Duval or Jim Furyk to the list.

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Let's  not forget Freddy Couples.

 

He won the Masters in 1992, Became the First American to be #1 in the world.  And was still posting Top 5's at majors until 2010 and top 15 at the masters until  2013.. As well as 2 Senior PGA majors.. 

 

He was Not the flashiest, not brash, but a solid player that hit the ball a long ways for his era that can still contend on the PGA tour.. With a 18th in the 2017 masters.. 

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