Bossier City-Shreveport doesn’t have a better ambassador than professional golfer David Toms.
Any time he has had the opportunity in his career as a professional golfer to promote the area, Toms has done so.
The former Airline and LSU star was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony Saturday in Natchitoches.
“It’s special for a guy like me who’s had his roots here forever, and had the support of sports fans, golf fans,” Toms told The Times’ Roy Lang III in a story written for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. “Being in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame with a lot of the greats is an honor.”
Of course, Toms didn’t make the Hall because of his love of Northwest Louisiana.
He earned it with his play on the golf courses of the world.
After a stellar career at Airline, Toms went on to earn All-America honors at LSU in 1988 and 1989.
In 24 seasons on the PGA Tour, he won 13 times. At 50, he has joined the Champions Tour.
He ranked 10th on the PGA Tour’s all-time money list with a little more than $41.8 million — winning more than $2 million in a season 10 times — including six years with at least $3 million. His top earning season was in 2005 when he piled up $3,962,013 on 11 top-10 finishes.
Toms was in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking for 175 weeks between 2001 and 2006, rising as high as fifth in 2002 and ’03.
His PGA Tour wins include the 2001 PGA Championship and 2001 Compaq Classic of New Orleans when he became the first Louisiana native to win the Tour’s annual stop in the Crescent City.
He took the PGA Championship by one stroke over Phil Mickelson after outlasting “Lefty” by two swings three months earlier in New Orleans. Toms also has 16 runner-up finishes on Tour while making 411 cuts in 611 career starts.
He’s made a World Cup (2002), three U.S. Ryder Cup teams (2002, ’04, ’06) with a 4-6-2 record and four Presidents Cup squads (2003, ’05, ’07, ’11). He was 4-0-1 in helping the USA win the ’07 Presidents Cup.
Toms has a sparkling record in golf’s four majors, making the cut in 37 of 61 career starts with six top-five efforts and 11 top-10s — including three Masters and three U.S. Opens. In addition to his win at the 2001 PGA, his top major finishes were a tie for fourth at the U.S. and British opens and a tie for sixth at the Masters.
Toms built the David Toms Academy 265 in Shreveport, a world class instruction and training facility to help local youths, and is active in golf course design.
“I’ve always tried to provide a good example for them – on the course and off the course,” Toms told Lang of his work with young golfers. “If that’s helped them, great. It’s always in the back of my mind – especially around (265) or wherever I am.”
He shared the 2006 Golf Writers Association of America’s Charlie Bennett Award with fellow Louisianans Kelly Gibson and Hal Sutton for helping raise $2 million toward the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.