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Sports Then and Now



U.S. Open – Catching Lightning in a Bottle (Twice) 0

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Dean Hybl
Andy North won only three PGA Tour events, but two of them were U.S. Open Championships.

Andy North won only three PGA Tour events, but two of them were U.S. Open Championships.

If you need any other illustration of how crazy the world of sports can be, all you need to look at is the history of the U.S. Open golf tournament. It is a tournament where two of the greatest champions of all-time, Phil Mickelson and Sam Snead, have a combined total of 10 runner-up finishes without never hoisting the tournament trophy, while there are 5 players over the last 50 years who have won the U.S. Open multiple times without winning any of the other three major titles.

Here is a look at the careers of those five champions who “got lucky” multiple times:

Hale Irwin – 1974, 1979, 1990 – Of the players whose only grand slam championships are at the U.S. Open, Irwin was the most successful in the other tournaments. He had at least one top five finish in each of the other three major championships, including a tie for second place at the British Open in 1983, and a total of 10 top 5 finishes and 20 top 10 finishes in majors. After winning his first U.S. Open in 1974, Irwin finished in the top 10 in each of the four majors in 1975. However, it would not be until 1979 when he claimed his second U.S. Open at the Iverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Between 1980 and 1984, Irwin had four top 8 finishes at majors. However, he finished no higher than 14th in a major for the remainder of the decade. So, it was quite a surprise when at the age of 45, he defeated Mike Donald in a playoff to become the oldest U.S. Open Champion. His final run at a major title was in 1993 when he finished tied for 6th at the PGA Championship at the age of 48.

Andy North – 1978, 1985 – Anyone who watches golf analysis on ESPN is familiar with Andy North. He has been part of their golf coverage for more than two decades. North played college golf at the University of Florida before turning pro in 1972. In 1975 he registered his first top 5 finish at a major with a fourth place showing at the PGA Championship. In 1977 he won his first PGA Tour title capturing the American Express Westchester Classic. The following year he claimed the U.S. Open title by a single stroke over J.C. Snead and Dave Stockton. Though he finished in the top 10 at the U.S. Open in 1980 and 1983, he had very little success in other major tournaments prior to the 1985 U.S. Open. He overcame a four-shot deficit during the final round to win the tournament by a single stroke and claim his second U.S. Open title. He made only a handful of cuts at major championships over the remainder of his career. Read the rest of this entry →

College Football’s Aerial Icon: The Goodyear Blimp 0

Posted on October 26, 2015 by Mike Raffone

Good Year BlimpToday’s Sports Then and Now blog recognizes one of college football’s most recognized icons – The Goodyear Blimp.

That’s because this season marks the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s 60th year of aerial advertising during college football games.

The company’s annual broadcast coverage will culminate with a lucky college football fan hitching a ride on the famous blimp.

However, few football fans know the history behind the beloved blimps.

Furnishing amazing aerial views of some of the most recognized sporting events in the world, the Goodyear Blimp hovers way above the ground at approximately 1,000 feet. Read the rest of this entry →

Can Another Outsider Spring a Shock at the US Open? 0

Posted on August 31, 2015 by Andre Smith
Could 17th seed Grigor Dimitrov be the next longshot to emerge with a major tennis title?

Could 17th seed Grigor Dimitrov be the next longshot to emerge with a major tennis title?

The fourth and final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open, is perhaps one of the favorites for the neutral tennis spectator as it throws up the potential of a shock winner.

For so long the men’s singles game has been dominated by the ‘big four’ of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, but with Marin Cilic winning at Flushing Meadows last year – and Stan Wawrinka’s famous victory over Djokovic on the French clay in June – it is fair to say that this tournament is wide open.

And that’s why this even is so intriguing; and why it is well worth keeping an eye on the US Open betting odds to see if you can pick out a potential surprise winner.

The Contenders
What was incredible about Marin Cilic’s victory in this tournament last year was that he wasn’t expected to even reach the latter stages, let alone lift the trophy, as the 14th seed. He’d only reached one Grand Slam semi final in his career up to that point, at the Australian Open in 2010, and had only ever gotten to the last eight at Flushing Meadows twice in five attempts.

