Samuel Jackson Snead (May 27, 1912 – May 23, 2002) was an American professional golfer who was one of the top players in the world for most of four decades. He and two of the other greatest golfers of all time, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, were born within six months of each other in 1912. Snead won a record 82 PGA Tour events.
Snead won seven majors: three Masters, three PGA Championships and one British Open. But his reputation has always been slightly tarnished by his failure to win a U.S. Open. Snead used to share the record for most second-place finishes in that championship (four) with four others; Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Phil Mickelson. After the 2009 U.S. Open, Mickelson became the all-time leader with five second place finishes.
Snead's nickname was "Slammin' Sammy." He was admired by many for having the so-called "perfect swing," and generated many imitators. Snead was famed for his folksy image, wearing a straw hat, playing tournaments barefoot, and making such statements as "Keep close count of your nickels and dimes, stay away from whiskey, and never concede a putt." He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, and received the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.