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Sports Then and Now



Jordan Spieth Isn’t the Only Winner at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am 3

Posted on February 12, 2017 by Dean Hybl
Journeyman golfer Rob Oppenheim made a crucial putt at the 72nd hole of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am to earn the highest finish of his PGA career.

Journeyman golfer Rob Oppenheim made a crucial putt at the 72nd hole of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am to earn the highest finish of his PGA career.

With Jordan Spieth holding a three or more shot lead throughout the final round, the final outcome of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was generally anti-climactic. However, for one golfer the final holes of the tournament were quite dramatic and significant.

Unless you are a die-hard golf fan, the name Rob Oppenheim is likely not significantly familiar. However, Oppenheim is the embodiment of what life is like for all except the top few professional golfers.

After playing the best golf of his 15 year professional career during the first three and a half rounds of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Oppenheim found himself near the top of the leaderboard reaching as high as fourth place with just seven holes left to play.

Considering that Oppenheim entered the weekend with only one career top 10 finish on the PGA Tour (tie for 10th at the 2016 Quicken Loans National), it was very new territory and had the potential to provide a payday matching his entire career earnings.

Though like all professional golfers Oppenheim is no stranger to pressure, you have to wonder if looking up and seeing his name listed on the same leaderboard as golf superstars Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Day eventually started to get to him.

After a birdie on the 11th hole put him at 12 under par, Oppenheim then got a tough bounce on his tee shot at the par-3 12th hole and he eventually made his first bogey of the day. Given that Oppenheim had only one bogey per round through the first three days, it seemed possible that the 12th would just be a blimp as he finished the best performance of his career. Read the rest of this entry →

Thomas Bjorn On The Upswing 45

Posted on September 13, 2011 by Thomas Rooney

Thomas Bjorn claimed the Omega European Masters in a playoff.

Thomas Bjorn has had impressive two weeks, securing two titles and enhancing his reputation in the process.

The vastly-experienced Dane won a five-man play-off at Gleneagles to win the Johnny Walker Championship and followed it up with securing the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

The 40-year-old showed his coolness under pressure in Scotland a fortnight ago, with five great playoff holes and sent a message down to the other players vying for a Ryder Cup place.

The qualifying for next year’s event started this week and a nine-under-par 62 not only saw him shoot the lowest round of his European Tour career, but also ensured he made strides for the race for the major tournament.

His feat in Switzerland was all the more impressive as US Open champions Rory McIlroy and former number-one ranked players Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, who he beat by four shots, were both in contention heading into the final day before Bjorn blew them away with some influential strokeplay and immaculate putting. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Sudden Sam McDowell
      July 4, 2017 | 8:48 pm
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      Sudden Sam McDowell

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a hard-throwing lefthander who often led Major League Baseball in both strikeouts and walks. His off-the-field story also made him the prototype for a famed television character.

      Sudden Sam McDowell made his Major League debut for the Cleveland Indians a week before his 19th birthday and pitched in the majors for 15 seasons.

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