8. Larry Nelson
PGA Tour victories in 1980s: eight (of 10 total)
Major titles in 1980s: three (of three total)
Nelson didn’t take up golf until the age of 21, after he served in U.S. Infantry in Vietnam. He studied Ben Hogan’s book, “The Five Fundamentals of Golf,” and was breaking 70 within nine months of first picking up a club. It took less than six years for him to reach the PGA Tour in 1977, and he won his first event in ’79 and finished second that season on the money list behind Tom Watson.
He broke through in the majors at the 1981 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, finishing four shots ahead of Fuzzy Zoeller. At the 1983 U.S. Open, Nelson surged over the weekend with rounds of 65-67 to pass Tom Watson and claim his second major title. He added a third at the 1987 PGA Championship at PGA National, where he beat Lanny Wadkins in a one-hole playoff.
He went on to 19 wins on what is now the PGA Tour Champions, and he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006.
The article "Best of Golf: Top 10 players of the 1980s" was originally published on https://golfweek.com/2018/12/26/best-of-golf-top-10-golfers-of-1980s/3/?src=rss