US Open '92 winner Tom Kite tells us how his Simpsons cameo came about

The former US Ryder Cup captain chats to Joe Molloy and Dave McIntyre

Tom Kite, The Simpsons, golf

Tom Kite and inset a still from that Simpsons episode Nick Potts/PA Archive/PA Images

As the 2017 US Open approaches, it is now a quarter of a century since Tom Kite triumphed at the tournament.

Held at Pebble Beach that year, the Texan came into the final round, tied for second and one shot behind leader Gil Morgan.

But by the end of Round 4, Kite had emerged on top of the pile for his first and only major. 

The 1997 US Ryder Cup captain has also achieved something only a select few humans have managed to do... appear as a guest voice on The Simpsons. That appearance was in the 1996 episode "Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield" which the 67 year old reminisced about during an interview with Off The Ball's Joe Molloy and Dave McIntyre on Wednesday night.

"Well, actually Homer raided my locker and took my shoes out of my locker," he said of his small cameo in that episode.

"I was a little bit of a Simpsons fan but my kids watched them an awful lot and after I won the US Open in '92, Matt Groening got in touch and said he wanted to do a series or an episode based around country club living and they needed a golfer and of course I was US Open champion at the time so the timing was really good for that."

 

 A still from that Simpsons episode where Kite warns Homer to stay out of his locker

By the time 1992 rolled around, Kite had experienced some near misses in majors and had also established himself as a fixture in golf's Top 10.

"I never lost faith in my ability to play and to compete," he said, adding that his philosophy meant the word "yet" always followed any phrase involving "best players never to win a major".

"If I had lost my faith in my ability, then obviously I probably never would have won that year. We just saw a tremendous example in April of a person who had never won a major championship yet and there were many, many naysayers who wanted to dump on Sergio [Garcia] and wanted to tell him what an incomplete career he had and now we look at him and we're praising him and in the heat of the US Open, he's certainly one of the favourites to possibly win back to back major championships. I think a lot of it being able to maintain a positive attitude when everybody around you is really downplaying your ability and your talent. So I had always surrounded myself with positive people." 

Kite also explained the huge influence coach Harvey Penick had on his career and his love affair with the Pebble Beach course where he had enjoyed much success including the 1992 US Open.

He also spoke about why record major winner Jack Nicklaus was the best he had played with, given that his own career only overlapped briefly with Tiger Woods' early career.

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player or on iTunes: