One of Sports Illustrated’s most long-lasting and popular features is its “Faces in the Crowd” section which highlights amateur athletes from across the United States whose accomplishments in given sports are particularly note-worthy. Over the history of the magazine, many professional golfers have appeared “before they were famous”. Here’s a look at the write-ups that have accompanied some of them.
September 2, 1957: “Jack Nicklaus, husky 17-year-old homebred, made up two-stroke deficit, soon after start of final round but had to hang on grimly in face of determined challenge by John Konsek to win (294-296) international jaycee junior golf title at Columbus.”
September 24, 1990: “Tiger Woods, 14, shot a two-under-par 286 for 72 holes to win a national youth golf tournament at Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth. He has also won five Junior World titles including the Optimist International in San Diego last July.”
December 28, 2009: “Jordan Spieth, a junior at Jesuit College Preparatory, was named the American Junior Golf Association’s male Rolex Junior Player of the year. A two-time All-America, he has held the top spot in the AJGA rankings since July. That month Jordan won the U.S. Junior Amateur with a 4-and-3 victory over Jay Hwang; in 2008, he lost in the semifinals.”
July 15, 1963: “Lanny Wadkins, 13, of Richmond, shot a 69 and 70 on the par-72 Rio Pinar course in Orlando, Florida, to win the 13-15 age division of the National Pee-Wee Golf Championship, an easy victory for Lanny, who has often held his own in grown-up tournaments.”