Tom Kite (1949- )
Born in Texas, USA, Kite has been one of America's top golfers for nearly 25 years. Although a money winner rather than a championship winner, his consistency as a individual and as a team player has earned him the respect of golf fans across the world. In recognition of this, he was elected Captain of the 1997 American Ryder Cup team.
Kite, who grew up on a farm, was was introduced to golf by his father. From the outset, the game captivated him and his self confidence inspired him to make a career of golf. He attended the University of Texas on a golf programme where he was coached by the highly respected Harvey Penwick. After some success as an amateur both as an individual and team player, he turned professional in 1972.
Despite his success and over $8m in prize money, Kite only won his first Major, the US Open, in 1992 aged 42. Kite's lack of prestiguous tournament winnings is put down to his long game. Being a relatively small man, he must work hard at his swing to get distance off the tee. However, his short game is excellent. Indeed he introduced the trend to carry a third wedge to score well from within 100 yards.
In recognition of his consistency, he was elected captain of the 1997 American Ryder Cup team. Tom Kite will not be remembered as a great champion but is undoubtedly one of the most professional golfers of the modern era.