Lee Trevino: An American Champion


at the end of the United States Open
Championship the player with the lowest score wins after 72 holes were in some
circumstances more than that the final scores what determines the national
champion and that’s all that’s supposed to matter what it’s not the US Open saves its greatest rewards
for everything else one of the great achievements journeys
long shots and from a purity he’s bring to defame and
the open bakhtin in the United States personalities that’s what that’s what indoors that’s what makes four stories as a the US Open let’s anyone that thinks
they can play qualify for it and get into it
not so with these other tournaments they don’t have the prestige that the US Open
is and the reason for it is because you didn’t beat the best the best was here I’ve never known anybody else in any
walk of life have to follow a similar path to go from abject poverty to rest
to the path like Lee Trevino did before he was a US Open champion before
he was one of the greatest and most popular golfers of his time before he
was anyone that anyone ever heard of Lee Bach Trevino was the grandson of a
Mexican gravedigger in Texas a boy who never met his father a child couldn’t
have dreamed of a life in front of him even if he tried least granddaddy was a
gravedigger at Hillcrest Cemetery but located in my North Dallas then pay him
up $40 a week plus he got free housing housing it was an old dirt floor shack
no electricity no running water on Saturday night they take the biggest
washtub they had his mother and that he felled it with water out of a creek
nearby and Lee and his sisters jumped in for their weekly Saturday night bath
during the week his grandfather took Lee along with him
to work where his lessons were simple but essential he took a lot of pride in
in digging a grave and he would show Lee this is how you keep the edges square
and this is how you do it so that you know the casket will fit correctly on
one side of the ramshackle treviño home was a cemetery on the other was a six
fairway of the Dallas Athletic Club which meant golf balls would land on the
law and often balls that the young Trevino discovered he could collect and
sell one of the golfers kidded ions and he’d
look Torcello sponsor that you are cell lows I said I’ll give you $1 for all of
them he said okay and so Lisa nothing said you this game I may make some money
out of it after a few years of selling golf balls
he discovered the Caddy Shack where he learned the rules of the game and much
more how to fight had a curse yeah we had it all we you didn’t want to take it
away from there no no no no anyone that’s ever been in a caddie in the
caddie yard the language I mean you’d have to ask somebody what does that mean
is they had a little a three held course behind the he had his Shack over there
and then get out there and play and he he was doing well there and Charlie
after I have eighth grade hey I decided to just drop out and get a
job and I make what he couldn’t and keep playing golf so he’d spent his teen
years not in high school but on the golf course caddying teaching himself the
game then on December 1st 1956 his 17th birthday we joined the Marines he was
good enough to make the golf team spent a lot of time representing the US Marine
Division the Marines took him around the world
but when he was discharged he went straight back to Texas taking a job at a
driving range and playing money games to support his wife and young family
Trevino lived that way for more than five years a hustler on the course
viewing the game the same way he always had as a way to make a buck nothing much
more nothing much less until the 1966 a friend had an idea an idea that would
change the course of his life and the game of golf
I was dead broke I actually was unemployed at the time so I was just
playing a lot of golf and someone said you know US Open is coming up thinking
about qualifying for it tried it had to go to Odessa and qualified he’s like a
fish out of water I mean the the course is like nothing he’s ever seen before you have to understand that I learned to
play with no rough no bunkers oh god I didn’t I don’t think I had 14 clubs I
didn’t have a sandwich because I never been in a bunker
I had a MacGregor 11 iron it’s what I had and that baby was sharp enough today
I mean to cut a steak Trevino qualified which meant like every other golfer in
the field he’d have a chance and in his first US Open round ever he was paired
with another young unknown the first tee a nineteen-year-old ammeter John Miller
a member of Olympic my eyes about that big and I got paired with liter you know
who nobody knew yeah it was a really long hitter but I realized this guy
could really play Miller would be one of the big stories of the championship
finishing with the best amateur score in the field while Arnold Palmer
