Tom Kite

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Tom Kite
— Golfer —
TomKite.jpg
Personal information
Full name Thomas Oliver Kite, Jr.
Born (1949-12-09) December 9, 1949 (age 65)
McKinney, Texas
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)
Nationality  United States
Residence Austin, Texas
Career
College University of Texas
Turned professional 1972
Current tour(s) Champions Tour
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 38
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 19
European Tour 2
Champions Tour 10
Other 7
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters Tournament 2nd/T2: 1983, 1986, 1997
U.S. Open Won: 1992
The Open Championship T2: 1978
PGA Championship T4: 1981, 1988
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 2004 (member page)
PGA Tour
leading money winner
1981, 1989
PGA Player of the Year 1989
GWAA Male
Player of the Year
1989
Vardon Trophy 1981, 1982
Byron Nelson Trophy 1981, 1982
Bob Jones Award 1979

Thomas Oliver Kite, Jr. (born December 9, 1949) is an American professional golfer and golf course architect. He spent 175 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking between 1989 and 1994.[1]

Kite was born in McKinney, Texas. He began playing golf at age six, and won his first tournament at age 11. Kite attended the University of Texas on a golf scholarship and was coached by Harvey Penick. He turned professional in 1972 and has been a consistent money winner ever since. Known for his innovation, he was the first to add a third wedge to his bag, one of the first players to use a sports psychologist, and one of the first to emphasize physical fitness for game improvement. He also underwent laser eye surgery, due to his partial blindness.[2] in a bid to improve his game late in his career.

He has 19 PGA Tour victories, including the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He competed on seven Ryder Cup squads (1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1993) and served as the 1997 captain. Kite holds a unique record of making the cut for the first four U.S. Opens held at Pebble Beach: 1972, 1982, 1992, and 2000. Kite also shares the distinction (with Gene Littler) of playing in the most Masters Tournaments without a win.[3]

In 1989 he was named PGA of America Player of the Year; in 1981 the Golf Writers Association Player of the Year, the Vardon Trophy winner in 1980 & 1981, Bob Jones Award recipient in 1979 and Golf Digest Rookie of the Year in 1973.

Tom Kite was the first in Tour history to reach $6 million, $7 million, $8 million, and $9 million in career earnings. He was the Tour’s leading money-winner in 1981 and 1989.

His 16th and 17th PGA Tour victories were on Mother's Day and Father's Day in 1992.

In 2005 he led the PGA Tour's Booz Allen Classic by one shot going into the final round at the age of 55. If he had been able to stay ahead he would have beaten Sam Snead's record as the oldest winner on the PGA Tour by three years, but he fell away to finish tied 13th, seven shots behind Sergio García.

Kite currently plays the over 50s Champions Tour, where he has ten victories including one senior major, The Countrywide Tradition. At the 2012 U.S. Senior Open, Kite shot a front nine 28 (seven under par) in the first round. This was the lowest nine-hole score ever recorded in any USGA championship.[4][5] He finished the tournament tied for 12th.

Kite has added golf course designer to his resume and has successfully completed several golf courses in collaboration with Bob Cupp, Randy Russell and Roy Bechtol. Completed golf courses include Liberty National in Jersey City, New Jersey; Comanche Trace in Kerrville, Texas; Somersett Country Club in Reno, Nevada; Gaillardia Golf & Country Club in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the Legends on LBJ in Kingsland, Texas.

Kite was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.[6]

Amateur wins (1)[edit]

