Born on this day in 1958, American Kenneth J. Green, famously known for returning to competition after losing his right leg in a 2009 car accident. Born in Connecticut, he started playing golf at 12 in Honduras, where his father, Martin Green, was principal of the American school, and his only choices of sports were golf or soccer. He quit school at 16 to pursue his dream of becoming a professional tour player. He turned pro in 1979 and joined the PGA Tour in 1980. He had five tournament victories on the PGA Tour; all five came in the mid to late 1980s. His first win came in 1985 at the Buick Open, and his last was at the Kmart Greater Greensboro Open in 1989, he also played on the U.S. team in the 1989 Ryder Cup. During his time in professional golf, Ken has had a reputation for rebelliousness and a propensity to pull stunts. He has had over two dozen fines levied by the PGA Tour for his “bad boy” antics. Some of which included sneaking friends into The Masters in the boot of his car, drinking beer on the course while playing with Arnold Palmer at the 1997 Masters, and hitting golf balls through narrow openings in sliding-glass doors. Other fines were for more mundane offences like swearing on the course, criticising officials, and signing autographs while playing. His personal problems—divorces, gambling, clinical depression—led to near financial ruin, and affected his playing time and the quality of his play. In his 40s, Ken had difficulty maintaining his PGA Tour playing privileges and was forced to play some on the Nationwide Tour. He has sometimes played tournament rounds dressed in green from head to toe, shoes included.



Another American George Douglas “Doug” Sanders was born today in 1933. He accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Florida, where he played for the Gators golf team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition in 1955. In his single year as a Gator golfer, he and the team won a South-eastern Conference (SEC) championship and earned a sixth-place finish at the NCAA championship tournament—the Gators’ best national championship finish until that time. He also won the 1956 Canadian Open as an amateur—the only amateur ever to do so—and turned professional shortly after. Doug had thirteen top-ten finishes in major championships, including four second-place finishes: 1959 PGA Championship, 1961 US Open, 1966 and 1970 British Opens. In 1966, he became one of the few players in history to finish in the top ten of all four major championships in a single season, despite winning none of them. He earned unfortunate notoriety for taking four shots from just 74 yards as the leader playing the final hole of the 1970 British Open at St Andrews, missing a side-hill 3-foot putt to win, then lost the resulting 18-hole playoff by a single stroke the next day to Jack Nicklaus. His final victory on tour came in June 1972 at the Kemper Open, one stroke ahead of runner-up Lee Trevino. Doug is remembered for an exceptionally short, flat golf swing – a consequence, it appears, of a painful neck condition that radically restricted his movements. He was a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1967, which won handily in Houston. Doug is a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a “Gator Great.”



Edward McClellan “Ned” Cummins, was born on this day in 1886. He was the nephew of Albert Cummins, governor and senator from Iowa, and the son of Benjamin Franklin Cummins, prominent Chicago lawyer and president of the Western Golf Association in 1904. Ned played for the Exmoor Country Club in Chicago, as did several other members of the Western Golf Association team which won the 1904 Olympic team gold medal. Ned himself finished 25th in the individual competition and was eliminate in the first round of the match play.  He did not have a great golf record, his only notable achievement being one appearance in the US Amateur in 1902, where he lost in the first round.  He died on 21st November 1926 aged 40.



Australian Marcus Fraser was born today in 1978 in Corowa, New South Wales, and spent his early years working at a supermarket. He completed a distinguished amateur career in 2002, finishing as the top individual in the Eisenhower Trophy world teams event. He turned professional in 2002 and completed his first few seasons playing on Europe’s second tier Challenge Tour. In 2003, he won three tournaments in one month, the Danish Open, the Talma Finnish Challenge and the Russian Open, which was also a European Tour event. The last of those wins secured his card on the European Tour for 2004. He has maintained his playing status since by consistently finishing inside the top 120 on the Order of Merit, with a best of 25th place in 2012. Fraser has played in over 200 events on the European Tour and his best world ranking position was 51st.  Marcus won the 2010 Ballantine’s Championship with a closing 69 to finish four shots clear and in 2012 he lost out in a playoff to Danny Willett at the BMW International Open in Cologne. He won his third European Tour title at the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia in February 2016. Marcus played in the first Olympic Golf Tournament since 1904 representing Australia with Scott Hend. After one round, he led the tournament, posting a 8-under-par 63, setting an Olympic record (tied by Matt Kuchar in the last day). Marcus shot a two-under 69 in the second round, holding the 36-hole lead, although he went on to have a bad weekend (72-72) but was still able to finish T5.



