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Lanny Wadkins
Professional golfer

Lanny Wadkins

Lanny Wadkins
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Professional golfer
Is Athlete Golfer
From United States of America
Field Sports
Gender male
Birth 5 December 1949, Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.
Age 72 years
The details (from wikipedia)


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.

Early years

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

PGA Tour

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. 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.

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. During his career, he also recorded wins in Australia, Canada, Japan, and South America.

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 21½ 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 Tour

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.


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.

Hall of Fame

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


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.

Amateur wins (5)

  • 1968 Southern Amateur
  • 1969 Eastern Amateur
  • 1970 U.S. Amateur, Southern Amateur, Western Amateur

Professional wins (32)

PGA Tour wins (21)

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

PGA Tour playoff record (3–3)

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

Japan Golf Tour wins (1)

  • 1979 Bridgestone Open

Other wins (9)

  • 1971 Virginia Open
  • 1978 Victorian PGA Championship, Canadian PGA Championship
  • 1980 PGA Grand Slam of Golf (United States - unofficial event)
  • 1981 Caribbean Open (Colombia)
  • 1984 World Nissan Championship (Japan)
  • 1990 Fred Meyer Challenge (with Bobby Wadkins)
  • 1991 Shark Shootout Benefiting RMCC (with Tom Purtzer)
  • 2015 PNC Father Son Challenge (with son Tucker)

Champions Tour wins (1)

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

Champions Tour playoff record (1–0)

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

Playoff record

European Tour playoff record (0–1)

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

Major championships

Wins (1)

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

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

Results timeline

Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament CUT CUT T19 T29 CUT DNP DNP DNP T18 T7
U.S. Open DNP T13 T25 T7 T26 T38 DNP DNP CUT T19
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP T7 T22 CUT DNP DNP CUT DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP T16 T3 CUT DNP 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 DNP DNP DNP T29 T4 CUT DNP 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 DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship CUT T73 T45 CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship CUT T43 T40 T14 T61 T63 CUT T58 DNP T34
Tournament 2000 2001
Masters Tournament DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP
PGA Championship CUT CUT

DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10


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)

U.S. national team appearances


  • Walker Cup: 1969 (winners), 1971
  • Eisenhower Trophy: 1970 (winners)


  • Ryder Cup: 1977 (winners), 1979 (winners), 1983 (winners), 1985, 1987, 1989 (tie), 1991 (winners), 1993 (winners), 1995 (captain)
  • World Cup: 1977, 1984, 1985
  • Dunhill Cup: 1986
  • Four Tours World Championship: 1985 (winners), 1987 (winners), 1991
  • US v Japan: 1982, 1983
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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