Lovely quote from Dow Finsterwald, who’s being honored tonight at the Champions Dinner at Oakland Hills as we approach the 50th anniversary of Finsterwald’s PGA Championship victory at Lianerch Country Club in Havertown, Pennsylvania, which made him the first PGA Champion in the stroke-play era. Finsterwald, during today’s press conference, on the top three players he’s ever seen:
Well, certainly we have got a guy on the ailing list right now that certainly would be right there. But there are five or six guys, and I probably will exclude some but not intentionally; but you have a Jones, a Snead, a Nelson, Hogan, Arnold, Jack. These guys, I think, would be winners whenever they would have played.
Whether they would be out there now, there’s just something that those guys had up here and in their heart that made them winners. And it didn’t matter, in my mind, when they were playing or who they were playing or competing against; they were going to be winners.
Granted, if they were all out there at the same time along with Tiger, none of them would probably would have won as many championships as they did. I think Sam, I think he has 83 championships he won on the TOUR. I don’t know how many of those he would have won if all those guys had been competing at the same time, but he would have been right there winning with them.
And a wonderful couple of years of golf if we could resurrect those guys and get them all out there playing at their prime; it would be something really to see, I think. Billy Casper won 52 times, two U.S. Opens, Masters. You know, there’s some guys that just kind of had a little something more than the rest of us did, and they really did produce. And they did it with style and with class.