My Five: Best Players in Florida

March 2, 2011
PGA Tour golf takes on a different look during the Florida swing. There's more wind and water hazards, tricky Bermuda rough, and often puzzling grain on the greens. Some players -- especially those who have taken up residence in the tax haven -- take to the conditions, and some don't. Tom Watson never won a regular tour event in Florida, while John Huston captured five of his seven career victories there. In my opinion, these five players were the best Florida performers ever.
Jack Nicklaus

1. Jack Nicklaus (11 victories)

Only two major championships have ever been held in Florida, and Nicklaus won one of them, the 1971 PGA, which was played in February at PGA National. It was his first official victory in the state he'd made his main residence in 1965, but more came quickly, including three Players Championships by 1978. His most memorable Florida feat remains the 1978 Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic, when he birdied the last five holes -- two of them with chip-ins -- to defeat Grier Jones by a stroke. Said his final round playing partner, Lee Trevino, "It was like Reggie Jackson hitting three straight homers in the World Series."
Jack Kanthal/AP Photo
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