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Byron Nelson: His Last Interview


"I haven't had a lot of stress, but I did when my first wife, Louise, had a stroke, on Good Friday, 1983. They said she wouldn't live another two weeks. Well, she lived another two years. She was completely paralyzed and never spoke again, except to say, 'Home, home, home.' Golf isn't stress. When the woman you've loved your whole life can only say 'home,' that's stress.


"If I could go back in time and talk to my 20-year-old self? I'd tell him this: 'Do it all the same.' I wouldn't change a thing. I've taken care of my body and mind, I've done the things I wanted, and surrounded myself with wonderful friends and family. If you do that, you won't have many regrets."


"What's always gotten me through life was this: Be nice to people. When I walk through the pearly gates and He greets me, I'd like to hear Him say, 'Byron, you've been a good man. Come on in.'"

Lord Byron left a lasting impression on all he met

"Even when Nelson is only halfway putting, he can't be beaten. He plays golf shots like a virtuoso. He is the finest golfer I have ever seen." -Tommy Armour, winner of 25 PGA Tour events

"He could hit a 1-iron or a 2-iron that carried over 200 yards no more than 15 feet in the air. I've never seen anybody else hit the ball quite the way he did."
-Bob Toski, former PGA Tour pro and golf instructor

"I was 7-under and still lost. How the hell are you supposed to beat this man?"
-Mike Turnesa, after losing 1-down to Nelson in the second round of match play at the 1945 PGA Championship.

"I remember my dad telling me he won 11 straight. That's what you call a hot streak."
-Tiger Woods, who twice has won six straight PGA Tour events

"Byron has the most wonderful friends. About 10,000 close friends at last count."
-Peggy Nelson, his wife of 20 years

"He taught me one thing above all as the years went by. I sum it up as, 'Be good to the game and give back.'"
-Ken Venturi, one of Nelson's most successful protégés

"Golf has never had a nicer champion."
-Jack Nicklaus, 18-time major champion

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