Sport Celebrity - Golf

 
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Chi Chi Rodriguez

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PROFILE

Chi Chi Rodriguez was born on October 23, 1935 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. Chi Chi Rodriguez as a boy in Puerto Rico, gravitated to golf by hitting tin cans with a guava tree stick. Chi Chi Rodriguez worked as a caddie until joining the U.S. Army at age 19. Chi Chi Rodriguez turned professional in 1960. Chi Chi Rodriguez's biggest thrill in golf was winning his first professional event, the Denver Open Invitational, at Denver Country Club in 1963. Chi Chi Rodriguez joined the Champions Tour in 1985. His 1985 debut on the Champions Tour was in the final event on the schedule. He tied for 5th at the Quadel Seniors Classic in Boca Raton, FL. In 1986 Chi Chi Rodriguez had an outstanding rookie year, winning three tournaments and finishing second seven times. He Earned his first Byron Nelson Award with ng average of 69.65. In 1987 Chi Chi Rodriguez became the first Champions Tour player to surpass the half-million dollar mark in single-season earnings and earned his second consecutive Byron Nelson Award for the lowest scoring average on the circuit. He won a career-high seven times, including three in a row and a Champions Tour-record four consecutive events that he entered. He claimed his last Champions Tour major championship title, the General Foods PGA Seniors' Championship, coming from six strokes back on the final day to overtake Dale Douglass. He set a Champions Tour record with eight straight birdies (holes 6-13) en route to a win at the Silver Pages Classic in Oklahoma City. He was honored by former President Ronald Reagan with the National Puerto Rican Coalition Life Achievement Award. In 1988, Chi Chi Rodriguez became the first player in Champions Tour annals to win the same event three consecutive years when he claimed the Digital Seniors Classic in Concord, MA.. In 1990 Chi Chi Rodriguez won three events and was among the top three in nine events overall. In 1991 Chi Chi Rodriguez won all four of his events within seven weeks early in the season and finished the year fourth on the final money list. In 1992, Chi Chi Rodriguez was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. In 1993 Chi Chi Rodriguez won the last of his 22 official victories at the inaugural Burnet Senior Classic, when he closed with 65 to beat Jim Colbert and Bob Murphy by two strokes. In 1996 Chi Chi Rodriguez made his fourth hole-in-one on the Champions Tour in the opening round of the Raley's Gold Rush Classic. In mid-October 1998, Chi Chi Rodriguez had a mild heart attack. He was scheduled to play in Sacramento at the Raley's Gold Rush Classic, but was forced to withdraw after having an angioplasty performed. Chi Chi Rodriguez has become one of the most popular figures in all of sports. PGA TOUR Victories (8) 1963 Denver Open Invitational. 1964 Lucky International Open, Western Open. 1967 Texas Open Invitational. 1968 Sahara Invitational. 1972 Byron Nelson Golf Classic. 1973 Greater Greensboro Open. 1979 Tallahassee Open. Champions Tour Victories (22) 1986 Senior Tournament Players Championship, Digital Seniors Classic, United Virgina Bank Seniors. 1987 General Foods PGA Seniors' Championship, Vantage At The Dominion, United Hospitals Senior Golf Championship, Silver Pages Classic, Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am, Digital Seniors Classic, GTE Northwest Classic. 1988 Doug Sanders Kingwood Celebrity Classic, Digital Seniors Classic. 1989 Crestar Classic. 1990 Las Vegas Senior Classic, Ameritech Senior Open, Sunwest/Charley Pride Classic. 1991 GTE West Classic, Vintage Arco Invitational, Las Vegas Senior Classic, Murata Reunion Pro-Am. 1992 Ko Olina Senior Invitational. 1993 Burnet Senior Classic. International Victories 1988 Senior Skins Game. 1989 Senior Skins Game. Other Victories 1976 Pepsi Mixed Team Championship (with JoAnn Washam). 1979 Bahamas Open. Current Year Champions Tour Money and Positions $2,987 (180) Current Year Best Champions Tour Finishes T75--FleetBoston Classic Current Year Champions Tour Best Round 73 at Round 3, FleetBoston Classic Best PGA TOUR Finishes 1--1963 Denver Open Invitational. 1964 Lucky International Open, Western Open. 1967 Texas Open Invitational. 1968 Sahara Invitational. 1972 Byron Nelson Golf Classic. 1973 Greater Greensboro Open. 1979 Tallahassee Open. Best Champions Tour Finishes 1--1986 Senior Tournament Players Championship, Digital Seniors Classic, United Virgina Bank Seniors. 1987 General Foods PGA Seniors' Championship, Vantage At The Dominion, United Hospitals Senior Golf Championship, Silver Pages Classic, Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am, Digital Seniors Classic, GTE Northwest Classic. 1988 Doug Sanders Kingwood Celebrity Classic, Digital Seniors Classic. 1989 Crestar Classic. 1990 Las Vegas Senior Classic, Ameritech Senior Open, Sunwest/Charley Pride Classic. 1991 GTE West Classic, Vintage Arco Invitational, Las Vegas Senior Classic, Murata Reunion Pro-Am. 1992 Ko Olina Senior Invitational. 1993 Burnet Senior Classic. Best 2002 Champions Tour Finishes T23--SBC Senior Classic 2002 Season Champions Tour Tournaments Entered--19; in money--17; Top 10 finishes--0 2002 Season Highlights Played in 19 events for the second straight year...Top finish came at the SBC Senior Classic in California with T23 at Valencia CC...Came within a shot of shooting his age when he posted a 5-under 67 on the last day of the Bruno's Memorial Classic, his best score since the 2000 Gold Rush Classic (65)...T5 in the Georgia-Pacific Grand Champions competition at The Instinet Classic and placed 19th on the overall over-60 money list with $73,958. PGA TOUR Playoff Record 3-1 Champions Tour Playoff Record 1-7


Career Highlights

  • Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame - 1992
  • Became a member of the World Humanitarian Sports Hall of Fame - 1994

Career Records

  • Became the first player in Champions Tour annals to win the same event three consecutive years when he claimed the Digital Seniors Classic in Concord, MA. - 1988

Awards And Designations

  • Recipient of the Ambassador of Golf Award - 1981
  • Received the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor bestowed by the USGA - 1989

 

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 For availablity or more information, contact:

 1.877.922.9333       events@eventsedge.com