Leo Diegel’s sensitive soul and hyperactive mind wouldn’t rest as he pondered the complexity of the game. Known as one of the great shotmakers, Diegel between 1920 and 1934 won 30 PGA TOUR events, including two PGA Championships. His hunger to understand the mysteries of the game and his amiable nature made him one of the most popular players of his time.
“In all my years of golf, I have never seen anyone whose devotion to the game could match Leo’s,” wrote Gene Sarazen. “It was his religion. Between courses at the table, Leo used to get up and practice swings. Every night he went to bed dreaming theory and every morning he awakened with some hot idea that was going to revolutionize the game.”
On the other hand, Diegel’s many friends wondered if he cared too much. His passion combined with a nervous temperament often conspired against him at the biggest moments. His history in the major championships betrays a pattern of superb play undermined by shaky finishes.