surrendered a seven-shot lead with nine holes to play to the eventual champion
Billy Casper further down the scoreboard and Lee Trevino finish 54th
the performance earned him $600 in prize money good for paying some bills but not
enough to pull him out of Texas I had never had any ideas of playing for
big-time golfer or winning a US Open those things never never crossed my mind
the only thing I was worried about is how I was gonna feed my family and pay
the rent the next day next month but the next year another chance at the open
beckon nevertheless I didn’t really care too much about playing in 1967 my wife
actually was the one that drummed up the money to send in the entry fee I think
it was 20 bucks if I’m not mistaken and at the time I mean we couldn’t afford it
but we sent the $20 in and then again I qualified ABC Sports proudly presents
exclusive coverage of the concluding round of this the most prestigious
tournament in all of God we’re back again at the US Open ball to
trial golf club Springfield New Jersey there are the leaders Arnold Palmer rail
Jack Nicklaus by three the surprisingly Trevino a twenty eight-year-old club pro
from El Paso Texas right up there with the big boys
the 1967 opener baldest wall would feature two central story Jack Nicklaus
at the top of his game who a record-setting performance in victory in
the twenty seven-year-old hustler from Texas who came out of nowhere to finish
fifth I think the 1967 US Open was crucial to
Lee Trevino his career a win $6,000 and that gets him into several other PGA
Tour events the rest of the year and he’s exempt in it into the 1968 US Open
still didn’t believe that I belong I know I didn’t think I was that kind of a
player yet it took a long time for me to actually accept the fact that I actually
belonged out there the very next year his play would provide some big evidence
that he very much belong it’s just in the name itself it is the
US Open it’s open to anyone with a handicap under 1.4 doesn’t matter if
you’re a touring professional or bartender firefighter police officer
teacher you know anyone who has that skill can get out there and compete for
the US Open title we’ve always held up the US Open as the finest test of golf
on the finest golf courses in the world for the finest players in the world so
we want to make sure we’re testing every shot in every aspect and every club in
the players bag to identify the national champion I love the way the usj set up golf
courses you know you’re talking about rough up to your ankles the firmest greens we play all year long
bottom line you got to put in the fairway I think you have to win those
little tiny battles every day on the golf course you just have to be on with all aspects
of your game all right share the comment for golfers and say gee if golfers
didn’t suit my game well it’s not supposed to suit you way left way way laughs we’re supposed
to adjust your game to suit the golf course to me the toughest tournament to
win because of the toughest conditions and it should be as our national open jackal though you’re only 28 years old
this will be your 12th United States Open Championship
how does Oak Hill compare it with some of the other courses you’ve played well
I think Oh kills a great golf course Chris in 1968 the US Open was held at
Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester New York Jack Nicklaus was the defending
champion and overwhelming favor but heading into Sunday Nicklaus found
himself seven shots behind the leader was Burton Yancy who shot a championship
record 205 after three rounds of play and right behind him in second place was
a player who seemed to be treating the US Open as just another hustle I think
what may travina great was his style of play and in 1960 he saw that I mean
people were excited to come out and watch him young man 28 years for Mexican
American boy who dropped out of school in the 8th grade the Greens picked up
the game of golf became a driving range Pro
they started out 1 back they weren’t just seeing great golf shots which they
were they were seeing a show our travina was
interacting with the gallery interacting with this Caddy’s fed his black pants on
his red shirt his Red Sox high waters the red and black was my Beale
I even wore red socks I haven’t seen Tiger wear red socks yet I’m responsible
for that black trouser red shirt that’s strong that’s has such a strong deal I
called it my payday coat and on payday as the NSE fell back to earth
Trevino grabbed the lead and even with Nicolas charging refused to falter not
say is lacking in boldness and a late USGA official Joe dye trailed for
vino on the course and as he watched one remarkable shot after another died was
unable to contain his amazement he said what are you trying to do when they open
