DeWitt Weaver: Profile of PGA Tour, Champions Tour Winner

pro golfer DeWitt Weaver
DeWitt Weaver was a PGA Tour golfer primarily in the 1970s, then had a second career on the Champions Tour primarily in the 1990s. He was never a big winner, but did snag several tour wins and was particularly known as a strong match player.

Full name: DeWitt Thompson Weaver Jr.

Date of birth: September 14, 1939

Place of birth: Danville, Kentucky

Date and place of death: March 18, 2021, in Marietta, Georgia

Weaver's Biggest Wins

Weaver won twice on the PGA Tour:
  • 1971 U.S. Professional Match Play Championship
  • 1972 Southern Open
He also won once on the Champions Tour:
  • 1991 Bank One Senior Classic
Weaver also won close to 20 other professional tournaments at the state level and PGA of America level, including the Georgia Open four times and Georgia PGA Championship seven times. More on these wins is included in the bio below.

In the Majors

Weaver never recorded a Top 10 finish in any of the four major championships. His best showing a tie for 18th place in the 1974 British Open. Weaver played in a total of 17 majors, his first at the 1966 U.S. Open and last at the 1981 U.S. Open.

More About DeWitt Weaver

DeWitt Weaver Jr. was born into a football family: His father, DeWitt Weaver Sr., was a college football coach. The younger Weaver excelled at football as both a quarterback and punter, but picked up golf beginning at age 13 in 1952.

Weaver Jr. was an all-star quarterback during high school in Lubbock, Texas, where his father was the head football coach at Texas Tech University from 1951-60. DeWitt went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas on a football scholarship, but played for both the football and golf teams there.

He spent two years on the bench as the backup to future Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith. But in his later years, Weaver liked to joke it was another future Dallas Cowboy, Bob Lilly, who more influenced his decision to focus on golf: Getting hit by Texas Christian University's Lilly, who went on to be one of the all-time great defensive tackles in NFL history, convinced Weaver that golf was the way to go.

Weaver moved to Georgia after college and lived there for the rest of his life. His first pro win was in the 1964 Louisiana Open (not a tour event), and that year was the first in which he tried the PGA Tour. It didn't go well, however, and Weaver retreated to a club job in Georgia.

"I found out I couldn't play a lick," Weaver said years later. But after getting some help on his swing from former Major League Baseball player and PGA Tour winner turned golf instructor Sam Byrd, Weaver headed back out to the PGA Tour in 1967.

He struggled for several years without cracking the Top 100 on the money list (at the time, golfers had to make the Top 60 to be exempt from weekly qualifying). The hallmark of Weaver's game was power off the tee: He was a very long hitter. But he struggled with control. His game improved once he figured out how to better balance power and control.

The 1973 PGA Tour Media Guide put it this way:

"Once DeWitt was able to put a harness on his power, he became a winner on the Tour. Regarded as one of the longest hitters in the game, DeWitt struggled through his first four seasons, mainly because he could not control his cannon shot. By 1971, DeWitt became less distance-minded, and the results were most profitable."
He had come close to winning on the PGA Tour once before (finishing second in the 1968 Greater Jacksonville Open), but Weaver got that first win in 1971. At the 1971 U.S. Professional Match Play Championship (then called the Liggett & Myers Open Match Play Championship), Weaver beat at stellar list of opponents: George Archer, Doug Sanders, Julius Boros, Lou Graham, Bruce Crampton and, in the championship match, Phil Rodgers.

Weaver played that tournament from 1971-73 (the only three years it took place) and compiled a 9-2 record. In 1973, he reached the championship match again before falling to John Schroeder.

The second (and last, it turned out) win of his PGA Tour career was at the 1972 Southern Open, where Weaver won on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. He had one other close call: Weaver led the 1972 Hawaiian Open through 69 holes before settling for third place.

Weaver was in the Top 60 on the PGA Tour money list from 1971-73, with a best finish of 24th in 1971. But by 1974 he fell out of the Top 60 and played sporadically afterward. During the next two decades, he mostly called himself semi-retired from tour life, and made his last PGA Tour start in 1994. In his PGA Tour career, Weaver made 287 starts, had 21 Top 10s, two wins, two second-place finishes and two thirds.

From the mid-1970s, Weaver worked as a club pro in Georgia at various clubs, including Sea Palms in St. Simons Island. He played many big PGA of America events in the state during that period, and during the 1970s was the dominant golfer there (twice earning Georgia PGA Player of the Year honors). His wins included the Georgia Open in 1972, 1973, 1977 and 1979; the Georgia PGA Championship in 1966, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1978, 1979 and 1984; the Atlanta Open in 1969 and 1971; and the Georgia Match Play Championship in 1979.

When Weaver turned 50 in 1989, he was ready to head back out on tour, and joined the Champions Tour. His senior circuit career was a productive one. It included winning the 1991 Bank One Senior Classic (Weaver shot 65 in the final round, with birdies on the final three holes of regulation and the two playoff holes), and second-place finishes in the 1993 Vantage Championship, 1996 U.S. Senior Open and 1997 Transamerica. He finished 27th on the Champions Tour money list in 1991, 17th in 1992, 21st in 1993 and 28th in 1994.

Weaver never lost his reputation for long hitting, and he led the Champions Tour in eagles in both 1992 and 1993. His last start on the senior tour was in 2008. For his career, Weaver made 405 Champions Tour starts, with 45 Top 10s, one win three seconds and three thirds.

Today, Weaver is a member of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and Northeast Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

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