Professional wins (38)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (19)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 Jun 6, 1976 IVB-Bicentennial Golf Classic −6 (71-70-70-66=277) Playoff United States Terry Diehl
2 Sep 4, 1978 B.C. Open −17 (66-65-68-68=267) 5 strokes United States Mark Hayes
3 Mar 8, 1981 American Motors Inverrary Classic −14 (69-68-68-69=274) 1 stroke United States Jack Nicklaus
4 Mar 7, 1982 Bay Hill Classic −6 (69-70-70-69=278) Playoff United States Jack Nicklaus, Zimbabwe Denis Watson
5 Feb 6, 1983 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am −12 (69-72-62-73=276) 2 strokes United States Rex Caldwell, United States Calvin Peete
6 Mar 11, 1984 Doral-Eastern Open −16 (68-69-70-65=272) 2 strokes United States Jack Nicklaus
7 Jun 24, 1984 Georgia-Pacific Atlanta Golf Classic −19 (69-67-66-67=269) 5 strokes United States Don Pooley
8 May 5, 1985 MONY Tournament of Champions −16 (68-66-66-64=264) 6 strokes United States Mark McCumber
9 Aug 3, 1986 Western Open −18 (66-70-65-69=270) Playoff United States Fred Couples, South Africa David Frost,
Zimbabwe Nick Price
10 Jun 7, 1987 Kemper Open −14 (64-69-68-69=270) 7 strokes United States Chris Perry, United States Howard Twitty
11 Mar 12, 1989 Nestle Invitational −6 (68-72-67-71=278) Playoff United States Davis Love III
12 Mar 19, 1989 The Players Championship −9 (69-70-69-71=279) 1 stroke United States Chip Beck
13 Oct 29, 1989 Nabisco Championship −8 (69-65-74-68=276) Playoff United States Payne Stewart
14 Aug 5, 1990 Federal Express St. Jude Classic −15 (72-68-62-67=269) Playoff United States John Cook
15 Jan 6, 1991 Infiniti Tournament of Champions −16 (68-67-68-69=272) 1 stroke United States Lanny Wadkins
16 May 10, 1992 BellSouth Classic −16 (70-65-72-65=272) 3 strokes United States Jay Don Blake
17 Jun 21, 1992 U.S. Open −3 (71-72-70-72=285) 2 strokes United States Jeff Sluman
18 Feb 14, 1993 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic −35 (67-67-64-65-62=325) 6 strokes United States Rick Fehr
19 Feb 28, 1993 Nissan Los Angeles Open −6 (67-69-70-72=278) 3 strokes Canada Dave Barr, United States Fred Couples,
United States Donnie Hammond, United States Payne Stewart

PGA Tour playoff record (6–4)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1976 IVB-Bicentennial Golf Classic United States Terry Diehl Won with par on fifth extra hole
2 1982 Bob Hope Desert Classic United States Ed Fiori Lost to birdie on second extra hole
3 1982 Bay Hill Classic United States Jack Nicklaus, Zimbabwe Denis Watson Won with birdie on first extra hole
4 1986 Western Open United States Fred Couples, South Africa David Frost, Zimbabwe Nick Price Won with birdie on first extra hole
5 1988 Kemper Open United States Morris Hatalsky Lost to par on second extra hole
6 1988 Nabisco Championship United States Curtis Strange Lost to birdie on second extra hole
7 1989 Nestle Invitational United States Davis Love III Won with par on second extra hole
8 1989 Nabisco Championship United States Payne Stewart Won with par on second extra hole
9 1990 Federal Express St. Jude Classic United States John Cook Won with birdie on first extra hole
10 1992 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic United States John Cook, United States Rick Fehr,
United States Mark O'Meara, United States Gene Sauers
Cook won with eagle on fourth extra hole
Fehr eliminated with birdie on second hole
Kite and O'Meara eliminated with birdie on first hole

European Tour wins (2)[edit]

Other wins (7)[edit]

Champions Tour wins (10)[edit]

Legend
Champions Tour major championships (1)
Other Champions Tour (9)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 Apr 2, 2000 The Countrywide Tradition −8 (68-70-71-71=280) Playoff United States Larry Nelson, United States Tom Watson
2 Jun 11, 2000 SBC Senior Open −9 (71-68-68=207) 2 strokes United States Bruce Fleisher
3 Sep 30, 2001 Gold Rush Classic −22 (65-62-67=194) 1 stroke United States Allen Doyle
4 Jan 20, 2002 MasterCard Championship −17 (63-69-67=199) 6 strokes United States John Jacobs
5 Mar 3, 2002 SBC Senior Classic −4 (74-69-69=212) Playoff United States Tom Watson
6 Oct 13, 2002 Napa Valley Championship −12 (66-66-72=204) 1 stroke United States Bruce Fleisher, United States Fred Gibson
7 Aug 8, 2004 3M Championship −13 (65-69-69=203) 1 stroke United States Craig Stadler
8 Mar 12, 2006 AT&T Classic −12 (70-64-70=204) 5 strokes United States Gil Morgan
9 Aug 20, 2006 Boeing Greater Seattle Classic −15 (71-64-66=201) Playoff United States Keith Fergus
10 Aug 24, 2008 Boeing Classic −14 (69-67-66=202) 2 strokes United States Scott Simpson

