Wednesday, March 13

Sobel's Gem on 'Next Nicklaus' Eddie Pearce

Eddie Pearce
A WORTHWHILE LONG READ: JASON SOBEL'S "Eddie Pearce: The fast life and hard times of 'The Next Nicklaus.'"

If you lived through the 1970s and were a golf fan, then you probably remember there were more next Jack Nicklauses than Tiger Woods Sunday red shirts. Eddie Pearce was one of them, maybe the most talented of them all.

Sobel writes:
You see, Eddie [Pearce] was a golfer. Well, not just a golfer. The golfer. Sports Illustrated once deemed him "The Next Nicklaus." His buddies agreed with the magazine -- and his buddies knew a thing or two about talent. 
"I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone with as much talent as him," says Ben Crenshaw, himself a two-time Masters champion. 
"Eddie had such a gorgeous, powerful swing. He could just hit the most beautiful shots you’ve ever seen."
"Eddie had as much talent as anybody I’d ever seen," agrees Lanny Wadkins, Pearce's teammate at Wake Forest and a 21-time PGA Tour winner. 
"This was a guy who was going to win frequently and win majors," maintains accomplished amateur Vinny Giles, who also served as his manager. "He was going to be one of the best players in the game."
As Sobel adds, "It never happened." As he quotes Wadkins, "[Pearce] was the can’t-miss kid who missed."

So who exactly was Eddie Pearce, what kind of player was he, and why didn't he make it?

Read the whole story.

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