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Sports Then and Now

Phil Mickelson Joins Elite Club With British Open Victory 1

Posted on July 21, 2013 by Dean Hybl
Phil Mickelson celebrates his come-from-behind victory at the 2013 British Open.

Phil Mickelson celebrates his come-from-behind victory at the 2013 British Open.

With his come-from-behind victory at the British Open, Phil Mickelson joined an elite group as the 17th man in golf history to win three different major championships during his career.

Considering that earlier this year Mickelson finished second at the U.S. Open for a record sixth time, it is almost tempting to consider him the seventh person to win the career grand slam.

However, that accomplishment will have to wait until next year when the U.S. Open returns to Pinehurst, which was the site of the Open when Mickelson finished second for the first time in 1999.

Of those who won three different majors, the legend with whom Mickelson has the most in common in American Sam Snead.

Snead won seven major titles during his career, but was never able to win the U.S. Open. He finished second on four occasions during 31 attempts (there was no tournament between 1942-1945 when Snead was in his early 30s and was just reaching his prime).

After finishing second at the U.S. Open in his first appearance in the tournament in 1937, Snead finished in the top 10th again in 1939 and in the top 20 in 1940 and 1941. When the tournament returned following World War II, Snead finished tied for 19th in 1946, then second in 1947, fifth in 1948 and tied for second again in 1949. Read the rest of this entry →

Padraig Harrington Looking For Third British Open Title 3

Posted on July 14, 2012 by John Ogalbe

Padraig Harrington will be looking for his third British Open title.

Padraig Harrington believes that his recent form is so good that he could be the man to beat at next week’s Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s.

The Irishman rose to number three in the world after winning the US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, in 2008, but he has since slipped down the rankings, after he decided to revamp his swing.

Unfortunately, all his hard work has failed to pay off and, having won just once since his last Major triumph, he has regularly admitted that he may be trying too hard to improve.

However, after cutting down on his marathon practice sessions, he appears to have rediscovered some of his old magic in 2012, and has finished in the top-10 at both the Masters and the US Open, this year.

Read the rest of this entry →

Are Peter Uihlein and Rickie Fowler the “Ones to Watch” at the British Open? 9

Posted on July 13, 2011 by Pete South

Rickie Fowler will be playing with Rory McIlroy and Ernie Els in the opening rounds of the British Open.

The official website of the Open Championship has singled out American golfers, Peter Uihlein and Rickie Fowler as ‘ones to watch’ at the 140th installment of the tournament.

Fowler and Uihlein, who have been practicing together at the Royal St George’s Golf Club, are said to have “bright orange futures”, in reference to the tangerine strip of the Oklahoma State University, where the two golfers cut their teeth as amateurs. Fowler, who is rarely seen without a baseball cap, has a number of orange outfits that make the kitsch trousers of English golfer, Ian Poulter, appear tame in comparison. Those following the Open betting won’t have a hard keeping track of them. Read the rest of this entry →

Is It Too Much, Too Soon for Rory McIlroy? 12

Posted on July 12, 2011 by A.J. Foss

According to some golf experts, Rory McIlroy will be a dominant force for years to come.

With Tiger Woods out of this week’s British Open, the focus will once again be on Rory McIlroy, who is coming off a dominant victory in last month’s U.S. Open.

In the aftermath of his performance in the U.S. Open, many writers and past golfers have said or written that McIlroy will win multiple majors and become the next great superstar in golf.

Just a few days ago, nine-time major champion Gary Player said that McIlroy could be the next Grand Slam Winner and win all four majors in the same year “if he has the passion and the desire”.

All these expectations for McIlroy seem a bit much for a 22-year old who has only won two other tournaments across the world since he became a professional in 2007.

Perhaps the main reason to anoint McIlroy as the “next big thing” in golf is the recent decline of Woods, who has not a tournament since his infamous car accident in Thanksgiving of 2009. Read the rest of this entry →

Thomas Levet Joins Tiger Woods on the Sidelines for the British Open 10

Posted on July 10, 2011 by Pete South

Thomas Levet will miss the British Open thanks to an injury suffered during this celebration jump after winning the French Championship.

Paris-born golfer Thomas Levet might be feeling a little bit silly today, after his over-enthusiastic celebration at the French Open Championship left him with an injury to his lower leg. Levet, who finished seven under par to win the contest, one shot ahead of closest rival, Thorbjorn Olesen, fractured his shin jumping into a lake with his manager, Patrice Bartez.

Speaking about the painful injury, the Frenchman said, “I will be off for six weeks”. The length of Levet’s hiatus means that he will not be available for the start of the British Open, which begins next week. The 42-year-old is the second high-profile golfer to be forced out of the Open, following the news that Tiger Woods’ injuries have consigned the American to a sun lounger for the immediate future. Those following the British Open betting will have noted their withdrawals with interest.

The Open Championship will be contested at the Royal St. George’s Golf Course for the first time in almost a decade. Levet finished tied for 2nd after a playoff at the British Open in 2002. Read the rest of this entry →

Seve Ballesteros Brought Flair and Passion to the Golf World 2

Posted on May 07, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Seve Ballestros brought flair and passion to the game of golf.

The golf world lost a superstar with the death on Saturday of five-time Major Champion Seve Ballesteros after a long battle with Cancer. Known for his style and passion on the course, the Spaniard was not only one of the best players of his era, but he helped foster the international flavor of golf and turn the Ryder Cup into a major event.

Only 16 when he turned pro in 1974, Ballesteros emerged on the radar just two years later when he led the 1976 British Open by two strokes after three rounds. Though he faded with a 74 in the final round, he still finished tied with Jack Nicklaus for second behind Johnny Miller.

He went on to lead the European Tour money list that year, something he would do six times, and by 1979 was recognized as one of the up-and-coming stars in the golf world.

During the 1979 season he claimed his first major championship by winning the British Open by three stokes over Ben Crenshaw and Nicklaus. Only 22 years old, Ballesteros was the youngest winner of the British Open in the 20th Century and the first player from continental Europe to win a major title since 1907.

The following year, Ballesteros won his first green jacket with a four stroke victory at the Masters. He led by as many as 10 strokes during the final round before ultimately winning by four strokes. He was the youngest Masters Champion until Tiger Woods broke his mark 17 years later. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Tony Oliva: Hall of Fame Worthy
      April 21, 2019 | 5:18 pm
      Tony Oliva

      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

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