Justin Leonard

Justin Leonard - USA Ryder Cup Team

Justin LeonardJustin Leonard attended the University of Austin and became the NCAA Champion in 1994. He also in the same year won the ‘Haskins’ Award fot the most outstanding collegiate golfer.

After turning professional, Justin made a huge impact winning the Buick Open in only his second year. In 1997 he won both the Kemper Open on the PGA Tour and followed that up by winning the British Open at Royal Troon. He had Darren Clarke behind him that day. Justin also finished runner up in the British Open 2 years later. The following year he confirmed himself as one of the best golfers in the world by winning the ‘Players Championship’ regarded by many as the 5th Major. These victories put him into the top ten of the World rankings for several weeks in 1998/9.

He also made the United States Ryder Cup team in both 1997and 1999. In the 1999 match, Leonard made a fantastic 45 foot putt for a birdie, to level his match with Jose Maria Olazabal on the 17th hole. This completed an incredible comeback by the USA on the final day. The USA team victory however was spoilt by the celebrations the putt stirred when other US Players ran on to the green, even though Olazabal still had his putt to play.

Justin Leonard has won a total of eleven PGA Tour titles, at almost one a year since 1996. He has a tendency however to blow hot and cold, as his his world ranking positions have shown. Currently he is ranked at 35th,but he is a much player than that. On his day Justin is capable of beating anyone.

Although never improving on his one Major, Justin has performed admirally well in all the others at some point, particularly the USPGA. In that event alone he has had six top ten finishes since 1995 and has been runner up twice.

His Ryder Cup record is actually poor, he has yet to win in either singles, fourball's or foursome's. He has halved three matches and lost five.