By Andrew Both
(Reuters) – As Tiger Woods makes his first attempt this week at surpassing Sam Snead for the most all-time PGA Tour victories, the man largely responsible for pegging Snead’s number at 82 has weighed in with his thoughts on how the two greats compare.
Many of ‘Slammin’ Sammy’s’ victories – achieved from 1936 to 1965 – came before the tour existed in its current form, back in an era when there were was a looser affiliation of events, rather than today’s highly structured circuit.
Indeed, in 1987, then-PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman set up a panel of golf historians to sift through Snead’s victories with a fine tooth comb, deciding which to include in the official tally and which to discard.
The final number displeased many on both sides. Snead supporters were disappointed that several were excluded, and Snead himself thought the official number should have been 89.
Others felt, however, that some of the inclusions were not warranted.
But more than three decades later, Beman is comfortable with the figure of 82, while acknowledging there were some tough judgment calls that had to be made.
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