Dublin, Ohio – The Captains Club today announced that the 2013 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance would be played in honor of golfing great Ray Floyd.
Playing with charisma and intense passion, Floyd captured 22 PGA TOUR titles, highlighted by four major championships. He also won the 1982 Memorial Tournament during a TOUR career that spanned from 1963 to 1992. Floyd’s name appeared at the top of leaderboards in four decades, fueled by his strengths: a superb short game and a steely mental toughness. He is widely considered one of the greatest chippers to ever play the game. His distinctive stare while enveloped in complete concentration became a trademark for Floyd in each of his wins.
Floyd’s competitiveness was showcased most prominently in his major victories.
He won his first in the 1969 PGA Championship at NCR Country Club in Dayton, Ohio, building a five-stroke lead through three rounds before holding off Gary Player for a one-shot victory. In the 1976 Masters Tournament, Floyd put on a magnificent scoring performance at Augusta National Golf Club, winning by eight strokes. His 271 aggregate score tied the then-tournament record set by Jack Nicklaus in 1965. Floyd captured a second PGA in 1982, opening with a 63 at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., and winning wire-to-wire by three shots over Lanny Wadkins.
In 1986, Floyd registered perhaps his most emotional victory, capturing the U.S. Open with a dramatic two-stroke win over Wadkins and Chip Beck at famed Shinnecock Hills Country Club after emerging from a nine-player logjam in the final round. With a closing 4-under 66, Floyd was the only player to finish under par at 1-under 279. At age 44, he was at that time the oldest winner of the U.S. Open.
One of the other hallmarks to Floyd’s Hall of Fame career was his longevity. He and Sam Snead are the only players to win official events in four different decades. In 1992, he became the first player to win on the PGA TOUR and on the Champions Tour in the same calendar year.
Born September 4, 1942 in Fort Bragg, N.C., Floyd grew up around a military base where his father, L.B. Floyd, was a golf professional who managed a driving range and later a golf course. He introduced young Raymond to the game, but the youngster excelled at baseball as well as golf, and he almost became a professional ball player before turning down an offer to pitch in the Cleveland Indians farm system.
Raymond stuck with golf after winning the 1960 National Jaycees tournament, and after attending the University of North Carolina Floyd turned professional in 1961. He notched his first pro win at the 1963 St. Petersburg Open, only his 11th start after joining the TOUR. In 1969, he set a goal to win $100,000, capture a major championship and qualify for the Ryder Cup team. He accomplished all three including his victory at the PGA Championship that year.
Even with that success, Floyd admitted he wasn’t 100 percent dedicated to golf. But that changed in 1973 when he married Maria Fraietta, whom he credits with helping him reach his full potential. Beginning in 1975, Floyd averaged a victory a year for the next 17 years, and in 1983, he earned the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average on TOUR. The only major championship trophy missing from his case is the British Open’s claret jug – he finished second at the Open Championship in 1978 to Jack Nicklaus.
Floyd served on eight U.S. Ryder Cup teams, currently a record he shares with Wadkins, Billy Casper and Phil Mickelson, and he captained the U.S. team in 1989. In 1993 in Kiawah Island, S.C., Floyd became the oldest player to compete in the Ryder Cup at age 51.
Floyd joined the Champions Tour in 1992, winning twice that year. His first win came just 16 days after turning 50, and he went on to win 11 times on the senior circuit, including three senior majors. He retired from competitive golf in 2010.
Floyd resides in Palm Beach, Fla., with wife Maria. He has two sons, Raymond, Jr. and Robert and one daughter, Christina. In 1994, Golfweek named Floyd and his family as “Golf Family of the Year.” In addition to enjoying time with his family, Floyd still enjoys the game and working on his golf course design business.