He might go down as the most under-appreciated three-time major winner in golf history, but Larry Nelson isn’t one to seek personal glory.  Nelson’s rise to the top of the game is nothing short of remarkable, a story that doesn’t get told often enough.   Nelson first touched a club at the age of 21 after returning from Vietnam.  Looking for something to do in his spare time, Nelson took up golf, using Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons book as his guide.  He spent countless hours on the range.  After six months, he went to work at Pine Tree Country Club in Kennesaw, Georgia.  He broke 100 the first time he ever played, and within a mere nine months of taking up the game broke 70.  The members of Pine Tree urged him to play professionally, and he embarked on that journey.  Nelson said he got the tee-to-green game down fairly quickly, but he had to play catch-up when it came to the short shots.  In 1973, at the age of 27, Nelson got through Q-School on his first try and he was off to the races.   He finished his Tour career with 10 victories and three majors:  the 1981 and 1987 PGA Championships and the 1983 US Open.  Seven of his 10 victories were either by one stroke or in a playoff, a testament to his ability to close the deal when things were nip-and-tuck.  He joined the Champions Tour in 1998 and his best year was in 2000, when he won six events.  The last of his 19 Champions Tour victories was in 2001.   Nelson was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, and is still active on the Champions Tour.
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