Lee Trevino: Wikis


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Lee Trevino
Personal information
Full name Lee Buck Trevino
Nickname The Merry Mex, Supermex
Born December 1, 1939 (1939-12-01) (age 70)
Dallas, Texas
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
Nationality  United States
Residence Rancho Santa Fe, California
Turned professional 1960
Current tour(s) Champions Tour
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 89
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 29 (tied 19th all time)
Champions Tour 29 (2nd all time)
Other 21 (regular)
10 (senior)
Best results in Major Championships
(Wins: 6)
The Masters T10: 1975, 1985
U.S. Open Won: 1968, 1971
Open Championship Won: 1971, 1972
PGA Championship Won: 1974, 1984
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 1981 (member page)
PGA Player of the Year 1971
Vardon Trophy 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1980
Byron Nelson Award 1980
PGA Tour
leading money winner
Jack Nicklaus Trophy
(Champions Tour)
1990, 1992, 1994
Arnold Palmer Award
(Champions Tour)
1990, 1992
Rookie of the Year
(Champions Tour)
Byron Nelson Award
(Champions Tour)
1990, 1991, 1992

Lee Buck Trevino (born December 1, 1939) is an American professional golfer. He is an icon for Mexican Americans, and is often referred to as "The Merry Mex" and "Supermex".[1]


Early life

Trevino was born in Dallas, Texas into a family of Mexican ancestry. He was raised by his mother, Juanita Trevino, and his grandfather, Joe Trevino, a gravedigger. Trevino never knew his father, Joseph Trevino, who left when his son was small. Trevino's childhood consisted of attending school occasionally and working to earn money for the family. At age five, he started working in the cotton fields.[2]

Trevino was introduced to golf when his uncle gave him a few golf balls and an old golf club. He then spent his free time sneaking into nearby country clubs to practice and began as a caddy at the Dallas Athletic Club. He soon began caddying full time. Trevino had to leave school at 14 to go to work. He earned $30 a week as a caddy and a shoeshiner. He was also able to practice golf, since the caddies had three short holes behind their shack. After work, he would hit at least 300 balls. When he turned 17, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, and served four years. Part of his time was spent playing golf with Marine Corps officers. Trevino claims being a golf partner helped earn him promotion to lance corporal.

Professional career

After his discharge, Trevino became a club professional in El Paso, Texas. He made extra money by gambling for stakes in head-to-head matches. He began play on the PGA Tour in 1967. In his second U.S. Open golf championship, he shot 283, eight shots behind champion Jack Nicklaus, and earned $6,000 for finishing fifth. He won $26,472 as a rookie, 45th on the PGA Tour money list, and was named Rookie of the Year by Golf Digest.

In 1968, his second year on the circuit, Trevino won the U.S. Open at the Oak Hill Country Club, in Rochester, New York. During his career, Trevino won 29 times on the PGA Tour, including six majors. He was at his best in the 1970s, when he was Jack Nicklaus's chief rival. He won the money list title in 1970, and had ten wins in 1971 and 1972. These included the 1971 U.S. Open, which he took in an 18-hole playoff over Jack Nicklaus. Two weeks later, he won the Canadian Open, and the following week The Open Championship, becoming the first player to win those titles in the same year. Trevino was awarded the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete of 1971. he also won Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" and was named ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year.

He was struck by lightning at the 1975 Western Open, and suffered injuries to his spine. He underwent surgery to remove a damaged spinal disk, but back problems continued to hamper his play. Nevertheless, he was ranked second in McCormack's World Golf Rankings in 1980, behind Tom Watson, and won his sixth major, the PGA Championship at the age of 44. In the early 1980s, Trevino was second on the PGA Tour career money list, behind only Jack Nicklaus.[3]

Trevino won more than 20 international and unofficial professional tournaments. He was one of the charismatic stars who was instrumental in making the Senior PGA Tour (now the Champions Tour) an early success. He claimed 29 wins, including four senior majors. He topped the seniors' money list in 1990 and 1992.

Playing style

His self–taught style, distinguished by an out-to-in swing designed to fade the ball (which he devised to combat a chronic hook), led to many exciting shots and skins game victories.

