Lee Trevino - U.S.A. - Highlight of his earlier golfing career.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 20 July 1980

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      Friday, 01 December 1939
      Dallas, Texas
  • U.S.A.
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Lee TREVINO - U.S.A. - Highlight of his earlier golfing career.


Little Lee Trevino announced his arrival on the world golfing scene with a memorable victory at the 1968 US Open by four strokes from Jack Nicklaus. In doing so he became the first man to break 70 in all four rounds and his victory was all the more remarkable for the fact that it was his first win on tour since turning professional back in 1960. There were some sceptics who believed that the man from Dallas just happened to peak that week,that it was something of a fluke win and he would disappear as quickly as he had arrived - how wrong they were! Trevino captured the Tucson Open in both 1969 & '70 and the National Airline Open Invitational of 1970 and then in 1971 he enjoyed a truly spectacular year. He won his second US Open in an 18 hole play-off against Jack Nicklaus with Trevino shooting 68 compared to a 71 from Nicklaus. He added the Canadian Open shortly after and then travelled to Royal Birkdale for the British Open. His rounds of 69-70-69 & 70 were enough to give him victory from Taiwan's 'Mr Lu' (Lu Liang-Huan) who came so close to becoming the first Asian to win a major. That closing round of 70 was enough to give the American a one stroke triumph and with his wins at the Tallahassee Open and Memphis Classic to go along with his US and Canadian Open successes he had won no less than five times in just eleven weeks. In achieving that US/British Open double Trevino became only the fourth man after Bobby Jones in 1930,Gene Sarazen in 1932 and Ben Hogan in 1953 to accomplish the feat. (David Scranage)



 Lee Trevino headed for Muirfield in 1972 to defend his Open crown in what turned out to be one of the most exciting tournaments ever seen. He opened the event with rounds of 71 & 70 and was paired with England's Tony Jacklin for the final two days. The third round was,perhaps,the turning point as Trevino fired a 66 thanks to five consecutive birdies at the end of his round. The birdie barrage started with long putts at the 14th & 15th and he then had a remarkable slice of luck when hitting the flag and watching the ball drop into the cup after thinning his bunker shot on the 16th. The par-5 17th was birdied after reaching the green in two and on the 18th he hit through the green in two only to hole his return chip. Jacklin walked off the course no doubt cursing his luck as he lay one shot behind,despite playing the better golf. The following day was nip and tuck all the way until the 17th where the Englishman seemed to have gained the upper hand. It was not so,however,as Trevino chipped in and Jacklin nervously three putted from 15 feet. The demoralised Englishman made five at the last and slipped down to third place behind Jack Nicklaus leaving the little Texan to celebrate his second successive Open Championship. The following year saw Trevino victorious in a couple of events and performing with distinction once again in the Ryder Cup as the Americans eased to a comfortable 18 1/2-13 1/2 win. He contributed four points from a possible six to go along with the three and a half points that he had won on his debut two years earlier. (David Scranage)



In 1974 Lee Trevino added to his collection of majors with victory at the PGA Championship by one stroke from his old adversary Jack Nicklaus. Lee had opened the tournament with a 73 but a sparkling second round 66 put him back in contention and closing efforts of 68 & 69 were enough to see him home by the narrowest of margins. That success seemed to signal the end of the little man's purple patch in terms of major championships although he did continue to win on a regular basis on the US tour. The 1975 season saw Trevino lift the Florida Open and help the USA retain the Ryder Cup with two and a half points out of five but in the Western Open of that year he was struck by lightning along with playing partners Bobby Nichols and Jerry Heard. As a result Trevino was troubled by back problems for the remainder of his career but he still managed to produce some fine golf and was victorious at the Colonial National Invitationals of 1976 & '78 and the Canadian Opens of 1977 & '79. He was also back on Ryder Cup duty for 1979 after missing out two years earlier and weighed in with two and a half points from a possible four in a 17-11 triumph. The following year saw Trevino challenging once again in a major and a three-time winner on the US tour. He gave Tom Watson a real run for his money in the Open at Muirfield,finishing in second place on nine under par,four strokes behind his fellow American whose victory owed much to his magnificent third round 64. (David Scranage)