Summary: Steve Elkington is a professional Australian golfer, known for his long-standing career in the sport and impressive accomplishments on the course. He has won over 10 PGA Tour events and even took home the cherished PGA Championship trophy in 1995. However, his actions off the course have also gained attention throughout the years.
1. Early Life and Golf Beginnings
Steve Elkington was born on December 8, 1962, in Inverell, Australia. As a child, he had a passion for sports and played various games before discovering golf at age 12. Though he was already showing potential, Elkington made the decision to drop out of high school at age 15 and focus on golf full-time. He soon became a caddie, allowing him to be around the game more and learn from other players.
Elkington eventually turned professional in 1985 and started playing on the Australian Tour. He quickly proved himself as a skillful player and won his first professional tournament in 1987. The victory earned him an invitation to the prestigious Masters Tournament, where he finished in the top 30. This experience solidified Elkington’s desire to compete internationally and make a name for himself in the golf world.
In 1991, Elkington moved to the United States to begin playing on the PGA Tour. He would go on to have a successful career on the tour, winning 10 events and earning over $28 million in prize money.
2. Major Championship Victories
Throughout his career, Elkington was able to achieve several major championship victories. His first major win came during the 1995 PGA Championship, held at the Riviera Country Club in California. Elkington played well throughout the tournament, ultimately finishing with a score of 267 and a record-tying score of 17 under par. This victory solidified Elkington’s place in golf history and introduced him to a wider audience.
Elkington also had several close calls at other major championships, finishing second place at both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship multiple times. He remains one of the most successful Australian golfers in history and has paved the way for future generations of players from his home country.
Elkington’s success on the course did not go unnoticed by his peers. Several fellow players have praised him over the years, including Greg Norman, who referred to Elkington as the best ball-striker he’s ever seen.
3. Controversial Comments and Social Media Presence
While Elkington was successful on the course, his actions off the course have sometimes caused controversy. In 2013, he tweeted out several comments that many people found offensive and homophobic. One tweet in particular used a derogatory term to refer to openly-gay NFL player Michael Sam. The backlash from this incident was significant and led to Elkington being dropped as a commentator for CBS Sports.
Elkington’s social media accounts have continued to be a source of controversy. In 2020, he made statements about coronavirus being a “fraud” and joked about Chinese people eating bats, which many saw as racially insensitive. Though he has since deleted these posts, they drew criticism from people around the world.
Elkington has also been known to speak his mind during interviews and other public appearances. While some appreciate his candidness, others believe that his comments can be hurtful and unprofessional.
4. Later Career and Current Status
Elkingtion’s last official PGA Tour event was in 2014, though he has continued to play in other tournaments. In recent years, he has dedicated himself to course design and has helped create several well-regarded courses in different parts of the world.
Elkington’s current status in the golf world is somewhat uncertain. While he remains a respected player and influential personality, his past controversies have raised questions about his reputation. Only time will tell what the future holds for this talented athlete.
Steve Elkington is undoubtedly one of the most successful Australian golfers in history, with numerous victories and accomplishments to his name. However, his off-course actions and controversial comments have also garnered attention. While some people appreciate his candor, others believe that his behavior has been unacceptable. Regardless of where you stand on Elkington’s controversial past, there is no denying the talent and dedication that he has brought to the sport of golf.