Paul Azinger

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Paul Azinger
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name Paul William Azinger
Nickname Zinger
Born (1960-01-06) January 6, 1960 (age 54)
Holyoke, Massachusetts, U.S.
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
Nationality  United States
Residence Bradenton, Florida
Career
College Brevard Community College
Florida State University
Turned professional 1981
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 17
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 12
European Tour 2
Other 3
Best results in Major Championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters Tournament 5th: 1998
U.S. Open T3: 1993
The Open Championship T2: 1987
PGA Championship Won: 1993
Achievements and awards
PGA Player of the Year 1987
PGA Tour Comeback
Player of the Year
2000

Paul William Azinger (born January 6, 1960) is an American professional golfer and occasional TV golf analyst. He spent almost 300 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking between 1988 and 1994.[1]

Early years[edit]

Azinger was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts.[2] He started in golf at age five.[3] He moved to Sarasota, Florida where he attended and graduated from Sarasota High School. After graduating from Brevard Community College, he attended Florida State University and turned professional in 1981.[2]

Professional career[edit]

PGA Tour[edit]

Azinger won eleven tournaments on the PGA Tour in seven seasons from 1987 to 1993, climaxing in his one major title, the 1993 PGA Championship at Inverness, which he won in a sudden-death playoff against Greg Norman.

Azinger finished one shot behind Nick Faldo at the 1987 Open Championship at Muirfield after making bogey at both the 71st and 72nd holes. Azinger was bidding to become only the fourth golfer since 1945 to win the British Open at the first attempt[4] and said that he was "heartbroken" to leave Muirfield without the Claret Jug trophy.[5]

In December 1993, Azinger was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in his right shoulder.[6] His treatment included six months of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiation in California.[7] He wrote a book called Zinger about his battle with the disease[3] and was the recipient of GWAA Ben Hogan Award in 1995, given to the individual who has continued to be active in golf despite physical handicap or serious illness. In 2000, he won his first tournament in seven seasons at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Azinger was the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for the 2008 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.[8] He led the team to its first victory over the European squad since 1999. The team's victory was largely credited to his innovative strategy. This strategy is outlined in his book, Cracking the Code: The Winning Ryder Cup Strategy: Make it Work for You, which was released in May 2010.[3][9] The book was co-authored with Ron Braund, a corporate team builder and psychologist, who consulted Azinger throughout the Ryder Cup.

Champions Tour[edit]

Azinger made his Champions Tour debut at The ACE Group Classic in February 2010.[10] He played four events that year and none since.

Other interests[edit]

Since 2005, Azinger has worked as a color commentator for ESPN and ABC Sports' golf coverage. He initially shared color commentating duties with his former Ryder Cup and British Open rival Nick Faldo. Azinger and Faldo, along with host Mike Tirico formed one of the most highly touted broadcast teams in televised golf history. Faldo left for rival CBS after the 2006 season. Since then, Azinger has worked alone with Tirico. However, when Faldo and Azinger were opposing captains at the 2008 Ryder Cup, Andy North subbed. Faldo and Azinger have also had two reunion telecasts, first at the 2007 Open Championship and then at the 2009 Presidents Cup.

Azinger is an avid poker player and competed in the main event at both the 2006 World Series of Poker[11] and the 2008 World Series of Poker.[7][12] He is an avid foosball player, and often seeks places to play foosball while traveling.[13]

Azinger threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Tampa Bay Rays' second ever playoff game on October 3, 2008.[14] He recently launched a new application for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch called Golfplan.[7][15]

Personal[edit]

Azinger is a Christian. He and his wife Toni met at FSU and have been married since 1982. They currently live in Bradenton, Florida and have two daughters, Sarah Jean Collins and Josie Lynn.[7]

Azinger gave the eulogy at the memorial service for his friend Payne Stewart, who was killed in a plane crash in 1999.[3] His two managers and close friends, Robert Fraley and Van Ardan, also died in the plane crash.