I said whether you like it or not I said you’re gonna have a Mexican as a us
hopeful champion I remember it like yesterday it’s exactly what I told it
this is for a par 4 as your United States Open champion congratulations on
winning your first one congratulations on winning the United States Open thank
you very much Jim right now I’m all tied up four words up there yeah I didn’t
think I would ever be tied up for words but right now I’m kind of choking up a
little bit I’m little I got goose pimples all over me and I’m a little
nervous and I just don’t know what happened it was one of those weeks I
couldn’t do anything wrong I drove the ball well I scrambled well I even slept
well this week so uh I had everything going for me and I played real well can
you in about 20 seconds say what this means to you boy I don’t know what it
what it means I know it means a whole bunch of money you say but it means a
great deal to me not ever winning a golf tournament and especially the United
States Open this is the greatest golf tournament in the world and I’m proud to
win it the wind changed Trevino’s life forever in four days the sport had gone
from a job to pay his bills to a gift that have made him famous he’d won the
games toughest championship tying Nicholas’s open record in the process
and now the golf world was about to find out just how different the new champion
was from all the others I think we all have a lot of Torino
stories just by being around him he could say something to the fans or say
something to that marshal and everybody would laugh if I said that they’d hang
me above my toes at the nearest tree a huge it makes you know it’s held a big
line we’re in Naples playing a senior event
where all of a sudden these these three buzzards came over and so he looked up
and he said look everybody it’s the official bird of the Senior Tour they’re
all what they’re all waiting around for us to die yes sir Sir Columbus so the
thing about Lee I think when you when you play with Lee you know you’re going
to be in for an interesting day you did that stalk you just did a lot of
listening and if if you went over to the other side of the fairway he might just
follow you over there I was said that if if you put duct tape over his mouth and
and where you couldn’t talk he his head would explode he couldn’t have played at
all I don’t want to get it down so far do I have to come in from the right
angle I get up over the ball I’m thinking about hitting in the favorite
once a head in the fairway I hand my driver to the caddie and then I walk and
then I’ll talk to anybody that wants to talk you understand about anything we
got a good shot from over to the flag going down I love it the wins are
different it’s different up here I can’t believe my games going all to
hell is it like playing me as I walk too fast cause he is I couldn’t chatter and
keep up with you I think it was just part of his thing to get into somebody’s
head but you know I never really paid much attention to it he was very
difficult to play with during the years he played well but so I just figured out
to stay away from him you you everyone say gesture thing one of theirs
that I could imagine ever sitting interrupted to understand gift and
second one is it that one offense for a score is very rare which involved the
hair this way length history tradition you walk out to the first tee and you’re
planting your feet in the footsteps of Bobby Jones you are planting your feet
in the footsteps of been holding everybody in American golf has played
here since 1916 married isn’t great because history was made here history
was made here because Marian is great Marian’s hosted 17 USGA championships
that’s the most of any course in the United States this upcoming year is
going to be its fifth US Open the Marian Cricket Club started in 1865
and not until the early 1890s where’s anybody really in the Philadelphia area
playing golf and by 1896 there was a nine hole golf course
associated with the Marian Cricket Club and that lasted for about four years and
then they expanded it to an 18 hole golf course lobbied on it winning two Open
Championships in one year in 1930 Marian was where about Jonas completed his
Grand Slam in 1950 it was were Ben Hogan
triumphantly returned from a near-fatal car accident to win the open so shadows
of Giants loom over the course long with of course the wicker baskets that have
been the club’s trademark as long as anyone can remember
nobody seems to know why or where I don’t know have no idea I don’t think
anybody does if you find out let me know the fun story is that going way way way
back the Scottish shepherds would take two crooks out every day and they’d use
one obviously to herd the flock but the other one they stick in the ground and
hang their lunch baskets on it to keep the ground vermin from eating it before
