Mike Small (golfer)

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Mike Small
Personal information
Born (1966-03-04) March 4, 1966 (age 54)
Aurora, Illinois
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceChampaign, Illinois
Career
CollegeUniversity of Illinois
Turned professional1990
Former tour(s)Nationwide Tour
PGA Tour
Professional wins22
Number of wins by tour
Korn Ferry Tour2
Other20
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipT69: 2007, 2011
U.S. OpenCUT: 1994, 1998, 2007
The Open ChampionshipDNP

Mike Small (born March 4, 1966) is an American professional golfer and college golf coach.

Amateur career[edit]

Small was born in Aurora, Illinois and grew up in Danville, Illinois. He was a four-time letter winner at Danville High School. He won the Junior Masters in 1984 and went on to play college golf at the University of Illinois. At Illinois, he was a member of the 1988 Big Ten Championship team, where he finished second behind teammate and current PGA Tour member Steve Stricker. Small was named to the All-Big Ten squad and won two tournaments during his senior year, the Butler National Intercollegiate and the Michigan State Spartan Classic.

Professional career[edit]

Small turned professional in 1990 and played on various tours before joining the PGA Tour in 1995. In 1997, he won two Nike Tour (now Web.com Tour) events and finished in the top 15 on the Nike Tour money list, earning his PGA Tour card for the 1998 season. He played on the PGA Tour in 1998, where his best finish was 9th place at the Bell Canadian Open. In 2003, Small won the Illinois PGA and Illinois Open titles, becoming the first golfer ever to win both tournaments in the same year. He would repeat that feat three more times on the way to winning twelve IPGA titles and four Illinois Opens. He has played in 96 Nationwide Tour events finishing in the top-10 eight times. Small has also won the PGA Professional National Championship thrice, in 2005, in 2009, and in 2010. He has played in over 50 PGA Tour events in his career, including twelve major championships. In 2016, he turned 50 and qualified for his first senior major championship, finishing T-43 at the U.S. Senior Open. He has also finished as the low club professional in the PGA Championship in 2007 and 2011.

Small has been the head golf coach at the University of Illinois since 2000. He was Big Ten Coach of the Year for the 2001-02 season, when Illinois placed 18th in the NCAA Championships. He won the honor again for the 2008-09 season when Illinois won their first Big Ten title in 21 years. He led the Illini to the Big Ten championship in each of the next four seasons, again winning conference coach of the year honors each year. In addition, he has been named Midwest Coach of the Year by the Golf Coaches Association five times, in 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. His 2013 Illini team won the school's first-ever NCAA Regional championship, and finished second in the NCAA Finals after defeating defending champion Texas and #1-ranked California in match play. It marks Illinois' best finish in school history.

On October 25, 2013, Small was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame.

Personal life[edit]

Small's father, Bill Small, was captain of the 1963 Big Ten Champion Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team and earned All Big-Ten honors. Small's brother, Andy, was a member of the 1990 Big Ten Champion Illinois baseball squad and won four varsity letters as an infielder.

Amateur wins (3)[edit]

Professional wins (22)[edit]

Nike Tour wins (2)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 Mar 16, 1997 Nike Monterrey Open −18 (68-67-68-67=270) 1 stroke United States Mark Carnevale, United States Chris DiMarco,
United States Brian Kamm
2 Jun 22, 1997 Nike Cleveland Open −18 (67-70-67-66=270) 1 stroke United States Patrick Sheehan

Other wins (23)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
U.S. Open CUT CUT
PGA Championship
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
U.S. Open CUT
PGA Championship CUT 76 CUT T69 CUT
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
U.S. Open
PGA Championship CUT T69 CUT CUT CUT
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
Note: Small never played in the Masters Tournament or The Open Championship.

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

  • PGA Cup: 2005, 2007 (winners), 2009 (winners), 2011 (winners), 2013 (tie)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]