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Sports Then and Now

European Challenge Looks Strong To End US Masters Drought In 2012 16

Posted on January 25, 2012 by Rod Crowley

Jose Maria Olazabal - The last European to win the "Green Jacket" in 1999.

Despite the fact that the US Masters is still a couple of months away, the start of the new season in Golf means that players will be looking to fine tune their games ahead of the first “major” of the year, the US Masters, and with European players occupying the top four places in the World rankings currently, the question is whether a European can finally win the “Green Jacket”, some 13 years after the last!

It seems an eternity since Jose Maria Olazabal last won what is arguably the sport’s most prestigious tournament. His win in 1999 added to his first win at Augusta in 1994 and came after Sir Nick Faldo’s third triumph in the event in 1996. Other European winners of the Masters in a golden era for players from across the Atlantic included the late, Seve Ballesteros, who won it twice in 1980 & 1983. German, Bernard Langer, also won two “Green Jacket’s” in 1985 and then eight years later in 1993. Sandy Lyle became the first ever British winner in 1987 and while Faldo followed him with back to back wins in 1989 & 1990, it was Welshman, Ian Woosnam who took the title in 1991. However, despite recent European winners of the other three “Majors”, the Masters has seemingly become elusive for Europe’s top players.

Of course, Rory McIlroy had the 2011 Masters when he took a four shot lead into the final round but the young Ulsterman imploded early on the Sunday and his chance was very quickly gone. As we know, he made some amends a few weeks later when winning the US Open but losing the “Green Jacket” will still sit heavy on his shoulders and McIlroy will be out to avenge that final round performance in April and he is arguably Europe’s best chance of ending the 13 year wait. Read the rest of this entry →

Lee Westwood Looks to Bounce Back at the U.S. Open 8

Posted on June 12, 2011 by Pete South

Lee Westwood will be looking to have a strong showing at the U.S. Open.

While the past few months have seen Luke Donald grabbing most of the headlines for his spectacular run of form, many will see Lee Westwood as Britain’s best hope at this month’s US Open. Donald’s victory against his compatriot in the play-off of last month’s BMW PGA Championship saw him climb above Westwood at the top of the world rankings. While being knocked off top-spot in the rankings will have undoubtedly bothered Westwood, his recent record at majors is much better than his rival.

Some will still go on about the fact that ‘Westy’ is still without a major victory, but the fact is that only three of the world’s top-10 players have tasted victory at one of the four majors. Westwood has now managed to consistently challenge at majors over the past few seasons. Since 2008, Westwood has recorded five top-three finishes at majors, with a third place finish at the US Open three years ago. Anyone looking to bet on 2011 US Open action will have to decide if he has the mental toughness needed to go all the way. Read the rest of this entry →

Lee Westwood Looks For Birthday Win 1

Posted on April 22, 2011 by Pete South

Lee Westwood hopes for a special birthday present on Sunday.

Lee Westwood will this week look to add some extra sparkle to his 38th birthday celebrations with a victory at the Indonesian Masters in Jakarta. The Englishman will be one of only two players currently in the world top-100 that will compete at the Royale Jakarta Golf club, the other will be Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, who has recently returned to action following a back injury and could be threat and the betting tips reflect this.

The final round of the inaugural $750,000 event will coincide with Westwood’s birthday and the world number-two would love to add to his 33 tour titles on the same day. The golf betting suggests he has an excellent chance of doing just that.

He said: “It will be nice to win because my birthday is on Sunday but it will be difficult as there are a lot of strong players out here in Asia and you have to play well to win.” Read the rest of this entry →

Should Lee Westwood Be the Number One Golfer in the World? 0

Posted on October 14, 2010 by Kyle Green

Lee Westwood is making a charge at the world number one golfer ranking.

If world rankings in sport were decided solely on the basis of personality, there’s little doubt that a few of the current holders of the respective top spots would look slightly different. Perhaps, based on this criteria alone, Lee Westwood, who is currently vying for the number one spot in golf, would find himself unchallenged in his bid to sit at the pinnacle of the rankings.

After all, it’s clear to any golf betting pundits who have watched Westwood compete, let alone met him in person or been around him for any length of time, that this is a sportsman who doesn’t take himself too seriously; he’s always quick to crack a joke and is more often than not one of the most gracious players in defeat that you could hope to observe in this sport.

His technical ability is also worthy of admiration but we need to remember that world rankings shouldn’t be based on personality or how well an individual takes defeat. If Westwood, as could happen soon, does become number one in the world, is it deserved? Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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