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EXCERPT | August 27, 1984

One for the Aged

At 44, creaky Lee Trevino won the PGA at Shoal Creek

Twenty-four years after he and his unorthodox, flat swing debuted on the PGA Tour, Trevino was nearing the end of his career when he teed off at the PGA Championship. Barry McDermott reported for SI.

Lee Trevino's four-stroke victory in the 66th PGA Championship at Shoal Creek outside of Birmingham last week emphasized once more that he's one guy no one ever will count 10 over. Here he was, with a back so bum he can't practice, and yet he could summon up the skill and courage to turn back golf's toughest field on a Jack Nicklaus--designed course that, although just seven years old, ranks with the finest ever to host a major championship.

And, would you believe, for most of the week Trevino didn't even know that first place was worth $125,000? He went blithely about Shoal Creek, constructing his first victory in three years, his sixth major, his first since winning the PGA a decade ago. Trevino played sensational golf. He played the game the way it was meant to be played: down the middle—the only way to survive at Shoal Creek, which has some of the most penalizing rough this side of the Amazon—on the green and in the hole. "It's nice that an old guy can still beat these young guys," he said afterward, perhaps forgetting that one of the men he'd beaten was older than himself, 48-year-old Gary Player.

Trevino's performance was also record-breaking. His 15-under 69-68-67-69--273 was the lowest subpar effort in PGA Championship history, and it was the first time any player had played all four rounds under 70.

The PGA was Trevino's 29th and final Tour victory. He would play the tournament five more times, finishing second to Hubert Green in 1985.

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Photograph by MICHAEL O'BRYON

BLAST FROM THE PAST Trevino, nearly a decade removed from his time as one of the game's best players, cruised about Shoal Creek with ease—he had only three bogeys and a double bogey in 72 holes, and not a single three-putt.

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SHEL HERSHORN

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T. TANUMA

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WALTER IOOSS JR./FUJI FILM USA

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KOHJIRO KINNO (KAYMER)

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JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES (OWENS)

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MARC LECUREUIL/GETTY IMAGES FOR NIKE (COACH K)

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CHUCK SOLOMON (RYAN)

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CHUCK SOLOMON (MARTINEZ)

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THEO WESTENBERGER (DREAM TEAM)

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J PAT CARTER/AP (BOSH)