Look Back: The Top Five ACC Men's Golf Champions

Charlotte, N.C. – The 63rd annual ACC Men’s Golf Championship is once again ready to kick off at Old North State Club in New London, North Carolina. As this year’s field prepares for their shot at ACC history, we decided to take a look back at the best golfers that have hoisted the ACC trophy, along with other notable pros to have come from ACC schools. 

Top Five ACC Men's Golf Champions

5. David Duval – Georgia Tech
    13 PGA Tour wins, 1 Major Championship, 1991&1993 ACC Champion

Any time you are considered one of Tiger Woods’ biggest rivals, it’s safe to say you’ve emerged as one of the PGA’s best. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s Duval was just that, contending with Tiger on Sunday with regularity. In April 1999, Duval reached the #1 ranking in the Official Word Golf Rankings and captured his only major title two years later at the 2001 Open Championship.

4. Lanny Wadkins – Wake Forest
    21 PGA Tour wins, 1 Major Championship, 1969 ACC Champion

Shortly after winning the ACC Championship in 1969, Wadkins captured the 1970 U.S. Amateur title. Thereafter he began a professional career that would span over four decades including the 1977 PGA Championship, 1985 PGA Player of the Year, eight Ryder Cup appearances and a spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009. 

3. Curtis Strange – Wake Forest 
   17 PGA Tour wins, 2 Major Championships, 1975 ACC Champion, 1974 NCAA Champion

After a stellar collegiate career, Strange made a name for himself when he won back-to-back U.S. Opens in 1988 and 1989, something that hadn’t been done since 1938. Between 1986 and 1990, Strange spent over 200 weeks in the Top-10 of the Official World Golf Rankings and was named the 1988 PGA player of the Year. He participated in six Ryder Cups and was named to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007.

2. Davis Love III – North Carolina 
    21 PGA Tour Wins, 1 Major Championship, 1984 ACC Champion

After winning the ACC championship in 1984, Love joined the PGA Tour. It didn’t take long for him to make an impact, claiming his first career tour win at the 1987 MCI Heritage Golf Classic in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Since then, Love has won 20 PGA Tour events, including last year at the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield, where the ACC was founded. “DL3” won his sole major at the 1997 PGA Championship, played in six Presidents Cups, six Ryder Cups and was named the 2012 and 2016 Ryder Cup Captain.

1. Arnold Palmer – Wake Forest
    62 PGA Tour wins, 7 Major Championships, 1954 ACC Champion

It’s hard to top a guy nicknamed “The King”. Palmer is just that, ranking fifth in all-time PGA Tour wins and seventh all-time in Majors. He won the very first ACC championship in 1954 and was in the World Golf Hall of Fame just 20 years later. A people’s favorite from the start, Arnie developed amassed an “army” over the course of his 62 PGA victories and countless masterful moments. Palmer was the first golfer to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the second golfer to receive Congressional Golf Medal, the two highest civilian awards in the United States. He continues to support collegiate golfers though the Arnold Palmer Scholarship at his alma mater.

Other Notable Golfers from ACC Schools

ACC Champion or not, let’s take a look at the caliber of players ACC golf programs have produced. 
* ( ) denotes non-graduates’ time in school

  • Billy Andrade – Wake Forest ‘87: 4 PGA Tour wins
  • Paul Azinger – Florida State ‘81: 12 PGA Tour wins, 1 Major Championship
  • Daniel Berger – Florida State (2011-2013): 2015 PGA Rookie of the Year
  • Jonathan Byrd – Clemson ’00: 5 PGA Tour wins
  • Billy Casper – Notre Dame (1950): 51 PGA Tour wins, 3 Major Championships
  • Stewart Cink – Georgia Tech ‘95: 6 PGA Tour wins, 1 Major Championship
  • Tim Clark – NC State (1996-1998): 2 PGA Tour wins, 3 Top-5 Major finishes
  • Raymond Floyd – North Carolina (1961): 22 PGA tour wins, 4 Major Championships
  • Lucas Glover – Clemson ‘05: 3 PGA Tour wins, 1 Major Championship
  • Hubert Green – Florida State ’68: 19 PGA Tour wins, 2 Major Championships
  • Bill Haas – Wake Forest ’04: 6 PGA Tour wins
  • Jay Haas – Wake Forest ’76: 9 PGA Tour wins, 17 Champions Tour wins, 1975 NCAA National Champion
  • Scott Hoch – Wake Forest ‘78: 11 PGA Tour wins
  • Bobby Jones – Georgia Tech ’22: 9 PGA Tour win, 7 Major Championships
  • Matt Kuchar – Georgia Tech ’00: 7 PGA Tour wins
  • Troy Matteson – Georgia Tech ’03: 2 PGA Tour wins, 2002 NCAA National Champion
  • Larry Mize – Georgia Tech ’80: 4 PGA Tour wins, 1 Major Championship
  • Webb Simpson – Wake Forest ’08: 4 PGA wins, 2012 U.S. Open Champion
  • Jeff Sluman – Florida State ’80: 6 PGA Tour wins, 1 Major Championship
  • Kevin Streelman – Duke ’01: 2 PGA Tour wins
  • Art Wall Jr. – Duke ’49: 14 PGA Tour wins, 1 Major Championship
  • Mark Wilson – North Carolina ’97: 5 PGA Tour wins, 1996 ACC Champion