Twenty years ago this summer Texas native Justin Leonard won his first and only major championship at the legendary Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. Leonard sealed his position in golf history with the win, having his name engraved on the Claret Jug as a winner of the 1997 British Open. (Or simply The Open Championship, as it’s known in Europe.)
Leonard, who is now 46, is supplying smart and witty commentary on the Open broadcast this year, bringing both his accomplished pedigree and modesty to the task. Leonard was commonly a contender during the late 90s and early aughts, during the hey day of a guy named Tiger Woods. Leonard’s illustrious college career saw him ascend to the PGA Tour without even going to Q-School, a rare accomplishment. And Leonard was able to compete at the highest level despite not having the long-hitting prowess of his more successful contemporaries, Woods and Phil Mickelson. Leonard won 13 times on the PGA Tour and was a Ryder Cup selection three times. Leonard is perhaps even more famous for his 1999 putt to clinch a Ryder Cup comeback for the US team than for his Open triumph.