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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 →

Top Five Underdogs of 2009: Age Trumps Beauty, Life Springs in the Desert, and Dead Women Kicking 2

Posted on November 25, 2009 by John Wingspread Howell
The consumate underdog, in just a matter of weeks the Sky Blue FC went from last place to WPS Champions.

The consumate underdog, in just a matter of weeks the Sky Blue FC went from last place to WPS Champions.

It has been a year of mixed emotions for incurable fans of the underdog. On the downside are ultimate victories by ultimate bullies such as the Steelers and the Yankees. Atypically, March Madness produced no Cinderella stories. Perennial underdogs, the Cleveland Cavaliers choked on their best opportunity yet to win an NBA Championship, faltering in the Conference finals, with Orlando.

On the upside are the overlapping individual and team stories of Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals, the parallel stories of two soccer Cinderellas, and a Warner-like comeback in the golf world.

And now, for the countdown.

Read the rest of this entry →

Doesn’t Tom Watson Know How Old He Is? 0

Posted on July 18, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Tom Watson

Tom Watson

Evidently the only person at the British Open (referred to as the Open Championship in England) who doesn’t know that Tom Watson is nearly 60-years-old is Watson himself. Playing against a field of golfers in which many are half his age, Watson enters the final round of golf’s oldest championship with a one-stroke lead.

Now there was a time when Tom Watson leading after 54-holes of the British Open surprised no one. After all, the only player with more Open Championships than the American is Harry Vardon, who last won the title in 1916.

However, just in case you weren’t sure, this is 2009, not 1977 or 1983. Watson is no longer the young golfer who won his first major championship at age 25 and all eight of his major championships before turning 34.
Read the rest of this entry →

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