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Arnold Palmer Took Professional Golf to New Heights 2

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Dean Hybl
Arnold Palmer won seven golf majors and finished second 10 times.

Arnold Palmer won seven golf majors and finished second 10 times.

While other golfers enjoyed more success on the links, it can easily be argued that no golfer did more to raise the profile of professional golf as a global sport than Arnold Palmer, who passed away Sunday at the age of 87.

Originally from Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Palmer played golf at Wake Forest University and won the 1954 U.S. Amateur Championship.

He turned professional in 1955 and the 25-year-old rookie quickly displayed his ability by claiming the Canadian Open championship. In 1958 he earned his first major with a one-stroke victory at the Masters and went on to be the PGA Tour money leader for the year.

After again winning the Masters in 1960, he claimed his only U.S. Open title with an epic performance at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado.

At a time when the third and fourth (final) rounds were played on the same day, Palmer entered the final round trailing leader Mike Souchak by seven strokes. Also ahead of him were golfing legend Ben Hogan and amateur Jack Nicklaus, both three strokes off the lead.

Arnold’s Army began to grow during the afternoon as he peppered the course with great golf shots while his opponents started to struggle amidst his charge. Palmer registered a final round 65 (six under par) and ended the tournament two strokes ahead of Nicklaus and four ahead of Souchak and five others.

It would prove to be the only U.S. Open victory for Palmer as he lost three other times in a playoff.

Later in 1960, Palmer began growing his international legacy by traveling to Scotland to play in the British Open at a time when few Americans participated in the tournament. Though his hopes of winning the golf grand slam ended with a one-stroke loss to Kel Nagle, Palmer planted the seeds for future American success in the legendary tournament. Read the rest of this entry →

Horton Smith: First Masters Champion 2

Posted on April 03, 2015 by Dean Hybl
Horton Smith

Horton Smith

In 1934, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month became the first winner of what is now considered among the most prestigious of all golf tournament championships.

Horton Smith made his professional golf debut in 1926, in 1929 he won eight tournaments and in 1930 finished third in the U.S. Open and tied for fourth at the British Open. However, he entered the first-ever Masters (then known as the Augusta National Invitational) in 1934 without having previously won any of the tournaments that would eventually be considered the “majors”. Read the rest of this entry →

Traditions at the Masters Golf Tournament 1

Posted on April 11, 2014 by Scott Huntington

The Masters Tournament is held every year at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Originally established in 1934, the tournament has become perhaps the most renowned on the PGA Tour because of the history and traditions that are associated with it. Organizers have reshaped and redesigned the course over the years, but these traditions remain and will continue to do so well into the future.

Green Jacket

adam-scott-masters-green-jacket-rain-photo

Since 1949, the winner of the Masters has been awarded a green jacket. This golfer is only permitted to keep the jacket until the following year’s tournament, at which time it must be returned to the clubhouse. Past champions are allowed to wear the green jacket that they have won whenever they return to the golf course, but should never wear it anywhere else.

Read the rest of this entry →

Ian Poulter Looks To Close The Deal at the 2011 Masters 2

Posted on April 06, 2011 by Pete South

Ian Poulter will look to put together four great rounds at the 2011 Masters.

At the halfway stage of last year’s Masters Ian Poulter was leading the pack and looked a good bet to pick up his first major, only for a disappointing weekend to see the Englishman drop down the field to finish tied for tenth. While it was Poulter’s highest finish at Augusta, the 35-year old still walked away with more than a tinge of disappointment from the tournament.

This week Poulter will be desperate turn his consistently decent Masters record into a great one. Top-35 finishes in each of his six appearances at Augusta show that Poulter certainly knows how to play this course, but he will need to handle the mental side of winning the Masters, something the golf betting suggests he will struggle to do.

It is certainly going to need a significant improvement in Poulter’s current form if he is going to be in contention come Sunday. His successful 2010 – which saw him taste victory at the Accenture Match-Play and play a key role in Europe’s Ryder Cup triumph – has been followed by a disappointing start to this season. Poulter is currently without a top-ten finish in his last six tournaments and that poor run has had seen the Englishman’s ranking drop from seventh down to 16th. The US Masters betting indicates he could struggle at the tournament.
Read the rest of this entry →

Can Tiger Woods Recapture His Form at the Masters? 6

Posted on March 20, 2011 by Pete South

Despite not winning the Masters since 2005 and not winning a tournament since 2009, Tiger Woods is still the betting favorite at the 2011 Masters.

Tiger Woods is the current favorite in the Masters Golf odds. This can be viewed as either a fair reflection of the pedigree of a 14-time major winner in a wide-open tournament or unrealistic expectations of a player desperately short of form and confidence.

Woods won his first major at Augusta in 1997 and has donned the famous green jacket three times since, which should make him the man to beat whenever he arrives at the idyllic Georgia setting. Current form suggests he is more of an outsider in many people’s eyes.

The Farmers Insurance Open brought Woods his worst ever season-opening finish of his career, a 44th place that hinted at the problems of last year being close to the surface. Woods improved to finish 20th at the Dubai Desert Classic, but his fine for spitting in the final round grabbed the headlines, an incident which said more about his state of mind than the player’s own statements of improvement. Read the rest of this entry →

Paul Casey Looking to Break Through at the Masters 4

Posted on March 04, 2011 by Pete South

Paul Casey will look to build on recent success during the upcoming Masters.

Paul Casey has struggled during the past couple of years to produce some of his best form, but will be hoping his recent success at the Volvo Golf Championship in Bahrain is a sign of a brighter future. The tournament win in the Middle East was his first in 20 months and this year already looks to be progressing better than last season.

Casey will line-up at the US Masters next month with a strong record at Augusta which includes four top-20 finishes, the highlight being in 2004 when the 33-year old tied for sixth. There have been disappointments for Casey at the Masters though with missed cuts in 2005 and again last year, but if the Englishman’s game is as tight as it can be then he’ll definitely be one of those in the chase to be awarded the famous green jacket, even if the Masters Golf betting odds suggest he isn’t among the favorites. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Paul Blair: Defensive Whiz
      May 30, 2017 | 9:21 pm

      Blair-OriolesMore than 40 years before current stalwart Adam Jones first patrolled centerfield for the Baltimore Orioles, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month roamed the field with grace while also providing the Orioles with timely hitting for more than a decade.

      On a team that built its strength through pitching and defense, Paul Blair fit perfectly. He is one of seven members of the Orioles from that era who won at least three Gold Gloves and is tied with Mark Belanger for the second most in team history.

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