ST. LOUIS — Billy Mayfair spent more than 20 years golfing on the PGA Tour and amassed five PGA Tour wins in his career.
One of his more memorable wins came in 1998 when he bested a young Tiger Woods in a playoff at the 1998 Nissan Open.
“We still talk about it even after 25 years,” Mayfair said. (I’m) the only guy who has ever beaten Tiger Woods in a playoff. He’s told me I’m the only player he can’t intimidate.”
In 2019, Billy’s perspective on his life and golf career changed when he was diagnosed with Autism.
“Once I finally looked at (the tests) and read it, it opened a whole new world for me,” Mayfair said. “I realized why I struggled in school, why people talked to me the way they did, why I am the way that I am, and how I function.”
“It opened up a lot of doors for me.”
Billy was dismissive about his condition at first. But in the last few years, he has embraced his disability and has become an advocate for those on the autism spectrum. With the support of his wife, Tami, Billy hopes his journey inspires others.
“Coaches today are looking for that golden ticket, and sometimes the person with autism is that,” Mayfair said. “If you give that person just a little bit more time, you can have that diamond in the rough.”
Tami appreciates Billy’s positive perspective.
“I’m beyond proud of him,” Tami said. “A lot of stuff has been thrown at us, and he is still playing golf at this elite level. Now he’s decided it’s okay to pass that on so others can do the same. I’m pretty lucky.”