Distinctions and honors

  • A street in El Paso, Texas was named after him.
  • Trevino played for the United States in the Ryder Cup six times (1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1979, 1981), and had an impressive 17-7-6 win-loss-half record. He also served as team captain in 1985.
  • Trevino won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average five times: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, and 1980.
  • Trevino has established numerous scholarships and other financial aid to Mexican Americans.
  • He co-authored his autobiography, titled They Call Me Super Mex.
  • Trevino was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1981.
  • In 2000, Trevino was ranked as the 14th-greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine.[4]


Throughout his career, Trevino was seen as approachable and humorous, and was frequently quoted by the press. Late in his career, he remarked, "I played the tour in 1967 and told jokes and nobody laughed. Then I won the Open the next year, told the same jokes, and everybody laughed like hell."[5] At the beginning of their 1971 playoff for the U.S. Open, he threw a rubber snake at Jack Nicklaus.[6] In his early career, much attention was given by the press to a plastic "BandAid" he wore on his forearm to cover a tattoo of the name of his ex-wife. He has since had this tattoo removed by a plastic surgeon using a laser technique.

After he had been struck by lightning at the 1975 Western Open, Trevino was asked by a reporter what he would do if he were out on the course and it began to storm again. Trevino answered he would take out his 1 iron and point it to the sky, "because not even God can hit the 1 iron."

Trevino has also said: "I've been hit by lightning and been in the Marine Corps for four years. I've traveled the world and been about everywhere you can imagine. There's not anything I'm scared of except my wife."[7]

Trevino had a cameo appearance in the 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore.

Professional wins (89)


PGA Tour wins (29)

No. Date Tournament Winning Score Margin of
1 Jun 16, 1968 U.S. Open -5 (69-68-69-69=275) 4 strokes United States Jack Nicklaus
2 Nov 10, 1968 Hawaiian Open -16 (68-71-65-68=272) 2 strokes United States George Archer
3 Feb 23, 1969 Tucson Open Invitational -17 (67-70-68-66=271) 7 strokes United States Miller Barber
4 Feb 15, 1970 Tucson Open Invitational -13 (66-68-72-69=275) Playoff United States Bob Murphy
5 Mar 29, 1970 National Airlines Open Invitational -14 (69-66-68-71=274) Playoff United States Bob Menne
6 Apr 25, 1971 Tallahassee Open Invitational -15 (69-67-69-68=273) 3 strokes United States Jim Wiechers
7 May 30, 1971 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic -12 (66-66-69-67=268) 4 strokes United States Lee Elder, United States Hale Irwin,
United States Randy Wolff
8 Jun 21, 1971 U.S. Open Even (70-72-69-69=280) Playoff United States Jack Nicklaus
9 Jul 4, 1971 Canadian Open -18 (73-68-67-67=275) Playoff United States Art Wall, Jr.
10 Jul 10, 1971 The Open Championship -14 (69-70-69-70=278) 1 stroke Republic of China Lu Liang-Huan
11 Oct 31, 1971 Sahara Invitational -8 (69-72-73-66=280) 1 stroke United States George Archer
12 May 21, 1972 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic +1 (70-72-72-67=281) 4 strokes United States John Mahaffey
13 Jul 15, 1972 The Open Championship -6 (71-70-66-71=278) 1 stroke United States Jack Nicklaus
14 Sep 4, 1972 Greater Hartford Open Invitational -15 (64-68-72-65=269) Playoff United States Lee Elder
15 Sep 17, 1972 Greater St. Louis Golf Classic -11 (65-68-66-70=269) 1 stroke United States Deane Beman
16 Feb 25, 1973 Jackie Gleason Inverrary-
National Airlines Classic
-9 (69-69-69-72=279) 1 stroke United States Forrest Fezler
17 Mar 11, 1973 Doral-Eastern Open -12 (64-70-71-71=276) 1 stroke Australia Bruce Crampton, United States Tom Weiskopf
18 Mar 31, 1974 Greater New Orleans Open -21 (67-68-67-65=267) 8 strokes South Africa Bobby Cole, United States Ben Crenshaw
19 Aug 11, 1974 PGA Championship -4 (73-66-68-69=276) 1 stroke United States Jack Nicklaus
20 Mar 9, 1975 Florida Citrus Open -12 (69-66-70-71=276) 1 stroke United States Hale Irwin
21 May 16, 1976 Colonial National Invitation -7 (68-64-68-73=273) 1 stroke United States Mike Morley
22 Jul 24, 1977 Canadian Open -8 (67-68-71-74=280) 4 strokes England Peter Oosterhuis
23 May 14, 1978 Colonial National Invitation -12 (66-68-68-66=268) 4 strokes United States Jerry Heard, United States Jerry Pate
24 Jun 24, 1979 Canadian Open -7 (67-71-72-71=281) 3 strokes United States Ben Crenshaw
25 Mar 23, 1980 Tournament Players Championship -10 (68-72-68-70=278) 1 stroke United States Ben Crenshaw
26 Jun 29, 1980 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic -16 (67-68-68-69=272) 1 stroke United States Tom Purtzer
27 Sep 21, 1980 San Antonio Texas Open -15 (66-67-67-65=265) 1 stroke United States Terry Diehl
28 Apr 19, 1981 MONY Tournament of Champions -15 (67-67-70-69=273) 2 strokes United States Raymond Floyd
29 Aug 19, 1984 PGA Championship -15 (69-68-67-69=273) 4 strokes South Africa Gary Player, United States Lanny Wadkins