they did and then when they had nothing else to do they’d hit rocks at the
basket nice story who knows if Nikolas can howl if he wins in June of 1971 there were no questions
about who ruled the golfing world on the eve of the US Open no questions at all
Jack Nicklaus is the best player in golf at the time in 1971 he is the dominant
player in the game champion 1966 Jack was Jack Jack was not only the best
player in the world but intimidating has lots of power watch ah I hand
and he really moves through that probably the best driver the golf ball
there ever was because of his length and accuracy he was the best
he always moved the needle if you had anything to gauge your game by
as you looked at the golden bear they need elected don’t kid yourself Jack
loved being the best and we always said this we said if Jack was in the
tournament if we could beat him we figure we’d win it as Nikolas dominated
the start of the 1971 season to be no struggle you couldn’t have found a more
contrasting pair of golfers or men if you tried but then that didn’t stop
Nikolas from offering some advice to his young life
treviño I started off the year badly and Trevino was really pretty down on
himself and when they played Doral Nicklaus came up to him in the locker
room and Jack said you know why don’t you just realize that if you ever knew
how good you were the rest of us would have no reason to play the game anymore
he said you have no idea how good you play this game I mean when you you’ve
been kicked around long enough to realize this guy really really sincere
or not I like to see everybody get the best out of their career I don’t want to
be somebody when they’re not playing the best marryin that great golf course on
Philadelphia’s main line by the third week of June US Open week
Nicholas’s message to Trevino had taken hold
he’d steadily improve his play throughout the spring and now at Marion
everything dropped perfectly into place I fell in love with it absolutely fell
in love with it I fell in love with narrow fairways everything about it was
just absolutely perfect for me Marion always sets up the guy who understands
how to play golf and can’t control his golf ball
they narrow it for the opens they grow the rough up it’s how Marion protects
itself Trevino was unintimidating by Marion’s fortification in fact he felt
so at home that he agreed to do a photo shoot on the course that week and even
supplied his own props AP or UPI said listen we want to show the public what
the rough looks like one of the marshals had that ax and then I got his safari
hat and then I got my 99 and put a snake on it and the axe was holding up here
and I was yelling like Tarzan and a guy snapped the picture and the cameras
would stay pinned on him as one of the most memorable US Opens in the history
unfolded there was Trevino comfortable and confident
and Nicholas lakhtin as ever but by way of a blistering third round on Saturday
it was Jim Simons a 21 year old amateur from Wake Forest
who had a two stroke lead after 54 holes there’s no question about the fact that
Jim Simons is in the lore of Marion when you’re leading the open after three
rounds you’re there for history and then when you’re an ammeter it’s even better
we actually stayed yellow that week I remember the last day when we getting
ready to go the golf course I said Jimmy ready said yeah I said well everything
looks great except you’ve got your shirt on backwards so he was pretty nervous
playing the last group with Nicklaus that day the 71st annual United States
Open Golf Championship Simon’s would fight past some early bogeys to hold on
to the lead I’ll be it barely through the front nine he was an amateur matched
with the best player in the world at the peak of his game great shot
he’s on the green Jack Nicklaus has hit a tremendous shot out of the sand there
are six or seven guys that can win this thing and one of them has been named
Nicolaus which makes everything really interesting because everything kind of
revolves around Nicolas treviño said to me is nothing matters in the early
rounds we all know as long as you’re in between
touching distance you know it’s their birdie putt
and Lee is treviño would spend his Sunday afternoon
playing in the Greek just in front of Nikolas and do his best to keep the
pressure on the golden bear with a brilliant round that brandished the most
exceptional element of his game I watched him play every shot like I was
fascinated by his ball striking and his whole way of being and we played I
remember asking him once this is many years later I said well B when’s the
last time you hit one out of bounds and he couldn’t remember
I thought Trevino and Hogan were the two best ball strikers I’ve ever played the
game with it was a magician hitting shots and if you just do anything he would literally push the ball out
