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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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      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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