Fuzzy Zoeller

What is Fuzzy Zoeller’s Net Worth?

Fuzzy Zoeller is an American professional golfer who has a net worth of $10 million. Fuzzy Zoeller won ten PGA Tour events, including the Masters and the US Open. He also came in second in the PGA Championship in 1981 and third in the Open Championship in 1994. Among his honors, Zoeller won the 1985 Bob Jones Award.

Fuzzy is perhas most widely known for his propensity for joking about other golfers in the middle of tournaments. Some of his remarks and jokes have been well received, such as his waving a white towel in surrender at the U.S. Open. He went on to win the tournament, even with the mock surrender. However, others, such as a racially charged joke aimed at Tiger Woods have caused controversy. His behavior often overshadowed his level of play.

Early Life and Education

Fuzzy Zoeller was born as Frank Urban Zoeller Jr. on November 11, 1951 in New Albany, Indiana. He played golf as a student at New Albany High School, coming in second place in the 1970 state high school tournament. Zoeller went on to attend Edison Junior College in Florida before transferring to the University of Houston.

Professional Golf Career

In 1973, after winning the Indiana State Amateur, Zoeller turned professional. His first professional win came in January of 1979 at the Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational. A few months after that, Zoeller made history by winning the Masters Tournament in his first appearance at the event, making him the first golfer since 1935 to do so. Moreover, he won in the first-ever sudden-death playoff at the Masters, which involved Ed Sneed and Tom Watson. Zoeller’s next win on the PGA Tour was at the Colonial National Invitation in 1981. That year, he came in second in the PGA Championship. In 1983, Zoeller claimed victories at the Sea Pines Heritage and the Panasonic Las Vegas Pro Celebrity Classic.

Zoeller won his second major championship in 1984: the US Open. He claimed the title following a memorable 18-hole playoff with Greg Norman. Subsequently, Zoeller was named the recipient of the Bob Jones Award, the highest playing honor given by the United States Golf Association. He went on to win the Hertz Bay Hill Classic in 1985. The year after that, Zoeller won three more PGA Tour events: the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the Sea Pines Heritage (his second win at that event), and the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic. His next biggest highlight came in 1994 at the Open Championship, where he shared the 54-hole lead before finishing the tournament in third. Among his later career highlights, Zoeller won the 2002 Senior PGA Championship and the 2004 MasterCard Championship.

A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

At the Masters Tournament in 1997, Zoeller made controversial remarks about Tiger Woods that were perceived by many as racist. Referring to the Masters Champions Dinner, for which the defending champion gets to choose the menu, Zoeller remarked of Woods:

He’s doing quite well, pretty impressive. That little boy is driving well and he’s putting well. He’s doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it.

Following that statement, Zoeller smiled, snapped his fingers, and walked away before turning around and adding, “or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.” In response to these comments, Zoeller lost his sponsors Dunlop and K-Mart. Although he claimed he was just joking, he offered a direct apology to Woods later on.

Personal Life

In 1975, Zoeller married his wife Diane Thornton. Together, they had four children named Sunny, Miles, Heidi, and Gretchen. Following a battle with dementia, Thornton passed away in late 2021. Zoeller resides in Floyds Knobs, Indiana.