into the fairway with a little bit of fade out there every time I remember
winning the Tucson open one year never looked up to see where my ball was going
I just hit it and I’d hand the club to my caddie and listen for the crowd keeps
the rhythm slow or you could listen to the sound of when he hit a golf ball
that ring to that sound every shot you know somebody’s hitting the golf ball
right you don’t have to see it he can hear it and Lee had that sound when he
hit a golf ball and on that Sunday at Marion in 1971 for Lee Trevino
that sound was never better you now Lee Trevino on the 12th hole playing
one hole ahead of Nicolas and only one shot behind Nicklaus and Jim Simon’s who
are tied for the lead I hit 99 in there the ball hit and pull
back and you could hear the people going crazy and you could tell by the sound of
the people that the ball hadn’t stopped yet and then it stopped maybe six seven
inches away get himself a birdie here for the lead as the final round of the
1971 US Oldenburg rest Lee Trevino schemes sharpen I had fun playing with
those other guys because they were sweating bb’s trying to figure out how
they were gonna hit the fairway and I didn’t have any problem with it I
couldn’t wait to get to the team in other words to pick that little fade out
there in the middle of the fairway again and I used to get into a groove and I
was starting to get into a groove when I was at Mary and said I’d already won two
a three times before I got there that is late today and I was second up here to
the portal my ball striking at that time was about as good as it’s ever been Dan Jenkins called it the best round
he’s ever seen Lee Trevino play at least from a ball-striking standpoint he
didn’t miss many shots and hit a few clutch putts playing the second from a perfect
position my long drive about a 5-iron double tiered Green Revolution
cheerfully – like that 115 by the time you reach the par-4 18th the
treviño had a 1-shot lead but watching them poke fun at his caddy on the tee
box we never would have known how close he was to a US Open Championship tiny
slot to send that ball through yes hardly they joking already been pretty
loose all day he’s once he did get the club he wanted Trevino got back to work
and cut a driver into the fairway a fairway wood to the 72nd hole watch it
his second shot went long and right but then he recovered with his chip shot bringing with them
or six feet from the cup this is the man that leads jacking the clothes by one
shot here on the 72nd hole I’m thinking jack probably gonna birdie he’s 17 or 18
and beat me so I’ve got to make this putt to keep his lead and to be the only
man under par in this championship lead until needs to make and he was
distracted there was a kid that was on the tree there watching he had climbed
this tree and he was using this his feet were on this piece of – before or one
before that was nailed on the tree it said quiet please and when I got on my
backswing to hit this putt his ass coming to hit the putt he fell off the
trees are like a barrel almost Kristen Trevino looks up and he’s out of his now
golfing mind her out the kid broke his arm but what he mostly broke was Lee’s
concentration because Trevino got back over that putt and I mean if it was one
inch he wouldn’t have made it I mean as he said he pushed it the whole way he
looked up the whole way if he mixes come back but we have a tie but your Vino’s
credit he never blamed that for making a Mista potty but certainly a crucial
moment and you know the most important time in the championship I don’t want to
use any excuses I probably would have missed the putt anyway the putter fell I
could wait fifty pounds and the whole look like a very small hole and look
like I was putting with a tennis ball there for a second but he had left a man
in yellow and opening on a day when Jack Nicklaus is putting had been as sterling
as ever when Nicholas comes to 18 just coming
off making three great putts on 15 16 and 17 it’s his best tee ball of the day at
least that’s what he said to the media afterwards we’re so right in the middle
of the fairway pulls a four it’s another great shot to about 14 15 feet and then he’s got a putt a birdie putt
to win the US Open at Romina doesn’t even want to watch eighteen of all tomorrow after two
sunday rounds of excellence played a part
there would be starting from scratch to come together on Monday the best score
after 18 holes would win it though in the eyes of many the outcome was already
decided everybody thought it was Jack I mean history the man did it be Jack
Jones Hogan has to be Nikolas I said I know you’ve got your headlines written
that Nicklaus defeats Trevino I said but I could surprise you because I’ve got
nothing to lose I’ve already won I’ve tied the greatest player ever you you regularly scheduled programs will not be
