Sam Snead was born on this day in 1912. An American professional golfer who was one of the top players in the world for most of four decades. Snead won a record 82 PGA Tour events, including seven majors. He never won the US Open, though he was runner-up four times.
Snead’s nickname was “Slammin’ Sammy” and he was admired by many for having the so-called “perfect swing,” which generated many imitators. Snead was famed for his folksy image, wearing a straw hat, playing tournaments barefoot, and making such statements as “Keep close count of your nickels and dimes, stay away from whiskey, and never concede a putt.” He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, and received the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.
Snead died in Hot Springs, Virginia, in 2002 following complications from a stroke, four days before his 90th birthday. He was survived by two sons: Sam Jr. of Hot Springs, and Terry, of Mountain Grove, Virginia, and a brother, Pete, of Pittsburgh, as well as two grandchildren. His wife Audrey died in 1990. His nephew JC Snead was also a PGA Tour golfer.