Stephen John Elkington (born 8 December 1962) is an Australian professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour. He spent more than 50 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking from 1995 to 1998.
Early years and education
Elkington was born in Inverell, New South Wales and grew up in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. He moved to the United States to attend college at the University of Houston, where he played on the golf team that won national titles in 1982, 1984, and 1985. He became the first prominent Australian player to play college golf in the United States. He turned professional in 1985.
Elkington has 10 wins on the PGA Tour, all of which were in the 1990s. He has 10 top-10 finishes in major championships, including a win in the 1995 PGA Championship at the Riviera Country Club, and a tie for second in the 2005 PGA Championship behind winner Phil Mickelson, which moved him back into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Elkington was a member of the International Team in the 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000 Presidents Cups. In 1995, he was awarded the Vardon Trophy; this award is given annually by the PGA of America to the tour player with the lowest scoring average.
Elkington's professional career has been hampered by constant battles with allergies, which caused several absences from tournament play. Elkington has had sinus surgeries, constant infections, and bouts with viral meningitis, as well as searing headaches.
As of 2013, Elkington had sponsorship/endorsement deals with apparel brand Oxford Golf, Insperity, World Golf Tour, Grieve Family Winery, and Par West Custom Golf Shoes.
Elkington played his first event on the PGA Champions Tour in June 2013.
In June 2006, playing in a sectional to qualify for the U.S. Open, Elkington tried to wear shoes with metal spikes. When his attempt was rebuffed, he left rather than change to soft-spiked shoes. He argued that since spiked shoes were allowed in the U.S. Open, the following week, that they should be allowed at sectional events.
In December 2013, Elkington was widely condemned for remarks he made on Twitter following a fatal helicopter crash in Glasgow's Clutha pub. He wrote: "Helicopter crashes into Scottish pub... Locals report no beer was spilled." The tweet was quickly deleted but not before being shared by users of the social networking site. The comment provoked a furious backlash from his fellow players and commentators alike.
In February 2014, Elkington remarked on Twitter that openly gay football player Michael Sam was "leading the handbag throw" at the NFL Combine, which multiple sources described as homophobic. He was suspended by the PGA Tour for two weeks and fined $10,000 after his derogatory tweet.
In 2014, RFD-TV began airing The Rural Golfer, starting Elkington. The low-budget production followed Elkington as he toured the United States, digging up golf stories. In 2015, CBS Sports Network began airing the second season of the show, retitled Secret Golf with Steve Elkington.
Elkington is married and has two children. He met his wife, Lisa, while attending college in Houston. His family resides in Sydney, Australia and Houston, Texas. His son Sam played golf on his high school team in Houston, and in 2015-2016 was a freshman on the golf team at the University of Houston, where his father went to college.
Professional wins (17)
PGA Tour wins (10)
|Major championships (1)|
|Players Championships (2)|
|Other PGA Tour (7)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of victory||Runner(s)-up|
|1||22 Apr 1990||KMart Greater Greensboro Open||−6 (74-71-71-66=282)||2 strokes||Mike Reid, Jeff Sluman|
|2||31 Mar 1991||The Players Championship||−12 (66-70-72-68=276)||1 stroke||Fuzzy Zoeller|
|3||12 Jan 1992||Infiniti Tournament of Champions||−9 (69-71-67-72=279)||Playoff||Brad Faxon|
|4||2 Oct 1994||Buick Southern Open||−16 (66-66-68=200)||5 strokes||Steve Rintoul|
|5||8 Jan 1995||Mercedes Championships||−10 (69-71-71-67=278)||Playoff||Bruce Lietzke|
|6||13 Aug 1995||PGA Championship||−17 (68-67-68-64=267)||Playoff||Colin Montgomerie|
|7||9 Mar 1997||Doral-Ryder Open||−13 (70-66-70-69=275)||2 strokes||Larry Nelson, Nick Price|
|8||30 Mar 1997||The Players Championship||−16 (66-69-68-69=272)||7 strokes||Scott Hoch|
|9||4 Oct 1998||Buick Challenge||−21 (66-70-66-65=267)||Playoff||Fred Funk|
|10||7 Mar 1999||Doral-Ryder Open||−13 (72-70-69-64=275)||1 stroke||Greg Kraft|
PGA Tour playoff record (4–4)
|1||1992||Infiniti Tournament of Champions||Brad Faxon||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
|2||1992||Buick Open||Brad Faxon, Dan Forsman||Forsman won with par on second extra hole |
Faxon eliminated with par on first hole
|3||1992||H.E.B. Texas Open||Nick Price||Lost to par on second extra hole|
|4||1993||KMart Greater Greensboro Open||Rocco Mediate||Lost to birdie on fourth extra hole|
|5||1995||Mercedes Championships||Bruce Lietzke||Won with birdie on second extra hole|
|6||1995||PGA Championship||Colin Montgomerie||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
|7||1998||Buick Challenge||Fred Funk||Won with par on first extra hole|
|8||2002||The Open Championship|| Stuart Appleby, Ernie Els, |
|Els beat Levet on first sudden-death hole, |
after Appleby and Elkington were eliminated from a four-hole playoff
PGA Tour of Australasia wins (1)
- 1992 Australian Open
Asian Tour wins (1)
- 1996 Honda Invitational
Other wins (5)
- 1993 Fred Meyer Challenge (with Tom Purtzer), Franklin Funds Shark Shootout (with Raymond Floyd)
- 1995 Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout (with Mark Calcavecchia)
- 1997 Diners Club Matches (with Jeff Maggert)
- 1998 Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout (with Greg Norman)
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|1995||PGA Championship||6 shot deficit||−17 (68-67-68-64=267)||Playoff1||Colin Montgomerie|
1 Defeated Montgomerie with birdie on first extra hole.
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||CUT||T44||T34||T48||T67||T6||CUT||CUT||WD||CUT|
|The Open Championship||T60||CUT||T2||WD||DNP||DNP||CUT||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10
|The Open Championship||0||1||0||1||2||2||15||7|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (twice)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (twice)
- Presidents Cup (International team): 1994, 1996, 1998 (winners), 2000
- World Cup (representing Australia): 1994
- Alfred Dunhill Cup (representing Australia): 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998