Posts Tagged ‘Golf History’

Links to Lyle’s Other Sites

April 22, 2016

My book, Trials and Triumphs of Golf’s Greatest Champions:  A Legacy of Hope is being released in May and you can read more posts at my websites:

Find my Facebook for the book here

Find my blog and book at my website here

Trials and Triumphs of Golf’s Greatest Champions: A Legacy of Hope, brings us inside the world of seven champion golfers whose strength of character sustained them against the physical and emotional trials that threatened both their careers and lives.  Their stories demonstrate  the strength and resilience – indeed, the stubborn persistence – of the human spirit.

 

Who Will Be the Next Great Mistake at the U.S. Open?

June 4, 2012

The U.S. Open returns to Olympic Club in a couple weeks – a venue where Dan Jenkins believes the wrong man has always won.  With the exception of Billy Casper beating Arnie in 1966, I have to agree with his assessment.  Mr. Casper is a Hall of Famer with 51 tour wins, the others will never make it there.  But that’s golf, and the Open.  Fleck beat Hogan in a playoff in 1955 thanks to heaven sent putting down the stretch, Casper beat Palmer in a playoff, coming from 7 down on the back nine Sunday to tie, shooting a 32 – the stuff of champions.  Scott Simpson beat my man Tom Watson in 1987 with an unbelievable up and down from the sand late Sunday, and Lee Janzen beat Paine Stewart in 1998.  It was their time.  Golf doesn’t care that they aren’t among the game’s greats.  Neither were Joe Lloyd in 1897; Willie Macfarlane, who beat Bobby Jones in a playoff in 1925; Sam Parks in 1935; Tony Manero in 1936; Orville Moody in 1969; or Lou Graham in 1975.  Andy North won two U.S. Opens and only one other tournament in his career.  But for that week they were the best, and their names are on that trophy forever.  So who will win this year?  How about Mark Wilson in a four man playoff against Tiger, Phil, and Rory.  Stranger things have happened.  Just ask the spirit of Ben Hogan.

Azinger’s Ryder Cup Mastery

September 26, 2008

Captain Paul Azinger employed an ingenious method for managing his team, breaking his squad into three groups, or PODS, as the press referred to them.   He split personalities into three groups of four players.  Group One was Phil Mickelson, Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan and Justin Leonard.   Azinger put Raymond Floyd in charge of leading these guys.  Group Two included Boo Weekley, J.B. Holmes Kenny Perry, and Jim Furyk.  Azinger put tour veteran Olin Browne with them.   Group Three was made up of Ben Curtis, Steve Stricker, Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell.  Azinger assigned Dave Stockton, an emotional guy who’s game was very much like that of his troops.   I take my hat of to Azinger for his creative arrangement – I think it was a stroke of genius to think outside the box.  It worked well and you have to hand it to the rookies for coming up so big.  And Boo Weekley doing his Happy Gilmore imitation on the first tee on Sunday was classic.  Way to go guys!

The Shark’s Bid For History

July 23, 2008

Greg Norman came up short in his attempt to win this year’s British Open, but one has to appreciate what he accomplished.  Here is a guy who has not played competitive golf in years, who last lead a major after 3 rounds in 1996, when he suffered his famous meltdown against Nick Faldo in the Masters.  Twelve years later he shows up and found the talent still inside him, as it is in all great champions, to muster one final hurrah.  What makes it remarkable is that he is semi-retired from the game.  It’s kind of like Byron Nelson winning the 1955 French Open, ten years after retiring from the game, but that was against a lesser field in benign conditions.  On top of that Nelson was only 43. 

The oldest man to win a major was Julius Boros, who caputred the 1968 PGA at the age of 48.  The oldest British Open champion was Old Tom Morris, who was 46 when he won the last of his four Opens – in 1867!  Sam Snead was 52 when he won his last tournament.  So for a golfer over 50 to be so close in this day and age to winning a tournament of any kind is remarkable, let alone the oldest championship in golf.   Norman hung in, leading going into the back nine. 

You have to go back to the 1920 U.S. Open to find such an old warrior ahead at that late stage.  Harry Vardon was 50 then, and nature did him in, as a gale blew across the course and his putting betrayed him.  Norman experienced something of the same fate, but he didn’t shrink from the pressure.  He just succumbed to age and history.  I take my hat off to him, and appreciate his guts to even be there, after all the diappointments in his past.  I wish he could have won, for history’s sake, but his four days at Royal Birkdale will live on, and in that sense he did make history.  Thanks for the great ride.