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Sports Then and Now



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 →

Sergio Garcia is Back with a Bang 1

Posted on March 23, 2011 by Pete South

Sergio Garcia is looking to recapture past form at the 2011 Masters.

Former world number two, Sergio Garcia, made his long awaited return to the PGA Tour with a decent showing at the Transitions Championship in Florida. The Spaniard was playing his first American event in seven months, and there were signs over the weekend that Garcia could be back to his best. His tournament somewhat drifted away on the third and fourth days after finding himself tied for second after two rounds.

Rounds of 72 and 71 saw Garcia drop down the leaderboard to finish tied for 15th, but there were plenty of positives to take for Sergio following his spell away from the game last year after nearly two years spent struggling with every part of his game. His first two rounds saw Garcia avoid picking up a single bogey and there seems to be a strong base for the fan’s favorite to rebuild his game and the golf odds reflect this.

The 31-year-old displayed his new clawed putting grip, and the evidence suggested the changes have worked, birdying three of the opening four holes despite being attacked by a bee in his stunning second round of 66. Read the rest of this entry →

Hey Tiger: The Truth Will Set You Free 2

Posted on April 02, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Tiger Woods delivers remarks to the news media.

Because he didn't give many details and may not have been telling the complete truth, the public statement by Tiger Woods on February 19 has not stopped the media frenzy around the golfer.

After months of receiving headlines on the tabloids, Tiger Woods is hopeful that returning to professional golf at the Masters will shift the focus from his personal life back to his golf prowess. Unfortunately, it is my belief that until Tiger completely defuses the situation, he will never truly be free of his past.

Let me start by saying that while I don’t agree with Tigers’ actions, I don’t believe it is any of my business or that I as a fan and consumer am “owed” anything by Woods.

However, because Tiger has built an empire based on the perception that he is an average guy with super-human ability, his handlers have tried to temper the collateral damage of his actions.

Their first attempt was a 13-minute public statement given by Woods in front of a small group of friends and business associates and watched by millions of people on television. Read the rest of this entry →

Billy Casper – Masters Champion 4

Posted on April 01, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Billy Casper

Billy Casper

It was 40 years ago that the April Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month put an exclamation point on his distinguished professional career by claiming the prestigious Green Jacket at the Master’s Championship.

When Billy Casper entered the 1970 Masters, he had won 44 PGA Tour events, including the 1959 and 1966 U.S. Open titles.

Having finished tied for second at the 1969 Masters, the 38-year-old Casper was again in contention in 1970. After four rounds was tied with Gene Littler with a nine-under-par score of 279. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Al Bumbry: From Bronze Star to AL Rookie of the Year
      May 31, 2021 | 2:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month won a Bronze Star in Vietnam before going on to win American League Rookie of the Year honors and playing 14 seasons in the Major Leagues.

      Though only 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, Al Bumbry was a four-year basketball player at Virginia State College (now University). The school restarted its baseball program during his career and Bumbry hit .578 during his senior season to earn notice from the Baltimore Orioles, who picked him in the 11th round of the MLB Draft.

      Read more »

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