seen at this time so that we may bring you live coverage of the playoff round
in the US Open Golf Championship it’s the playoff round of the 71st
annual United States Open Golf Championship great deal of rivalry
between Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino they both consider the other the finest
in the world the idea of these two coming together in the spotlight at this
place what more could you ask I didn’t really
have much of a strategy she could go play golf and I don’t really care who
I’m playing to make a difference to make but if Jack Nicklaus wasn’t fixated on
his opponent on that Monday for Lee Trevino that’s all there was to focus on
this is the guy you wanted you know this is the guy you wanted to beat
P average probably 280 back in those days my average probably if you look it
up at around 245 250 at the motion that’s a 40-yard span that’s a lot
that’s Street clubs let’s like get in a fistfight with a guy that’s taller than
you I love it Monday afternoon the day of the playoff
very solemn on the first tee I have to be outside the playoff morning and when
Torino came up the walk and he was a man on fire he was practically dancing he
was so fired up and I thought wow this guy is really pumped
they were tee off shortly before 2:00 in the afternoon
and Trevino couldn’t wait to pull out his clubs but whatever he could find of
use from his bag namely the rubber snake he still had it from the photo shoot
earlier in the week Trevino was getting something out of his
bag and he picked it out and sort of laughed about it and I said throw it
over to me stay serious around Trevino very law
everybody said all its gamesmanship and assaults guys unless not you know you
know Torino may have played games a lot of times but that was not one my
daughter bought it before worth when we were playing colonial I wasn’t intending
to throw it over there for him to look at it or anything I just saw it in there
picked it up for a giggle from the gallery and then when he called for that
threw it over there I thought to myself it’s funny how relaxed he looks sitting
down there on that seat and almost like he’s kind of flat I kind of wonder that
I wonder how this match is gonna turn out Nicklaus won the coin toss and has the
honor both players had great drives on one a Trevino misses the green into the
bunker blast out to about four or five feet and misses the putt and that’s a
bogey / Trevino so he’s down one already he’s missed a short putt playing against
the best golfer in the world so not a great start for Lee Trevino
but Nicholas left his ball in bunkers on 2 & 3 he’s done it again that’s
unbelievable moving Trevino from one down to two up
as his opponent dealt with trouble in one of the few weak spots in his game
Jack’s round began hours before he got to Marion
he knew he was having problems with his wedges that we he went over to him
practiced quietly on his own pitching and chipping till he felt comfortable I
kind of think that that’s probably not the best message to send yourself before
a playoff that I have to go practice these shots and the only thing I really
remember about the playoff because after I didn’t get it out of the bunker on –
and I didn’t get it out of the bunker on three from that point on the rest of the
playoff was a blank bogey for Nicolas treviño makes his par and goes two
strokes ahead maybe he’s feeling the pressure more
than I am I don’t know listen if you play this game and you
play it long enough yeah you’re gonna feel pressure I’ve come down that
fairway before winning small tournaments where I mean I had enough cotton in my
mouth and knit a sweater I went in to try to play the best I could and
actually I beat myself that week a simple little pitch from about 40 yards
but it doesn’t even get to the green the biggest Achilles heel of Jack Nicklaus
came into play he was reputed to be one of the greatest
players in the world but certainly not one of the better wedge players or
bunker players Nicklaus would recover with a birdie on the fifth to pull
within one shot but any momentum he had gained was lost when a storm swept
through and forced the rain delay and transformed the complexion of the rest
of the afternoon that believe me it crossed my mind as soon as it started
raining let’s just keep it up baby keep it up now my love all its gonna stop
yeah I’m not gonna have to try to go to the front of every creaks yeah I always
had to try to touch the front of the greens so I could stop it in the middle
and I said to myself I said if it just keeps raining it’s gonna it’s gonna help
me the US Open usually had the flight the ball
you weren’t bouncing the ball into marryin screens but I would say that the
a wet golf course favors treviño more than a dry golf course
if you look at right after the ring stop done knock that stiff coming out of
