Paul William Azinger is an American professional golfer and TV golf analyst. He won twelve times on the PGA Tour, including one major championship, the 1993 PGA Championship. He spent almost 300 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking between 1988 and 1994.
Azinger turned professional in 1981. During his early years, Azinger collected meager earnings. He and his wife, Toni, bought a used motor home, a 1983 Vogue, and drove from tournament to tournament. Azinger had a breakout year in 1987, when he won three times on the PGA Tour and had a second-place finish in the Open Championship.
Azinger won eleven tournaments on the PGA Tour in seven seasons from 1987 to 1993, climaxing in his one major title, the 1993 PGA Championship at Inverness, which he won in a sudden-death playoff against Greg Norman.
Azinger finished one shot behind Nick Faldo at the 1987 Open Championship at Muirfield after making bogey at both the 71st and 72nd holes. Azinger was bidding to become only the fourth golfer since 1945 to win the Open Championship at the first attempt and said that he was "heartbroken" to leave Muirfield without the Claret Jug trophy.
At the 1991 Ryder Cup, Azinger was involved in a controversial episode with Seve Ballesteros, with whom he had a fierce rivalry. Azinger and American teammate Chip Beck were using balls of different compressions off the tee on multiple holes, in violation of an agreement between the Cup captains. Azinger initially denied that the Americans had engaged in this practice, but admitted to it once he realized that there would be no penalty assessed.
In December 1993, Azinger was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in his right shoulder. His treatment included six months of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiation in California. He wrote a book called Zinger about his battle with the disease and was the recipient of GWAA Ben Hogan Award in 1995, given to the individual who has continued to be active in golf despite physical handicap or serious illness. In 2000, he won his first tournament in seven seasons at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Azinger was the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for the 2008 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. He led the team to its first victory over the European squad since 1999. The team's victory was largely credited to his innovative strategy. This strategy is outlined in his book, Cracking the Code: The Winning Ryder Cup Strategy: Make it Work for You, which was released in May 2010. The book was co-authored with Ron Braund, a corporate team builder and psychologist, who consulted Azinger throughout the Ryder Cup.
Azinger made his Champions Tour debut at The ACE Group Classic in February 2010. He played four events that year and none since.