On this day in 1996, Happy Gilmore beat Shooter McGavin to win the Tour Championship


Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo. Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal. Muhammed Ali vs Joe Frazier. Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady.

All are iconic sporting rivalries but none come close to Happy Gilmore vs Shooter McGavin.

On this day in 1996, ‘Happy Gilmore’ was released and it delivered one of the greatest comebacks in history.

Happy was four shots back of McGavin on the back nine of the Tour Championship and proceeded to produce an extraordinary comeback to take the title.

On the 18th hole, a fallen TV tower presented Happy with a near-impossible shot.

He would have done well to get the ball in the hole in two shots, which would have taken the tournament to a playoff.

But he required just one, striking the ball against a car and watching it pinball its way into the hole.


Remember that Happy didn’t even start out as a golfer.

He dreamed of playing ice hockey but have quite mastered the skill of skating on ice.

So he turned to golf after discovering that he could drive a ball over 400 years.

Happy then met legendary golfer Chubbs Peterson, who agreed to be his coach.

Chubbs helped Happy develop a short game and then he was ready to take on McGavin for the Tour Championship.


Happy wants to thank Chubbs for his help and gifts him the head of the alligator that bit off his hand.

But the shock of seeing the gift startles Chubbs and he falls threw an open window to his death.

Determined to win for Chubbs and his grandmother - whose house has been bought by Shooter to spite Gilmore - Happy leads the tournament after the third round.

Sensing defeat, McGavin orders Gilmore to be struck by a car before the fourth and final round. Happy is injuries and unable to reach his usual distances from the tee.

But he fights his way back and proceeds to defeat Shooter on the final hole in extraordinary circumstances.


Congratulations, Happy. We hope you’re still out there fighting alligators and taking baseballs to the head.

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