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Sports Then and Now



Cream Will Rise To The Top At Pebble Beach 1

Posted on June 16, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Tom Watson celebrates his chip-in on the 17th hole during the 1982 U.S. Open

Though the U.S. Open has a history of turning previous unknowns into champions, when the best golfers in the World tee it up this week for the U.S. Open Championship at the storied Pebble Beach Golf Links, you can expect that the eventual winner will be a well-known superstar, rather than a previous unknown who came from nowhere to win the title.

This will mark the fifth time that the U.S. Open has been played at the famous Pebble Beach Course. The four previous champions represent a “who’s who” of all-time golf greats.

No golfer has won more major championships than Jack Nicklaus, who claimed his third U.S. Open the first time the tournament was played at Pebble Beach in 1972. Nicklaus finished with a three-stroke victory over Bruce Crampton and four strokes ahead of another all-time great Arnold Palmer.

When the championship returned to Pebble Beach a decade later, Nicklaus was aiming for his fifth U.S. Open title. A final round charge put him in contention, but Tom Watson swiped the title with a chip-in on the 17th hole of the final round to seal his only U.S. Open title and sixth of his eight major titles. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

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      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      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.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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