Other wins (21)

Champions Tour wins (29)

Senior majors are shown in bold.

Other senior wins (10)

  • 1991 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with Mike Hill)
  • 1992 Mitsukoshi Classic, Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with Mike Hill)
  • 1993 American Express Grandslam
  • 1994 American Express Grandslam
  • 1995 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with Mike Hill)
  • 1996 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with Mike Hill), Australian PGA Seniors' Championship
  • 2000 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf - Legendary Division (with Mike Hill)
  • 2003 ConAgra Foods Champions Skins Game

Major championships

Wins (6)

Year Championship 54 Holes Winning Score Margin Runner(s)-up
1968 U.S. Open 1 shot deficit -5 (69-68-69-69=275) 4 strokes United States Jack Nicklaus
1971 U.S. Open (2) 4 shot deficit E (70-72-69-69=280) Playoff 1 United States Jack Nicklaus
1971 British Open 1 shot lead -14 (69-70-69-70=278) 1 stroke Republic of China Lu Liang-Huan
1972 British Open (2) 1 shot lead -6 (71-70-66-71=278) 1 stroke United States Jack Nicklaus
1974 PGA Championship 1 shot lead -4 (73-66-68-69=276) 1 stroke United States Jack Nicklaus
1984 PGA Championship (2) 1 shot lead -15 (69-68-67-69=273) 4 strokes South Africa Gary Player, United States Lanny Wadkins

1 Defeated Jack Nicklaus in 18-hole playoff - Trevino (68), Nicklaus (71)

Results timeline

Tournament 1966 1967 1968 1969
The Masters DNP DNP T40 T19
U.S. Open T54 5 1 CUT
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP T34
PGA Championship DNP DNP T23 T48
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
The Masters DNP DNP T33 T43 DNP T10 T28 DNP T14 T12
U.S. Open T8 1 T4 T4 CUT T29 DNP T27 T12 T19
The Open Championship T3 1 1 T10 T31 T40 DNP 4 T29 T17
PGA Championship T26 T13 T11 T18 1 T60 CUT T13 T7 T35
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
The Masters T26 CUT T38 T20 43 T10 47 CUT CUT T18
The Open Championship 2 T11 T27 5 T14 T20 T59 T17 CUT T42
PGA Championship 7 DNP DNP T14 1 2 T11 DNP CUT CUT
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
The Open Championship T25 T17 T39 DNP CUT CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT

DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the half way cut
"T" indicates a tied for a place.
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.


See also


Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas, The Mexican American Family Album. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

External links


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