by Jeff Skinner
There are plenty of great players on the PGA Tour today and the debate continues as to whether the tour is stronger today than it was years ago in the Nicklaus Era. Two of the most underappreciated players of the sixties were Lee Trevino and Billy Casper. Trevino came from a poor background and taught himself the game. He was one of the guys that could take Jack down under pressure. In Trevino’s six major wins Nicklaus finished second four times. If it wasn’t for Trevino, Tiger would be trying to get to 23 majors, not 19. Trevino gave Nicklaus all he could handle when he and Jack went head to head.
Billy Casper was another self-taught golfer who knew how to get it done. His legacy is that of a superb putter but really he had to deal with being the most overlooked golfer of his day. During the early sixties he won more times than Nicklaus, Palmer and Player combined. Casper won three majors and fifty one career PGA Tour wins trailing only the immortals, Snead, Nicklaus, Woods, Hogan, Palmer and Nelson.
In this month’s Golf Digest Jaime Diaz has a revealing interview with Trevino at his mansion in Dallas. Jeff Rude speaks with Casper at Casper’s second home, the putting green. Take a minute to check out some words from two of golf’s truly self made champions.