their shot does this day I don’t think I could have beat him
if the ring doesn’t come you thus far jack has had three birdies and
a double bogey while lee trevino who is an even-par through 11 holes has had a
birdie and one bogey there’s 12th hole for the second day in
a row was huge really true meaning how both players are on the green Nikolas
putts first looks like he’s gonna make par Trevino’s facing a 35-footer
big putt and it drops it’s this great putt huge fist pump
you know his hat flies off I mean he was into it baby knowing it around knowing
how maniacal that green is it was a huge putt that was a big psychological
advantage to make three on that hole and to position himself better in the match
at that point need to be a striding ahead I’m walking with Lee we’re about
halfway between the 13th the green and the 14th tee at least has to be Marshall
would you tell Nikolas to hurry up he said I got a 6 o’clock plane to catch
I would say something that brought the house down all the people around
Jack heard of sue but you know he just kind of kept calm walking after more
than eight holes of tremendous calls married next second
even if many of treviño usual supporters hasn’t been able to make it to the
playoff I thought there was more project than me because my guys had to work my
guys had to go to work see they were off Sunday but no they wouldn’t getting off
Monday should break a little left-to-right large cut to bake they’re all through
the back nine Nicholas look for openings to close the
gap but Trevino made sure they never came the dolly one from El Paso Texas
Lee Trevino people thought he was the Marion max he wasn’t as merry as you
thought he was he was thinking about what he was doing and playing and
concentrating hard and he will have a putt up about 22 feet I remember walking
around in a circle I’m stalking this baby come back I put the putter behind
don’t make it dead center really hot today
I remember Jack walking it back when it went in the hole he looked too quick and
I think Trevino raised his game a little bit maybe when he played me and you guys
to make sure you didn’t beat yourself because if you did he’s gonna have the
upper hand and he’s gonna finish it you know 16 well you went in when you keep
the tee and if you can keep if you can get on that tee and not give it up they
see you in the middle of that fairway every time that does put pressure and
Trevino would keep the tee from the 13th hole all the way through 18 and on the
18th green at this historic Club the kid from a Shack in Dallas never looked more
at home we blowing kisses hail anybody little
tako see a a three shot victory for the great rounds of golf of
everything they say anyone can win one takes a hell a player to win too you you this has been some open Byron
oh it’s been marvelous that got that these buzz played under these conditions
today in aspect of the 68 back there being a three rounds under par the last
three days Chris on this 10th of golf is just unbelievable Rainey almost they
walk down on the first team they had the ceremony they start with Jack Jack said
you know Lee if you ever got serious about this game
no one ever beats you Leapster looked at Jackie said Jack if I ever got serious
I’ve ever able to play this game I’d like to say hi to my wife because
whenever I’m in contention and it looks like I’m gonna win they have a they have
a scotch party over at my house I can just see right now they’re out there
absolutely am a perfect champion for this place maybe more so than a lot of
others because of where he came to be Lee Trevino winning at Marion is a
statement in itself what does that say to everybody else who
plays where does it say to a little kid picking up a club for the first time you
can be part of this fabulous world of golf when I watched that tournament at
Marion as a kid I could sort of see something special in the way he played
and he just really had an effect on the way I wanted to play golf if I could I
started copying I started to play from an open stance and finishing with a real
long you know threw the ball follow-through and and just trying to be
Lee Trevino I mean much like Tiger make off cool I think Lee Trevino made golf
cool a lot of ways the win at Marion turned out to be just the start of an
unforgettable summer for Lee Trevino in 1971
we won the Canadian Open just two weeks later and the British open one week
after that all in all it was one of the greatest runs of golf anyone has ever
played and it brought a whole new kind of fan to the ancient game I actually
think that it was all blue collars what I brought too because everybody thought
this game was a widow was a white-collar game and it was more or less back then
and I’ve kind of feel like I actually helped it along to introduce the game to
