My Five: Favorite Improvised Beginnings

January 26, 2011
Editor's Note: Jaime Diaz compiled this list in January 2011. Another potential candidate could be Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey, who recently captured his first PGA Tour win at the McGladrey Classic.

When 26-year-old rookie Jhonattan Vegas won the Bob Hope Classic, it was the culmination of a golf journey that began when he was a boy hitting rocks with a broomstick in a Venezuelan oil camp. Some of golf's greatest characters have come from similar roots, all of them not coincidentally wizards of shotmaking. Here are my favorite five.
Chi Chi Rodriguez

1. Chi Chi Rodriguez

Rodriguez was earning money as water carrier in a Puerto Rican sugar cane field and boxing in the streets when, at 7-years-old, he learned he could make more money caddieing. He first played with a club fashioned from the branch of a guava tree using rolled-up tin cans for balls. After a stint in the Army, where he manned a 105mm howitzer, Rodriguez made it to the PGA Tour, becoming at 5-7, 117 pounds, the longest pound-for-pound hitter in the game and eventually one the most creative iron players in history. He won eight official events between 1963 and 1979, and 22 more on the Senior Tour. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.
AP Photo
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