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Jerry Lanston "Lanny" Wadkins Jr. (born December 5, 1949) is an American professional golfer. He ranked in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking for 86 weeks from the ranking's debut in 1986 to 1988.[1]

Lanny Wadkins
Personal information
Full nameJerry Lanston Wadkins Jr.
NicknameLanny
Born (1949-12-05) December 5, 1949 (age 69)
Richmond, Virginia
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceDallas, Texas
SpousePenelope
ChildrenJessica, Travis, Tucker
Career
CollegeWake Forest University
Turned professional1971
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins32
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour21
Japan Golf Tour1
PGA Tour Champions1
Other9
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentT3: 1990, 1991, 1993
PGA ChampionshipWon: 1977
U.S. OpenT2: 1986
The Open ChampionshipT4: 1984
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2009 (member page)
PGA Player of the Year1985

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Wadkins attended Meadowbrook High School,[2] then Wake Forest University on an Arnold Palmer golf scholarship.[3] He won the U.S. Amateur in 1970 in Oregon, one stroke ahead of runner-up Tom Kite,[4] and turned professional in 1971.

PGA TourEdit

Wadkins' first win on the PGA Tour came at the Sahara Invitational in Las Vegas in October 1972, where he finished one stroke ahead of runner-up Palmer, his scholarship benefactor.[3] Wadkins was later voted Rookie of the Year on the tour in 1972. Two more wins followed in 1973 before his form dipped for three years. He bounced back to win his sole major title at the PGA Championship in 1977. He prevailed on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff at Pebble Beach against Gene Littler. It was the first time the sudden-death format was used in a stroke play major championship.[5][6]

Wadkins was runner-up in four subsequent majors (U.S. Open in 1986, PGA Championship in 1982, 1984, 1987), and finished third in the Masters three times (1990, 1991, 1993). In The Open Championship, his best finish was fourth at St. Andrews in 1984.

On the PGA Tour, Wadkins won The Players Championship at Sawgrass in 1979 and was voted PGA Player of the Year in 1985. Over his career, he picked up a win more seasons than not until 1992, when he achieved his twenty-first and final PGA Tour victory at the Canon Greater Hartford Open.

Like many star American golfers Wadkins was invited to play in a number of international tournaments. He won the 1978 Victorian PGA Championship, an event in Australia, and the 1979 Bridgestone Open, an event on the Japan Golf Tour. He also finished runner-up at the 1979 German Open, 1980 Air New Zealand Shell Open, and 1990 Austrian Open. He also won unofficial events in South America, Canada, and Japan.

Wadkins played for the United States in the Ryder Cup eight times between 1977 and 1993, which ties the highest number of appearances in the competition by an American, alongside Raymond Floyd and Billy Casper (Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk have since made ten and nine appearances, respectively). Wadkins collected 211/2 points during his Ryder Cup career, one of the very best records on either side in the history of the competition. He also captained the team in 1995 at Oak Hill Country Club.

Champions TourEdit

Wadkins began play on the Champions Tour in 2000, and picked up a win in his first event at the ACE Group Classic in a four-way playoff. As a senior, he divided his time between competition and broadcasting work with CBS Sports and did not become a regular winner at the senior level.

TelevisionEdit

Following the retirement of Ken Venturi in June 2002, Wadkins was the lead analyst for CBS for over four years, until he was replaced by Nick Faldo after the 2006 season. He is currently the lead analyst for the Champions Tour on Golf Channel.[7]

Hall of FameEdit

Wadkins was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.[8]

PersonalEdit

Wadkins' younger brother, Bobby, currently plays on the Champions Tour. Lanny is married to Penelope Wadkins and has three children: Jessica, Travis, and Tucker. Travis played on the Wake Forest University golf team 2006–2010. Tucker played on the University of Arizona golf team 2011–2015. In 2011, Travis played on the eGolf Tour and made it to the final stage of the PGA Tour's Qualifying School but failed to earn a card. A nephew, Ron Whittaker, is a professional golfer on the second-tier Web.com Tour with 77 PGA Tour starts.[9]

