Buffalo Bill was introduced to golf by his father at age 5 and started his PGA Tour career in 1955 at the age of 24, which could be considered a late start compared to today’s standards. Even with this late start he ended up with 51 wins on the PGA Tour, 6th on the all time win list. Included in those 51 victories are two U.S Opens and one Masters. He also has won nine Senior Tour Championships including two Senior Majors, one of them the USGA Senior Open in 1983.
Buffalo Bill was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1978 and the PGA Hall of fame in 1982. He played on eight Ryder Cup teams and captained the 1979 Ryder Cup. He won five Vardon Trophies, awarded to the player with the lowest scoring average for the year, and was a two-time Player of The Year winner. In 1968 he was the first player to surpass $200,000 in single-season earnings and won his second money title. He was also the second player in history to reach the $1 million career earnings mark, Arnold Palmer being the first.
These are the highlights on Buffalo Bill’s golfing career. Only five people in the history of game have accomplished more on the PGA Tour. Sam Snead leads the all time victory list with 81 wins, followed by Jack Nicklaus with 73 and Ben Hogan with 64, “The King”, Arnold Palmer, has 62 and Byron Nelson has 52, to round out the top five. All five of these great champions, as well as lesser-accomplished pros, are talked about all the time, but not Buffalo Bill. For some reason his name only pops up occasionally. One would think that with credentials like these, his name would be a household word at least through-out the golfing world. Yet, for some reason that is not the case.
Heck his name hasn’t even popped up here yet! Who is Buffalo Bill?
Well for those of you that haven’t figured it out yet, it is none other then San Diego’s native son, Billy Casper.
Why Buffalo Bill?
When Billy Casper began a strict diet of buffalo meat, he went on a winning streak – 51 PGA Tour victories in all – that assured him legendary golf status. This culinary peculiarity earned Casper the moniker “Buffalo Bill.” The rest, including the above-mentioned Masters championship and two U.S. Open titles, is history.
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