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Lee Trevino - a golfing god

Humour, wit, skill and determination all past of Supermex's make-up

Posted Feb 22, 2011 by Legends

Lee Trevino

Noted for his humour and his showmanship on the golf course, the great Lee Trevino has never been one to shy away from the limelight. But this extrovert appearance is just that, an appearance, and the man known as ‘Supermex’ has a character that runs a lot deeper than meets to eye.
The first memory of the legend that is Trevino I have isn’t from on the golf course. No, it was from his cameo in Adam Sandler’s excellent comedy, Happy Gilmore. I often wondered who Trevino was after this and it’s not until recently that I found out.
When looking for funny quotes from the games greats, his name popped up time and time again. His wit was undeniable. His humour was right up my street. And I found him to be a human at the centre of it. The subjects he joked about were real.
Here are a few of his classic one liners: “When I'm on a golf course and it starts to rain and lightning, I hold up my one iron, 'cause I know even God can't hit a one iron.”
And: “You don't know what pressure is until you've played for five dollars a hole with only two in your pocket.”
And one more: “I'm not saying my golf game went bad, but if I grew tomatoes they would have come up sliced.”

But he was more than just a funny guy. His golf was fantastic over many years and he won six major titles in total including two US Opens (1968 and 1971), two Open championships (1971 and 1972) and two PGA Championships (1974 and 1984).
He won a total of 29 PGA Tour tournaments and then the same amount on the Senior PGA Tour in his latter years.
And he achieved all of this despite not having the best of starts in life. He was raised in a run-down shack on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas and an absent father was one of the major hardships that he and his family had to deal with.
And because of his upbringing, he found that money was a great motivator for himself and he used it to propel his game to the top echelons. It seemed this meteoric rise would continue and that he would dominate the golfing world for years to come but nobody could have forecast what would come next in his outrageous life.
Playing in the Western Open at Butler National Golf Club in Chicago on June 27th 1975, Trevino was struck by lightning – a freak accident that permanently damaged the flexibility and sensitivity of the vertebrae in his lower back. Despite this, he managed to stage a remarkable come back to the sport and altered his game accordingly, stunning the world with is final major triumph, the 1984 PGA Championship, aged 44. He retired a year later.
Despite his extroverted appearance, Trevino is actually a humble and private individual away from the game who spends much of his time raising money for charity, although you wouldn’t know much about it as he always wishes to remain confidential about his activities. This stems from those deep set roots of his hard upbringing and many believe that his humour serves both to ease the pressures of golf and to keep his private life out of the public eye.
Trevino is a true great of the game.

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