Lonnie Nielsen

Lonnie Dean Nielsen (June 29, 1953 – January 20, 2021) was an American professional golfer.

Lonnie Nielsen
Personal information
Full nameLonnie Dean Nielsen
Born(1953-06-29)June 29, 1953
Belle Plaine, Iowa
DiedJanuary 20, 2021(2021-01-20) (aged 67)
Clarence, New York
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight200 lb (91 kg; 14 st)
Nationality United States
SpouseMary Jo (1977–2021)
Children3
Career
CollegeUniversity of Iowa
Turned professional1976
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins39
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour Champions2
Other37
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipT11: 1986
U.S. OpenCUT: 1977, 1983
The Open ChampionshipDNP

Nielsen was born and raised in Belle Plaine, Iowa. His father started him in golf as a youngster on the sand green courses in and around his hometown. He attended the University of Iowa, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1976.[1][2][3]

Nielsen was a member of the PGA Tour from 1978–1983 but did not win any tournaments. He has won over 30 other tournaments though, most of which were played in New York.[2][3]

Nielsen became a member of the Champions Tour upon reaching the age of 50 in the summer of 2003. He won his first Champions Tour event at the Commerce Bank Championship in 2007. His second Champions Tour win came in 2009 at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open, where he came from three strokes behind Fred Funk in the final round with a 9 under par 63 to win by three strokes.[2]

In 2009, Nielsen became the first tour professional to serve as a lead contributor to the GIVE (Golf For Injured Veterans Everywhere) Foundation.[3]

Nielsen was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2010.[4] He was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2018. Nielsen died on January 20, 2021; he had dementia in the years prior to his death.[5]

Professional wins (39)Edit

Regular career wins (35)Edit

  • 1979 Waterloo Open Golf Classic
  • 1984 Western New York PGA Match Play Championship
  • 1985 New York State Open, Western New York Section PGA Championship
  • 1986 Western New York PGA Match Play Championship, Western New York Section PGA Championship
  • 1987 Western New York Section PGA Championship
  • 1988 PGA Match Play Championship, PGA Stroke Play Championship
  • 1989 New York State Open, Western New York Open, Western New York Section PGA Championship, PGA Match Play Championship
  • 1990 Western New York Open, Western New York PGA Match Play Championship, Western New York Section PGA Championship
  • 1991 Western New York PGA Match Play Championship
  • 1993 Western New York PGA Match Play Championship, Western New York Open, Western New York Section PGA Championship
  • 1994 Western New York PGA Match Play Championship, Western New York Section PGA Championship
  • 1995 Western New York Open
  • 1996 Western New York Section PGA Championship
  • 1997 Western New York Open
  • 1998 Western New York Open, Western New York PGA Match Play Championship
  • 1999 Western New York PGA Match Play Championship
  • 2000 Western New York Section PGA Championship
  • 2001 Western New York PGA Match Play Championship
  • 2002 Western New York PGA Match Play Championship, Western New York Open
  • 2003 Western New York Open
  • 2013 Western New York Section PGA Championship, Western New York PGA Match Play Championship

Champions Tour wins (2)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 Jul 1, 2007 Commerce Bank Championship −14 (66-64-69=199) 2 strokes   Loren Roberts
2 Jun 28, 2009 Dick's Sporting Goods Open −21 (66-66-63=195) 3 strokes   Ronnie Black,   Fred Funk

Champions Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2006 JELD-WEN Tradition   Eduardo Romero Lost to birdie on first extra hole

Other senior wins (2)Edit

  • 2003 Otesago Senior Open Championship, Turning Stone Seniors Championship

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1977 1978 1979
U.S. Open CUT
PGA Championship
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
U.S. Open CUT
PGA Championship CUT T11 T56 CUT CUT
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
U.S. Open
PGA Championship CUT T70 CUT CUT
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
Note: Nielsen never played in the Masters Tournament or The Open Championship.

U.S. national team appearancesEdit

  • PGA Cup: 1988 (winners), 1996 (tie)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Profile on PGA Tour's official site". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "PGA Tour Media Guide – Lonnie Nielsen". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Champions Tour Professional, Iowa Native Lonnie Nielsen To Lead Birdies For Heroes Challenge In Support Of The GIVE Foundation". GIVE Foundation. February 13, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  4. ^ "Iowa Golf Hall of Fame – Lonnie Nielsen". Iowa Golf Association. Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  5. ^ "Golfer Lonnie Nielsen dies at 67". The Gazette. January 21, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2021.

External linksEdit