Professional wins (17)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (12)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of victory Runner(s)-up
1 Jan 13, 1987 Phoenix Open −16 (67-69-65-67=268) 2 strokes United States Hal Sutton
2 May 3, 1987 Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational −17 (68-72-67-64=271) 1 stroke United States Hal Sutton
3 Jun 28, 1987 Canon Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open −15 (69-65-63-72=269) 6 strokes United States Dan Forsman, United States Wayne Levi
4 Mar 20, 1988 Hertz Bay Hill Classic −13 (66-66-73-66=271) 5 strokes United States Tom Kite
5 Jul 9, 1989 Canon Greater Hartford Open −17 (65-70-67-65=267) 1 stroke United States Wayne Levi
6 Jan 7, 1990 MONY Tournament of Champions −18 (72-67-67-69=275) 1 stroke Australia Ian Baker-Finch
7 Feb 3, 1991 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am −14 (67-67-73-67=274) 4 strokes United States Brian Claar, United States Corey Pavin
8 Nov 1, 1992 The Tour Championship −8 (70-66-69-71=276) 3 strokes United States Lee Janzen, United States Corey Pavin
9 Jun 6, 1993 Memorial Tournament −14 (68-69-68-69=274) 1 stroke United States Corey Pavin
10 Jul 25, 1993 New England Classic −16 (67-69-64-68=268) 4 strokes United States Bruce Fleisher
11 Aug 15, 1993 PGA Championship −12 (69-66-69-68=272) Playoff Australia Greg Norman
12 Jan 16, 2000 Sony Open in Hawaii −19 (67-70-73-68=278) 7 strokes Australia Stuart Appleby

PGA Tour playoff record (1–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1989 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic United States Steve Jones, Scotland Sandy Lyle Jones won with birdie on first extra hole
2 1990 Doral-Ryder Open United States Mark Calcavecchia, Australia Greg Norman, United States Tim Simpson Norman won with eagle on first extra hole
3 1993 PGA Championship Australia Greg Norman Won with par on second extra hole

European Tour wins (2)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of victory Runner(s)-up
1 Sep 23, 1990 BMW International Open −11 (63-73-73-68=277) Playoff Northern Ireland David Feherty
2 Sep 8, 1992 BMW International Open −22 (66-67-66-67=266) Playoff United States Glen Day, Sweden Anders Forsbrand
England Mark James, Germany Bernhard Langer

Other wins (3)[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1993 PGA Championship 1 shot deficit −12 (69-66-69-68=272) Playoff Australia Greg Norman

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP T17 CUT T14
U.S. Open CUT DNP CUT 34 CUT T6 T9
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP T2 T47 T8
PGA Championship DNP DNP CUT CUT CUT 2 CUT
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament CUT 52 T31 CUT DNP T17 T18 T28 5 CUT
U.S. Open T24 CUT T33 T3 DNP CUT T67 T28 T14 T12
The Open Championship T48 DNP T59 T59 DNP CUT CUT CUT CUT DNP
PGA Championship T31 DNP T33 1 CUT T31 T31 T29 T13 T41
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament T28 T15 CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open T12 T5 CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship T7 DNP DNP WD DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship T24 T22 CUT CUT T55 CUT CUT DNP T63 CUT

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

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 1 1 6 15 10
U.S. Open 0 0 1 2 4 8 18 12
The Open Championship 0 1 0 1 3 3 12 7
PGA Championship 1 1 0 2 2 5 23 13
Totals 1 2 1 6 10 22 68 42
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 9 (1999 U.S. Open – 2001 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1989 U.S. Open – 1989 Open Championship)

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking
  2. ^ a b "PGA Tour Profile – Paul Azinger". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "BPGA Tour Media Guide – Paul Azinger". PGA Tour. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ Siddons, Larry (July 20, 1987). "Azinger Loses Big Lead And British Open Title". Times-Union (Warsaw, Indiana). p. 10. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ Green, Bob (July 16, 1992). "Muirfield bring back memories". Hudson Valley News (Newburgh, New York). Associated Press. p. B2. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ Dorman, Larry (December 9, 1993). "Lymphoma Found in Azinger's Shoulder". The New York Times. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Bio from Azinger's official site". Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Azinger made US Ryder Cup captain". BBC Sport. November 6, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Cracking the Code: The Winning Ryder Cup Strategy". Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  10. ^ Kupelian, Vartan (February 3, 2010). "Insider: Tour in 'good shape' with new faces, places". PGA Tour. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ "What the ...? Hellmuth knocked out of WSOP". MSNBC. Associated Press. July 30, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  12. ^ "A Different Sort of Green". 
  13. ^ Sobel, Jason (May 25, 2010). "Azinger pushed hard for job in '10". ESPN. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  14. ^ Azinger to throw out first pitch at Rays game Friday
  15. ^ "Golfplan with Paul Azinger". Retrieved November 26, 2012. 

External links[edit]