Sam Snead still holds the record for the most career PGA Tour wins. The golf legend won 82 times in PGA events, three more victories than second place golfer Tiger Woods. Among those 82 PGA Tour wins were seven major tournaments Snead skillfully conquered. He found his most major success in the Masters and PGA Championship tournaments. Snead won each three times between 1942 and 1954. The golfer also added an Open Championship title in 1946 to his trophy cabinet. Despite his successes at the three major events, Snead could never win the U.S. Open. The tournament was the impossible he could never overcome as he finished second on four separate occasions.
Snead’s playing career started in 1931 when he worked at a golf course as an assistant professional. Snead was just 19. Three years later, Snead became a full-fledge professional golfer. By 1936, Snead had won the first of his record 82 PGA Tour wins. He claimed first prize in the West Virginia Closed Pro event. Between 1936 and 1942, Snead one a PGA tournament in each year.
Many of Snead’s wins came thanks to his long, accurate drives. The legendary golfer played during a long-lost era of golf. It was a time when players weren’t able to play with modern-day golf clubs and all their advances. He regularly experimented with his game and was never satisfied. He changed his putting style several times over the decades.
One of Snead’s more forgotten tournament wins came in 1962. He won the Royal Poinciana Invitational in Palm Beach, Florida. The tournament was on the LPGA circuit at the time and Snead became the only man to win an event in the women’s golf league.
Snead would later pen several successful books and in 2000, he was ranked the third greatest golfer of all-time by Golf Digest.
In 2002, just shy of his 90th birthday, Snead passed away due to complications from a stroke. He is remembered as one of the game’s greats, yet his name seems lost when golf experts talk about others like Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer.