“At the time, I chose not to talk about it much,” said Green many years later. “And on the course, I figured I was already nervous enough, that I couldn't get much more nervous.”
Born and raised in Birmingham, Ala., Green attended Shades Valley High School before moving on to Florida State University. While in college, he won the 1966 Southern Amateur on his home course, the Country Club of Birmingham. A year later, he claimed the Alabama Amateur title. His fourth-place finish in the 1968 U.S. Amateur at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, earned Green an invitation to the 1969 Masters. That year, he also enlisted in the Alabama National Guard, but when he won the Southern Amateur for a second time in 1969, he started contemplating a professional golf career.
The decision to turn professional proved prudent as he claimed his first professional win in the 1971 Houston Champions International in a playoff over Don January. The last of his victories came in the 1985 PGA Championship, in which he edged two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Trevino by two strokes.
He joined the Champions Tour in 1997 and posted four victories. He was twice named the Champions Tour’s comeback player of the year (2002 and 2004).
“The Hall of Fame was a nice touch,” said Green of his 2007 induction. “A final cap to a pretty good career. I never judged my career against others. I was just playing golf.”
At the 2005 Masters, Green received the Ben Hogan Award from the Golf Writers Association of America for his commitment to the game despite a serious illness. He had been diagnosed with throat cancer two years earlier during a routine visit to the dentist. By the end of 2003, the cancer was in remission thanks to a painful regimen of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
“I know what I remember him for,” said two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the same class as Green. “Tenacity, overachiever in a very, very positive way, and quite frankly, winning the [U.S.] Open under difficult circumstances on Sunday afternoon. I don't think there are many people that could have done that.”
Green is survived by his wife Becky Blair, of Birmingham; 3 sons, Hubert Myatt Green, Jr. (Liz) of Hurricane, Utah; Patrick Myatt Green; and James Thomas Green (Adrienne) of Panama City, Florida; sisters Melinda Green Powers (J. William), and Carolyn Green Satterfield (William H.), and brother Maurice O. V. Green (Annette), all of Birmingham. He is also survived by grandchildren, Shelby Green, Hubert Myatt Green, III “Trey”, and Elizabeth Green, all of Allen, Texas; granddaughter Judi Lauren Green of Hurricane, Utah, and grandson Ethan Green of Panama City Beach, Florida; step-sons Richard O’Brien of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Atticus O’Brien, of Dallas, Texas.
David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.