Tom Kite Jr. is a professional golfer and golf course architect. He began playing golf at age six, and won his first tournament at age 11. Kite attended the University of Texas on a golf scholarship and was coached by Harvey Penick.
He turned professional in 1972 and won the 1973 PGA Rookie of the year. Kite has been a consistent money winner ever since. Known for his innovation, he was the first to add a third wedge to his bag, one of the first players to use a sports psychologist, and one of the first to emphasize physical fitness for game improvement. He also underwent laser eye surgery, due to his partial blindness, in a bid to improve his game late in his career. He has 19 PGA Tour victories, including the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He competed on seven Ryder Cup squads (1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1993) and served as the 1997 captain. Kite holds a unique record of making the cut for the first four U.S. Opens held at Pebble Beach: 1972, 1982, 1992, and 2000. He spent 175 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking between 1989 and 1994.
In 1989. he was named PGA of America Player of the Year and the 1981 Golf Writers Association Player of the Year, as well as the 1981-1982 Vardon Trophy winner. Kite was the first in Tour history to reach $6 million, $7 million, $8 million, and $9 million in career earnings. He was the Tour's leading money-winner in 1981 and 1989.