Amateur wins (5)Edit

Professional wins (32)Edit

PGA Tour wins (21)Edit

Legend
Major championships (1)
Players Championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (19)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up
1 Oct 29, 1972 Sahara Invitational 65-69-70-69=273 −11 1 stroke   Arnold Palmer
2 Apr 29, 1973 Byron Nelson Golf Classic 71-68-71-67=277 −3 Playoff   Dan Sikes
3 Aug 19, 1973 USI Classic 71-69-70-69=279 −9 2 strokes   Lee Elder,   Tom Jenkins,
  Rik Massengale
4 Aug 14, 1977 PGA Championship 69-71-72-70=282 −6 Playoff   Gene Littler
5 Sep 5, 1977 World Series of Golf 69-66-67-65=267 −13 5 strokes   Hale Irwin,   Tom Weiskopf
6 Feb 25, 1979 Glen Campbell-Los Angeles Open 66-72-69-69=276 −8 1 stroke   Lon Hinkle
7 Mar 25, 1979 Tournament Players Championship 67-68-76-72=283 −5 5 strokes   Tom Watson
8 Jan 25, 1982 Phoenix Open 65-70-63-65=263 −21 6 strokes   Jerry Pate
9 Apr 18, 1982 MONY Tournament of Champions 67-72-68-73=280 −8 3 strokes   Andy Bean,   David Graham,
  Craig Stadler,   Ron Streck
10 Aug 22, 1982 Buick Open 66-71-71-65=273 −15 1 stroke   Tom Kite
11 Apr 3, 1983 Greater Greensboro Open 72-69-67-67=275 −13 5 strokes   Craig Stadler,   Denis Watson
12 Apr 24, 1983 MONY Tournament of Champions 67-70-71-72=280 −8 1 stroke   Raymond Floyd
13 Jan 13, 1985 Bob Hope Classic 67-67-68-66-65=333 −27 Playoff   Craig Stadler
14 Jan 27, 1985 Los Angeles Open 63-70-67-64=264 −20 7 strokes   Hal Sutton
15 Oct 13, 1985 Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic 68-67-69-63=267 −21 1 stroke   Mike Donald,   Scott Hoch
16 Mar 1, 1987 Doral-Ryder Open 75-66-66-70=277 −11 3 strokes   Seve Ballesteros,   Tom Kite,
  Don Pooley
17 Feb 14, 1988 Hawaiian Open 68-71-66-66=271 −17 1 stroke   Richard Zokol
18 May 22, 1988 Colonial National Invitation 67-68-70-65=270 −10 1 stroke   Mark Calcavecchia,   Ben Crenshaw,
  Joey Sindelar
19 Jul 8, 1990 Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic 65-66-67-68=266 −18 5 strokes   Larry Mize
20 Jan 20, 1991 United Hawaiian Open 69-67-69-65=270 −18 4 strokes   John Cook
21 Aug 2, 1992 Canon Greater Hartford Open 68-70-71-65=274 −6 2 strokes   Dan Forsman,   Donnie Hammond,
  Nick Price

PGA Tour playoff record (3–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1972 Phoenix Open   Homero Blancas Lost to birdie on first extra hole
2 1973 Byron Nelson Golf Classic   Dan Sikes Won with par on first extra hole
3 1977 PGA Championship   Gene Littler Won with par on third extra hole
4 1983 Joe Garagiola-Tucson Open   Gil Morgan,   Curtis Strange Morgan won with birdie on second extra hole
5 1985 Bob Hope Classic   Craig Stadler Won with birdie on fifth extra hole
6 1987 PGA Championship   Larry Nelson Lost to par on first extra hole

Japan Golf Tour wins (1)Edit

Other wins (9)Edit

Champions Tour wins (1)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runners-up
1 Feb 13, 2000 ACE Group Classic 67-68-67=202 −14 Playoff   José Maria Cañizares,   Walter Hall,
  Tom Watson

Champions Tour playoff record (1–0)

No. Year Tournament Opponents Result
1 2000 ACE Group Classic   José Maria Cañizares,   Walter Hall
  Tom Watson
Won with par on third extra hole
Hall and Watson eliminated with par on first hole

Playoff recordEdit

European Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1990 Austrian Open   Bernhard Langer Lost to birdie on third extra hole

Major championshipsEdit

Wins (1)Edit

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1977 PGA Championship 6 shot deficit −6 (69-71-72-70=282) Playoff1   Gene Littler

1Defeated Littler with a par on the third extra hole.

Results timelineEdit

Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament CUT CUT T19 T29 CUT T18 T7
U.S. Open T13 T25 T7 T26 T38 CUT T19
The Open Championship T7 T22 CUT CUT
PGA Championship T16 T3 CUT CUT 1 T34 70
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament CUT T21 T33 T8 CUT T18 T31 T12 T11 T26
U.S. Open CUT T14 T6 7 T11 T5 T2 T36 T12 CUT
The Open Championship T29 T4 CUT T29 T34 T26
PGA Championship T30 T33 2 CUT T2 T10 T11 2 T25 CUT
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament T3 T3 T48 T3 T18 CUT
U.S. Open T51 T63 CUT
The Open Championship CUT T73 T45 CUT
PGA Championship CUT T43 T40 T14 T61 T63 CUT T58 T34
Tournament 2000 2001
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship CUT CUT
  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut (3rd round cut in 1985 Open Championship)
"T" indicates a tie for a place.

SummaryEdit

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 3 3 5 12 23 17
U.S. Open 0 1 0 2 5 11 20 16
The Open Championship 0 0 0 1 2 3 14 9
PGA Championship 1 3 1 5 6 10 28 20
Totals 1 4 4 11 18 36 85 62
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 13 (1985 PGA – 1989 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (twice)

The Players ChampionshipEdit

Wins (1)Edit

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1979 Tournament Players Championship 3 shot lead −5 (67-68-76-72=283) 5 strokes   Tom Watson

Results timelineEdit

Tournament 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
The Players Championship WD T65 T34 CUT 1 T45 CUT CUT CUT T5 CUT T40 CUT T6 T41 CUT 62 T29 CUT CUT CUT CUT
  Win
  Top 10

CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place.

U.S. national team appearancesEdit

Amateur

Professional

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking" (PDF). Official World Golf Ranking. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Class of 1996: Lanny Wadkins". Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Rookie Wadkins scrambles to first golf tour win". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. October 30, 1972. p. 15.
  4. ^ "Wadkins captures Amateur golf title". Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. September 6, 1970. p. D2.
  5. ^ Parascenzo, Marino (August 15, 1977). "Littler comes apart, Wadkins captures PGA". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 20.
  6. ^ Jenkins, Dan (August 22, 1977). "The battle of the ages". Sports Illustrated. p. 12.
  7. ^ "Lanny Wadkins Joins Golf Channel Champions Tour Broadcast Team". Golf Channel. January 17, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  8. ^ "Wadkins to join World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2009". PGA Tour. April 23, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  9. ^ "PGA Tour Media Guide – Ron Whittaker". PGA Tour. Retrieved January 2, 2014.

External linksEdit