George Seymour Lyon, born on this day in 1858 in Richmond, Ontario. He came to golf very late in life, preferring more athletic pursuits. His first love was cricket and in 1894 he made 234 not out, at the time a world record. He took up golf when he was 37-years-old but quickly became the top amateur in Canada. He won the Canadian Amateur Championship in 1898 and would win that title eight times in all as well as the Canadian Seniors’ Golf Association Championship ten times between 1918 and 1930. George won the Golf gold medal in the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, lost in the finals of the 1906 US Amateur Championship and in his 50th year reached the semi-finals of the 1908 British Amateur Championship. He travelled to London in 1908 to defend his Olympic title, but plans to stage a golf tournament there were cancelled at the last minute, since representatives from England and Scotland were unable to agree on the format. Offered the gold medal by default, Lyon refused to accept it.  Therefore, George reigned as the Olympic champion for 112 years until golf returned to the program at the 2016 Games, the gold medal being won by Englishman Justin Rose. His business career was in insurance and he served in the Canadian military with Queen’s Own Rifles, serving at the Metis uprising in 1885. Lyon served as President of the Royal Canadian Golf Association in 1923. He is still remembered by the George S. Lyon Championship, a team competition held by the Golf Association of Ontario at Toronto area courses. George died in Toronto, Ontario, on 11th May 1938 and in 1955 was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In 1971, he was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. His life and achievement as an Olympic Gold medallist are described in the 2016 book “Olympic Lyon” by Michael G. Cochrane.



Amy Yang, also known as Yang Hee-Young, the Korean professional golfer who currently plays on the United States-based LPGA Tour and on the Ladies European Tour (LET), was born today in 1989. Amy began playing golf at age 10 in her native Korea and moved to the Gold Coast of Australia with her family at age 15 to pursue golf more seriously. In 2005, she won the Queensland Amateur Championship, the youngest winner ever of that championship. In 2006, while still an amateur she won the ANZ Ladies Masters on the LET, making her the youngest winner ever on the LET at age 16 years,192 days (a record later broken by 14-year-old amateur Atthaya Thitikul in July 2017). After her win in at the ANZ Ladies Masters, the LET offered her a special three-year membership exemption beginning in 2006 as a 17-year-old, providing she travelled with her parents until she turned 18. She recorded four top-20 finishes in 2007 while still attended high school. Amy attended LPGA Tour qualifying school in Autumn 2007 and obtained conditional status on the LPGA 2008 Tour. In June 2008, she claimed her second LET win with a four-shot win at the Ladies German Open. Upon winning, she announced that she was donating her entire prize of $61,260 to victims of a recent earthquake in China. That December, Amy returned to the LPGA Qualifying School, this time earning full playing status for 2009 by finishing second in the five-round event. On 20th October 2013 she won her first LPGA Tour event at the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship, when she birdied the first sudden-death playoff hole to defeat Hee-Kyung Seo. In 2015 she took the Thailand championship and in 2017, rarely wavered with a big lead during the final round of the Thailand LPGA tournament, shooting a 4-under 68 to win by 5 strokes during a rain hit competition.



Born on this day in 1947 was Dick Harmon, one of America’s top golf instructors with clients including Fred Couples, Jay Haas, Craig Stadler and 2009 U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover. He was a native of New Rochelle, New York and Palm Springs, California and devoted his life to his love of golf as a teacher and mentor. His father Claude Harmon won the 1948 Masters Tournament. His brothers Butch, Craig and Bill were also ranked in Golf Digest’s Top 50 Teachers. Dick was the professional at the River Oaks Country Club between 1977 and 2001. After leaving that position, he established two teaching centres in Houston, Texas. He established the Dick Harmon School of Golf at the Houstonian with teaching assistant and friend Arthur J. Scarbrough. The School became a great success especially within the junior golfing community in and around the Houston area and later throughout Texas. Dick was said to be one of junior golf’s greatest ambassadors by many teaching professionals throughout the country. His brother Butch said “He was the glue that held us together.” He died at the age of 58 from complications due to pneumonia on 10th February 2006 while on holiday with his daughter Mary and brother Billy in California.