|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg)|
|Professional wins (165)|
|PGA Tour||82 (1st all time)|
| Best Results in Major Championships|
|Masters||Won 1949, 1952, 1954|
|U.S. Open||2nd/T2: 1937, 1947, 1949, 1953|
|British Open||Won 1946|
|PGA Championship||Won 1942, 1949, 1951|
| PGA Tour |
|1938, 1949, 1950|
| PGA |
Player of the Year
|Vardon Trophy||1938, 1949, 1950, 1955|
Samuel Jackson "Sam" Snead (May 27, 1912 – May 23, 2002) was an American golfer who was one of the top players in the world for most of 4 decades. He and two others of the greatest golfers of all time, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, were born within six months of each other in 1912. He won a record 82 PGA Tour events and about 70 others worldwide. He won seven majors: three Masters, three PGA Championships and one British Open. Despite his great achievements, his reputation has always been slightly tainted by his failure to win a U.S. Open. Snead shares the record for most second-place finishes in that championship (4) with four others; Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Phil Mickelson.
Snead was famed for his folksy image, wearing a straw hat, playing tournaments barefoot, and making such statements as "Keep close count of your nickels and dimes, stay away from whiskey, and never concede a putt. His nickname was "Slammin' Sammy." He has also been admired by many for having the so-called "perfect swing," and generated many imitators.
Snead was born in Ashwood, Virginia near Hot Springs, Virginia. At the age of seven, he began caddying at The Homestead in Hot Springs; he worked as an assistant pro at The Homestead at 19, and became a professional in 1934. Snead maintained ties to Hot Springs and The Homestead for all of his life; he died in Hot Springs following complications from a stroke four days short of his 90th birthday. He was survived by two sons, Sam Jr., of Hot Springs, Virginia and Terry, of Mountain Grove, Virginia; a brother, Pete, of Pittsburgh; and two grandchildren. His wife, Audrey, died in 1990. His nephew J. C. Snead was also a PGA Tour golfer.
In 1938, he first won the Greater Greensboro Open, which he won eight times, the Tour record for victories at an event, concluding in 1965 at the age of 52 years, 10 months, 8 days, making him the oldest player to win a PGA Tour event.
1939 was the first of several times he failed at crucial moments of the U.S. Open, the only major event he never won. He won 11 events in 1950. No one has since won more in one year. He won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average four times: 1938, 1949, 1950, and 1955. He played on seven Ryder Cup teams: 1937, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1955, and 1959, and captained the team in 1951, 1959, and 1969.
During his peak years, he was an exceptionally long driver, particularly into the wind, with very good accuracy as well. He was a superb player with the long irons. Snead was also known for a very creative short game, pioneering use of the sand wedge for short shots from grass. As he aged, his putting deteriorated. Snead pioneered croquet-style putting in the 1960s, where he straddled the ball with one leg on each side. The United States Golf Association banned this technique shortly afterwards, since until that time, golfers had always faced the ball when striking. Snead then went to side-saddle putting, where he crouched and angled his feet towards the hole, and held the club with a split grip. He used that style for the rest of his career.
In 1971, he won the PGA Club Professional Championship.
In 1979 he was the youngest PGA Tour golfer to shoot his age (67) in the second round of the 1979 Quad Cities Open. He shot under his age (66) in the final round.
In 1998, he received the fourth PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award.
Snead wrote several golf instructional books, and frequently wrote instructional columns in golf magazines.
Major championships are shown in bold.
|Year||Championship||54 Holes||Winning Score||Margin||Runner(s) Up|
|1942||PGA Championship||N/A||2 & 1||2 strokes||Jim Turnesa|
|1946||The Open Championship||Tied for lead||-2 (71-70-74-75=290)||4 strokes||Johnny Bulla, Bobby Locke|
|1949||The Masters||1 stroke deficit||-6 (73-75-67-67=282)||3 strokes||Johnny Bulla, Lloyd Mangrum|
|1949||PGA Championship (2)||N/A||3 & 2||3 strokes||Johnny Palmer|
|1951||PGA Championship (3)||N/A||7 & 6||7 strokes||Walter Burkemo|
|1952||The Masters (2)||Tied for lead||-2 (70-67-77-72=286)||4 strokes||Jack Burke, Jr.|
|1954||The Masters (3)||3 shot deficit||+1 (74-73-70-72=289)||Playoff 1||Ben Hogan|
|The Open Championship||T11||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||NT||NT||NT||NT||NT||NT||1||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||T6||DNP||DNP||CUT||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||CUT||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
R## — Round of 16, 32, etc. The PGA Championship was conducted at match play before 1958.
QF — Quarterfinal
SF — Semifinal
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.