Champions Tour playoff record (3–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2000 The Countrywide Tradition United States Larry Nelson, United States Tom Watson Won with birdie on sixth extra hole
Nelson eliminated with par on second hole
2 2002 SBC Senior Classic United States Tom Watson Won with par on second extra hole
3 2006 Boeing Greater Seattle Classic United States Keith Fergus Won with birdie on first extra hole
4 2007 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf United States Jay Haas Lost to par on first extra hole
5 2008 ACE Group Classic United States Brad Bryant, United States Scott Hoch, United States Tom Jenkins Hoch won with birdie on first extra hole

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1992 U.S. Open 1 shot deficit −3 (71-72-70-72=285) 2 strokes United States Jeff Sluman

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament DNP T42 T27 DNP DNP T10 T5 T3 T18 5
U.S. Open CUT DNP T19 DNP T8 CUT CUT T27 T20 CUT
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T5 DNP T2 T30
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP T39 T33 T13 T13 CUT T35
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament T6 T5 T5 T2 T6 CUT T2 T24 44 T18
U.S. Open CUT T20 29 T20 CUT 13 T35 T46 T36 T9
The Open Championship T27 DNP CUT T29 T22 T8 CUT T72 T20 T19
PGA Championship T20 T4 T9 T67 T34 T12 T26 T10 T4 T34
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament T14 56 DNP CUT 4 CUT CUT 2 38 DNP
U.S. Open T56 T37 1 CUT T33 T67 T82 T68 T43 T60
The Open Championship CUT T44 T19 T14 T8 T58 T27 T10 T38 DNP
PGA Championship T40 T52 T21 T56 T9 T54 CUT 5 CUT CUT
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Masters Tournament DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP
U.S. Open T32 T5 CUT CUT T57
The Open Championship T70 DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship T19 CUT DNP DNP DNP

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

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 3 1 9 12 16 26 21
U.S. Open 1 0 0 1 3 9 33 24
The Open Championship 0 1 0 2 5 10 22 19
PGA Championship 0 0 0 3 6 12 28 23
Totals 1 4 1 15 26 47 109 87
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 15 (1986 PGA – 1990 U.S. Open)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (four times)

Champions Tour major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship Winning score Margin Runners-up
2000 The Countrywide Tradition −8 (66-71-71-72=280) Playoff1 United States Larry Nelson, United States Tom Watson

1Kite won with birdie on sixth extra hole; Nelson eliminated with par on second hole[7]

Results timeline[edit]

Results not in chronological order before 2014.

Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
The Tradition 1 T24 T7 T2 T4 T36 T4 T4 T18 T11
Senior PGA Championship T2 T23 T15 T10 T121 T10 T40 T7 T13 T14
Senior Players Championship 6 T10 T10 T2 T7 T39 T9 T25 T21 T47
U.S. Senior Open 3 15 3 T12 T3 T37 T55 T22 T12 CUT
Senior British Open Championship 4 T2 CUT T10 T10 T16 T8
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
The Tradition T54 15 T47 T60 T59
Senior PGA Championship T29 CUT CUT T28 CUT
Senior Players Championship T16 T17 52 T27 79
U.S. Senior Open T8 T29 T12 T44 T14
Senior British Open Championship DNP T49 T24 T14 DNP

Note: The Senior British Open was not a Champions Tour major until 2003.
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

Amateur

Professional

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking". Official World Golf Ranking. Retrieved December 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Surgery has opened up a whole new world to Kite". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on October 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of the Master's". MSNBC. Associated Press. April 3, 2009. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ Kupelian, Vartan (July 12, 2012). "Kite rewrites USGA record books with front-nine 28". PGA Tour. Retrieved December 23, 2013. 
  5. ^ "2012 USGA Media Guide: USGA Superlatives". USGA. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Which players will reach the HOF?". ESPN. April 18, 2007. 
  7. ^ ARkush, Michael (April 3, 2000). "Kite Wins in 6th Hole of Playoff". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]