the to the blue-collar guys but on that weekend in Marion and really anywhere
lee trevino opened his bag of clubs it was never just about the shots he hit because everything in between maybe the
most entertaining show ever to walk a golf course is less so much to the game
in terms of his humor just the things he C speaks in a prism spark and then build
the hell of a fire and all these things that he said I mean he look at any any
collection of quotes and look in the index and the longest section always
belongs to Lee Trevino the locker room and the practice tee lights up and Lee
plays to rain jackets in two days at Henning rain it’s like something I can’t
explain you know the place gets an energy there’s fun in the locker room
and he’s the center of attention the thing that impresses me and I’ve always
tried to do it is reach outside the ropes grab the golf fan and bring him
inside the ropes now you told me last year when I saw you have you told me you
were gonna get me some hot numbers now been here all week you want to have the
fans invested in what you do and nobody does that better than Lee Trevino it’s
the reason why I was playing golf because the Lee Trevino I was probably
seven years older than at or used to come to Nashville Tennessee which is
about 40 miles from where I live I’ll never forget Lee walk straight over and
he patted me on the head and you know he talked to me he just said a few words to
me you know Here I am my eyes were biggest quarters and then I
told my dad I thought I was gonna play the PGA Tour his appeal had undoubtedly universal
foundations but there’s also the audience from whom his success has had
added significance I think the Latino and Hispanic community certainly took a
lot of pride in Lee Trevino this guy from their ancestry from their
background in some cases excelling a nice pelt excelling in quote-unquote a
white man’s game I think there was a lot of inspiration from that three notice
always being my hero because what have done for the Mexican population for us
he opened the doors in Mexico because it’s image his character he plays for
the love of the game and for us watching them until now that people remember him like any great story the themes resonate
beneath the details the boy who stumbles onto the game from the outside looking
in eventually reaching the very pinnacle at the championship the championship
designed to be open to men like him men who thought they had a shot if ever
there was an every man’s champion it was late Trevanian
and the US Open have provided the perfect gateway for him he was the
ultimate US Open champion put it in the fairway more so than the next guy hit
every ball right on the button Lee was a wonderful short game player
Lee Trevino had about everything and laughing and joking on the Golf Course
down deep he’d cut your heart out he was the ultimate US Open player every year at a golf course
somewhere in America they crown a new US Open champion which means there will be
more great stories of more great triumphs but at Marion or anywhere else
there will never be another Lee Trevino another journey
another long shot teo another personality quite like is
another champion quite like him there has ever been a rags-to-riches
Horatio Alger story in American sports Lee Trevino is as good or an example as
anyone they took my $20 and gave me a shot and
look what they came up with and he’s never know from where I came from to win
a US Open Championship not only once but twice that should be inspiration enough
for you to tell your kids listen regardless of what cards you’ve been
dealt look at this guy it can be done case closed you you


22 Responses

  1. Chris Brimhall

    November 30, 2019 9:40 pm

    They all talk about how great all the new players are today…yes they may be better conditioned athletes…but better than Trevino in his prime? With a swing no one would teach was considered the best ball striker since Hogan, love to watch this man play

  2. Pat C

    December 1, 2019 1:39 am

    They don't make them like him anymore. Much different than the entitled no personality cry baby robots today. Love ya Lee!

  3. wreckim

    December 1, 2019 8:27 pm

    How did Lee not be intimidated by Jack and all those pretty swings from all those other PGA tour players, and how Jack took Lee's ascent from nowhere, and welcomed it–I will never know. It made one Lee Trevino great, and one Jack Nicklaus, The Greatest.

  4. Biondi Ungser Won

    December 2, 2019 9:33 pm

    He was my student long time ago , his swing plan was not like other . So practice lot of time. He is one of my old memory. Good life.

  5. michael burke

    December 2, 2019 11:14 pm

    Wonderful biography, thank you, brings back some fantastic memories. Jack Nicklaus what an amazing talent, truly the very best player that has ever lived.


Leave a Reply