Scott Verplank was born on this day in 1964, in Dallas, Texas. While attending Oklahoma State University, he won the 1985 Western Open, becoming the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event since Doug Sanders won the 1956 Canadian Open.
Verplank graduated and turned professional in 1986. His career has been solid, with five wins on the PGA Tour, and two Ryder Cup appearances, in 2002 and 2006. He has diabetes and was awarded the 2002 Ben Hogan Award, given by the Golf Writers Association of America to an individual who has continued to be active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness. Verplank uses an insulin pump during play. He has featured in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings, going as high as 11th in 2001.
He had a hole-in-one on the 14th hole during a singles match against Pí¡draig Harrington at the 2006 Ryder Cup. The shot did not impact the overall result, however, as Europe had already won the trophy. Nonetheless, he was the first American player to achieve a hole-in-one during the Ryder Cup. His Ryder Cup record is 4 wins and 1 loss.
Verplank’s most recent win was the 2007 EDS Byron Nelson Championship, in which he defeated Luke Donald by one stroke. Verplank called the EDS Byron Nelson Championship “a fifth major”, and also mentioned that “Byron was with me today” (the 2007 tournament was the first held after Nelson’s death).
At the start of the 2013 season, he was ranked 17th in All Time PGA Tour Career Winnings.
Verplank is playing the 2013 season on a Major Medical Extension after hip and wrist injuries in 2012. Verplank has not played a full PGA Tour season since 2011.