November 23, 2015

Scott Verplank has been an Oklahoma resident since the 1980s, owns five PGA Tour wins, a U.S. Amateur victory, an NCAA individual title and sits 30th on the all-time money list. Oklahoma City native Bob Tway has claimed eight Tour wins, including a major, the 1986 PGA Championship. Then there’s also Dr. Gil Morgan from Wewoka. Morgan has seven PGA Tour titles, plus another 25 on the Champions Tour, including three majors. But our vote goes to lifelong amateur Charlie Coe. Born in Ardmore, Coe attended the University of Oklahoma from 1946 through ’48, winning the conference championship all three years. He claimed the 1949 U.S. Amateur by an 11-and-10 margin and the 1958 title, 5 and 4. He lost in the 1959 final, 1 up, to Jack Nicklaus. Perhaps most remarkable are Coe’s Masters records: most appearances by an amateur (19), most low amateur finishes (6), and lowest finish by an amateur, a T-2 in 1961, when only Gary Player bested him. Coe didn’t even play a full amateur schedule (he made a successful living in the oil business), but for nearly 15 years, he was among the 25 best players in the world, pros included.