Lanny Wadkins, born Jerry Lanston Wadkins is an American golf pro who played mostly in the PGA. Born on Dec 5, 1949, Wadkins first gained attention when he won the Prestigious Southern Amateur championship. A collegiate all-American in 1970 and 1971 while attending Wake Forest University, Wadkins established a reputation as one of the best iron players on the PGA.
Wadkins won the US Amateur championship in 1970, a year before he officially turned pro. His first victory on the tour came in 1972, when he won the Sahara Invitational. The succeeding years saw the American pro win a couple of more tournaments, although his performance suffered a few setbacks a few years after winning his first tour victory. He bounced back in 1977 by winning the PGA championship after a three-hole sudden death play-off against Gene Littler. This would be Wadkins’ only major victory in his career, despite finishing second in successive championships such as the 1986 US Open and the 1982, 1984, and the 1987 PGA Championships. His final victory on tour came during the 1992 Greater Hartford Open.
He debuted on the Champions Tour in 2000, winning at the ACE Group Classic, which was his first ever start with the tour. He did not become a regular winner on the tour, however, which was partly attributed to nagging injuries and to his subsequent commitments to his duties as the lead analyst on the CBS Golf broadcasts which lasted from 2002 to 2007.
Wadkins also represented the United States in the Ryder Cup between 1977 and 1993, playing on eight teams and serving as the team captain in 1995. He left his duties as the CBS lead golf analyst in 2006 and is now involved with designing golf courses through his golf course design company, the Lanny Wadkins Design Group.