But something just clicked in the Croatian’s game during that fortnight, and his straight sets wins over Kei Nishikori (another surprise) in the final and Federer in the semi-final, show that there can be demons in the hard courts of America for the more fancied players.

So who are the players to watch at this year’s event? Read the rest of this entry →

Triumphs in Tennis: What is Expected in the U.S. Open This Year 0

Posted on August 06, 2015 by Brooke Chaplan
All eyes will be on Serena Williams and her attempt at the grand slam.

All eyes will be on Serena Williams and her attempt at the calendar year grand slam.

One of the great locations to watch Grand Slam tennis is Flushing Meadows, especially when the match is close and the atmosphere becomes electric in a distinctly New York kind of way. The best seat in the house is in the elevated bleachers high above the baseline inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, as you get up-close and personal with some of the best players in the world.

Tennis is a sport with a long season full of ups and downs for players. Studying for an online masters in coaching shows how professional athletes like these must survive the mentally and physically grueling pace of the games. The U.S. Open begins August 31st and is scheduled through September 13th of this year. A lot is expected from the players, and here are a few determined to do well.

Serena Is the Talk of Broadway
One of the themes that has emerged on the WTA Tour this year is that Serena Williams is capable of blasting the competition off the tennis court. Her play has become increasingly aggressive with each passing Grand Slam, and it is pretty clear that a triumphant win at the U.S. Open would be a great achievement for Williams. She has made a career of surpassing expectations and frustrating opponents and is capable of doing it again in Flushing Meadows. The tennis world is longing for this type of a compelling story, and there’s no one more qualified to pull this off than Williams herself.
Read the rest of this entry →

3 Reasons You Can’t Miss the U.S. Open 1

Posted on July 21, 2015 by Jeremy Biberdorf
The 2014 U.S. Open finals included unfamiliar faces in Kei Nishikori and champion Marin Cilic.

The 2014 U.S. Open finals included unfamiliar faces in Kei Nishikori and champion Marin Cilic.

The 2015 US Open is around the corner, and one thing is certain – it’s a can’t-miss experience for both diehard and casual fans alike. Grab your tickets now – they are going fast.

These are the top 3 reasons that you can’t miss out on the 2015 US Open.

1. The tennis is electrifying.

Have you ever seen Serena, Roger or Rafa play, their talent and shot-making on full display? Now, imagine seeing them live and in person. There’s nothing like it. It’s exciting, it’s intense – and it’s impossible to fully appreciate through a television set.

2. The celeb-spotting opportunities are endless.

At the US Open, the stars are on the court and in the stands – oftentimes sitting right next to you.

The US Open is an event to see and be seen. Alec Baldwin is a regular and several other celebrities have made appearances in years past.

3. The food is really good.

Roger Federer: Will it be Another Fruitful Autumn? 4

Posted on October 01, 2012 by Marianne Bevis

At 30, Roger is still at the top of the tennis world.

Autumn: The season of warm sunshine and cool evenings, of golden mornings and burnished afternoons, of dewy lawns and slanting shadows.

It’s a season of transition and reflection, of rest before making ready for the year’s push towards its wintery climax.

September sees some sports kick their way into a fresh season and others bat they way towards a conclusion. But for tennis, this is merely the lull after months of globe-scattered tournaments, after countless cities and adjustments from clay to grass to the hot and hard blue of the last Grand Slam of the year. New York feels like a climax, but then feels like an anti-climax, a thrilling conclusion on tennis’s biggest stage that is not a conclusion—just a temporary reprieve.

This autumn dip finds expression in the players themselves. They talk of tiredness and the need for rest, and this year more than most, the schedule has taken a heavy toll. Read the rest of this entry →

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      May 30, 2017 | 9:21 pm

      Blair-OriolesMore than 40 years before current stalwart Adam Jones first patrolled centerfield for the Baltimore Orioles, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month roamed the field with grace while also providing the Orioles with timely hitting for more than a decade.

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