Most Underrated Players
By Farrell Evans and Rick Lipsey
Being underrated at anything can cause even the nicest people to walk around with a chip on their shoulders. Tour players are no different. All the men on our list of the most underrated Tour players of the last 25 years spent years, and sometimes decades, answering questions about how their careers measured up against the game's best. Too bad, because all these guys were a heck of a lot better than most people realized.
Definitely the most underrated golfer in history, except for Michelle Wie. (Wink, wink.) Nelson didn't start playing until he was 21, but he was breaking 70 within nine months, and he qualified for the Tour at 27. He won 10 Tour titles, including three majors, and he has 19 Champions Tour victories. Despite that resume, Nelson didn't get inducted into the Hall of Fame until he was 59, in 2006, and he might not have gotten in at all without a decade-long media campaign spearheaded by Sports Illustrated's Gary Van Sickle.
Nelson aptly told Van Sickle in a 2004 SI interview: "You wonder, from a press perspective, how much is a major worth? If the person is someone who's supposed to win a major, it's worth a lot. If he's not supposed to win a major, it's not worth much."