These Latinos Are Using Their Athletic Talents In Professional Golf
Some of the flashiest stars of golf today are Latinos; and quite a few of the legends of the past were also Latinos. Let’s take a look at a few of them. Also, there’s one in there that’s not even a pro golfer, but you’ll know why he’s included.
1. Camilo Villegas
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This Colombian player, known sometimes as the spider for his peculiarities on the green, took the PGA by storm in the early 2010s, but has slipped a few notches in the world rankings. Experts say he’s ready to rebound anytime soon.
2. Pat Perez
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This Mexican American from Arizona is noticed from a distance because of his contagious smile. But he’s anything but friendly on the tee box, having won five times including three on the big tour. He is currently enjoying a resurgence in his game.
3. Jhonnattan Vegas
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Yes, that’s how he spells it… There aren’t that many players from Venezuela, but this young man who played collegiate golf in Texas is a multiple winner of the PGA Tour. His aggressive style also leads sometimes to erratic golf shots, but in his case, talent always wins.
4. Robert Gamez
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Born in Las Vegas of Mexican descent, Robert was in his prime during the 90s, having won five times on tour. He holds the record for the longest time between winds, a drought that was ended in 2005 when he won the Texas Open. A motor vehicle accident almost ended his career in 1998.
5. Carlos Franco
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Paraguay is not known for an abundance of any athlete beyond soccer, so when this golfer took the PGA by storm in the early aughts it became quite a surprise for most everyone. He has a total of 25 worldwide winds including five on the PGA Tour, where he now plays the Champions Tour.
6. Esteban Toledo
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Although he never won on the big tour, he once stood up to Tiger Woods himself until he imploded in the final holes of the BC Classic. He has finally come through on the champions tour, much to the pride of his fellow Baja Californians.
7. Lee Trevino
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Perhaps no other golfer had the charisma of Trevino, from El Paso, Texas, who became one of the most personable golfers on the tour ever. Although he never won the Masters, he won each other major twice. Still today is known as “Super Tex”, deservedly so.
8. Angel Cabrera
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Powerful off the tee, his two majors are a testament to his uncanny ability to resolve the most difficult golf courses in the world. He won the Masters and the British Open crowning a career full of important milestones for the Argentinian superstar.
9. Roberto Devicenzo
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His is one of the saddest stories in the history of golf, having lost the Masters by signing an erroneous scorecard in the 60s. And it is really sad for this Argentinian to be remembered for that incident instead of his greatness on the fairways. But, that’s life!
10. Andres Romero
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Another Argentinian golfer, he was named PGA Tour rookie of the year in 2008, having hoisted the trophy once in the USA along with another 18 victories worldwide. Unassuming, friendly and smiling, but one of the fiercest competitors out there.
11. Jose Coceres
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A two-time winner on the PGA Tour, this man from Argentina became somewhat of a late starter on tour having debuted at the age of 37. Add to that, an injury to his arm that hindered what could’ve been a great career. He still plays in the USA on the champions tour.
12. Emiliano Grillo
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One of the newest imports from Argentina, this twentysomething blasted onto the golf scene with his victory in 2015 at the Las Vegas Open, setting the hopes high for an enduring career. He has a total of three wins worldwide but is concentrating his efforts on the PGA Tour in the USA.
13. Roberto Castro
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Another fine player from Texas, with roots in Peru and Costa Rica, Roberto was a standout collegiate golfer at Georgia Tech. At the PGA Tour level, Castro has not been in the winner’s circle although he has amassed six wins worldwide on other tours.
14. Carlos Ortiz
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Young Mexican player from Guadalajara who played collegiate golf at the University of North Texas. He had an outstanding season at the Web.com tour earning him his full-time card to play at the PGA Tour where he has high hopes of someday hoisting a winner’s trophy.
15. Abraham Ancer
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Another graduate from the Web.com tour, Abraham was born in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas although he resided in Mexico most of his youth. The last few years he has been grinding it out on the major tour still without any victories, but with interesting finishes close to the top.
16. Nancy Lopez
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By far, the most outstanding woman on the ladies’ tour in years. Out of New Mexico, she was only 21 when she debuted on the tour winning nine times in her rookie season. She also came out victorious in three major championships and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. After retirement, she hosts many charity events.
17. Lorena Ochoa
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This Mexican phenom was at the height of her career, even number one in the world for a record shattering 3 years at the top, when she decided to call it quits to start a new life as a married woman. She won 30 times on tour, including two majors. She was born in Guadalajara.
18. George Lopez
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Okay, okay… The guy is not a professional golfer, but when he tees it up annually at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am every eye is on him because of his feisty nature during that important tournament in coastal California. The comedian is totally in love with golf, and makes no effort to hide it.
19. Lizette Salas
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Proudly hailing from Azusa, California, this young lady has been striping the fairways in the LPGA since 2012 when she earned her playing credentials. So far, she has one win on tour but is poised for many, many, more. She’s been in the top 25 for a major championship five times.
20. Gerina Piller
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Originally from New Mexico, but now living in Fort Worth, Texas, she had a decorated career as a collegiate golfer, which obviously led toward gaining a spot at the LPGA tour. Still without any wins, she has been extremely close, and expects her day to come very soon.
21. Lee Lopez
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An extremely talented lady from California, she started playing the LPGA tour in 2015 when she led all rookies in driving accuracy off the tee. She definitely has it for striping the fairways as she finished fifth in driving accuracy in 2017. There are no doubts that she will soon be in the winner’s circle.
22. Homero Blancas
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A legend from way back when golf among Latinos was almost unheard of. Blancas was born in Houston and was named rookie of the year at the PGA Tour in 1965 after being a stellar player for the University of Houston. He has a total of seven wins on tour and even represented the USA at the Ryder Cup in 1973.