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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

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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